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10 Creepiest Haunted Places in Japan

Japan is a beautiful country for its unique environment, vibrant and diverse cultural history, and its plenty of traditional folklore and urban legends. The country is famous for producing one of the best horror movies, television series, and books in the world. The nation has even produced some of the most spine-chilling moments in the history of horror films than other countries. The inspiration for these horror films was based on some of the real haunted places and ghost stories in Japan. The country has a lot of infamous haunted and creepy places with a dark history. Many visitors have encountered ghost sightings, hearing disembodied whispers, moans, cries and screams and witnesses paranormal activities in one of these haunted places. Some even reported that they were being attacked by a spirit which nearly scared them to death. Here are the top ten most notoriously haunted places in Japan that are too terrifying for anyone in their right mind to want to visit.

Oiran Buchi

Oiran Buchi is an area located in Yamanashi City. This area has a series of steep cliffs surrounding a flowing river near Highway 411 and it is known for its’ terrain beauty. The suspension bridge is considered among one of the scariest places in Japan. According to the legend, a long time ago, there were 55 prostitutes that were murdered in this site and their ghosts still haunt the area. It is said that the screams and cries of the women can still be heard from below. During the Sengoku Era, which is in the 16th century, the area had gold mines that were run by the Takeda Clan of Kai. To keep the miners and guards entertained, the Takeda Clan also ran many brothels and prostitutes. After the battle of Nagashino, the Takada Clan were forced to surrender their area to their enemies. Before they retreated from the area, all of the prostitutes were being killed to prevent them from sharing information about the gold mines. There is also another story where the place is also haunted by a faceless ghost of a woman who wanders around and is searching for people to make them part of her forever stretching body during the evening hours.[1]

Okiku’s Well

The well is located near Himeji Castle, which is the largest castle in Japan, and its’ location is famous for being one of Japan’s popular ghost stories. The well is said to be haunted by a ghost of a young lady named Okiku. Every night, the ghost of Okiku rises from the well while counting from one to nine and then she breaks into heart-wrenching wails and sobs. It was said that Okiku used to work as a servant for the high-ranking samurai, Aoyama Tessan. The samurai was in love with Okiku and wants her to become his lover, but she refused him. Because of her rejection, the samurai tricked her into believing that she lost one of the ten valuable plates of the family. During that time, the penalty for such action was death. The girl counted the plates many times but could only find nine plates. Since she couldn’t find the missing dishes, she asked the samurai for forgiveness and not to be punished. The samurai said he would forgive her if she agrees to become his lover. Okiku refused to accept the offer which enraged Aoyama and made him threw her into the well which ended up in her being killed. The spirit of Okiku has since been seen to appear at the well, desperate to find the missing plate by counting and then cry out of frustration before disappearing again.[2]

Old Chusetsu Tunnel

The Old Chusetsu Tunnel, also known as Inukane Pass, is located in the Miyawaka town, Fukuoka Prefecture. The Old Chusetsu Tunnel is the most infamous place among the many haunted and dangerous tunnels in Japan. The tunnel is famous for the horrifying murders that took place and those who had died there remained and roamed around the area. Many locals reported that whoever tries to go inside the tunnel, will experience numerous paranormal phenomena such as hearing strange noises, screams and a voice that shouts out to say “Stop!”. According to the legend, a young girl was brutally murdered in the tunnels decades ago, and the murderers were never caught. The young girl has been said to haunt the tunnel ever since and does not allow anyone to pass through. Many people claimed to have heard whispers of “Stop” while trying to enter the tunnel. Those who tried to venture further ahead in the tunnel would feel the presence of someone poking, prodding, and shoving them.[3]

Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara is a forest located on the northwestern flank of the mighty Mount Fuji. The forest is locally known as the Sea of Trees because of its high density of trees but in recent decades has changed into a new name, Suicide Forest. The forest is known as the second most popular suicide location in the world and the number one suicide spot for the Japanese. In 2003, the forest was made public when 105 dead bodies were discovered, and most of them were decomposed or eat by the wild animals. Some Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated the Aokigahara’s trees to generate paranormal activity and prevent most who enter to escape from the area. Many Japanese ended up being lost in the dense forest. Every year, dozens of corpses are being found by the forest workers. Many believe that it is bad luck for the yurei (ghost) of the suicide victims if their corpses were left alone in the woods. It is said that their bodies while moving on their own while their spirits will scream through the night. The bodies of the victims of suicide must be carried to the local police station where they are put in a special room that houses the suicide corpses.[4]

Round Schoolhouse

The Round Schoolhouse is a haunted and abandoned old school that is located in the town of Bibai on the island of Hokkaido. The former schoolhouse has gained a reputation as one of the most haunted places in Japan. In the late 1960s, the building was built in a distinctive round shape and was used as a school from the 1940s up until the 1970s. When the coal mined was closed, the rural town and its round schoolhouse were left abandoned. Locals claimed that the abandoned school building has a lot of paranormal sightings of shadowy figures, floating lights and at night, there are often disembodied screams as well as other less discernible noises. There have been several paranormal investigators that visited the building and returned with troubling tales of all sorts of supernatural activities from around the place and a few of them went insane with fear. There have also been Japanese spirit mediums that were overwhelmed with negative spiritual energy and refused to go back.[5]

Inunaki Toge Tunnel

The Inunaki Toge Tunnel is a haunted tunnel in Miyawaka, Fukuoka Prefecture. It is said that the tunnel is haunted by a spirit of a man who died in 1988 by a group of thugs that tried to burn him alive. The horrible murder case happened on midday on December 7th in 1988. A 20-year old factory worker, Umeyama Kouichi, was heading home from work by driving a car. While on his way, five boys tried to rob his car at a stop light. When Umeyama refused to pass over his car, the boys started to assault him, pour gasoline over him and setting him on fire. It is claimed that the young factory worker had escaped into the tunnel while the flames consumed him. He eventually committed suicide right in the middle of the tunnel to end the excruciating pain of being burned alive. Ever since then, motorists have reported experiencing an apparition appearing beside their car and mostly having an unexplained brake failure.[6]

Akasaka Mansion

Akasaka Weekly Mansion is considered one of the most haunted places in Japan. There have been many reports that the weekly mansion Building 1 is the most haunted because there were many incidents of suicides and sudden deaths that have happened. The Many guests of the hotel have claimed to have seen ghostly figures hovering by their bed, the white mist which comes into the room out from the air vents, lights and electrical appliances that turn on and off on their own accord and then a temperature drops inside the rooms. One male guest reported of feeling an icy hand stroking his head while in his sleep while one female guest claimed to be dragged out of the bed and across the room through her hair by an unseen force. By the next day, the woman had scratches all over her back, as well. One guest even reported being pushed into the bed by an unknown invisible force while in a state of being frozen and cannot move.[7]

Doryodo Ruins

Doryodo Ruins is a site of a former temple located right in the center of Otukuyama Park in Hachiyoji, Tokyo. The ruin was once a very popular place until it was torn down. In 1963, there was an elderly woman who was brutally murdered by a robber who looted the temple and left her body in the forest. Ten years after the woman’s senseless death, there was another murder incident that took place. In the year 1973, a lifeless body of a university student was found in the ruins after she was murdered by a college professor with whom she was having an affair with. When the relationship became publicly known, the professor, who was married with two children, decided that his only way out was to murder the young student and hide her body in the ruin. Years later, the temple ruins were dismantled but the restless spirit still continues to wander the site. It is said that during at night, the sounds of distant sobbing can be heard by the young girl. Many visitors have reported that they feel a sudden intense sadness as well as the sense of being watched when they visit the site.[8]

Gridley Tunnel

The Gridley Tunnel is a narrow, single-lane tunnel located on Yokosuka Naval Base. The narrow one-way tunnel runs through a hill from Gridley Lane to Nimitz Blvd and is home to the spirit of a samurai who was seeking to avenge the death of his lord only to be ambushed and killed while in the tunnel. Because he failed in his mission, his spirit became restless and could not leave the area of his death until his mission is completed. Ever since then, many car drivers passing through the tunnel reported spotting a man dressed as a samurai in their car’s rear-view mirror from out of nowhere between the hours of midnight and one in the morning on rainy evenings. The sudden visions of the samurai have caused several accidents in the tunnel for many years. It is said that the ghostly apparition of the samurai warrior is often seen during rainy nights between 1-3 am.[9]

Kiyotaki Tunnel

The Kiyotaki tunnel gained a reputation as one of the most haunted locations in Japan. The Kiyotaki Tunnel is 444 meters in length and is a single-lane route that connects northern Arashiyana to the neighboring town of Sahakiyotaki. The tunnel has a history of violence, suicide, and ill-omens which make It brim with ghosts, bad luck, and paranormal activity. It is claimed that the tunnel was originally constructed in 1927 by slaves. As time went by, there was a number of reported fatalities in the area. Many believed it was due to the workers who died from harsh working conditions, while others were from railway accidents and the people who were executed around the area. It is said that the spirits of these fatalities can often be seen roaming the tunnel at night. In Japan, 4 is an unlucky number this is because it is pronounced similar to the Japanese word for death. Many believed that the cause of traffic signals to suddenly switch from red to green at night that caused several car accidents were due to the 444 meters length of the tunnel. The area around the runnel has a popular suicide spot due to it being located in the middle of nowhere and the sturdiness of the trees above the tunnel. The suicide victims are said to haunt the area of the tunnel.[10][11]

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