Mike Winland, creator of the West Virginia horror and sci-fi convention, Shocka-Con, is a local artist and photographer with a flair for the spooky and unusual. We were thrilled that he was offering this opportunity to sit for a professional photo shoot with such an awesome Krampus! The prices were extremely reasonable for the prints, and Mr. Krampus himself was quite entertaining. We may have to pay for some therapy for Luke later on, but it was all worth it for this shot!
In case you're not familiar with Krampus, he's the not-so-lovable companion to St. Nicholas. On the night of December 5th, while St. Nicholas is busy throughout eastern Europe leaving presents for good little boys and girls, Krampus is out roaming the countryside for the naughty ones. If you're just a little naughty, he might just leave a birch switch for your parents to beat you with. If you're REALLY naughty, you might end up being spirited away in Krampus' sack of horrors!
Luke was a very good boy this year, but there was no convincing him that Krampus wasn't out to take him away, lol. And I don't blame him for being scared----we met a different Krampus last year at Oddbird Gift Emporium in Charleston. That Krampus was a well-spoken, non-threatening sort of interpretation, while the Mike Winland Krampus was the stuff nightmares are made of!
I really hope Mike Winland Studios offers this unique chance again next year. Yeah, its fun to be scared, but more importantly, the sharing of the Krampus legend preserves and introduces the culture, history, and folklore that many around here might not otherwise get to experience. So keep an eye out for next year to see if Krampus shall return...and until then, watch for other great events. The studio is not only a REALLY unique place to get photos done year round, but also houses an art gallery full of wonderful pieces for sale.