CHRISTMAS AND PARANORMAL phenomena have long had a close relationship. From the many miracles said to surround the birth of Jesus to the traditions of Dickens’ ghosts inA Christmas Carol, it seems a time of year when the supernatural is possible. Following is a selection of stories of encounters with ghosts and other strange phenomena at Christmas time — including sightings of Santa Claus himself! What do you believe?
I never really believed in supernatural stuff, but this incident made me believe otherwise. This was about nine years ago in Samoa. I was playing hide-and-seek with the other little kids from my mum’s village of Satua, Western Samoa. I was quite young then, so I always followed my older cousin around. It was the middle of the night, and most of the kids were used to hiding anywhere in the dark. I wasn’t used to it as I was only there for the Christmas holidays. I actually live in Australia.
Anyway, we all went to hide. Since we were all hiding in the
, we all found our way around in the light that the church cast onto the graveyard. We all hid in the shadows and waited for the boy. We could all hear the boy coming, so we kept quiet. The boy was pretty loud, so we watched what he was making a fuss about. He had walked into the church as he thought that his brother was hiding there.
As he walked into the church, he later told us, he saw a boy standing right at the front of the altar. He didn’t know if it was his brother because the boy’s back was turned. He ran up and tapped this boy on the shoulder. As soon as he did this, the strange boy disappeared! Our friend fainted!
THE CHRISTMAS VISITOR
I went into my bedroom with my dog, Toby and shut the door securely. Toby curled up on the foot of my bed to sleep, like he always does. It was chilly, so I pulled the blankets and comforter up around my head and curled up to nap for an hour.
I was just dozing off when I heard the latch on my bedroom door open. I waited several seconds for my sister or brother-in-law to ask me whatever they came to say, but there was no other sound. It was almost 7 p.m., so my bedroom was pitch black. I had left lights on in the kitchen and the bathroom, and there were lots of Christmas lights in the living room, so the hallway would have been well lit. I would be able to see whoever was at the door just by lifting my head.
Ordinarily, I’m not a skittish person, and strange noises or lights wouldn’t alarm me, but this situation was just too eerie, and the light had made my skin crawl. Let me add that the latch on my bedroom door is broken in such a way that the inside door handle must be jiggled for the latch to pop out and engage. It makes a very distinctive sound that I’m used to listening for because if it doesn’t latch, the door swings open. I am absolutely positive that the door was latched closed when I got into bed, just as I’m certain it was the door latch I heard during the incident.
When brother-in-law got up to get ready for work that night, I asked him what he wanted earlier in the evening when he opened my door. He looked puzzled and said, “I never got up and I certainly never opened your door. I slept soundly the whole time I was in bed.” Okay… I then asked Sis, “Did you want something earlier this evening when you opened my door?” She also looked puzzled and said, “I dozed off and on, but I never got out of bed and I never saw or heard anything in the hallway.” She leaves their bedroom door open at all times and she faces the hallway so she can see whoever is coming or going throughout the house.
I haven’t been able to debunk this strange event or find any kind of rational explanation. I’m half afraid that my heart stopped during my sleep and the light I saw was the bright light people report after near-death experiences. Leave it to me to see the Stairway to Heaven and ruin my chance at eternal paradise by saying “Turn out that #$%@ light!” I’ve made a mental note that if I ever see another bright light to clean up my language… just in case. — Scarlet Dragon
It was Christmas time of 1995 or ’96 at my aunt’s house on a reservation in North Dakota. Some of my family was in the living room watching television, the kids were playing in the rooms or sleeping, and my uncle, aunt and I were sitting at the table putting a puzzle together. My cousin, who worked at a casino, would come home around midnight or 1 a.m.
This night, as she pulled up and was walking toward the house, she looked in the window and saw me sitting at the table, my uncle sitting across from me and someone standing to the left of me and someone standing in the corner, so she continued to walk in the house thinking nothing of it. When she got in she said her hellos, put her stuff away and came and joined us at the table.
It kinda freaked me out, being I was probably only 12 or 13 at the time. My cousin swears up and down that someone was standing over me rubbing my head and watching me put the puzzle together with my aunt and uncle, and that there was another person standing behind this person. We got around to thinking it was probably her mom she saw. (She passed away on her birthday a week before Christmas back in 1992.)
In my family we consider our aunts and uncles to be just like our moms and dads. After thinking that it could have been her, it didn’t scare me so much. However, we couldn’t figure out who the person was standing in the corner. And always around Christmas time something strange always happens… and we just think it’s her visiting us. — V. Page
My parents and I lived in a small home that was around 90 years old. It was in a small town called Bluffton in northeast Indiana. The year would have been 1996. We lived there from the time I was seven years old to the time I was 19. From the very day that we moved in, I felt that I was not alone. At night I would lie in bed with the intense feeling that I was being watched.
Years passed and things were uneventful. I became severely ill with a chronic illness and was frequently hospitalized. That’s when things began again. After coming near death twice, I began to be able to sense things that no one else could. I once again felt that nagging sensation of being watched. I ignored it this time and the illness went into remission. Once again the activity, if you could call it that, stopped.
When I was 18, I began to experience things like never before. Upon the death of my beloved grandfather, I had become preoccupied with death and frequently visited
. That’s when I noticed an increase in activity. It started out with the voices. It was like a television had been turned on and there was a flurry of voices coming from downstairs or, even more frightening, outside my room. My parents were always asleep when this would happen and their room was right next to mine with a vent, so I could hear my parents sleeping next door. I would get up and check all the rooms, but there was no TV on, nothing to account for the voices. I was getting more and more scared as the voices started happening every night. Then that’s when I started seeing
For all the other times that I saw shadow figures, they never took the form of a dog again. From that point on, the shadow figures were strictly human-shaped, some tall, some child-sized, but they frightened me to death. I would lie in my bed at night, tortured by the fear that I was going insane because no one else was experiencing this. When I confessed my experiences to my parents, they took me to a psychiatrist who could find nothing wrong with me. I continued seeing the shadow figures up until the last few months that we lived there.
In August 2008, we moved to a new house far away from the old house. I have not experienced anything abnormal here and the aura is much lighter. Perhaps it was my dabbling in the paranormal (I had tried communicating with spirits, had frequented cemeteries and tried to provoke ghosts) that had caused all the grief in that house. But one night I went back there to get some of my things, and as I was leaving I saw a dark figure run across the yard. I drove away and never looked back. — Caitlin Williams
That night it was hot because the heater was on (I lived in Texas), so I got thirsty. Also, I was wanting to spy. I got out of bed and cracked open my door to make sure no one was out in the living room, so that way I could get something to drink.
The next morning I woke up and told my sister what I had seen. I told her where he had put the stockings. When we went into the living room, the stockings were where I said he had put them. We both turned and looked at each other and froze for a moment. From then on, I have told everyone that I believe in Santa! — Misty G.
It happened near Seattle, Washington on Christmas Eve 1957 or ’58. My mom was at the kitchen window when she yelled for my sister and me (ages around 5 and 7) to come to look. There were Santa and an elf carrying a big brown bag, walking down the middle of the street. My dad went running out the door to see if Santa would come to say Merry Christmas to us kids… but Santa, the elf and the big brown bag had vanished! — SkittySKat
It was 1961 on Christmas Eve. We were living in Boardman, Ohio. My bedroom was at the end of the house. I went to sleep on Christmas Eve. I don’t know what time it was, but I know it was very late when I suddenly woke up. I was staring at my bedroom door, which was cater-corner from my bed. The door slowly opened, and I squinted my eyes shut just a bit because I didn’t want my mother or father to catch me up in the middle of the night. There was a nightlight in the hallway and one behind the dresser in my room, so there was some light.
He stood there and looked at me for a few seconds, then closed the door. I pulled the blankets over my head for a while – I was so scared! Finally, I looked out, but no one was there. The next day, I asked my mother if she or my father had been out of bed the previous night. My mother said no; in fact, my sister was only four months old, and my mother said she had slept through the night for the first time, and neither of my parents had gotten up, they were tired and they both slept.
Readers tell of their strange, often terrifying encounters with the dark, mysterious entities known as the Shadow People
Is it just because they are talked about more and more in paranormal circles, or are people really experiencing encounters with shadow people in increasing numbers? Or have these entities always been around? To be objective, we also have to consider that these experiences might be strictly illusions or psychological disturbances. However, you’d have a hard time convincing the people who offer the following stories that what they saw and felt – and what terrified them — wasn’t real.
and a top hat. All black, very tall. Once he was carrying a cane and once a briefcase. He spoke to me one time in a loud, booming voice. He would disappear through the wall at will and return the same way. They were experiences that I would recall to friends throughout my life, and I have always described him as the “shadow man”. He has not returned since I worked up the courage to run past him and out of my room. — Sandy
UNABLE TO LEAVE
and I watched each other for some time. I didn’t think it was real, but then it started walking toward me slowly.
I turned and ran. I looked over my shoulder and it had traveled about 7 meters in the split second I looked away, but when I had my eyes on it, it moved slowly. I got out of the house and looked at it again. It had stopped at the door, almost like it was unable to leave the house. It turned and walked back into the house. — Courtney
I’m in my teens and from New Zealand. Half a year ago, I would lie on my bed and casually surf the net. From the corner of my eye, I would see a dark mass on top of my wardrobe facing towards me. But when I finally turned to it, it shrank to nothing — quite fast. At night the black mass would be by my bedside or at the doorway. I would hide under the covers and curl up in a ball. I just wanted to cry for help. — Amie
I have two sons who talk often about what they call “The Shadow Man”. The latest experience was when I had buckled both of them in the car and had forgotten something in my house. I went back in to get the item. I heard my five-year-old screaming. I went running back out. My son was in shock, screaming, “Did you see it?! Did you see it?!” I said, “See what?” Then my six years old said calmly, “The Shadow Man.” They both said he was standing right there on the deck. My six-year-old says that the black and the white shadow follows my five-year-old. They say they talk to them all the time. — Diane
When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, we saw one in the house we were renting. I had just gotten off the graveyard shift. We were chatting before going to bed and my wife said she saw “something” in the back room. Our cat was on watch, perched on my wife’s belly, occasionally growling. I was a big skeptic: Aw, that’s a bunch of b.s., etc.
That morning I started toward the back room with that attitude… and stopped in my tracks when both of us saw the hunched black shape move and turn to look at us with those horrible red eyes. I honestly wish I could say I didn’t see what I did, but I sure as hell did. Still freaks me out. — Dath
When she was around 15, she was home with a friend, sitting on the couch watching a movie. Both she and her friend saw a dark shadow in the shape of an adult upper torso hovering by the front door. Within seconds of seeing the shape, it “flew” toward them and then straight down the stairs. My daughter said it was scary, but she’s been more accustomed to bizarre happenings. The friend never came over again. — Lisalu68
About four years ago, I was lying in my bed wide awake in the middle of the day. The windows in my house were at least 10 feet off the ground, so it could not have been someone’s shadow from outside. No one else was home at the time. I looked up in my hallway and at first, I didn’t see anything… but it saw me, apparently, because I guess I frightened it. I looked directly at it. It was transparent and of gray color and had the shape of a man. When this entity saw me see it, it got scared because it shook like a person would and then it took off down the hallway. — Amy
I WAS BITTEN!
He walked over and I felt drowsy and unable to move, yet not afraid. He leaned over me and breathed on me. I watched him disappear into the wall. With that I looked at the clock… and it hadn’t changed! The next morning I woke up and my left arm was sore. I looked and saw a red, tent-shaped mark on the top of my arm. I’ve even shown the mark to a relative just to confirm it. — Donna
I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS
and was all black. When I first started seeing it, it had eyes about the size of two pennies. But as time went on they got bigger and bigger. The last time I saw it, its eyes were about the same size as a lime. Not only that, they changed color.
What scares me the most is the fact that the last time I saw it was about two months ago. It used to show up a few times a week, and its eyes were crimson, which is the aura color of hatred. I’ve been attacked by it before: painful ear ringing, nausea, and dizziness. It might have gone away, but I think it might be planning something. Nothing has happened yet… just waiting for it to show up again, then I’m going to banish it as best as I can. — Cameron