Germany’s folklore tells of a small little man dressed in red from head to toe.
The Tomtins were forest spirit servants of nearly forgotten fertility gods, Nacht Ruprecht or “Night Rupert” and Schwartz Peter or “Black Peter”. These gods were worshipped by ancient German tribes.
Tomtins were sadistic vampire fairies. At their masters command they’d attack travelers, beat them to death with sticks and chains then lap the blood that spilled from the corpse. When they were finished eating they’d take the victim’s heart and liver back to their master.
During the winter Nacht Ruprecht would travel around and visit random houses. If you worshipped him ( long before the surprise visit) he’d reward you. If you didn’t worship him. . . You were left alone with his Tomtins.
With the introduction of Christianity to the area, the Church wanted to keep some of the locals beliefs. Something they did often to make the transition easier. Nacht Ruprecht become Germany’s Saint Nicholas.
Nacht Ruprecht wore bells and chains, and Germany’s St. Nic was known as Buller Clause or Belled Nicholas. The Tomtins were still under St. Nic’s control but now they didn’t kill.now they’d wake up sleeping children and ask them questions about their Catechism.
If the child gave the wrong answer the Tomtins would whip them with sticks while Saint Nicholas would stone them with coal. Tomtins would lick the lick the blood off the kids.
Over the years they become nicer still, the Tomtins became happy little elves who made toys for Jolly ‘Ol St. Nic.