Santa Claus Sightings

Santa Claus - vintage image
Have you seen this man?.

Readers report on what they believe are genuine sightings of the real Santa Claus

PERHAPS THIS IS a ridiculous question, but: Does Santa Claus really exist? Some would say that the question is silly because of course Santa Claus is a myth. Others would say the question is ridiculous because of course he is real! How can we doubt it?

Over the years, many children and adults have reported sightings of the real Santa Claus - not department store Santas or bell-ringing Salvation Army charity collectors, but the real thing. They even claim seeing the sleigh and reindeer in some cases. Are these illusions seen through the eyes of Christmas excitement and expectation? Or are these cases of genuine Christmas magic?

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - 2000

I am 14 now, but this happened back in 2000 in my old house in Bristol, England. I was with my mum and dad and my sister. It was about midnight [on Christmas Eve] and I was the only one awake because I was really excited. I could hear these big footsteps in my living room. I was quite scared, and I could also hear bells tingling above me. So I wanted to see what was going on.

I walked down the stairs very slowly and I could see this big man putting presents around my living room. I wanted to say something, but I was too scared to do it because I thought he would be angry. I ran back upstairs and went back to sleep. I was so convinced I saw the real Santa and told everyone in the morning... but no one believed me. - Alex H.

NEW YORK CITY, NY - 2002, 2004 and 2007

It was Christmas Eve of 2002 in New York City. We invited some friends and relatives over for dinner, sort of like a Christmas Eve celebration.

After that, I decided to go to my room to watch some television, but there was nothing good to watch. I then found myself pacing back and forth in the hallway. My house is big, so there was no one with me. Everyone was in the living room watching a movie I wasn't interested in.

About seven minutes into my pacing, I saw a tall, fat figure scurry away about 20 feet away from me.

It was crouched down, too. It was even wearing some sort of Santa Claus suit. I didn't believe in Santa, but this just freaked me out. There was a strange man in my house!

I quickly ran to where my parents were and told them all about it. They grinned at me and said jokingly, "Maybe it was Santa Claus." I didn't believe that, so I just sat down in the living room with my family and everybody else.

Then it occurred again on Christmas Eve, 2004. I remember it more vividly than the last one. I was lying on the couch in the living room. My parents were in the kitchen having a conversation about a business blog or something. Suddenly, I saw a huge man, about seven or eight feet tall, crawl underneath the tree and just vanish. Before it disappeared, it looked at me and said, "Shh." Very strange, so I went into the kitchen and sat with my parents.

Smaller happenings occurred the following Christmases. I recall one in 2007, it was daylight this time and I just happened to see another tall figure with a Santa hat trudge by me for two seconds, then it was gone. This really happened. - Claxton Kalmbach

WHITE SANTA - 1969

I had an experience when I was three years old and still young enough to wear footed pajamas.

The year was maybe 1969, Christmas Eve. I wanted to see what Santa had brought me, so I quietly walked down the hallway and looked around the corner to our living room. I saw my parents and someone I didn't know around our Christmas tree. The stranger was an old guy with a white beard and hair with a red suit. I quickly went back to my room as fast as I could with footed pajamas and slid into bed.

I told my mom what happened many years later and she insisted that I was dreaming or that it was my dad. That wasn't possible because my dad was sitting in a chair behind the stranger and my mom was standing right next to my dad! I'm African American, and during that time the tenants in our building were all African American, so Santa stood out! - Joanne

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NEIGHBORHOOD - 1973

One Christmas Eve about 35 years ago, while I was in my teens, I was in a car with my parents, returning home very late at night. We were talking the whole way about Santa Claus and how great it would be if he really did exist. As we pulled in the driveway of our house - there he was, tiptoeing in the snow in-between two houses across the street! We all laughed when we saw this and remembered the incident for many Christmases thereafter.

P.S.: No robberies were reported. - Del

BRIGHT LIGHT - 2003

I am 13, now but I saw something when I was seven. It was dark, night time around midnight [on Christmas Eve]. I was in bed, but I wasn't asleep (who could be?). All of a sudden, I saw a red light beaming down into my window. It was so bright, and somehow I knew it was him.

I looked up in the sky, but all I could see was the bright light coming from a small object. I didn't hear a helicopter or anything, but I did hear the unique sound of bells and, of course, the sound of hooves tapping on the roof. These sounds lasted for a few seconds after the light had disappeared, then they were gone. - Jade

SAN ANTONIO

I was about 7 and I was looking outside my second-story window, just waiting to see him. I saw something approaching in the distance: it was a huge sleigh and it was flying right over my house! I don't remember seeing any reindeer, but I did see a man dressed in red with a beard.

I was so startled, but I kept looking, even sticking my head and half my body outside of the window!

I told my family, but I knew they really didn't believe me. I swear on my life to this day I saw something. I don't know if it was really Santa Claus, but I did see what I described! - Drew

SCOTLAND - 1978

An old friend came to see me a couple of weeks ago. We lost touch years ago, but he managed to trace me and he brought me a Christmas card. After a few minutes, I asked him if he remembered the Christmas Eve about 30 years ago when we were outside our houses. We grew up next to each other.

It must have been around 7.30 p.m., a clear night, when we suddenly heard a bell or bells in the distance getting closer real fast. As we both looked up, there was the reindeer, the sleigh and Santa flying very fast and low over my house. It was brief, but we both ran to tell our families. Of course, everyone laughed, but I tell you it was real!

So when my friend turned up I asked him if he remembered, and he said of course he did... but he didn't like telling people about it now. You can imagine why! - Jimmy

UP ON THE ROOF - 2006

Three Christmases ago, I was coming home from my aunt's, where we have a party. I was crying because one of my cousins told me that Santa wasn't real. Then we came around the corner of my street and there it was - a big red sleigh and reindeer sitting on my roof! And then Santa popped out of my chimney!

I told everyone the next morning to see if they could remember, but they couldn't.

But a couple of days ago, my dad went up to the roof to fix the leak... and there were long, straight lines going across the roof. I took a picture and showed it to my baby cousins and told them always believe. - Anonymous

AIRPORT PARKING LOT

A few years ago I worked at the airport parking lot in a booth collecting parking fees. On Christmas Eve, a car pulled up to the window, the passenger was a very happy, chubby, white bearded guy wearing red pants with red suspenders and a white turtleneck covered in red and green Christmas characters. He sure looked like Santa to me. The rest of the evening I told all my customers that Santa had just flown in. - < i>SKIttySKat

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AUSTRALIA

This happened long ago when I was about ten years old. Our house was in the suburbs. I swear that on one Christmas Eve, I was sleeping in my room when I heard my backyard door open, then close, and then a minute later it opened and closed again another three times each, about a minute apart. I thought it must have been my parents bringing in our presents from our garage, although, I don't recall seeing them go past my bedroom to their room.

I was hiding under the covers at the time.

On another Christmas Eve, I tried to sneak down to the living room to try and catch Santa, but I chickened out and left. As I was walking back to my bedroom, I passed our front door and the light came on from outside, and I thought I could see the shadow of someone outside. Of course, now that I think about it, it could have just been a passerby or a cat or something. Or maybe - just maybe - it could have been Santa. - Nick

EERIE SANTA

I was five years old, and I was in my room when I heard shuffling in the living room. I got up and peered around the doorway, where I saw a man in a Santa suit standing in front of the Christmas tree. He must have felt my presence because he turned around and looked at me. He didn't look jolly or kind and happy like you would expect Santa Claus to look. He looked kind of eerie, like he was staring into my soul.

Automatically, I ran into my parents' room and hid under the covers.

I don't know why I was so scared at the time, but I wrote it off as a dream for a while before I forgot about it completely.

Years later, I remembered it. I thought it could have been a burglar, but when I asked my parents, nothing was ever missing from that apartment. The only time we were ever robbed was when we moved later on.

The only explanation I have now is that it was some kind of apparition. - Ana

MEMPHIS, TENN. - 1980s and 2009

I grew up in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. In the 1980s, I was 8 or 9 years old. My parents and I were coming home from a Christmas party on Christmas Eve. When we pulled up in the driveway, we saw Santa Claus in a sleigh hovering above our house. All we could hear were sleigh bells. The sleigh was illuminated so that we could see Santa (in full outfit) in the sleigh. I remember seeing reindeer, but I don't know how many there were. Santa waved at us and flew off in the sleigh.

I'll never forget it, and I'll never forget my dad's face of total shock. He was an air traffic controller and when he went back to work after the holidays he asked about it and nothing came up.

In another bizarre twist, on Black Friday in 2009, I was waiting in line at a local Target store and broke out into conversation with another lady in line. We were talking about Christmas shopping, and all of a sudden out of nowhere she mentioned that her brother had seen Santa Claus in his sleigh two years before. I stood with my mouth wide open because I couldn't believe it. Every Christmas Eve I still think about him and look outside to try to get a glimpse.

- Mrs. Wages

QUIET SANTA

I was probably around 8 years old when on Christmas Eve around 12 a.m., I had been lying awake in bed for about 30 minutes. I was extremely excited, thinking about the morning and opening presents. Anyway, I start to hear these very faint footsteps approaching. Slowly, a man in boots, carrying a sack looked into my room, my parents' room and then my brother's room. I'm absolutely 100% positive I was awake, too. I could see him fairly well because we had a nightlight on across the hall in our bathroom. I remember hiding my entire face under the covers with a small portion for my eyes to see. He then walked away quietly and he was gone.

Of course I told my parents and brother in the morning about my sighting and, of course, they thought I was crazy. To this day (I'm 28 now), I ask my parents if they had anything to do with this, and they still deny it and say I was dreaming.

I strongly believe I saw a spirit or some kind of entity of Santa. - Richard

DEFINITELY NOT SANTA

I heard this story from my husband years ago. He was small, probably around six years old. His family was spending Christmas at the old family homestead. He was in bed when he heard a noise outside and ran to the window to see what it was. What should he see, but a fat, white-bearded man walking through the swirling snow toward the house. He crept downstairs to get a good look at Santa.

How disappointed he was when he discovered it was only his grandfather in his red "union suit" on his way back from the outhouse. - K. Stuart