Authorities have identified the bearded, red-cloaked man found dead in the ruins of a medieval castle south of Frankfurt as Santa Claus.

Kris Kringle’s emaciated corpse was found dangling from a rope in Frankenstein Castle last weekend, the apparent victim of Halloween violence. He was 1,743 years old.

Claus left behind a wife, nine reindeer and thousands of toy-making elves.

Authorities have yet to recover the body, thwarted by an array of paranormal beings, netherworld creatures and spooks that have infested Frankenstein Castle for the 37th Halloween in a row.

There were numerous reports over the weekend of werewolves grabbing women and forcing them to roll around in the hay. A creepy man in a hockey mask was seen harassing people with a chainsaw. Three undead delinquents have grabbed hundreds of people at random and stuffed them, screaming, into coffins.

These disturbances in the castle near Darmstadt, Germany, began Oct. 19 and are expected to run through Nov. 3.

The number of visitors to the millennia-old castle has spiked in the past week, all apparently drawn by the cloak of evil that has enveloped the medieval ruin.

Despite Frankenstein’s grotesque history, the castle is generally peaceful. Situated atop a mountain, it has a commanding view of the Rhine Valley. Much of the structure was destroyed over the centuries, but parts have been preserved or rebuilt, and it is a popular destination for weddings and birthday parties.

In the past week, though, the entire property has transformed into a palace of malevolence and peculiarity.

Various ghouls and walking dead who’ve taken over the castle have staged numerous re-creations of Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video for crowds numbering in the thousands.

A band of goblins has been snatching castle visitors and attempting to torture and execute them in front of their friends and loved ones. All those captured so far escaped unharmed, a fact witnesses attributed to the goblins’ apparent inability to operate a guillotine.

Visitors shuttled off to the castle’s dungeon haven’t been as lucky.

On Saturday, masked torturers in leather and chain mail grabbed a young couple while other castle visitors stood by. Torturers strapped the woman to a cross and her boyfriend to a stretching rack, then made her watch as they threw ice down his pants. The torturers freed the woman on the condition that she beat her boyfriend with a whip. To the dismay of her friends, she refused.

Authorities have yet to make an arrest in Santa’s death. If he were to come back to life as a zombie, no charges would be filed.

DIRECTIONS: Frankenstein Castle is about eight miles south of the center of Darmstadt. Parking for the Halloween festival is at the Toom Baumarkt, 130 Main St., in the town of Pfungstadt. Buses to and from the parking area to Frankenstein Castle are free. Parking at the castle is prohibited during the festival.

TIMES: Friday, 7 p.m. to midnight*; Saturday, 6 p.m. to midnight*; Sunday, Family Day, starting at 1 p.m. Oct. 31, 7 p.m. to midnight*; Nov. 1, 7 p.m. to midnight*; Nov. 2, 7 p.m. to midnight*; Nov. 3, Family Day starting at 1 p.m.

* Children and adolescents under the age of 16 are permitted to stay until midnight if accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, children under the age of 14 are not permitted in the “monster area.”

COSTS: Entrance fees vary. Family Day tickets are 9 euros each for adults and children. Children under the age of 7 are free. Tickets for evening events are 27.75 euros online and 25 euros at the ticket booth. Discounts and surcharges might alter the ticket price.

FOOD: There are several food and drink stands set up inside the castle walls for the festival. Bringing your own food and drink is not allowed.

OF NOTE: Pets are not allowed. Organizers recommend Family Day for children under the age of 14.

INFORMATION: Information on the Halloween festival can be found at

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