GHOSTVILLAGE.COM NEWSLETTER #142 - December 18, 2013

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New England Legends
Jeff Belanger's new DVD series explores the ghosts, monsters, and mysteries of New England!

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Dear Ghostvillagers,

The holidays are here again! ‘Tis the season for joy, legends, and ghost stories. You already know about Santa Claus, but there are other legendary yuletide figures that don’t get nearly enough attention. I thought we’d tip our hats this month to Krampus and the Belsnickel -- both are from the Alpine region of Europe and are a counterpart to Santa.

Let’s start with Krampus. Krampus is a beastly creature. He’s tall, thin, and covered with hair. From his head, black horns sprout like dark fountains. His long, red tongue hangs from his mouth like a panting dog. Around his body there are chains; from shoulder to shoulder and around his waist. His long tail swishes back and forth like a snake ready to strike. One of his feet is hairy, the other is a cloven hoof. Over his shoulder, the creature carries a scratchy burlap sack that he fills with naughty children. Krampus comes around each December 5th, which is the eve of Saint Nicholas’ day. He gathers up all of the bad children and takes them back to his lair where he eats them!

Santa is then free to deliver toys and goodies to all of the good children. Krampus was most popular in the second half of the nineteenth century, but in more modern times, he’s faded into the background. Though it would appear he’s poised for a comeback these days. Forget warning your kids about lumps of coal… Krampus is much worse.

Krampus’s methods may be the most extreme, but he’s not alone. There’s also the Belsnickel. Der Belsnickel hails from southwestern Germany. The Belsnickel is a crotchety old man who dresses in furs, rags, and wears a mask. He carries a stick in his hand… what for? To whip bad children. The Belsnickel shows up a week or two before Christmas to help spot the bad children. In some versions of the story, he may come into your home and toss some candy on the floor. If your children are greedy and jump for the treats, they get whipped with the switch. If they’re good children and ask first, they’re spared the beating.

Unlike Krampus, the Belsnickel offers redemption. Bad kids are whipped and warned to correct their ways so Santa can bring them presents on Christmas.

Krampus and the Belsnickel aren’t the enemies of Santa. Far from it. They both serve their purpose: a warning that there are consequences for bad behavior.

Just like Santa, we define all yuletide figures. These creatures are based on stories that have been passed around, supplemented, and augmented. They’re a reflection of who we are. I love that these legends connect us not only with each other, but with our ancestors, our distant relatives from lands far away, and with history.

There was a time not so long ago when Christmas meant ghost stories. You may recall the line from the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” that goes: “There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” Don’t waste the opportunity to share these stories with your families and friends.

Connecting with people is a beautiful thing. There’s a spirit of place. I believe there are spirits of people. But there’s also a spirit of season. It possesses us each year and can make us work miracles.

From my family to yours, here’s wishing you a safe and warm holiday season, and a great 2014!

Supernaturally yours,

Jeff Belanger
Mayor of

Twitter: @THEJeffBelanger
Facebook: Jeff Belanger

Dead of Winter: The Lizzie Borden House

Lizzie Borden took an axe in this Fall River, Massachusetts, home and created one of New England's most renowned haunts.

Need a last-minute gift idea for your favorite ghost investigator? How about a ticket to the annual Dead of Winter event! This unsolved mystery beckons people from all over the world to become part of the story that is Lizzie Borden's. You've seen it on all of the ghost investigation television shows, now check it out for yourself on February 22, 2014. Includes dinner, snacks, a historic tour, and hours of ghost investigations!

Click here for more information:

Jeff Belanger's Upcoming Events
This is the place to find out where author and founder Jeff Belanger will be speaking on the subject of the paranormal. If you're interested in booking Jeff for a conference or other event, please visit: for more information.

Events Scheduled:

Jeff Belanger TEDx talk – Spence School - New York, New York - January 28, 2014
Dead of Winter at Lizzie Borden's - Fall River, Massachusetts - February 22, 2014
A Weird Massachusetts Evening with Jeff Belanger - Norton Public Library - Norton, Massachusetts - August 12, 2014 6:30PM

Monthly Contest
How to win: Entries will be accepted up until 5:00 PM (eastern time) tomorrow (December 19, 2013). At 5:00 PM, we will draw a winner at random from the correct entries that have been received. You no longer have to be the first, but you only have until 5:00 PM to get your answer in. If you click on this link:, you see today's date, and "We have a winner!" that means the contest has ended. Sorry, please try again next month. To submit your entry, simply reply to this email with the correct answer.

Congratulations to Greg Curtis of Mitchell, Indiana, who was last month's winner!

On to this month's question: This question can be answered by reading a page on Remember, reply by 5:00 PM tomorrow to be eligible to win.

How old was Maria Amador when she saw the ghostly hand in the corner of her room?

At 5:00 PM tomorrow, we will announce the winner on our home page. Good luck! (Only Ghostvillagers who have not won a prize from us in the last year are eligible.)

This month's prize: We're giving away autographed copies of Jeff Belanger's 2 new DVDs: New England Legends and a window sticker!

Didn't win? Want to buy a copy? Click on the graphic.

Our "Features" section is a place for editorials, research articles, open letters to our readers, and other content of interest to Ghostvillagers. If you have a topic on your mind, agree or disagree with something you read recently, we want to hear from you! For guidelines, click here.

New features added since our last newsletter:

Animal Reincarnation with Alexis Brooks November 26, 2013 [VIDEO] Advertising Opportunities
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Recent Encounters
We receive personal encounters from all over the world. Many are scary, some are touching, but they are always profound. If you would like to share your own experience, please click >>here<<. Since our last newsletter, we added the following new encounters:

The Shadow Chased Me -- Bedworth, England
The Hand in the Corner -- Buckeye, Arizona Quick Stats:
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