Today, Freaky Friday happens to fall on the same day as the Winter Solstice, December 21st. Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, was thought of as a time when the sun of the old year dies (at dusk on the 21st) and the sun of the New Year is born (at dawn on the 22nd). This is also the longest night of the year and what better time for ghosts to be about than the longest night?
Yule is actually considered the second most haunted time of the year with Halloween (or Samhain) considered the most haunted. So, Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly apparitions were not far-fetched anomalies, but acceptable visitors during the every-brightening days of the Yuletide celebration.
According to “The Spirits and Ghosts of Yule” by Montague Whitsel, “Another Celtic spirit of Yule is The Wandering Stranger, also called the “Mysterious Stranger” and “The Unexpected Guest.” This spectral visitor is understood as a manifestation of ‘need’ in the world. It usually comes to haunt us in the guise of a hard-working middle-aged man or woman not quite in great health, perhaps, as some difficulty has overtaken them in life.
When at home at night during the Yule (13 – 25 December), listen for strange knocks at the door; especially during storms or windy weather. The door-latch may rattle, and you think you hear a voice – not a threatening one; perhaps just a murmur or a word – but when you go to the door, there is no one there! In Celtic mysticism, this is said to indicate the coming of the Mysterious Stranger.
If you are out walking along a lone and rustic road or wood path at any time during the Yule – but especially at dusk or dawn – keep your eyes open for any sign of a strange visage or ‘ghost’ as you go along your chosen course, as the Mysterious Stranger is wont to appear briefly to travelers during the Yule, awakening them to supernal possibilities in the mundane rounds of daily life. The Stranger sometimes comes and appears, just briefly
So, let’s read some stories about Wandering Strangers, Mysterious Visitors or strange knocks on the door – in the true spirit of the season.
This was posted by u/SuspiciousVoice
“I was reading another post about meeting people who could be angels and remembered this: it was Christmas of 2013. I had driven 5 hours to be with my fiance and his family for Christmas eve and we had a particularly bad time (brother in law got drunk and caused a huge fight) so things were feeling pretty tense and negative.
Because I had to be at work early on the 26th, I packed up and started my 5-hour drive home around 4 pm on Christmas day. I just wanted to get out of town, so I decided not to fill up before leaving and took off with little over half a tank of gas, knowing it is a popular route with lots of gas stations along the way. About 3 hours later, my gas light came on and I was getting super tired. I finally had to stop for gas and planned to get myself a sugar-free Red Bull to try and stay awake.
I pull up to the pump and go to get my wallet out of my purse and it is gone. I am panicking and call my fiancé…sure enough it is back at the house 3 hours away.
I decide to go in and plead with the attendant to take my fiancé’s credit card over the phone, but they refuse. There is nothing I can do. I am crying and praying. I am on empty and cannot turn around or go forward. Just stuck. I go back to my car and sit in it. Out of nowhere this clean-cut man knocks on my window, hands me $25 and says “I overheard you talking to the cashier and wanted to give you this. Merry Christmas.” Then he walks away.
None of this is strange until he comes back a second time and says…”Oh and here, I thought you could use this,” gives a wink and hands me a sugar-free Red Bull. Something that I never mentioned to the cashier because honestly, all I cared about was getting gas to get home. Never said it out loud.
I don’t know if he was an angel, but I do believe in God and I believe perhaps God sent this man to answer my prayer. And for those who would roll their eyes about God giving me a Red Bull…well… No blessing is too big or too small and at that moment it meant something to me.”
Stranger or angel – maybe the Red Bull wasn’t the only thing with wings on that dark, Christmas night.
This was posted by byu/DistinctEarthling
The day was pleasant and festive: opening presents early in the morning with my sisters, hearty breakfast made by dad, delicious smells from the kitchen as mom and dad prepared a feast, visits from extended family bringing pies and cakes for dessert. Around 2 we all sat down to eat and then lazed about for the rest of the afternoon into the evening.
At about 8, after everyone had left and the food was all put away for round 2 the following day, I decided to head over to visit my friend in the next village. The drive would be about 10 minutes if I took back roads to get there. So, I did.
First, a little background on where my friend lived… It was a housing development surrounding a private lake- you might call it a “gated community.” You could still drive through it freely after hours by entering 1 of 4 private entry points. Since the community was built around a lake, the roads surrounding it went in a spiral sort of shape. The houses were sparsely positioned on the outermost part of the spiral road, closest to the 4 private entry points. As you drove in further, there were a lot more houses positioned closer together nearer the lake.
My friend lived on the outer edge of this development, so once I reached the entry point, it would only take me another few minutes until I reached his house. His house, along with all the others, were far enough apart that you couldn’t see them from the road as you drove by there were either woods all around with long drives, or open fields with long drives. You could see porch lights on in the distance but that was about it.
As I entered into the development, the speed limit dropped from 30mph down to 20. There were no streetlights in the development and for some reason, I never put my high-beams on. I couldn’t go any faster than the speed limit because there were speed bumps in place every 30 feet or so for a bit.
It was a mild night. I remember having my driver’s side window open slightly taking in some fresh air. I remember driving in silence which was unusual for me (I normally always listened to music when driving). I must’ve been enjoying the quietness after the commotion of the day.
I reached a section of road that had barren fields on either side and woods set back. Houses were probably nestled back into the trees. As I drove, I noticed what looked like someone walking up ahead on the opposite side of the road, coming in my direction. Mind you, I was still going about 20 mph the whole time, so it was probably less than a minute by the time the “walker” came into clear view. I got a quick scan of it from my windshield, before my car and it were exactly parallel. This is what I saw:
It was not a person. It stood on two long legs, with long arms hanging down from its shoulders. It was strong looking. Lean, muscular, but not beefy in stature. It looked thin at the same time. It stood at least 7 foot tall. It was light colored: not sure whether it was white, tan, yellow or greyish. It didn’t appear to have fur but there was some texture to the skin- it wasn’t smooth. There appeared to be something coming down off its back. I don’t know what this was. All I can recall about its face is the small features it had but the mouth and jaw were notably large. And it had pointed things atop its head- 2 things going straight upward with something mingled between the two things. That’s what I got from a quick scan and from my observation of it as it neared my car and my car neared it.
As my car became parallel to it within a split second, I went from looking out my windshield to looking at it from my driver’s side window. At that moment, its face quickly peered down at me and all I remember was the mouth opened wide. Out came a remarkable scream that I’ll never forget. Gives me the chills just thinking about it. It consisted of a high-pitched shrill/shriek, enveloped by a deep guttural growl. Both sounds happened simultaneously in that scream.
I kept driving all the while. This was all happening so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to be scared or shocked or anything.
I continued driving and went past my friend’s house and drove home. Called him to tell him what happened and that I just needed to get back. I was probably running on adrenaline to get back home. Later on, I was in total shock after it sunk in. Had my driver’s side window been opened fully, it would have touched me, or worse, taken me. I’m certain of it.
To this day, I still haven’t worked out what this was. Anyone else see anything like this or hear what I heard?”
I think this totally qualifies for a “strange visage!”
RazorLou has a story about rattling in a house.
“When I was, maybe 4, we went to spend Christmas Eve at my uncle’s house in Wales. We had a big dinner of pheasant with all the trimmings. I specifically remember having Brussels sprouts that were very bitter.
That night around 3 AM we were all awakened by a bright flash that filled the whole house and a plate-rattling shudder. I mean every room in the house lit up with a brilliant blue light that left us all awake and near-blinded for a few good seconds. Like a camera flash went off inches from each of our faces at the same time.
Meanwhile, Bracken (my uncle’s Irish setter) starts going INSANE in the living room. Tearing around the place knocking over end tables and barking at just about anything that was good for barking at.
My uncle got the dog calmed down and everyone finally got re-settled but I remember asking my mom what just happened, and she simply didn’t have a good answer for me.
Ball lightning? Some sort of piezoelectric discharge from minerals beneath the house? Who knows? Aw, who am I kidding? It was Santa. I’m sure of it.”
This next little bit is a compilation of several short accounts. And all I can say is, you better watch out:
“So, I know this isn’t seasonal at all but I just know went on a whole crusade to try and find an explanation or a video that kind of showed what I experienced. So when I was really young I was visiting family around Christmas time and I remember going to bed before Christmas and I woke up really late at night and I remember just lying there on my uncles leather couch and looking at some star wars figures(my uncle collected star wars stuff), and I remember looking out the sliding glass door that was behind the couch because I couldn’t fall asleep and literally saw Santa and it wasn’t a man or anything, it was a sleigh and reindeer that was black because it was flying over the moon. It was like nothing I have seen on YouTube videos and not anything like I have seen described on the internet, and it was so vivid that I don’t think it was a dream. Any Ideas?”
“I had something similar happen, but it was not visual but rather audio in nature.
I remember when I was young (probably 6-8) I woke up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and was just lying there in my bed, and then clear as a bell (ha), I swear to god I could hear sleigh bells directly above my head on the roof (My room was on the upper floor of the house.)
I remember then becoming incredibly terrified because as a kid, for some reason, I was desperately afraid of being awake on Christmas Eve if Santa showed up. I had convinced myself that if he saw I was awake he would take all my presents away. So I remember just lying there with my eyes closed just trying like hell to will myself back to sleep.
I know it was probably some form of semi-dream or something, but I swear I was as sober-awake as I am at this moment, and I can still remember it as clear as if it just happened yesterday.”
“I’ve read of a few people reporting the same type of experience, one account was of a family of five or six outside looking up and seeing it at the same time. They looked dumbfoundedly at each other and didn’t speak of it for years as each was doubtful of their vision and sanity that night.”
“I have no ideas, but I saw “Santa” once too. When my brother and I were little, my parents would always take us out for a drive on Christmas Eve, so we could see the lights, the snow, get in the mood for Christmas. One year, when I was about 7 or so, we took our drive like we always did. Upon arriving home, we all stepped out of the car, and my mom made a comment about how quiet the night was. I looked up at the sky, and there, in the distance, I saw a red light bouncing up and down. I pointed it out to my parents, and I saw my mom make a confused face and look at my dad. It was eerily quiet, and there was just this red light in the sky, going somewhat slowly, in a literal bouncing motion. After a few moments, my mom said, “it’s Rudolph and Santa! We have to go to bed!” and we went inside, and of course, I believed it was actually Santa.
I’m 25 now, and even to this day, I have no clue what it was. My parents don’t, either. I guess it had to have been a plane or a helicopter, but we live around 35 minutes away from an airport, so planes are generally always fairly low, and you can clearly hear them when they pass. They also have a green light on a wing, as well, and there was only one red light. The only time we ever have helicopters around is when they’re looking for a shooting suspect, but you can hear those, too. I’ve also never seen a plane or helicopter bounce… Of course, helicopters can go up and down, but the movement was so streamlined and precise. It actually looked like one of those amusement park rides, where you can go up and down when you pull or push a bar, but instead of going in a circle, the light was going left. This was also in 2000, so drones weren’t readily available to the mainstream public yet, either. I know it wasn’t actually Santa, but it is a fond childhood memory!”
Happy Friday!!! And Merry Christmas!!!
Like what you read? Find more stories by Terri Reid here.