Similar events are held in some parts of Europe, where folklore features both St Nicholas and his dark counterpart Krampus.
While St Nicholas gives gifts to good children on the eve of his feast day, Krampus teases the naughty girls and boys.
Although Krampus appears in many variations, he is usually hairy, brown or black, has a huge tongue, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat.
Whitby’s event, which was held for the first time last year, is inspired by similar Krampus festivities in countries including Germany, Austria, Italy and Croatia.
The fundraiser, held in aid of Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary, began at Tate Hill Beach at noon.