Tokyo’s astronomical rent costs mean people will go to great lengths to find a cheaper deal. For many, this means living up to a 30-minute walk from their apartment’s nearest train station. Others might choose to live in extremely small or narrow rooms or may opt for what amounts to a cardboard box on an apartment building’s roof.

There is, however, another option that almost seems too good to be true: So-called “Accident Site” apartments. These are rooms in which a previous tenant has died inside, usually from non-natural causes. Some rental agencies specifically advertise rooms as “accident site,” while some agencies just list a room that’s mysteriously low-priced and let people figure it out for themselves.

Certain bargain hunting types with extreme mental fortitude and who don’t mind the occasional bleeding wall or mysterious, warm puff of breath on their cheek while they sleep, actually seek out these deals, but the large majority of Japan avoid them.

Personally, since I’m a part-time volunteer Ghost Buster, I wouldn’t mind, and neither did the Japanese Netizen below, who sparked a debate on website alfalfalfa.com with the following post:

“So, it turns out ghosts don’t exist. I’ve been renting an accident site apartment for two years now. It’s got a kitchen, living room, and dining room and it all costs just 20,000 yen (US$200) a month. Oh, and it’s just five minutes from the station. I haven’t experienced any type of haunting or seen any ghosts the whole time.”

“I’m telling you, it’s a great deal and I feel fine!”


Responses flooded in, with some ghost denialists rationalizing the original poster’s choice and others warning the guy might end up like the hapless victims of J-Horror spirits: 

“It really depends on the cause of death. If it was something especially tragic, there must be at least some bad mojo lingering around.”

“Even if you didn’t believe in ghosts, just knowing someone died in your apartment like that, I’m sure your mind would play tricks on you and you’d go insane.”

“Believe in ghosts or not, the least you could do is put some incense out for the poor guy,” (referring to a Buddhist ritual honoring the dead)

“I’m hoping this guy ends up with a cute female ghost and it turns into a romantic comedy.”

Here, the original poster came back to comment:

“The rental agency must believe in ghosts, because they took it really seriously. For the first year they called a bunch of times asking if I’d seen or heard anything strange.” (Maybe they know something this guy doesn’t…)

This sparked the clever retort of:

“Dude, you should tell them you saw a ghost! They’ll lower your rent even more!”

Finally, one voice of reason stood out in the crowd to lay the question of whether ghosts exist or not to rest, no pun intended:

“If ghosts actually did exist, we would need to rebuild all the hospitals in the world every year or so, or they’d get overrun with the lost and damned.”

Well, with that knowledge firmly in mind, I guess it’s time to strap on my Proton Pack and go hunting for some new living arrangements!

Source: alfalfalfa.com
Photos: Feature, Inset