This post is an English version of this one in French. So, in case you don't know, it is Saint Nicholas's Day today. He is now better known as Santa Claus, but once upon a time he was a Catholic bishop who became saint, and like any good saint he performed miracles. One of them has been transformed into the Légende de Saint Nicolas, which you can find here with an English translation below. I always loved that story, because it was such a scary one, but also because in the end, Good overcomes even the most malevolent forces. One day my (then) future niece was visiting my parents-in-law, she asked me to tell her scary stories. I told her this one, which she claimed did not scare her one bit, but the next morning she admitted to my then fiancée now wife that she had nightmares about "that butcher story". She still asked me for more scary stories as soon as I got up, which confirmed my belief that children love to be scared.
On a side note, the story was also used by Anthony Burgess in Earthly Powers.