Time flies and Halloween is fast approaching. Is your Halloween costume ready? And are you brave enough for the scary and spine-chilling stories? It makes us remember our younger years when we watched and read scary stories about ghosts, dwarves, tikbalang, manananggal, the infamous white lady, and more. It’s also worth noting that Filipinos are fond of urban legends and folklore; many still believe in our ancestors’ stories and superstitions. And among the horror junkies, some may be familiar with Japanese urban legends and myths as well.
*Trigger Warning: Mentions of Self-Harm, Bullying*
We may have heard of some Japanese urban legends. Let us list a few of them:
Aka Manto (Red Cloak) – is a spirit wearing a mask and a red cloak that often haunts schools and female public restrooms. The Aka Manto will ask someone to choose between red or blue paper; regardless of what that person chooses, both will end with death.
Kuchisake-Onna (Slit-mouthed Woman) – The story started during the Heian period. This terrifying legend is about a vain, beautiful woman married to a samurai. The woman committed adultery, resulting in the samurai slitting her mouth from ear to ear. The woman approaches people, primarily children, and asks them if she’s pretty, and if they answer wrongly, they get killed.
Teke-Teke – A young woman fell off a railway and got cut in half. They described that the young woman has no lower half and carries a scythe while hunting for her victims and cutting them in half.
Toire no Hanako-san – Stories say that an elementary girl got killed while playing hide-and-seek during World War II. However, different versions and rumors of how the girl died came out. While some say she was murdered, others say she committed suicide due to bullying. The spirit often haunts school toilets.
Red Room Curse – This Japanese Internet legend is about a pop-up window showing on the computer screen and announcing the impending death of the person who sees it. There is also a film released about this urban legend.
A Scary Experience
We asked our tutors who may have experienced something strange. Here are some of their stories:
“I had a loyal student who lived alone and did not own a TV. She even told me she did not need a TV in her apartment. In one of our classes, my student was reading an article when I heard another female speaking in Japanese; it was quite distracting. I thought it was the student’s TV. I asked her, “Student-san, did you get a TV?” My student got surprised and said, “No. Why?” I replied, “Do you have a guest with you? I just heard a woman speaking.” The student screamed, “Ehhhh” she looked troubled while looking around. We brushed it off and continued, but my student looked nervous.” – Tutor Nuelle
“One weekend morning, I was conducting lessons in my room while my family were downstairs. After one of my lessons, I noticed my brother staring in between the gap of my door for about five minutes. After my class, I walked toward him to scold him, but I stopped when I heard my family laughing downstairs along with my brother. I tried calling the figure near me, but it darted away. Frightened, I ran downstairs and asked my brother if he had opened my door, but to my surprise, he said he didn’t. I was so scared to go back to my room upstairs, so I asked my brother to sit with me until I finished.” – Tutor Nuelle