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5 Creepy Japanese Ghosts To Make You Shudder

Ana RachmadewiAna Rachmadewi
Published Time
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October 28, 2019


Halloween might have passed, but there’s one thing we can not get enough of: horror stories!

Some of you might have heard about yurei and yokai, two kinds of Japanese ghosts that have haunted people since ancient times. Yurei refers to spirits of the deceased who didn’t rest peacefully and yokai refers to kinds of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore.

This time, we have gathered five creepy Japanese ghosts to make you shudder. So, sit tight and be ready for a fearful surprise!

5. Kappa


Kappa might be one of the most famous Japanese supernatural creatures. Kappa are depicted as green, amphibious, human-like turtle beings with webbed hands and feet. They are often blamed for drowning accidents and are said to try to lure people into the water and pull them in. 

They have a unique characteristic, which is a plate-shaped cavity placed on their head that is used to keep water. If you want to get away from kappa, you will need to make them spill the water since they will lose their power (or even die) if the water in the cavity runs out. Some Japanese actually love the Kappa and consider it cute. You make the call if the kappa is a creepy monster or just a lovable misunderstood turtle thing. Fun fact: the design for the Pokemon Squirtle is said to have been based off a kappa

4. Hone-Onna


Just like her name, Hone-Onna is a woman in the form of bones making her a yurei. She is said to be a woman who retains her undying love even after death. In Japanese folklore it is said that Hone-Onna basically got lonely so she rose from her grave to return to her former lover’s house. She would ‘spend the night’ leaving only when the sun came up in the morning. Each night she would drain her former lover’s life force making him grow weaker day by day. Eventually, the lonely guy became obsessed with seeing his former lover, so in the end he jumped into her grave to ‘embrace her’ dying with the corpse in his arms. 

3. Kushisake-Onna


Another yurei, the name Kuchisake-Onna, literally means 'slit-mouthed woman'. She's a famous ghost from Japanese urban legend who is depicted as a malicious spirit of a woman who partially covers her slitted mouth with a mask. According to legend, Kuchi would go up to random people and ask them if they think she is beautiful. If they say "no", she will kill them. If they say "yes", she will open her mask to reveal that her mouth is slit and she will then ask the same question again. If the victim then answers "no", she will kill them worse, and if they say "yes", she will cut the victim's mouth to resemble her own mouth. If you see a ghostly looking woman always tell her she is beautiful if you want to make it out alive. 

2. Aka Manto


Aka Manto are described as masked spirits who wear a red cloak that usually appears in public or school bathrooms. Aka Manto will ask the occupant of a toilet if they want red toilet paper or blue toilet paper. If the occupant chooses red, they will be killed so that their dead bodies will be drenched in their own blood. And if they choose blue, Aka Manto will strangle the occupant until their face turns blue. Don’t like either option? Silence is your savior, don’t take the colorful toilet paper!

1. Rokurokubi


Just like Kappa, Rokurokubi is a yokai, or Japanese supernatural creature. There are two kinds of Rokurokubi; one whose head comes off and flies around freely (nukekubi) and one whose neck can stretch. The legend said that sometimes, Rokurokubi’s head attacks small animals, licks up lamp oil with their long tongue, scaring nearby people, and even drinks their victim’s blood. Frightening, right?

So, how was it? Hella scary, right? Be sure to check your window, wardrobe, and the space underneath your bed to make sure that there’s nothing lurking there. Be careful, you might find something you didn't expect! 

Do you know any other scary Japanese ghosts? Tell us in the comments below!

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