Summer’s here, and that means it’s time to gather your friends and head to a haunted house to scare the heat out of yourself. But maybe you’re a really tough guy or girl, and nothing like a few kids dressed up as zombies is going to give you a fright. You need a real ghost to help cool you down.

Too bad ghosts aren’t real, right? Well, after reading this story, you might not be so sure…

*Please note that the top images has absolutely no relation to the story. It’s for illustrative purposes only.

Now, if you ask us, ghosts are pure fiction. At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we’re curled up under the sheets after watching Ju-on at night. But sometimes we wonder…

Take this story from Aomori Prefecture. Just after midnight this Tuesday, emergency services got a mysterious phone call–the caller didn’t make a single sound. While we might have just written it off as some punk kids playing a prank, the fire department responded to the call and 10 people headed out.

▼Aomori Prefecture

aomoir map

After traveling for 40 minutes, the firefighters arrived at the source of the call–which turned out to be a completely empty summer home. A search of the house turned up absolutely nothing, and a further search of the area found nothing more.

Media reports suggest that the call was made when the wind blew against the frayed phone lines, creating an accidental connection. Since the home was set up for a rotary phone, numbers are represented by electrical pulses–dialing a 1 sends one electrical pulse, a 2 sends two electrical pulses, and so on. We realize some of our readers might not be familiar with “rotary phones,” so be sure to give this Wikipedia article a look…or just ask your parents and see how long it takes them to stop crying.

In fact, high winds were reported around the time the silent call was made–though no official cause of the call has been reported yet. A spokesperson from NTT said that while it wasn’t impossible, the likelihood that the wind caused the phone call was quite low.

▼Here is one of Aomori’s more famous mountains, named, literally, Mount Fear.


So, what do ghosts have to do with this? Well, besides the fact that this is how a good ghost story starts–mysterious phone calls emanating from empty houses in the middle of nowhere sounds like a modern Edgar Allen Poe story to us–the location of the house pours on a few gallons of eeriness.

It turns out that the summer house is built in a rather…inauspicious location. The mountainous area was the site of “the world’s largest mountaineering disaster in the modern history of mountain climbing.” An expedition of 210 Japanese soldiers took off in 1902 and marched through the Hakkōda Mountains, when they were unexpectedly hit with a terrible blizzard. Becoming lost, the men wandered in the mountains for days until the survivors–11 of the original 210 soldiers–were found.

▼A statue dedicated to the expedition


We’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not the spirits of deceased 20th century soldiers were playing tricks on emergency services, but we’re not sure how to feel about this story. On one hand, we’d really like to sleep tonight. On the other hand, these chills might cut our air conditioner usage by half this summer.

Polled on their thoughts of the cause of the “prank” call, Japanese netizens gave the following answers

It was the wind!  744 votes
It was ghosts using the wind to make a phone call!  1,404 votes

It wasn’t an accident at all. Someone was playing a prank.  1,604 votes
The culprit was Yasu!  6,129 votes

The final poll answer should probably be ignored–it’s an old Japanese meme referring to the NES game The Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken.

So, what do you think, readers? Is this the work of some vengeful spirits or a freak accident of nature? And while you’re thinking about your answer, how about bringing us some night lights? Because without them, we are not going to sleep after this for a week!

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News, Hachimakikou
Images: Wikipedia (Toby Alter), Wikipedia (1, 2, 3)