The times they are a-changing, but ghosts never do.

It’s 2022, and we’ve been putting up with this pandemic for like, what… ten years now? During this prolonged period of malaise it’s hard to find any bright side, but Japanese comedian and YouTuber Sequence Hayatomo might have found small consolation.

Unfortunately, this is made much smaller because it only applies to those who share his unique “gift.” When Hayatomo was a young boy he witnessed a murder at an adjacent building and even made eye contact with the dying victim. Since then, he claims to have been able to see dead people, that murder victim having been the first of many.

It’s an ability that he largely kept secret throughout school and even when he started out as a comedian. However, he has since been open about it and even wrote a book titled Yabai Ikirei (Crazy Living Spirits). Earlier this year, Sequence Hayatomo had an hour-long talk with YouTuber Yasu and fellow member of his comedy troupe Worries Japan, Mekurukun Kinjo.

▼ The full video

They talked about a variety of supernatural topics, but one that caught the eyes of more than a few people covered “How to Identify Ghosts in the COVID Era.”

Hayatomo explains that it’s been a whole lot easier to spot ghosts on the street since the pandemic began – because they never wear a mask.

▼ A clip of the part in question

He also readily admits that not wearing a mask doesn’t immediately mark someone as a ghost, jokingly adding that they could just as easily be a “medium yankee,” a term referring to a person with an inner rebellious or anti-social streak. Still, masks really help to narrow down the playing field, or to put it another way: Not all people without masks are ghosts, but all ghosts are people without masks.

Kinjo, reading a question from a viewer, asked if this meant that because of the pandemic there would soon be a spike in ghosts with masks on, because they died in the past two years. Hayatomo quickly dismissed the idea, saying it wouldn’t happen because no one likes wearing masks.

Although that’s a bit of a cryptic answer, it makes sense in a range of paranormal beliefs. For example, those who subscribe to Beetlejuice rules of the afterlife would understand that ghosts are stuck in the clothing they died in but do have some ability to remove accessories like Alec Baldwin did with his glasses. On the other hand, believers in ghosts like the ones in The Others would say that they are trapped in the time that they died, so if they died during the pandemic they probably would wear a mask. That being said, since those ghosts see everyone else as ghosts, they probably wouldn’t go out into crowded streets much.

Hmm, I’ll have to research more movies to see if this really checks out. But in the meantime, it would appear that Hayatomo’s comments made many viewers realize that they too have the gift of seeing the supernatural.

“Once in a while a ghost comes into the store where I work and starts talking obnoxiously loud on their phone.”
“So throw salt or holy water at anyone without a mask… got it!”
“Next time I see someone without a mask I’ll shout: ‘Go away evil spirit!'”
“I agree, people without masks are not a part of this world.”
“I saw three ghosts yesterday! My third eye must have finally opened!”
“Not masked means not human.”
“I think there’s probably a few ghosts who wear masks.”

Some comments also pointed out that there actually is a famous ghost of Japanese supernatural lore that is known for her mask. Kuchisake-onna is a female spirit who often appears with a mask on her face and asks you if you think she’s beautiful.

▼ However, the question is a trap and will generally result in your death or disfigurement not matter how you answer.

Nevertheless, I’m sure Hayatomo would rule Kuchisake-onna out as a mere urban legend, unlike the real ghosts he has encountered.

So, if you too can see spooks and specters among us, there’s still some prime time left to spot them in the streets, especially in Japan where people aren’t really looking to get rid of masks anytime soon.

Source: YouTube/シークエンスはやともチャンネル〜1人で見えるもん。 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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