Hi! I’m Courtney Alameda, author of the soon-to-be published YA horror novel, SHUTTER. I love Christmastime and all things scary, so I wanted to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite Christmas beasties with everyone this year—twelve of them, to be exact! Join me and a few of my blogger friends every day from December 13 – 24, as we feature different holiday nightmares . . . if you dare!
Nightmare Eight: Belsnickel, Santa’s Snitch with Switch
Belsnickel is another one of Santa’s little minions: A week or two before Christmas, Belsnickel shows up on your doorstep, looking like a Listerine-drinking panhandler in his heavy, filthy-dirty furs:
Yep, he’s worse. Much, much worse.
Belsnickel’s name comes from the German word belzen, which translates into wallop. And he puts his name to good use, as has an uncanny sense for children’s naughtiness(almost on-par with Gryla’s but not nearly as bloodthirsty). He identifies the children in the house who aren’t nearly acting good enough and beats them with his birch switch. The children may escape (mostly) unscathed, hopefully scared into being good enough to receive presents from old Saint Nick on Christmas day.
Basically, Belsnickel’s the narc in Santa’s vigilante posse. He scouts the countryside, beating children and taking names, only slightly less dangerous than the likes of previous Christmas nightmares. He reminds me a lot of Rupert Knecht, the filthy, dirty creature Saint Nicholas brought out of the woods as a companion for his travels. The major difference between the two is that Belsnickel is a harbinger of Saint Nicholas, rather than a traveling companion. He’s also a little like the Elf on the Shelf in the way he spies and reports back to Santa . . . and nobody likes a snitch.
Thanks to the wonderfulSara for hosting this post! Enter the Rafflecoptergiveaway below for a pre-ordered copy of SHUTTER, a “Reaper” necklace, and a signed bookplate. Please note that the giveaway is US only, and we promise prizes will not be a horse’s skull on a stick.
Happiest of holidays, everyone!