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Original Comic Story
In the original comic tale, which is derived from Vault of Horror #35, a woman murders her husband and attempts to hide the body when she receives the notice about an escaped killer that targets women. His notable description is that he has donned a Santa Claus outfit, which she learns quickly when he appears outside her house. Unable to hide the body, she attempts to flee with their young daughter in tow while saying that the killer had murdered her husband while attempting to get to her. However, her daughter, believing the killer to be the real Santa, lets him in the house where the woman screams in panic. The Vault-Keeper concludes the narrative by noting that his Santa bag contains the remains of the woman, hacked to bits by the killer.
- As in most horror stories, the killer Santa is never caught. However, both the comic and TV show versions have a reassurance that the daughter isn't harmed, with the killer described as preferring to kill older women.
- His method of killing the mother varies. In both the original comic and the HBO TV series adaptation, he is heavily implied to have killed her by chopping her to bits with an axe. The TV series shows him brandishing the axe. However, the one in the 1972 British horror film Tales from the Crypt is shown strangling her as she attempts to flee (which the TV series incarnation tries to do but fails).
- Aside from the TV adaption version uttering the solo line "Naughty or nice...", the killer Santa does not speak.