Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas: Nightmare Eleven + Giveaway!

The Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas: Nightmare Eleven + Giveaway!

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!

So without further ado . . .

Nightmare Eleven: Perchta and Her Straggele/Perchten of Belly-slitting Doom

There are a lot of rumors flying around on the internet about Perchta, and almost none of them seem to agree on anything but: 1) she started out as a benevolent goddess in German paganism; 2) her name probably used to mean “bright one” (keywords: used to); 3) she’s a witch who roams around before Christmas, generally making sure that children are behaving; 4) she slits open the bellies of naughty, idle people, children and adults alike.

*trauma stare*

So all you adults, take note of this one: Not only will Perchta slit you open, but she’ll remove and replace your innards with twigs, pebbles, and all sorts of miscellaneous garbage as a punishment for being, well, you. But don’t worry, Perchta’s an adept seamstress—she’ll sew you right back up again, good as new!

Or not.

Some accounts claim that Perchta has two faces, able to appear either as a kind or woman or an evil old hag. You see the face you deserve.

If Perchta alone isn’t enough for you, she rides with a host of demons called her straggele or her perchten, who dole out her punishments themselves. They’re a bit less discriminating when it comes to violence, though, and will just as soon tear you apart as they will slash open your abdomen.

Like the Krampus cosplay we discussed on day one, people in the Alpine countries often dress up like the perchten and stampede through the streets, frightening children and pedestrians. I’d call them scary, but the only difference between the cosplayers shown above and shoppers on Black Friday or Christmas Eve is the fur.

Moral of the story? Don’t fall for the stories that everyone’s so “happy” and “peaceful” in countries like Norway, Denmark, or Sweden—it’s only because monsters like Perchta are forcing them to be good . . . or else.

Thanks to the wonderful Beth for hosting this post! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway 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 won’t be accompanied by a horde of perchten.

Happiest of holidays, everyone!


  1. Beth, you are amazing! And thank you for the opportunity to enter such a great tour! I hope I get a chance to read Shutter since it sounds amazingly creepy. ^_^

  2. Such a great giveaway, thank you Beth!

  3. I actually really want to read Shutter because there are so many positive reviews swirling around it! I look forward to when I can try it :)