Creepy Japanese Urban Legends

We’ve got our fair share of Urban Legends here in America from Bloody Mary to the Boogeyman, but every corner of the world has their own and few are as messed up as Japan’s.  Enjoy!

Kushisake Onna

1 - Kushisake Onna

Her name means “the woman with a split mouth.” If you are going somewhere late at night by yourself she may jump out at the corner of the street. You can’t run away from her because she can teleport herself in front of you.

She is wearing a surgical mask and a trench coat. The woman will ask you “Am I pretty?” if you say no, she will chop your head off with a pair of scissors.

If your answer is yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing that her mouth is slit from ear to ear, and asks “How about now?”

If your answer is no, you will be cut in half.

If you say yes, then she will slit your mouth like hers.




Hitobashira or “Human Pillars” in English.

In ancient Japan, people believed that sealing human being in the construction would make it stronger and stable. By sealing people in the pillars and in the walls they make sacrifices to gods and if the gods are pleased the construction lasts longer.

Buildings with human pillars are told to be haunted by the ones sealed in the walls.

Teke Teke

3 - Teke Teke

Teke teke teke is the sound this creature makes while moving (with its elbow).

She was once a nice lady who fell in the path (or jumped- there are different versions) in a subway station. She was cut in half by the train but her anger and grudge was so intense that her torso is still looking for vengeance.

Despite the lack of legs she can move very fast and if you are unlucky enough to get caught she will cut you in half with a scythe she produces.

Aka Manto

4 - Aka Manto


Aka Manto means red cape/cloak. It’s basically an evil spirit haunting the toilets.

It will appear when you sit on the toilet and there is no paper. It asks “do you want red paper or Blue paper?” (red cape/blue cape in some versions). If you take the red paper you will be cut into pieces. If you take the blue paper you will be strangled.

According to some other versions if you choose the red paper your skin will be ripped off and if you choose blue paper all your blood will be drained out from your body.

Tomino’s Hell

5 - Tomino039s Hell

Tomino’s Hell is a cursed poem that kills people who read it out loud.

If you are lucky you won’t die but shits will happen anyway. “Tomino’s Hell” is written by Yomota Inuhiko in a book called “The Heart is Like a Rolling Stone”, And was included in Saizo Yaso’s 27th collection of poems in 1919. The poem is about a Tomino who dies and falls to Hell.

Cow Head

6 - Cow Head

Cow head is a scary story which can make you die from fright.

One day during a school trip which involved bus travelling, the teacher started to tell scary stories to entertain the students. When he started to tell a story called Cow Head all the students started to scream and beg him to stop but the teacher was in some sort of trance and he couldn’t stop. When he recovered the bus driver and the students had fainted and were foaming at the mouth. Some of them couldn’t stop sweating and shivering and died a few days after.

Okiku Doll

7 - Okiku Doll

Okiku Doll is a doll wearing a kimono. It once belonged to a little girl, Okiku. Once she died of a cold, her spirit possessed the doll. and now its hair grows. The doll is now in the Mannenji temple.

First its hair was short but it grew over time and it now has long hair. Nobody knows how the hair continues to grow but scientific researches concluded that its hair is that of a young child, maybe Okiku’s.

Mary’s Phone Call

1 - Mary039s Phone call

A little girl had to move to another town. When she moved she threw her doll Mary away. That night she had a phone call:

“Hello? it’s me, Mary. I’m in the garbage bag” and the phone kept ringing all night.

“Hello? It’s me, Mary. I’m on in the street”

“Hello? it’s me, Mary I’m in front of your house”

So the girl looked outside. There wasn’t anyone.

The phone rang again “Hello? it’s me, Mary. I’m just behind you”

The girl was found dead on the floor the morning after.

The Girl from the Gap

2 - The girl from the gap

The girl from the gap is a spirit living in gaps (between furniture, doors or drawers) There are many gaps and cracks in the house.

If one day you meet her gaze she will ask you to play hide and seek.

The second time you see her eyes in a gap you will be taken to another dimension. (or to Hell)

Kune Kune

3 - Kune Kune

Kune Kune is the sound this creature makes while moving.

According to witnesses, it moves like an earthworm. There are no evidences or photos of the Kune Kune but people say that it is some sort of giant white worm-monster. Staring at it can make you feel dizzy and can bring you the curse od the Kune Kune. People who have seen it recommend to stay far away from it and to forget everything about it if you can.

Inunaki Village

4 - Inunaki Village

Inunaki Village is a mysterious village that is completely isolated from other villages and even from the country itself. It is not sure if such village exists but some people say so.

There is a panel at the entrance of the village that says “the laws constitution of Japan does not applies here” People in this village are told to live in an extremely weird way. Incest, cannibalism or murder is very common. For some reason, you cannot use your phone or any other electronic devices.

There are old shops and payphones in the village but you cannot call anybody. Many people went to this village but no one came back.

5 - Kiyotaki Tunnel

This tunnel was built in 1927. It’s length is 444m (4 being a cursed number, like 13 for western people) This tunnel has been haunted by all the workers who died while building it under harsh work conditions, (like slaves) and those who died in the tunnel because of them. It is said that ghosts can be seen in this tunnel at night, they can even get in your car and scare the shit out of you, leading to an accident.

There is a mirror in the tunnel. If you look at it and see a ghost, you will die a horrible death. The length of the tunnel can vary depending on whether you measure it at night or on daytime.

Hitori Kakurenbo

6 - Hitori Kakurenbo

It means “Hide and seek alone”

You can do this at home. It’s not recommended though.

You need: -a name (everybody has one. Let’s say your name is Bob) -a human like doll (no teddy bear or other plushes) with a name. (Let’s say its name is Lisa) -rice -a needle and some red thread -a knife -a nail clipper -a cup of saline water First, open cut open the doll, empty it and put some rice and pieces of your nail. Then close it and stitch with the red thread.

At 3 AM, take the doll to the bathroom, fill the sink with water and put the doll in it the say: “first tagger is Bob” three times. Turn off all the light in the house, go to your room and count to ten while closing your eyes. Go back to the bathroom and stab the doll while saying “found you, Lisa, you are now the tagger” Congratulations you are now cursed and the doll will find you wherever you are! To end it, spit some saline water on the doll and say “I am the winner” three times.

Satoru Kun



1 - Satoru KunSatoru kun is a Demon – Evil spirit which takes the form of a little boy. He knows absolutely everything and he can answer to any question even questions about your past and your future.

To ask him a question you need: -a mobile phone -a payphone -coins First, put the coins in the payphone and dial your mobile phone number. Then while ringing says: “Satoru, Satoru, please come to me. Satoru, Satoru please show yourself. Satoru Satoru, if you are here please answer me” Hang up the payphone and turn off your mobile phone.

Satoru kun will call you within 24 hours. First he will tell you where he is. then he will make more calls to tell you where he is and each time he will be closer and closer to where you are. Finally when he says “I am behind you” you can ask him your question. BUT do not call him if you have nothing to ask, do not try to see or watch him. Be sure to ask him your question quickly otherwise he will drag you to Hell.

Kashima Reiko

2 - Kashima Reiko

Kashima Reiko is a famous toilet ghost. She is a legless woman which haunts school toilets. BTW after you hear/read her story she will come to you in a month so you can skip this one if you wan to poop in peace.

Kashima Reiko was a woman who lived in Hokkaido. One night, a group of men assaulted her. They beat her and raped her and left her for dead. While seeking for help she fell on a railway track and lost consciousness. She was cut in half by a train.

Now she wanders around, looking for her legs. She may ask you where they are now that you read her story.

Noppera Bo

3 - Noppera bo

Noppera bo means “No face”. They can create illusion to make you believe that they are normal people but in fact they do not have eyes, nose, mouth or any other facial elements. Just skin.

You never know when you will meet one. All they want is your face. If they spot a weakness or take you by surprise they can steal your face. Then you will be the Noppera Bo.

Himuro Mansion

4 - Himuro Mansion

The Himuro Mansion is one of the most strongly hunted house in Japan.

The Himuro familly had a strange custom. To protect themselves from bad spirits they made sacrifices through the “Strangling ritual”. The Strangling Ritual had to be performed every fifty years to prevent the bad karma from destroying the family. They would select a baby girl from within the family and raise her in secret.

When the time came for the ritual to be performed, they tied ropes around her neck, her arms and her legs. Next, a team of bulls would pull the ropes in different directions, tearing the young girl’s body apart. The blood-stained ropes were then placed in the house.

But that one time, the girl fell in love with a boy. Being no longer pure, the ritual failed and the head of the family became crazy. He killed everyone and killed himself at the end. Many people died mysteriously while wandering around the house. some of them had rope marks on their arms, legs and neck.

Answer Man

5 - Answer Man

Answer man is a bit like Satoru kun. It’s an evil spirit which knows everything.

To summon it you need 10 persons with 10 mobile phones. First, gather all these people in a circle. Then everyone have to call the person on their left at the same time. Logically all the phones should be busy. If you hear a voice over the phone you succeeded to call the Answer man.

However this is not free. After you ask him something he will ask you something too. If your answer is wrong or not accurate enough he will take you a piece of your body. That’s because the Answer man was born severely deformed, without limbs, nor eyes. So he is trying to make himself a body by taking parts from others.


About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.
  • Vincent J.

    These seem so bizarre. They remind me of a writer/revolutionary named Yukio MIshima. I read one of his books translated into English with a title something like “The Sailor Who Fell Out of Love with the Sea” or something like that. It was kinda bizarre, too.