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Haunted Houses in Japan

Ewa Nowogorski

I think every country has its own superstitions, and Japan is no exception to that. There are plenty of people who believe in spirits and ghosts, and there are quite a few places across the country which are believed to be haunted.

The most famous haunted house in Japan is probably the attraction in Fuji-Q Highland Park, located next to Mt. Fuji in Saitama Prefecture. While more of an attraction than an actual haunted house, some people genuinely believe that there are spirits living there. I personally visited the place once and toured inside of it, but I didn’t come across any ghosts. I would have loved to though.

There is a general belief that spirits haunt the houses and rooms that they died in, so many people actually stay away from renting such properties. For this reason, the rent on these places is usually several times cheaper than normal, and real estate agents are required to disclose this nature of information to you before you make a decision to rent.

According to Japanese myth, deceased people will come back as ghosts in order to haunt the living, especially if they died a lonely and untimely death. There are certainly many horror movies that narrate ghosts as creepy and dangerous beings that try to bring living victims down to the underworld with them.

I think ghosts here are feared by those who believe in them, but there are definitely ghosts that people respect. Some locations are believed to be protected by ghosts, and people will leave offerings in areas where they believe certain ghosts roam. It is also generally the way people appease angry ghosts. Leaving an offering and some prayers will usually do the trick and calm angry or sad ghosts down so that they can move on to the next world or continue to be a peace protector.

Do you believe in ghosts? What is your image of them?

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