One of Japan's oldest and most famous mythological beings, Kappa are "water goblins" best described as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after a lobotomy.
Instead of a brain, these slimy duck-billed turtle people simply have a hole on their head filled with water, which undoubtedly makes them excellent problem solvers. Kappa factor into a lot of Japanese myths and, as such, they do their share of boogeying on the side. Parents told their children that a Kappa might attack them if they play by a lake or river unattended, and the critters are used on warning signs even to this day.
Specifically, Kappa attack by sucking the victim's intestines straight out through their buttholes, a story said to be inspired by the distended anuses of waterlogged corpses. In case one form of anal violation just wasn't enough, Kappa are sometimes said to be out-of-control rapists that sodomize wayward children foolish enough to wander alone to the water's edge. In America, we just tell our kids that they'll drown.
If it's not rape, it's not Japan.
According to the legend of the Whipfather, a desperate innkeeper fallen on hard times encountered three young boys who appeared to be from wealthy families. Naturally, his immediate response to the situation was to gruesomely slaughter them by slitting their throats and cutting them into pieces with the help of his wife.
He was caught red-handed (literally) by none other than jolly ole Saint Nick, because evidently this folktale was written by a nine-year-old boy.
Other versions of the story feature the Dinobots.
After bringing the three children back to life (because Santa really is just a way cooler Jesus), the big red guy decided to take the law into his own hands and condemn the psycho to an eternity of community service as his new helper, traditionally portrayed in chains at Santa's side. Bratty kids were (and in some cases, still are) warned that while Santa makes his rounds delivering presents, the Whipfather will stop by to deliver both coal and painful assbeatings to naughty children, because there's clearly no better punishment for a child-killer than to take him on a holiday joyride of bondage and sadism.
Clearly a step or two needs to be added to his pre-screening process.
By the way, he is not to be confused with Krampus, another boogeyman associated with the holidays, one that German folklore describes as a demon enslaved by Santa to punish wrongdoing and torment children in early December just to counterbalance the holiness of Christmas.
The 1800s even saw an influx of Krampus greeting cards, a fun way to remind kids to behave or be horribly tortured.
Krampus was traditionally depicted as a hairy, long-tongued devil. He carried a bundle of switches to beat the shit out of naughty children, but was also known to drag kids around in chains before tossing them into his wooden pail for a trip back to Hell.
"I'll just take the beating, thanks."
Despite sounding like something a mummy shouts when he gets kicked in his bandaged testicles, Abo Ragl Ma Slokha actually translates to "man with the burnt leg"; a hideous figure who hunts down children and cooks them alive. Why? Because he's angry that his leg is burnt.
"I can totally relate."
Why is his leg burnt? Because he didn't listen to his mommy, either. Yeah, really, that's how the story goes. This guy got hurt screwing around as a kid, so now he looks for kids that are screwing around and gnaws the charred flesh from their bones. Evidently parents in Egypt made this up to scare a good work ethic into their children.
Built by fear. Also, slave labor.
In another version of the story, he stalks through the night dressed all in black, preying on shiftless undisciplined kids.
Something like this.
Basically the lesson here is "do your damn chores or be eaten by a one-legged monster/anime villain."
Now, with kids all over the globe having these stories pounded into their heads for centuries, you might think they'd grow up full of violent fantasies and in turn make the world a pretty fucked-up place. But as you can see, nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks for keeping us in line, boogeymen!
Jonathan Wojcik writes a lot more about monsters and freaky creatures on his own site, bogleech.com
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To see another monster the world one-upped us on, check out 7 Vampires Around the World Worse Than The Ones In Twilight. Or check out the nightmare fuel video games has fed us, in The 10 Most Terrifying Video Game Enemies of All Time.
And stop by our Top Picks because, well, you have to do something while you guard you butthole.