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Haunted Places in Japan

Ewa Nowogorski

Japanese people can be superstitious, especially the older folks. They will slightly fear and respect the unknown spirit world, and they believe in the utmost respect for the dead. A lot of younger people, however, will seek thrills and go to haunted locations if they believe in ghosts.

There aren’t a whole lot of haunted places across the country, and there aren’t shows like Ghost Hunters that teach all of America about the idea of recording and reporting ghosts. At most, there are fictional ghost films and short programs on the news or something that will go out to a haunted place and film, explaining a little bit about the history of the location.

The most infamous haunted places in Japan are probably the Haunted Mansion in Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park and Aokigahara Forest, both located near Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi prefecture.

The haunted House at Fuji Q is genuinely believed to be haunted by many Japanese people, and some tourists come to the amusement park not to ride the coasters, but to take a walk inside Japan’s biggest haunted house.  The attraction was not an original house or building that was adapted to serve guests, but rather a specifically designed building inspired by an actual hospital that once existed in the area. The hospital was very famous and had lots of professional doctors and great facilities. But one day, the head and staff of the hospital started to take some fresh organs from the patients who had gone there for surgery. The organs of the patients were inserted into jars of chemicals and sold to distant places while the bodies were put inside large, wooden crates, forgotten. In order to get revenge, the victims’ spirits came back and started haunting and killing the doctors. Finally, the entire hospital was abandoned. This is the urban legend that is still told among people the real people who live around there.

Aokigahara Forest is probably genuinely haunted because there have been hundreds of suicides in this forest over the decades. Probably Japan’s number one suicide destination, salarymen with huge debt or extremely stressed or abused women will come here to end their lives, getting themselves lost and hanging themselves on a tree. Every year, thousands of volunteers go into the forest and look for bodies. There are signs posted all over the forest warning people that it is not too late for them to get help, also providing a hotline to a mental support center. I have been at the foot of this forest when hiking, and I must admit that the location truly is eary, and I would not like to spend the night there.

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