Auckland's iconic giant Santa has been branded the world's creepiest Christmas ornament by a popular American website.

The 20 metre Santa, which used to feature a winking eye and beckoning finger, has been a feature of Auckland Christmases since it first appeared in downtown Auckland in 1960.

Website today told the rest of the world what many Aucklanders already knew: The giant Santa is creepy.

It beat out a "Godzilla Santa" perched atop a Dallas store and several unsettling dolls and decorations to claim its place as the most unintentionally creepy Christmas ornament in the world.


The website called the giant Santa - which stands over the Whitcoulls store on Queen St - "tragically disfigured" and cited its moving finger as a leading cause behind its ranking.

It said the Santa's 2009 makeover, which removed moving parts and remodelled facial features, was to address its off-the-charts creepiness.

"Unsurprisingly, residents of Auckland were uncomfortable with being beckoned to by something that looks like it wants your attention so it can ask if you're comfortable with being followed home."