Beware the Scandanavian Christmas Troll!!!

Lock up your daughters. And your sons! No child, strike that, no mortal is safe in the dark hours of Christmas Eve. For there lurks the Christmas troll, drunk on spirits and cavorting with the witches, waiting to trick you into a midnight ride.

Early 20th century author Clement A. Miles was a historian and an amateur anthropologist of sorts. His 1912 collection of Christmas traditions he deemed “both Pagan and Christian” is not just a cross-cultural look at the origins of Santa Claus. Here you will find werewolves, bogeys, and trolls. You will find curses and hexes and imminent death, rituals of the dead and goblin offerings. You will be warned of The Devil and cautioned against laziness. If you are in Bavaria, take heed of the Berchte—a wretched bogey who cuts the stomachs open of naughty children. And at all costs, do not walk outside alone should you ever find yourself in Greece during the Twelve Days of Christmas. For there lurks the most horrid beast of all: the Kallikantzaroi  or Karkantzaroi, a horrid half-human, half-animal monstrosity that plays tricks and ravages households, often leaving the occupants dead. Some say it is a mortal man transformed into a beastly creature, others say it is manifested from the supernatural beyond.

If you want to learn more about these horrifying hellhounds of Yule, join me on Friday the 23rd of December, at 10pm PST on Coast to Coast where George Noory and I will speak of things evil and strange, quirky and creepy, funny and festive!

Coast to Coast is a live show that you can listen to via your local AM radio station. Visit their website for a list of stations and times. And don’t forget, you can call in with your own tales of terror!! Open lines in the second hour.

15 thoughts on “Beware the Scandanavian Christmas Troll!!!”

  1. I just spent the last hour listening to you on Coast-toCoast AM (Pensacola, FL) and being incredibly entertained.

    For a moment you mentioned the Irish “will-o-the-wisp” – my grandfather who grew up in southern Illinois used to tell me stories of being chased through the woods and down roads by the will-o-the-wisp. As a teen in the late 1920’s, he would walk home in the dark and, at one point, there was this valley and creek he used to have to cross to get home – and that was the place the will-o-the-wisp would wait for him. He always described it the same way – a series of misty blue lights that occasionally would almost form a human figure –

    I’m getting the chills all over again – anyway, thanks for mentioning the “wisp” – reminded me of my grandpa. ~ GEaston, 12-24-2011

    1. wonderful! I may contact you again in the future to hear more about this awesome Will O’ the Wisp story/stories. Merry Christmas!!

      1. Sure – contact info is under the “Our CEO” page at The Hidalgo Grain Compny blog.

        Both of my grandparents (on my mother’s side) adopted a strict Baptist fundamentalist religiosity later in life -but- the belief in the “other side” never left them. For example, my grandma would only do certain things under certain moon phases. Grandpa used to tell tales (as every grandpa would, I imagine) but his stories of running home late at night chased by the unknown were not tales. There was something about the look in his eye – he was serious.

  2. I love hearing these tales. So many of them follow a template: willful, self-directed individual defies superstition and religion and acts independently only to be ravaged by demigod at night. I guess the horror/slasher films perpetuate this or at least riff on irrational fears: necking teens in convertible meet gory death from unstoppable, improbable victim-turned-monster. I like that for a second I wonder if some of it may be true, like Trollhunter (Norway). I was so fortunate to wake up early and hear the rebroadcast of your Coast to Coast interview!

  3. Really enjoyed hearing you on Coast to Coast AM. Asked some of my Greek relatives about the monster myth and none of them have heard of it. Perhaps they didn’t talk about it in their region or they’ve forgotten about it. I was able to download the books and look forward to reading them. Cheers and Merry Christmas.

  4. A caller to Coast to Coast mentioned the film MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. The “weird scene” from the movie that she could never understand, was supposed to be Halloween. I have the movie on tape and I just watched it a few weeks ago. So many people consider it a Christmas film, they forget that the movie takes place during the four seasons. The girls are dressed as boys and the boys are dressed as girls because that’s how children in the United States celebrated Halloween at the turn of 19th century: dressing as the opposite sex, playing pranks, and having Bon fires. I never fail to hear misinformation when I listen to that show.

    1. You know I haven’t seen that movie since I was a kid so I should really go and watch it! You can’t fault the show for the randomness of the callers, though. The beauty of that show is that anyone can call in and you get some of the most interesting stories from callers, and yes you also get people mixing up the facts or sometimes telling very strange tales but the show can really only speak for the host and the hopefully the guest. Callers from Coast to Coast have listened and told and sent me some amazing stories. Thanks for listening!

      1. Most of the misinformation I hear on Coast to Coast comes from the guests. I have my own true, incredible story on a website:, but everything I have experienced and written about, I can prove with documents or witnesses. By the way, I enjoyed hearing you as a guest. That particular show has quite interesting. For the last several years I feel like Coast to Coast has gotten into a rut. It used to be much more interesting.

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