#Creepmas Day 11- Making the Holidays Creepy

Are you looking to add a little creepy to your holiday decor? 

It's pretty easy- just do a mash up of Halloween and Christmas by combining your decorations.

Grab some skulls and add them to your Christmas wreaths.

Hang witches, skulls, ghosts and bats on your tree.

Take your black Halloween decor and add red and green ribbons to make it festive for the holiday season.

Here's a few of the holiday mash ups I've created.

I had quite a few skeletons left over from Halloween crafts so I made a little clay Santa hat for this guy and strung him up with holiday beads to hang him on the tree.

I had the bat, mini skull, and large clay skull left over from Halloween. I didn't do much with them for Halloween so they needed to be dressed up for Christmas. 

Custom made clay Santa hats for the skulls and a red bow for the bat gave them a fun holiday make over. Then I found a tiny wreath to attach the tiny skull to. I had some loose evergreen strands that I wrapped up for a small custom wreath for the clay Santa skull. He was too heavy to turn into an ornament. I added a red bow, a couple red jewels and some resin bats that I have a surplus of- and ta da a Creepmas wreath.

I am really pleased with the Creepmas wreath, he turned out better than I thought he was going to.

These little guys are on a coffin shadowbox shelf my husband made. I put most of the Halloween stuff away but I didn't have any place to store the coffin shelf so I left it out. I happened to find these little Santa hats in my Christmas craft box and experimented. Turns out they fit perfect. So I dressed up them up for the holidays too.

#Creepmas Day 10- A Christmas Haunted House

This year Bridgeport Gore Grounds is adding a little scary fun to the Christmas season with Haunted Black Xmas Wonderland. 

Described as a "horrifying Christmas-themed haunted house" featuring evil elves, scary snowmen and Krampus- the "king of Christmas nightmares"

From the Gore Grounds website:

"When we were small children, our parents all told us the story of Santa. But what about his horned helper, Krampus?

This chilling event brings to life the story of a Christmas demon, known as Krampus, that helps Santa deal with anyone that is naughty. Visitors who loved getting spooked during Halloween can get scared all over again for this holiday season. The new attraction will also swap out Santa for photos with Krampus." 

The cast and crew will transform its Halloween haunted house into a Haunted Black Xmas Wonderland on Dec. 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th. Get your tickets here.

A Haunted Black Xmas
4221 Bearcat Blvd 
Bridgeport, MI 48722

#Creepmas Day 9- Dark Christmas Music

I have a few Creepy Christmas Playlists I follow on Spotify. Two are from fellow Samhain Society Members Spooky Little Halloween and The Spooky Vegan. If you like Gothic style Christmas music check out these lists.

#Creepmas Day 8- DIY Goth Christmas Ornaments #MakingCreepmas #Hornaments

For the 13 Days of Creepmas I wanted to include at least one DIY project. 

So I started brainstorming and came up with Goth Ornaments- and wouldn't you know I finished them just in time to line up with the #MakingCreepmas Day for #Hornaments!

These easy DIY Goth Ornaments are really simple. Basically they are just paint, glue and glitter and attaching a piece of paper to a wood ornament.

I try to keep most of DIYs easy enough that just about anyone can do them. They don't require extreme art skills or fancy equipment.

Items Needed:

Round Wood Christmas Ornaments

Round images 

Printer and paper

Mod Podge Gloss 

1 inch foam paint brush

Fine paint brush


Black Paint

Hooks, ribbon, or string to hang ornaments

Ultra Fine Black Glitter


Paint your ornaments black. Paint the back of each ornament, let them dry, then paint the front of each ornament.

Select your images, crop them into circles then print them out on regular printer paper. I found free stock images on Pixabay and cropped them into 2.5 inch and 2.75 inch circles. The 2.5 inch circles leave a border around the image that I can fill with glitter. The 2.75 inch circles cover the entire circular area of my wood ornaments. (download my sheets of 6 2.5 ornaments here or the 2.75 here)

Cut out your images. 

Attach the images to the ornament with mod podge. I use a foam paint brush to cover the back of the image in mod podge then place it carefully on the ornament. I smooth it with my fingers. You do not want any air pockets or wrinkles. Once it is smoothed with my fingers I get more mod podge on the foam brush and coat the entire image thoroughly and smooth it out with the brush making sure once again their are no bubbles or wrinkles.

Let the ornaments dry completely then check to make sure edges are not curling. If edges are curling or not fully secure, add more mod podge. 

If everything looks good it is time for glitter. 

Take the fine point paintbrush and use it to paint a small line of mod podge around the edge of the image on the ornament. Grab your fine black glitter and sprinkle it onto the wet mod podge, cover completely then shake off the excess.

I use a paper plate under my ornament to catch excess glitter. 

Repeat this for each ornament. If the glitter looks good let it dry. If not add more mod podge and more glitter.

Dump excess glitter onto a piece of paper and put back in your glitter jar, no point in wasting all that excess.

Once your ornaments are dry add a hook or ribbon and hang them on your tree.

#Creepmas Day 7- Ghostly Christmas Tales

There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago 
~It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

That line always confused me when I was a kid. Ghost stories? For Christmas?

I never connected it to the fact that I watched A Christmas Carol (some version of it, usually Mickey's Christmas Carol) every year- you know the Charles Dickens' classic that features....wait for it...ghosts. 4 ghosts to be precise. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future and Jacob Marley.  The classic Christmas tale is 175 this year. First published on December 19, 1843.

Turns out Dickens wrote quite a few tales of holiday spirits and he's not the only one. Telling ghost stories for Christmas was once quite the thing to do.

“Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories,” wrote British humorist Jerome K. Jerome as part of his introduction to an anthology of Christmas ghost stories titled “Told After Supper“ in 1891. “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about specters.” ( Desert News December 23, 2010)

It was quite common to gather on Christmas Eve to tell ghost stories in Victorian times.  For much of the 19th century Christmas was associated with ghosts and specters.

"Telling ghost stories during winter is a hallowed tradition, a folk custom stretches back centuries, when families would wile away the winter nights with tales of spooks and monsters. “A sad tale’s best for winter,” Mamillius proclaims in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: “I have one. Of sprites and goblins.” And the titular Jew of Malta in Christopher Marlowe’s play at one point muses, “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night.”" (Smithsonian.com December 15, 2017)

Eventually Halloween took over as the night of darkness and ghostly tales. When Irish and Scottish immigrants brought Halloween customs to the United States Americans preferred tales of ghosts and goblins over other cultural aspects of the people and their holiday.

But "the transition from Christmas to Halloween as the preeminent holiday for ghosts was an uneven one. Even as late as 1915, Christmas annuals of magazines were still dominated by ghost stories, and Florence Kingsland’s 1904 Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games still lists ghost stories as fine fare for a Christmas celebration: “The realm of spirits was always thought to be nearer to that of mortals on Christmas than at any other time,” she writes." (Colin Dickey Smithsonian.com December 15, 2017)

If you think about it, ghost stories at Christmas makes perfect sense. 

"When the night grows long and the year is growing to a close, it’s only natural that people feel an instinct to gather together. At the edge of the year, it also makes sense to think about people and places that are no longer with us. Thus, the Christmas ghost story. Its origins have little to do with the kind of commercial Christmas we've celebrated since the Victorian age. They’re about darker, older, more fundamental things: winter, death, rebirth, and the rapt connection between a teller and his or her audience. But they’re packaged in the cozy trappings of the holiday." (Smithsonian.com December 23, 2016)

Many of us think about family members long gone during the holidays, perhaps more so than any other time of year. The "ghosts of Christmas past"  make us nostalgic, sad, whimsical, and sometimes down right spooked. 

The days are short and the nights long. Imagine a time before electricity when the nights were endless and pitch black. Scary things lurk in the darkness. People were superstitious and terrified.

In days of old, Yule, the longest night of year celebrated on the Winter Solstice, was a time when the dead had better access to the living. Old myths and legends of the winter holidays are full of ghosts, witches, fairies, elves, goblins and demons. It was a season of darkness filled with all things spooky.

By the Victorian era and the industrial age gas lamps brought more light to the night and it was safer to speak about what could be lurking outside in the darkness. People would get a thrill out of scaring each other. Ghost stories were a way to entertain.

The twentieth century evolved Christmas into a bright commercial celebration of presents and Santa Claus. Twinkling lights tore the holiday away from its dark roots and made it a season of merriment.

But in the twenty first century we see a resurgence of interest in the old ways. More people want to know the stories of "Christmases long, long ago" including those tales of Christmas Spirits. It's time to resurrect the dead tradition of Christmas ghost stories.

The New York Public Library blog published a piece about Dickens in 2014, it listed these other creepy Christmas tales by Dickens. You may be able to find them at your local library. A couple are free for your kindle on Amazon. There are several anthologies full of creepy Christmas tales including The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, Volumes One, Two and Three.

The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In (Christmas 1844)

This strange tale revolves around a wedding, an orphan, an evil rich man, and some frightening goblins. Or was it all a dream, resulting from our protagonist Trotty Veck having had too much tripe at dinner?

The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home (Christmas 1845)

Almost as popular as A Christmas Carol in its time, this tale includes a mysterious man in disguise, a dog named Boxer, some possible infidelity, a young blind heroine, a nanny, and—of course—a cricket.

The Battle of Life: A Love Story (Christmas 1846)

Perhaps only Dickens could offer up a happy ending to this troubling tale of a missing sister and a sinister elopement scheme, all set on a one-time battlefield that still bears the relics of a host of dead men and horses.

The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain: A Fancy for Christmas-Time (Christmas 1848)

In this tale, a gloomy chemistry professor says things like, “Another Christmas come, another year gone. . . More figures in the lengthening sum of recollection that we work and work at to our torment, till Death idly jumbles all together, and rubs all out.” But when his wish to forget his distressing past is granted, he gets more than he bargained for.

Details for It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Songwriters: Eddie Pola / George Wyle
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year 
lyrics © Demi Music Corp. D/B/A Lichelle Music Company

#Creepmas Day 6: Books Featuring The Darker Side of Christmas

If you are interested in the darker side of Christmas I highly recommend these three. I read and enjoyed each one immensely.

The Old Magic of Christmas explores many myths and legends associated with the winter holidays- witches, ghosts, elves, fairies, and more. I had no idea there were so many dark legends associated with the winter holidays. Modern times sure have made the holidays shiny and cheerful compared to the dark and scary things they used to be.

Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas explores old traditions, dark art, strange holiday postcards, and weird customs of days gone by. Wow, there is some weird stuff in this book. You'll love it. 

The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas digs into the history of Krampus and the way the mainstream has embraced the subculture. If you are interested in Krampus, this is the book for you.

The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year

'Tis the Season for Witches, Elves, and a Legion of Ghosts

Not so very long ago, Yuletide was as much a chilling season of ghosts and witches as it was a festival of goodwill. In The Old Magic of Christmas, you'll rub elbows with veiled spirits, learn the true perils of elves, and discover a bestiary of enchanted creatures. Rife with the more frightful characters from folklore and the season's most petulant ghosts, this book takes you on a spooky sleigh ride from the silvered firs of a winter forest to the mirrored halls of the Snow Queen. Along the way, you'll discover how to bring the festivities into your home with cookie recipes and craft instructions, as well as tips for delving more deeply into your relationship with the unseen.

Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas 

Oh, by gosh, by golly. It’s time for . . . rowdy bands of drunkards roaming the streets, lighting firecrackers, and firing off guns? Gangs of masked youths invading people’s houses, demanding food, drink, and money—and threatening to break the windows (or worse) unless they’re given what they want?

Welcome to Christmas, circa 1800. Yes, the season of light, joy, and gift-giving was once regarded as a time of darkness, danger, and dissipation—and celebrated with all-too-public displays of noisemaking, inebriation, and gluttonous overeating. (Well, maybe not everything has changed.) And though we tend to imagine Victorian-era Christmases as sentimental gatherings around the candlelit tree, blazing hearth, and festive punchbowl, the 19th-century evidence tells us quite otherwise.

Drawing from his extensive collection of antique postcards, greeting cards, advertising giveaways, and other ephemera, author John Grossman presents a picture of Christmas past that, frankly, looks a lot more like Halloween. Broomstick-riding witches and vampire bat–borne cupids deliver New Year’s greetings. Fur-clad fairies gather ’round a campfire to roast their Christmas dinner—a huge dead rat. And Saint Nicholas? He’s that skinny guy in the bishop robes who arrives with his dark companion, the Devil-like Krampus brandishing switches to punish the badly behaved.

With Christmas Curiosities, STC wishes you a very merry, very scary Christmas.

The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil

The Krampus, a folkloric devil associated with St. Nicholas in Alpine Austria and Germany, has been embraced by the American counterculture and is lately skewing mainstream. 

The new Christmas he seems to embody is ironically closer to an ancient understanding of the holiday as a perilous, haunted season. 

In the Krampus' world, witches rule Christmas, and saints can sometimes kill.

#Creepmas Day 5 - Krampusnacht

In parts of Europe December 5 is known as Krampusnacht or Krampus Night. It is celebrated with a run or parade where

Krampus is a horned beast known sometimes as the Christmas devil. Half man, half goat he punishes naughty children during the holiday season. He often accompanies Saint Nicholas  lore, some legends even say he is St Nick's evil brother.

Krampus has many variations but most feature similar physical characteristics. He is hairy, usually brown or black, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. He usually has a long pointed tongue and fangs.

There is a lot of symbology in the items featured with Krampus. he carries chains, thought to symbolize the binding of the Devil by the Christian Church. Sometimes he shown carrying Ruten, bundles of birch branches, of Pagan origin. that Krampus carries and with which he occasionally swats children. The Ruten are sometimes replaced with a whip. Krampus is often shown with a sack or a basket strapped to his back.  He puts naughty children in the sack or basket and carts them away.

From Wikipedia:

The history of the Krampus figure has been theorized as stretching back to pre-Christian Alpine traditions. In a brief article discussing the figure, published in 1958, Maurice Bruce wrote:
There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch – apart from its phallic significance – may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to 'bind the Devil' but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites.[4]
Discussing his observations in 1975 while in Irdning, a small town in Styria, anthropologist John J. Honigmann wrote that:
The Saint Nicholas festival we are describing incorporates cultural elements widely distributed in Europe, in some cases going back to pre-Christian times. Nicholas himself became popular in Germany around the eleventh century. The feast dedicated to this patron of children is only one winter occasion in which children are the objects of special attention, others being Martinmas, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and New Year's Day. Masked devils acting boisterously and making nuisances of themselves are known in Germany since at least the sixteenth century while animal masked devils combining dreadful-comic (schauriglustig) antics appeared in Medieval church plays. A large literature, much of it by European folklorists, bears on these subjects. ... Austrians in the community we studied are quite aware of "heathen" elements being blended with Christian elements in the Saint Nicholas customs and in other traditional winter ceremonies. They believe Krampus derives from a pagan supernatural who was assimilated to the Christian devil.[5]
The Krampus figures persisted, and by the 17th century Krampus had been incorporated into Christian winter celebrations by pairing Krampus with St Nicholas.[6]

Krampus has been fully resurrected in modern culture the past couple years. Scrolling through Amazon you'll find many books and movies dedicated to the horned beast of Christmas. 

Some places even offer alternative holiday parties featuring Krampus for those who enjoy the darker side of the holidays.

Here in Michigan the Detroit the 8th Annual Krampus Night is being held this Friday, December 7.

Check out my Amazon Krampus List