19 Of Our Favorite Scary, Sexy & Weird Holiday Events
Get In The Krampus SpiritWe're at peak Krampus this year, most likely because of the forthcoming film of the same name. If you're unfamiliar with the Krampus, he's the anti-St. Nicholas. He hails from Alpine folklore and unlike St. Nick, the Krampus is a demon in search of only bad children. In his beastliest incarnations, he's worse than a lump of coal: he snatches up the misbehaved little tykes, beats them with switches and tosses them in his basket for a one-way trip to Hell. Dec. 5 is known as Krampusnacht (Krampus night), where the Krampus comes out to hunt, sometimes tagging along with St. Nicholas. The Krampus is typically depicted is as part-man, part-beast with a long tongue, cloven hooves, a tail, claws, sharp teeth and horns. Los Angeles has many Krampus events.
- Red Lion will host their fourth annual Krampusnacht celebration on Dec. 4 with The League of S.T.E.A.M. The event will take place in the Beer Garden and your $10 ticket will go towards the purchase of your first beverage. Those who bring an item to donate to one of the bar's two selected charities will also receive discounts on beer. There will also be a gift exchange for those who purchase an easy-to-carry wrapped gift.
- On Dec. 4, there will be a Krampusnacht celebration at the Bob Barker Marionette Theater at 9 p.m. There will be music from Very Be Careful, Joe Baiza, King Steady Beat, a full bar and a puppet show! Tickets are $15.
- The 2015 Krampus Ball will take place on Dec. 5 at the Highland Park Ebell Club. Guests are encouraged to dress up, whether that means in Victorian finery, Krampus wear, lederhosen or any dark sartorial choices your heart desires. There will be German stories, traditional dances and music (yes, with accordions and alphorns!), burlesque from Miss Krampest Storm, a performance by neofolk band Tatzelwurm, niceties from St. Nicholas and then finally, the arrival of the Krampus Los Angeles Troupe who have come to judge you. Tickets are $20 in advance online.
- Phantom Carriage Brewery in Gardena will be holding a Krampus Beer Fest on Sunday, Dec. 6 from noon to 5 p.m. There will be over 40 winter beers including stouts, sours, Belgians and Barleywines, plus mulled wine and cider. The brewery will be playing Christmas horror flicks and weird Christmas music. Entrance to this event is free, beer is not.
- On Dec. 10 there will be the L.A. Krampuslauf, which means Krampus Run. This is an old tradition where runners dressed as Krampus attempt to exercise while drinking. In this case, however, the Krampus L.A. Troupe will go on parade during the Art Walk on Dec. 10, offering a switch on the bum for "naughty hipsters." There will be food and drink specials at the Must and perhaps an after party at Clifton's, the perfect downtown spot for a Krampus to hide.
- The Alpine Village in Torrance is also paying homage to the Krampus on Dec. 12. Earlier in the day, there will be a German-style Christmas Faire complete with crafts for sale, imported snow, mulled wine and snacks. At night, however, Krammpstein will take the stage. Is Krammpstein a Krampus-themed Rammstein over band? Yes. Yes, it is. Also performing is Nordic Viking metal act Sapphic Musk, burlesque from Daisy Meadows, a visit from Krampus Los Angeles and puppetry from Robin Walsh. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $12 in advance. Krammpstein will also play with Marilyn Krampson at the Complex in Glendale on Dec. 19.
- A traditional Krampus play will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 13 at Church of the Angels at 1100 N. Avenue 54 in Pasadena. Nikolausspiel is an 18th century work and is one of the major origin stories for the Krampus. The play has been translated from German scripts and will be followed by a selection of Krampus films. Guests are encouraged to dress up and will also get a chance to see artist Krimric Smythe's Krampus-driven steamcar. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and will cost you $20.
This tour was the inspiration for the group seen in 'American Horror Story: Murder House' (Photo via Dearly Departed Tours)
A Very Dearly Departed Christmas 2016 Calendar PartyDearly Departed runs macabre tours year-round showcasing the darker side of L.A., from the Helter Skelter Manson Family tour to their signature Tragical History tour. On Dec. 5, they'll host their annual Year In Death celebration where they'll decorate the dearly departed tree. Guests should bring a "dead celebrity-themed" ornament. There will be drinks and snacks, and plenty of time to mingle with fellow true crime buffs and fans of ghoulish history. Items in the gift shop will also be 10 percent off and gift certificates will be available at a considerable discount for your morbid loved ones.
Movie Interruptions "Saving Christmas"
Doug Benson will present Kirk Cameron film Saving Christmas (2014) at Cinefamily on December 16. The film will be made tolerable as part of Benson's Movie Interruption series, where he and some special guests will yell out whatever comes to mind during the movie. Past guests have included Jon Hamm and Sarah Silverman, among others. Saving Christmas stars Cameron as a man who must convince his brother-in-law that the more secular trappings of the season are actually Christian in nature. It currently has a rating of 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Horrible Movie Night Presents "To All A Good Night"
In the same vein, Horrible Movie Night will be presenting Christmas slasher flick To All A Good Night at the NerdMelt Showroom on December 12. Hosts John Mathot and Susan Wright encourage guests to yell out their best jokes during each terrible film and will award prizes to the best wisecracks of the night. This 1980 flick is about a group of sorority girls (of course) at Calvin Finishing School who, after smuggling their boyfriends into the school for a holiday party, are eliminated in classic gory fashion by a killer in a Santa suit. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door and include free popcorn.
More Holiday Slashers!
You can also check out two other holiday slashers in a grindhouse double feature at the New Beverly Cinema on December 22 at 7:30 p.m. First up is Black Christmas, a 1974 film about a sorority house that's terrorized by mysterious killer. Next up is Silent Night, Deadly Night, a 1984 flick about a man who is traumatized by the murder of his parents by a man in a Santa suit. Naturally, things go horribly wrong. All double features at the New Bev are $8, and the theater suggests you buy your tickets in advance here.
Deck the halls with Isolation & Dread (Photo via Heretic House)
Heretic HousePerhaps you'd like to be tormented for real instead of just metaphorically this holiday season. In that case, you'll want to sign up for Heretic House's Dec. 30 event, Isolation & Dread. Heretic House does one immersive, full contact horror experience each month for the lucky few that find them and score a ticket. We've been aware of Heretic for several months, but I finally put on a brave face and joined them for their October show, Hex. I was clawed, slapped, threatened, slammed on a gurney and covered in blood by a demon and two naked people. In short: I had a great time. In November, Heretic kidnapped their victims, I mean, guests, and tormented them in a remote location in the desert. For December, creator Adrian Marcato promises an experience that's similar to Cube and Saw. There will be some subtle holiday elements during the show. Sounds festive! I can't wait. Heretic House's location and details are kept secret until the day of show, if you're selected. Get involved by checking them out here.
You better watch out, you better not cry (Photo via Facebook)
Puzzlemazement & The Krampus Room Puzzlemazement in Anaheim is an escape-room game that's unique because it is spread among three floors and the owner, David Herbelin, runs his room like a theater show. Instead of building new rooms entirely, he changes the theme and puzzles within his space every four months or so. For the holidays, Herbelin is running a "Save Christmas" room. An elf is missing, one the reindeers has been put in a coma and Santa is on the verge of throwing in the towel. If you and your team can solve the mystery, you might be able to save Christmas. Puzzlemazement isn't as linear as other escape the room games, meaning it's great for larger groups with a wide variety of skill sets. Tickets are $30/person.
Or, you can swing by Countdown Live Escape near downtown Los Angeles and check out their Krampus room. You've been tasked to explore the case of several missing children who have all disappeared around the holidays. Enter a spooky apartment and look for clues while exploring the legend of the Krampus, but beware, you only have 45 minutes before the Krampus returns. There are minimal jump scares and a spooky atmosphere as you work your way through a series of logical puzzles. Tickets are $32/person.
Galaxy Jax (Photo via Sweet Sultry Burlesque)
BurlesqueSweet Sultry Burlesque will have a performance at the gorgeous El Cid in Silver Lake on Dec. 20. Santa is tasked with judging each dancer on their naughtiness or niceness as they gyrate to a live seven-piece band. Dancers include Angie Cakes, Audrey De Luxe, Sin Fisted and Donna Hood, plus an aerial performance from Galaxy Jax. The show is sponsored by Naughty Guide to LA, and tickets are $20 online, $30 at the door.
On Dec. 11, Star Girls Burlesque—you may know them from their Star Wars-parody burlesque—will be shimmying for the holidays at The Dragonfly in Hollywood. Performers will include masters of violin, contortion, ballet, pole dance and more. Music comes courtesy "live alien cantina lounge band," The Jimmy Psycho Experiment. For those of you who have seen the troupe before, there will be some new characters introduced during this show. Tickets start at $25.
A Very Die Hard Christmas (Photo via Theatre Unleashed)
A Very Die Hard ChristmasTheatre Unleashed is staging a musical parody of the greatest Christmas movie of all time: Die Hard. A Very Die Hard Christmas runs Dec. 3 through 19 at The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at The Crown in North Hollywood. According to a release, this stage version of the film will come "complete with action, humor, Professor Snape taking people hostage, singing, dancing, the guy from ‘Family Matters,’ guns, puppets, explosions, the EPA guy from ‘Ghostbusters’ getting punched in the face, and Christmas miracles and familiar holiday friends galore. Maybe even an appearance by the legend himself, Santa Claus! "Yippee Ki-Yay, Father Christmas!" Tickets are $20.
The SantaLand Diaries
You may recall David Sedaris' essay "SantaLand Diaries" based on his experience working as an elf in a Macy's Christmas display. Actor Matthew Wrather will be performing the wry and witty work as a one-man play at the Santa Monica Playhouse, and he'll definitely be wearing an elf suit. The show runs from Dec. 5 to 20, with previews on Dec. 3 and 4. Your ticket will include a glass of champagne or non-alcoholic eggnog. Tickets are $29.50 ($19.50 for previews).
Very Janky Christmas
Bootleg Theater in Echo Park will present the 5th Annual Very Janky Christmas Spectacular. Quirky characters entertain in this song and dance-heavy holiday show, including the Ho Ho Ho Dancers, A Shitty Nativity, Jewish Jello Shots and Christmas Monologue Man. The show runs Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and a brunch show on Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show.