As you’re probably aware, most countries celebrate something similar to Christmas, but every place usually does it a little differently. Iceland is no exception to this rule. Instead of Santa Claus, Iceland has something called the Yule Lads.

These strange lads have an interesting history because they didn’t start out as bringers of Yuletide joy; they were actually descended from trolls and were used the way parents today use the threat of taking away a video game console—to scare small children.