As well as barbecues, rooftop beer gardens, and delicious ice-cream, summer in Japan is time for horror. No, not the fear of opening your August electricity bill after all those nights sleeping with the air-con on, but scary stories. Whether you get your scare fix by going to the movies, visiting a pop-up haunted house, or do it old-school by telling ghost stories around a campfire, in Japan, summer is the season to cool off by giving yourself the chills.

I’ve never quite seen the appeal of actual horror films, personally, and tend to find them mildly distressing, although not in an exciting way like other people do. “Well, that’s kind of gross”, is about the strongest reaction I can muster. I do love Japanese TV though, and there’s no shortage of scary programming here in summer. Honto ni atta kowai hanashi (“scary stories that totally actually happened”) – or Honkowa for short – celebrated 15 years onscreen this year with a summer special that went out on the night of August 16th. During the broadcast, something unexpected happened – and viewers took to Twitter to ask the eternal question into the internet ether: “Did anyone else see that, or was it just me!?”

Honkawa consists of dramatisations of spooky “true stories”, and the bit that freaked out viewers all over Japan occurred during the segment Yami e no shikaku (“seeing into the dark”), a creepy little tale about Chihiro Morikawa, a woman with the power to see “things that should not be seen”. Morikawa, incidentally, is played by Hitomi Kuroki, whose dulcet tones you might recognise as the voice of Hisako in Studio Ghibli’s latest outing When Marnie Was There (if you watched it in Japanese, that is).

Anyway, Morikawa asks her coworker “Hey Taeko-san, have you ever felt that there’s, like, someone right beside you?”, and Taeko tells her “Not really. Morikawa-san, you’re being a bit weird you know.”

And then – at that very moment!!! – well, you should watch the video for yourself really.

▼ Having a photo in your locker is way cooler than a mirror anyway.


While plenty of commenters took to the netwaves to declare “it’s a real ghost!”, others suggested that the film-makers had added the face – visible for only a few seconds in the mirror behind Taeko-san – on purpose as some kind of publicity stunt. Others, meanwhile, claimed that the image could be the reflection of a crew member. In which case, he’s a lucky guy! Getting his face plastered all over the internet without doing anything special. Although, perhaps he won’t be too pleased to discover that people are tweeting pictures of his face with comments like “SO SCARY” and “OMG THE SCARES!!!”

What do you think, Rocketeers: Is this the real ghost? Is this just fantasy? Let us know in the comments!

Source: 2channel via NEWS matomemori
Top image: Fuji TV
Featured image: 2channel via NEWS matomemori, edited by RocketNews24