Installing an overnight trail cam at our old house reveals an unexpected visitor.

It’s been a year since we bought an old house in the Japanese countryside for just one million yen (US$7,460). The SoraHouse, as we’ve named it, is a fixer-upper that needs a fair bit of renovation before it’s liveable, but over the past 12 months we’ve been slowly chipping away at all the odd jobs, and having a bit of fun in the process.

Our reporter Go Hatori has been helping out with renovations at the old house, and for some reason, he’s always felt like someone or something was watching him while he worked. The house’s remote riverside location made Go wonder if he might be sensing the presence of a ghost, seeing as spirits are believed to gather at sites of water in Japan, and so one day he decided to take action, turning up to the house with a couple of trail cams.

For Go, the kitchen, the dampest place in the house, had always given him the creeps, so that’s where he set up one of the trail cams. The cameras are equipped with infrared sensors so they would turn on and record if there was any movement.

Then he set up the other cam under the house, where he often feels cold air, and he left the two cameras in place for a week until his next visit to the house.

When he returned a week later, Go immediately went to the kitchen to check the camera there, as he was certain that would be the best area for catching paranormal activity.

▼ His heart pounding with excitement, Go checked the image and found..

▼ …the image of a mysterious man dressed in black.

▼ “Hang on a sec…” thought Go, “…that’s me!!

Yes, the only image the camera in the kitchen recorded was of Go in the hallway. Feeling disheartened, he decided to retrieve the other camera from underneath the house, figuring that would also be a dud.

He didn’t expect much when he checked the images, but he decided to flick through them anyway. The first images he saw were no surprise — simply him and his boss Yoshio doing work around the house on 19 August.

▼ However, the next day, at 11:35 p.m., the SoraHouse appeared to have a visitor!

▼ Is that…a tanuki??!

Tanuki are known to be mysterious shapeshifters so Go figured this may very well be a spirit of some sort, trapped in the body of an animal. Whatever it was, it didn’t just visit one day, as it returned again on 23 August, at around 1 in the morning!

According to the timestamps, this creature hung around the house for a good while, and Go was able to get a good look at its tail, which was striped. This made him realise it was more likely to be a raccoon rather than a tanuki, as tanuki have short, unstriped tails.

The raccoon really liked the SoraHouse, returning again on 26 August, this time just before 5 in the morning.

That same morning, less than five hours later, Go and Yoshio arrived at the house, with Go retrieving the cameras.

After checking the footage, Go realised these two images of him retrieving the camera were the scariest of all.

After realising that a local raccoon was frequenting the house during the night, Go remembered seeing this trap they found a few months back in the shed, and wondered if the former owners had used it to capture the animals.

Raccoons are a problem for agricultural communities in rural areas like this one, and the animals are becoming so widespread that even authorities in the heart of Tokyo have been capturing them.

For now, though, here at the SoraHouse the raccoons are welcome to snoop around and enjoy the grounds. As long as they’re not possessed by spirits, mind you, but don’t worry — Go will be leaving those cameras in position after each visit, so he’ll keep us updated with any paranormal sightings!

Photos © SoraNews24
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