Christmas is all about spreading joy meeting family and receiving gifts. Well, unless you’re a child who been a bad one throughout the year, then the holidays may not be as thrilling as you wish. While no child would ever want to receive coal as a gift from Santa Claus, this may not be the only way to keep disobedient children at bay. Other countries have a much more insane kind of Christmas spirit, and stories about them leave kids absolutely horrified. One of them is the Icelandic legend of Jólakötturinn, also known as the Yule Cat, who eats kids and at times adults who don’t get any new clothes before Christmas night. You are wearing your new clothes right?
While these days receiving clothes for Christmas may be the equivalent of getting coal, it was completely different during the Dark Ages in Iceland. Back in the day, all family members were tasked with chores related to wool production.
Since the only thing a family could afford for Christmas was woolen clothes as gifts, it was only possible if everyone completed their tasks in time. Thus the legend of Jólakötturinn was born, to scare children and lazy adults into completing their work.
Right before the holidays, the PBS series Monstrum, hosted by Dr. Emily Zarka, prepared a story on this gruesome feline.