The world is full of terrifying urban legends, and Japan is no different. The country is rich in culture, and the reality of its history is often hard to separate from legend and folk tales.
Many of the creepiest, most unusual myths have existed in The Land of The Rising Sun for centuries, with a fascination for monsters and horror passed down from generation to generation. Other stories stem from the modern era, and have roots that can be traced back to their source.
Here are some of the creepiest urban legends from the nation of Japan.
THE RED ROOM CURSE
Though many of Japan’s urban legends are centuries old, some are more modern, and have been ushered in by the advent of technology, like computers and mobile phones. While some are undoubtedly creepy, others are foolish and oddly comical. The Red Room Curse is something else entirely; this particular legend, which originated from a flash animation, has even claimed a life.
The legend says that while using their computers, random victims would suddenly receive a pop-up message, which when clicked would open up a new page containing a questionnaire. Once they finished, their name would appear on the screen, among those of their loved ones, friends, and even neighbours.
The next day, the victim would be found dead in their room, with blood dripping from the walls and ceiling. On the computer screen, a message would be displayed: “You have committed suicide”.
The story may seem ridiculous, but it has actually claimed a life, although not in exactly the same way as described in the myth.
On June 1st 2004, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl, known to the media as Girl A, murdered her twelve-year-old classmate, Satomi Mitarai, in an empty classroom during their lunch hour at Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo. She slit Mitarai’s throat and arms with a utility knife, and then returned to her own classroom, covered in blood. A teacher, who had noticed that the girls were nowhere to be found, stumbled upon the grisly scene and called the police.
Upon being taken into custody, Girl A reportedly confessed to the crime, sobbing “I am sorry, I am sorry” to the police. She spent the night crying, and refused to eat any of the food she was offered. Though she initially revealed no motive for the killing, she eventually confessed that they had quarrelled after Mitarai slandered her online, taunting Girl A about her weight and calling her a “goody-goody.” When interrogated further it was discovered that she was a fan of the controversial book Battle Royale, and was a fan of the Red Room Curse flash animation.
After the murder, Girl A became famous online, even becoming an internet meme and having her fan art shared around the web.
Supposedly, if you learn about this story and don’t forget it within a week, you’ll die and become a victim of the curse. Good luck.
The legend says that one night, a young boy dreamed about a school he didn’t recognise, and as he wandered, he became more and more alarmed. The hallways he crept along were a continuous loop, and no matter what he did, he would always end up back where he started. He would climb stairs and wander the maze-like corridors, but he never could figure out how to escape. As time went on, he began to hear footsteps behind him. The sound started off faint and far away, but as he continued it grew stronger, getting closer and closer until it seemed almost upon him, and he began to run.
All of a sudden, he escaped the loop and found an emergency exit that had a glass lockbox that should have had a key beside it. The key, however, was missing, and its place was a note stating that the key could be found in room 108. He ran off in search of the room, and when he found it, he closed the door behind him. Inside the room, which turned out to be a classroom, were rows of desks, with backpacks hanging off of the chairs that accompanied them. He searched the room frantically, but still, he could not find the key.
Suddenly, there came a pounding on the door. Terrified, he continued to search more frantically, but to no avail. Terrified, he cowered underneath a desk, but then the knocking stops, and only silence remained. He emerged from the classroom, not knowing what to expect, and came across a horrific sight. The corridor was filled with the corpses of children, their limbs severed from their bodies, and scattered about the bloody hallway.
The boy never woke from his dream, and if you don’t forget this story, you too will suffer the same fate.
There’s more horrific tales to come on the next page.