Happy Halloween – The Japanese Way

Nicholas C. Rossis

Akaname | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Akaname: a goblin-like spirit primarily known for licking the filth off of Japan’s bathtubs. Image via Atlas Obscura

Halloween is all about scary fun, right? Well, it looks like the Japanese have been celebrating it for ages, judging by these outhouse-haunting spirits! Take your pick from the following creepy spirits, brought to you courtesy of Eric Grundhauser of Atlas Obscura.

Toire no Hanako-san

One of the best-known of Japan’s bathroom spirits is Toire no Hanako-san, or Hanako of the Toilet. Like all ghost stories, the details of Hanako’s origins vary somewhat from telling to telling, but in general, Hanako is said to be the ghost of a young girl who died around WWII, and now haunts school bathrooms. Usually described as wearing an out-of-fashion red dress and bob haircut, she can be summoned by going to the girl’s bathroom on the third floor, knocking on the third stall three…

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