Creepy Santa ー A Visit to a Gertwiller Gingerbread Factory サンタさん、怖っ!ゲルトヴィラーのジンジャーブレッドファクトリー

Throwback Thursday means creepy Santa! No Tokyo this time! I went home to visit my parents for Xmas 2011, and it was a relatively peaceful trip. Despite all the hype before Christmas, things tend to wind down and a lot of places close early for the holidays. I don’t blame them. My parents live in Alsace, France, and the area is famous for a particular type of pain d’epices (literally: bread with spices, less literally: gingerbread). I realized that although I’d eaten Alsatian gingerbread on many an occasion, I’d never been to the source of the stuff: a factory/shop where they make it. And so off we went. And found more than what we bargained for…

It’s That Time of Year again. You know, the one with that creepy dude, Saint Nick. Don’t believe me? Keep reading and I’ll prove otherwise.


Gertwiller, home of creepy Santas gingerbread.

We planned on going to a newly renovated gingerbread factory, complete with fancy interactive displays and tastings. Somehow, we got lost and found ourselves at this place:


Looks alright from the outside…



Yes, I’m an adult はい〜子供です〜(笑)



“The House of Gingerbread” Feelin’ the originality here. 「ジンジャーブレッドの家」だ!



Hansel and Gretel being cheeky vandals and destroying the witch’s house. ハンセルとグレテルは家を食べてしまうのよ〜 ^^;


So far, the exterior was lovely and relatively normal-looking. It was once we entered the place that things changed. It “museum” area was cluttered and dusty, with things piled up on top of each other rather haphazardly. That’s not to say I didn’t like itーquite the opposite! It felt like we were privy to someone’s secret stash of goodies in their attic.



Santas everywhere! These are old-style bookmarks. Not actually used as bookmarks, but for collecting and trading (pre-sticker era). These were still popular in Sweden when I was a kid, but these are the real vintage deal. サンターだらけ〜!



Wow, there’s a seriously offensive present in there, but still Santa seems like a decent kinda guy. 一個のプレゼントはちょっとおかしいけど、サンターさんはまだ普通。

And then it begins…



Spot the odd one out. That’s who’ll be bringing you coal if you’ve been naughty this year, kids! あの・・・ちょっと、一人は。。。鬼だよ!(/□\*)



Someone dismembered Santa!!?? 助けてくれー!サンタさんは壊れちゃった!!(ノ`・ロ)ノ



左:リップスクリームを使いすぎ! 真ん中:飛んでる!そして..体どこ???o(;□;`)o Left: He’s got some heavy lipstick on there… Middle: Umm, he floats and has no body. What?



酔っ払いサンタさん、その怪しいお菓子いらないよ!ヾ|≧_≦|〃 Drunk (stoned?) Santa offers suspicious-looking munchies. Kids, this is “don’t take candy from strange old men” personified.



Santa’s looking a little worse for wear. Did he lose his house in Lappland? サンタさん:ちょっとぼろぼろなバージョン ( ̄ー ̄)



二人とも怪しい感じ。。。 ヽ(ヽ>ω<) Both of these look equally creepy.


But, I saved the best for last! Are you sure you can handle it? This guy is the stuff of nightmares, I kid you not.

最後は本当にヤバいよ。マジヤバいっす。(っ゚Д゚;)っ 大丈夫なの?行くよー


黒い目怖すぎ!!!Σ(・oノ)ノ Those haunting black eyes… who needs stories about the Boogieman when you have a creepy Santa?

クリスマスに気をつけてね! ヽ(´Д`ヽ)

And there you have it, St. Nicholas is a pretty creepy dude. But who didn’t already think that? I mean the guy breaks into people’s houses when they’re asleep and drinks their booze/eats their cookies… Unless you’re Swedish and he at least has the decency to come to your house at a decent hour, while you’re awake. ^^)b

Have you spotted any creepy Santas about? Or any other characters gone wrong?

13 responses to “Creepy Santa ー A Visit to a Gertwiller Gingerbread Factory サンタさん、怖っ!ゲルトヴィラーのジンジャーブレッドファクトリー”

  1. Timo says:

    Thats a village I don’t want to show my son later 😮

    Seriously, a Santa with black eyes? What is he, a demon?

    • Ri says:

      Haha, I know right? Unless you want to keep him in line. “If you’re not good. *this* Santa will come to our house instead.” XD

      I wish I knew! He is seriously creepy and that’s not okay. 😮

  2. Marta says:

    Hahaha, so funny! The last Santa looks like he is stealing someone’s TV (that rectangular thing).

    Traditionally, in Spain we didn’t have Santa but the Three Wise Kings (the ones who left presents for baby Jesus according to the Bible). They leave their presents the night of January 5. In my house we didn’t leave snacks and booze for them, but water and grass for the camels, because they must be very tired of carrying so many presents (and coming from the Near East or wherever!).

    • Ri says:

      Haha, you’re right! I never even thought about that. Soulless Santa the TV thief. 😉

      Ohh, we call that Old Christmas (for some reason, I don’t know why?). I like the idea of giving the camels food and water though, because let’s face it, they did all the work. 😉

  3. Before I started to read, I was prepared to tell you about my recent purchase at Ikea – gingerbread cookies!! I couldn’t wait to tell you how I was looking forward to eating them. But I guess I was just as surprised as you were when you walked inside.

    Those are some real ‘special’ santas, especially the one that looks like he is drunk or stoned. And only one term comes to mind when I look at the last picture and that is very ‘creepy.’

    Are you off on your honeymoon this weekend?

    • Ri says:

      Yay, gingerbread cookies! Is it ANNA’s brand? If you ever get the chance, I recommend my personal favorite, Nyakers: http://www.nyakers.com/ 😀
      Sorry about the twist from gingerbread to creepy Santas! You’re right, it was quite the surprise! ^^;

      We will be off on Monday! I have to do my JLPT exam (which is booked on the Sunday, blergh) and then off we go the next morning, yay! Looks like there’s going to be plenty of snow! 😀

      • I am not sure if they are Anna’s or not as the package just says ‘Ikea Gingerbread cookies’ (I haven’t had them in a long time so I am not too picky!!)

        Have fun playing in the snow and relaxing!! And be sure to take lots of pictures of the white stuff – I miss being surrounded by a winter wonderland (well, sometimes)!

        • Ri says:

          Yes, it was great fun! ;D Although it did remind me than I am happiest when I know that the snow isn’t going to last for another 2-3 months. 😉

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was a gingerbread man factory! Now that would have been very cute. I already find it hard to eat smiling gingerbread men…

    You are so right about the Santas being a little bit creepy. I gasped at the drunken-looking one…he did look like he was under the influence. But the last one, oh my. That doesn’t look like one happy Santa all all. Forlorn and looks like he’s lugging a bag of toys away from children.

    However, I give credit to the artists behind these creations. A different take on Santa and I’m sure these depections were meant to entertain and get us thinking about the true spirit of the festive season. I hope you didn’t get nightmares after visiting this factory 🙂

    • Ri says:

      Haha, well *technically* it was a proper gingerbread (some gingerbread men too, but most just loaves) factory, but for some reason that was a really, really small part of it! Adds to the quirkiness I guess.

      Soul-eater Santa is enough to give any kid nightmares! XD
      True! I love that there are so many different depictionsーwhich there are! Most of these are most likely St. Nicholas (also known as Sinterklaas), who drops by on the 5th/6th of December.
      I don’t think I got any nightmares… but I probably won’t be visiting again, just in case. 😉

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        This “gingerbread” factory would disappoint anyone who thought it was a factory churning out gingerbread food! I know this sounds bad, but I don’t think I would be visiting this place unless I have nothing else to do…okay, maybe just once for the experience and to see what it’s all about 🙂

        These Santas resemble clowns somewhat, so I think that’s why they look a bit freaky. I’m not one who likes clowns, it’s personal 😉 Oh, how I wish Santa Claus was real…

        • Ri says:

          Agreed! Which is why I wish I’d had a mapーwe were supposed to go to a different place that really *was* like a proper factory… but couldn’t find it. XD

          Oh, I find clowns pretty freaky as well… If Santa were real, what kind of present would you ask for? 😀

          • Mabel Kwong says:

            I don’t know what present I’d want, actually. I don’t need a physical present to make me happy. I really just want good health and a roof over my head…maybe a block of chocolate on the side 🙂

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