2 spine-chilling Japanese urban legends you need to know about

Japanese folklore is full of scary urban legends. Here are a few that will definitely send your mind to a dark and horrifying place.

The Ring (2002)
© DreamWorks Pictures / Amblin Entertainment / BenderSpin / Kuzui Enterprises
The Ring (2002)

It’s safe to say that Japanese horror folklore is incredibly rich, especially given that most of the ghosts from all our favourite horror movies come from the archipelago. Characters like Sadako and Kayako have been haunting millions of people who have watched The Ring and The Grudge.

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But there’s many more scary Japanese stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. Here are two that will send chills down your spine.

Kuchisake-Onna: The slit-mouthed woman

According to legend, Kuchisake-Onna was an incredibly beautiful woman and all the locals only had eyes for her. Her husband was drunk with jealousy and could not stand the attention she received. Not to mention, he was definitely unstable as well.

So, in an attempt to keep her all for himself he slit her mouth to make her less desirable now. He allegedly said, as he slashed her perfect face:

Who will find you beautiful now?

It is said that her ghost has been wandering Japan ever since and that she hides her scar with a surgical mask. She apparently goes around asking young boys if they think she is pretty and if they say no, she hacks them to death with a pair of scissors. If the boys say yes, she then reveals her face to them and asks them the question once again.

You can only imagine what happens to the boys who dare to answer no to her…

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Aka Manto: The one with the red coat

Aka Manto’s place of operation may make you giggle, but that doesn’t make his crimes any less atrocious.

It is said that this ghostly creature, who is draped in a bright red coat, appears in public toilets. He then goes around the stalls asking people if they want blue or red toilet paper. The thought of being disturbed while you’re on your throne is annoying enough…

According to folklore, if you answer ‘red’, then Aka Manto cuts your throat. Answer ‘blue’, then he strangles you. Either way, it looks like your demise is inevitable unless you scramble out of the toilet without using any toilet paper.

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