The Dead of Winter

Beware the Krampus and Other Wicked Christmas Creatures

Coming Soon


By Sarah Clegg

Formats and Prices




$29.00 CAD

Enter the dark side of Christmas: Discover the monsters, witches, and other ghoulish creatures that emerge from the depths of winter.

Think about Christmas festivities, and you likely picture halcyon images of mangers, glowing fireplaces, sweet carolers, and snow-blanketed hills. But behind all this bright magic, there’s something much darker lurking in the shadows. In The Dead of Winter, Cambridge-trained historian Sarah Clegg delves deep into the folklore of the Christmas season in Europe, detailing the way its terrifying and often debaucherous past continues to haunt and entertain us now in the twenty-first century.

Traveling across Europe to attend these dark festivals, Clegg captures the wild revelry at the heart of the winter madness: the hideous masks and curling horns of “Krampus runs” in Austria, the fearsome horseheads of “hoodenings” in Southeast England, and the candle-crowned young witches of the Nordic St. Lucy Festival.

Perfect for the growing mainstream audience obsessed with horror and monsters—as well as the current cultural excitement for folklore-based retellings and books about witchcraft—this guide makes the perfect gift, beautifully packaged in a stocking-stuffer-friendly trim size. The closer we get to the dark magic and bright enchantment captured in The Dead of Winter, the more we see how it might be fun to let just a little bit of ancient darkness into the often saccharine season of lights.


  • Praise for Woman's Lore: 4,000 Years of Sirens, Serpents and Succubi:

    Shortlisted for the HWA Non-Fiction Crown Award

    "A remarkable work... Extraordinary, meticulous detail."
    Literary Review (UK)
  • "Ambitious in scope, guiding the reader across millennia of cultural history... deftly fuses scholarly rigour, control of literary and archaeological sources, an accessible, entertaining style, wonderful illustrations, and a warm-hearted sympathy with women's plight across the centuries."
    BBC History Magazine
  • "A delightful romp through four thousand years' worth of sinister superstition, offering an empathetic interpretation of these supernatural creatures, so-called monsters, with a particular focus on women's experiences of them. Sarah Clegg provides thought-provoking insights into a range of beliefs and practices so often overlooked by mainstream history."
    Jane Draycott, author of Cleopatra’s Daughter
  • "Woman's Lore is a fascinating exploration of the mythology and trope of the 'demonic woman' that has existed for centuries and persists even today. Thoughtfully researched, it is an empowering and enlightening read."
    Catherine Cho, author of Inferno: a Memoir of Motherhood and Madness
  • "Clegg writes beautifully and displays her vast knowledge and passion for the subject with such ease... Brilliantly and seamlessly informs the reader of the human context of the tale."
    All About History

On Sale
Nov 12, 2024
Page Count
208 pages
Algonquin Books

Sarah Clegg

About the Author

Sarah Clegg has a PhD in ancient history from the University of Cambridge. She has written for various publications including History Today and has appeared on podcasts such as BBC History Extra and History Hit The Ancients. Her first book, Woman’s Lore traced a group of seductive, child-snatching demonesses through folklore from ancient Mesopotamian to the present day and was shortlisted for the HWA Non-Fiction Crown. Sarah lives in London and works in publishing.

Learn more about this author