Haunted Globetrotting: The Many Spirits Of Kiyotaki Tunnel, Japan

Welcome to Haunted Globetrotting, an international version of the United States-based Haunted Road Trip feature I run here at The Ghost In My Machine from time to time. Now that we’ve been at it for a few years, it seems like it’s about time to broaden our travel horizons a little, doesn’t it? First stop: Japan.

Running between Arashiyama and Sagakiyotaki in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture is a tunnel. It’s unremarkable in appearance (as these places tend to be); to the casual observer, it looks like a simple, covered through-way — albeit rather a narrow one — connecting one town to the next. But to those who know the stories attached to it, it’s quite remarkable indeed — because Kiyotaki Tunnel has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Japan.

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The Most Dangerous Games: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. VII

Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. VI.

It’s that time again! As always, I’ll caution you against taking any of my answers as gospel truth; they’re (usually) just my best guesses based on what I know about these kinds of games and/or other research I’ve conducted. (I am by no means an expert.) I’m also highly risk averse, so I tend to err on the side of caution; you may be more of a gambler than I am, in which case you may not feel compelled to take the same precautions.

I’ll add all these to the Master FAQ as soon as I can.

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Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: Kunekune

scarecrow-2Previously: Spring-Heeled Jack.

Type: PE (Pretenatural Entity).

Period/location of origin: Conflicting. In the early 2000s, sightings reported in rural Japan began appearing on the internet; however, it is unclear whether subject originated in rural Japan, where the sightings were located, or on the internet itself, where the “sightings” were reported. Additionally, it is not known whether subject came into being in the early 2000s with the appearance of the online reports, or whether subject is much older and existed prior to the reports.

Appearance: Unknown; reports are conflicting. In some accounts, subject appears to be only a
“white squiggle” swaying in the distance of a garden, field, or, rarely, the open sea. In others, however, subject appears to be a scarecrow. Very rarely, subject may appear in an urban landscape, in which case it is reported as being as black as pitch.

What subject may look like up close has never been documented. Anyone who may have found themselves close enough to report has… not been in any condition to do so afterwards.

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The Most Dangerous Games: Tomino’s Hell

book2Previously: The Man in the Fields. 

The instructions for Tomino’s Hell are pretty simple — deceptively so. In fact, they’re so simple that it’s possible to play this game accidentally, although I, er… wouldn’t recommend putting yourself or anyone else in a position where that might happen if you can help it. The game was apparently once quite popular on 2ch, and although some who tried it reported that nothing happened, others who mentioned that they were going to give it a shot never reported back.

Why they were never heard from again remains to be seen.

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Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: The Girl from the Gap

door crackPreviously: Mel’s Hole.

Type: CC (corporeally challenged)

Period/location of origin: Unknown, Japan.

Appearance: Subject appears to be an extremely slender female humanoid of indeterminate age. She may or may not hold an ice pick. NOTE: Due to subject’s illusive nature, a more precise description has yet to be identified; anyone who might be able to provide such a description has hitherto been… not in a position to do so.

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Are Taxi Drivers In Japan Really Picking Up The Ghosts Of The 2011 Tsunami? A Look At The Legend Of The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Taxis

An interesting little story has been circulating the Internet for the past couple of weeks: Apparently taxi drivers in Ishinomaki, Japan have reported picking up the ghosts of the victims of the 2011 tsunami and earthquake that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I think there’s a lot of fascinating stuff to unpack here, so let’s take a look, shall we?

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Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: Cow Head

steer skullPreviously: The Blind Maiden Website.

Type: Verbal Virus (VV)

Period/location of origin: Unknown, Japan. Some accounts state that subject dates back to the Meiji period or before; others, however, suggest that subject may have emerged during the 1960s. The truth of subject’s origin has not yet been determined.

Appearance: Subject is apparently a story called “Cow Head” which is so terrifying that it drives anyone who either hears it or tells it insane; targets may also expire shortly after either hearing or telling it. Subject’s details — that is, the substance of the story, etc. — remain unknown.

Subject may alternatively be known as “Ushinokubi,” “Ushi no kubi,” or “Gozu.” Subject should not be confused with the Ukranian folktale of the same name.

Modus operandi: During periods of uneventfulness, waiting, or boredom when two or more targets are present, one target (hereafter termed “storyteller”) may begin, unbidden, telling the story. Regardless as to whether or not any other targets present request that the storyteller not proceed, the storyteller will continue to do so until the tale has reached its conclusion. During the telling, the storyteller will appear to have vacated his or her own body; it is unknown what force spurs the storyteller onward, but it suspected that subject takes control of the storyteller’s body during this time.

The storyteller will find, upon finishing the tale, that any other targets within hearing distance will have lost consciousness, begun frothing at the mouth, and/or broken out into cold sweats and fits of shivering. Any and all targets involved in the incident, including the storyteller, may cease to exist before the week is out.

It is unknown how subject achieves this effect on its targets, and frankly, no one really wants to volunteer to find out. Furthermore, given subject’s tendency to eliminate any target who might hear it, it is unknown how subject proliferates. It may be assumed that subject is able to transmit itself directly into the brains of select targets via some as yet undetermined process. The criteria used by subject to select storytellers also remains unknown.

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