(Agence France-Presse) Austrian financial adviser Ernst Eigner is ugly and scary. But only in his "Krampus" costume with red glowing eyes and horns to frighten naughty children and "evil spirits."
His troupe is just one of an estimated 850, with 10,000 members around Austria marauding through towns and villages over the Christmas period in "Krampuslauf" parades.
"We are spreading the tradition of scaring away evil spirits," Eigner told AFP as he donned his outfit before one such event in Schwadorf near Vienna.
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"Just symbolically though of course," he said, resplendent in his shaggy Roman centurion-cum-zombie costume, animal bones dangling here and there.