Urban Legends Around the World: Toilet Ghosts (Japan)


Hanako San is an infamous Japanese urban legend about a young girl’s ghost that’s supposed to haunt school bathrooms, scaring everyone who enters. She is said to knock on the stall, and calls her name. You might think this absurd but the thought of Hanako San really creeps me out.

Hanako, almost achieved the status of a national phenomenon in Japanese myth 20 years ago, when numerous stories of ghost-sightings swept all throughout the nation’s school buildings. Every student had a “Hanako” story to tell. Of course, there are a lot of stories but each one varied. I’m sure every schoolchild in the country, at one time or another, has been reluctant of going to the school toilet alone.

Kashima Reiko

Kashima Reiko is a female ghost without legs who also haunt in school bathrooms. You can hear her asking “where are my legs?” when people enter the toilet. You must answer her correctly unless you want your legs to be twisted from your body if you give her the wrong answer. There are different ways to answer. Here’s an example of one version:

When she asks you where her legs are, you should answer ” at Meishin Expressway”. She will then ask you another question, “who told you that?”. You should reply with “Kashima Reiko told me that.”  That way you’ll be saved.

Aoi Kami / Aka Kami

Another version of the Japanese toilet ghost is Aoi Manto or Aka Manto, a male ghost who waits in the last stall in the girls’ bathroom (this ghost sounds like a pervertJ). Anyone who enters the toilet hears a voice asking, “Which do you prefer, the blue paper or the red paper?”

If they pick “blue,” then they’re going to get killed by hanging. If they pick “red,” he then kills them by slashing their neck or back repeatedly with a blade, to make them look like they’re wearing a red cape.

So the next time you’re in Japan (or maybe just anywhere else) and you hear someone call your name or ask you a question and you don’t know who, think twice before answering and I would even suggest that you get out of there and run as fast as you can.


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