December is chock full of holiday opportunities to bedevil heroes. The weight gain, the in-law visits, the last-minute shopping, the holiday gifts…it’s truly a horrifying experience. But if you really want to ruin their holiday, here’s a few ideas.
If Halloween makes it acceptable for strangers to come to your door and demand candy with threats of retaliation, Santa conditions children to accept a stranger sneaking into their home. Many horror movies have gleefully embraced murderous Santa-archetypes, and the smart villain uses his disguise to blend in with the other Santas at the mall. If the heroes take on Santa, they’d better not do it in front of a line of kids waiting for their picture to be taken!
Of course, Santa is a pretty scary character without serial killers making him a bloodthirsty maniac. Santa originally had a companion known as Krampus, who surely inspired the Grinch: a furry, mountain-dwelling monster that punishes children who are naughty. Krampus is much worse than the Grinch, actually – he’s more devil than Sasquatch with a long prehensile tongue, cloven feet, and a propensity to whip or even kidnap children who aren’t nice.
For bomb makers, the holidays are a gold mine. Gifts are wrapped and left under a tree, which means the villain knows when and where the gift will be opened. Paranoid heroes x-ray everything, but that gives away the surprise.
Holidays are also a time of vulnerability, when player characters return home to their families to celebrate. Villains who miss their chance to strike on Thanksgiving can always use Christmas or Hanukkah instead.
Elves have been on the rise recently as Santa’s helpers, from Elf on the Shelf to Prep and Landing. In all cases the elf is monitoring the children and moving around at night. An army of murderous elves on strike is scarier than an angry Santa Claus.
And don’t forget those Christmas trees! Bringing in a huge plant into your house for a month might seem peculiar any other time of the year. This is how nature gets in; it could be an insect infestation brought on by the tree, bloodthirsty spirits tied to the tree, or even the animated tree itself seeking vengeance for being uprooted.
That it’s for this year’s columns on horror holidays.
Your Turn: What holiday have your characters celebrated that went horribly awry?
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