10 Freaking Creepy Japanese Urban Legends

Japan, believe it or not, is a very, very dark and scary place…

A lot of Japanese urban legends basically say this: Don’t ever freakin’ travel alone. They also have a fascination with the bathroom. Is it because we let loose in it? Lose a part of ourselves? I’m only kidding.

1. Kuchisake-onna

Kuchisake-onna (Slit-mouthed woman) is a woman that walks around alone at night wearing a surgical mask. Okay, you say, so what? She’s sick or something, and she’s courteous enough to cover her mouth and nose to not get others infected.

WRONG. SO, SO WRONG. Listen to me. This woman is nothing but pure evil.

This is from Wikipedia:

The woman will stop the child and ask, “Am I pretty?” If the child answers no, the child is killed with a pair of scissors which the woman carries. If the child answers yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing that her mouth is slit from ear to ear, and asks “How about now?” If the child answers no, he/she will be cut in half. If the child answers yes, then she will slit his/her mouth like hers. It is impossible to run away from her, as she will simply reappear in front of the victim.

Honestly though, who lets their kid walk around at night?

2. Teke teke

According to some old story, a young schoolgirl was cut in half by an oncoming train after she had fallen in the tracks. Now she wanders around with a scythe, “dropping in” on unsuspecting victims and cuts them in half so that she’s not alone.

There’s a version of this story that I heard a long time ago:

There was this boy who was walking home alone, it was getting dark, and he was in an unfamiliar part of the town, so he started to pick up his pace. He walked for some time, all the while the sun setting and his surroundings becoming darker and darker. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a face, smiling at him from a window. Her elbows were on the windowsill, her hands on her cheeks. “Are you lost?” she asked. Thinking she was going to help him out, he walked closer to the woman. She suddenly jumped from the windowsill, revealing her disfigurement. Her legs and her torso were missing. Before the boy could scream, she cut him in two, just like her.

3. Aka Manto

If you’ve never been to a Japanese school bathroom or a Korean school bathroom, feel lucky. They are one of the creepiest places you can ever take a leak in.

Aka Manto is a ghost that haunts the last stall in the bathroom. As you’re sitting on the toilet, a voice will ask you if you want red or blue paper. If you say red, you’re guaranteed to get sliced up into pieces. Say blue, and you’re going to get strangled. Apparently, the correct way to escape this is to say, “No paper.”

4. Red Room

An internet urban legend that’s become infamous after the Sasebo Slashing in 2004. The killer (a schoolgirl) had bookmarked this particular video.

Here’s the Wikipedia summary of the video:

Two friends discuss a rumor about an Internet pop-up ad that asks “Do you like —?” (あなたは—好きですか? Anata wa—suki desu ka??). If someone closes the pop-up, he dies. The more skeptical friend does some investigation. At home, he researches it online but is unable to find anything about the site online. After he ends his search and begins looking at his usual websites, the message pops up, with a childlike voice asking: “Do you like —?

Even after he closes the pop up, it keeps re-appearing, repeatedly asking ‘Do you like-?’. It then starts automatically reloading and the girl’s voice becomes mangled till the boy eventually notices the question changed to ‘Do you like red?’. The boy keeps clicking off the pop-up until a new part of the message is revealed, finally asking the completed question in a normal childs voice” “Do you like the red room?” (あなたは赤い部屋が好きですか? Anata wa akai heya ga suki desu ka??). Then a website with a list of name appears, with the boy’s friend at the bottom. The boy becomes aware of something behind him.

The next day, there is rumour and gossip at a school about two students who committed suicide, painting their rooms red with their own blood. Then, the protagonist’s computer is displayed, with the protagonist’s name at the bottom of the list. It then shuts off, along with an eerie sound.

After the video ends, if the user’s browser has not disabled pop-ups, a pop-up resembling the ad from the story will appear.

5. Sunshine 60

A 60-story modern skyscraper in Tokyo that was…built on top of a notorious prison where Japanese war criminals were held. Eight men were hanged. It’s said that this place is haunted. Who knows for sure?

6. Cow Head

Apparently, the story is so scary and so haunted that no one can ever tell it without dying. The legend talks about the story.

Basically, a group of students is taken out for a field trip by a teacher. On the bus, he decides to tell a scary story and picks Cow Head. As he begins, the students, one by one, notice that the teacher becomes more intense and involved in the story. Soon, the students are screaming for him to stop, but he can’t. Police find the bus in a ditch, all of the passengers foaming at the mouth, seemingly in a trance. They’re able to shake them awake, and when asked what had happened, no one could remember how they ended up there, including the Cowhead story.


7. Kokkuri-san

This is the Japanese version of the Ouija board. In this game, the hiragana alphabet is drawn on a piece of paper, and two people hold a pen, ballpoint touching the paper, in the center. The participants ask Kokkuri-san a question and the spirit moves the pen, just like a spirit would on a Ouija board.

8. Tomino


Urban legend has it, if you read the poem out loud, you will die. Check out this creepy video. Even the person who made it doesn’t read it out loud themselves.

9. Noppera-bō

There is nothing more freaky than a humanoid without a freaking face. What is UP with that. Noppera-bō means “faceless creature” and just thinking about a faceless being gives me the chills.

From Wikipedia:

Noppera-bō are known primarily for frightening humans, but are usually otherwise harmless. They appear at first as ordinary human beings, sometimes impersonating someone familiar to the victim, before causing their features to disappear, leaving a blank, smooth sheet of skin where their face should be.

10. Kashima Reiko

If you read about this spirit, it supposedly appears in a month. So be careful. I’ll see you on the other side, I guess.

Kashima Reiko lived on Hokkaido, where she was assaulted by a group of men. She was left to die in a bathroom, all the while crying for help. She crawled her way outside, until she (conveniently) collapsed, falling unconscious on a railroad, where a train sliced her in two. She now searches around the world for her legs, mostly in school bathroom (why?) and sometimes in private residences (why? I didn’t take your legs). Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – OiMax

About the author

Michael Koh

Follow Michael at @UghHugs.

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