Here’s one way to keep your kids’ hands off your phone…and possibly give them some nightmares to boot. 

Let’s get right to the point: Raise your hand if you’re an exasperated parent or caregiver. Now raise your other hand if your kids mess around on your phone and you’re sick of it.

If you fall into the latter camp, luckily Japanese Twitter user @kamanii24 has a piece of advice for you:

“Kids won’t fool around with your phone if you set the background to a picture of a Noh mask [能面]. I recommend it.”

Yikes! If you’re inherently creeped out by lifeless objects with human characteristics such as dolls and masks, then the picture above probably gave you quite a fright. Imagine what it would do to an unsuspecting child who sneakily picks up your phone to play a game of Candy Crush only to find something much more sinister!

So what exactly is this “Noh” referenced in the tweet above? Noh theater is the most ancient theatrical art–it’s part-acting, part-music, part-dance–performed in Japan to this day. A key element integral to each performance is a Noh mask worn by the main actor to represent the character he (or relatively recently compared to the art’s history, she) is portraying. That mask can be of the human, spiritual, or demonic variety, and if you ask us, all types are a little unsettling.

▼ Get a feel for the flavor of Noh with this clip from a play titled “The Death Stone.” Notice the distinctive movement of the actor in the second half of the video.

It seems that @kamanii24’s chosen Noh mask did the trick for a time but her kids eventually stopped being spooked by it. She posted a follow-up message two days later with a newly chosen mask:

▼ “The first one no longer works so I found a new one.”

Other net users left plenty of helpful suggestions for future Noh masks to use once her kids become unafraid of the second one:

“At this rate you’ll be using a Hannya [a jealous female demon] mask in two days!”

“I also recommend using Hashihime [“maiden of the bridge” – a jealous demon who inhabits bridges and waits for her lover to come]. It’s one step in terror before Hannya!”

“Are you gonna go with Sadako [of Ring fame] next week? I’d love to follow what happens next.”

“When I was a child at my grandparents’ house, there were real masks hung up in the large room where I slept that glared at me. This reminded me of being afraid back then for the first time in a while.”

“It would be awesome if you found a GIF where the eyes occasionally blink.”

For reference, here’s what a typical hannya mask looks like:

If you decide to try this tactic with your kids, just make sure you remember what you’ve done…otherwise you might be in for a nasty shock when you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night!

Source: Twicolle
Featured image: Twitter/@kamanii24