Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Japanese Horror: Abandoned Building


Translated from Japanese by Shishou(師匠)


Short Story



This story took place when I was still an elementary school kid.

Our town had a 2-storied tall abandoned building which was in a pretty rundown condition. The window panes were shattered, walls had cracks---the entire building looked as if it was about to collapse. Due to this, the locals feared going near it.

One certain day, I, together with my friends, decided to go inside it as a test of courage*.
It was still afternoon time, so we decided to go up to the 2nd floor and investigate it.
On the 2nd floor we came across a door that had something written on it.

"I'm inside of this room."

We entered the room and progressed inside it. At the end of the room, the path divided into two: left and right. There was something written on the wall.

"Go left to find me."

So, we continued on the left path. Of course, we were already scared by this point, but we needed to know the person behind this. At the end of the path, we came across two rooms: one was on left, other was on right.

"My head in the left room. My body is in the right room." the wall read.

As soon as my friends read the inscription, they frantically ran away out of the building.
But I didn't want to give up after making this far. I mustered courage and entered the right room.

The wall at the end of the room read "My body is beneath this."

I looked down.

"My head has come for you from the left room. Don't look back."

Without wasting any second, I jumped out of the window.

Since then, I haven't been in vicinity of that building.

* Test of courage(肝試し): Test of courage or Kimodameshi, as called in Japanese, is a game played by Japanese kids/young adults where they test each others courage by entering creepy places.
More info: hyakumonogatari.com

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  1. if I may be honest......I have read this story before...a few times at that....and I STILL got goosebump whenever I imagined it while reading.
    I mean, come on!! the body is right beneath you, buried there! and the head comes to get you!! be thankful that it's not like zombie movies where the zombie (in this case, the body) stick out its hand to grabs you! and the head! yes the head!!! in what way would it approach you!? either way (by rolling on the floor or flying) it's still scary thing to imagine!!
    the old folks in my country also have a ghost story about a severed head, it was like this.
    just as you know, waaaaay back then, old folks don't live in a place brightly lit like our era, electricity was scarce and expensive, so whenever you go it's dim and bleak.
    in my country, this severe ghost was called by many things, one of it was "Ndas Glundung" or equal to "Rolling Head".
    This ghost, like dim or dark area, especially the dark area beneath benches, beds, and etc. But rumor also said that it drops from the roof.
    Now imagine how scary to meet something like that in dark places?
    people back then back from work late at night, on the dimmed lit street, suddenly some kind of ball-like thing rolling infront of you, when you got closer, oh hey! it's Severe-head-san smiling!
    or imagine this, while you're half asleep and wanted to go the bathroom. when you stepped on the floor, a head suddenly rolling out from below the bed, giggling.
    the sign of this ghost when it came out are, the atmosphere around you suddenly got cold, you heard something like a basketball falling several times.
    i....always scared of this kind of story when the ghost was a severed head and tried to get its victim

    1. Are you a fellow Indonesian too hemu hemu-san? Hahaha I know about that folks story. It's creepy and weird at the same time! My grandma told me this one story about her in childhood times. She was going to the bathroom at night and suddenly there is a hairy hand "walking" in front of her to the well. She just stand there and got confused. Later in the morning, she just realized how frightening the last night was!

    2. Rolling head?? That sounds astoundingly horrifying. I can already feel the creepy by imagining a situation where you are walking alone on a street, no illumination whatsoever aside from moon, you pass under a tree, a thud follows and you turn back only to see a horrific head rolling towards you. That's the very definition of scary!

      @Winda Natalie
      Hairy hand? Do you mean a hand without any torso? Indonesia does have one heck of a horror stories.

    3. @Winda Natalie
      Aye, we're fellow countrymen! 😄
      No, I think not just Indonesia who has one heck of scary story, I think besides Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, and etc also has lots of heck of horror stories. Especially that ghost from Thailand's ghost story....the ghost is a FLYING head and entrails...It's basically a Head, Lunge, plus all of the internal organs stuff call the stomach....FLYING!

  2. Hmm, I wonder how things would've went if the narrator went into the left room with the head instead.

    1. In that case nothing creepy would have happened as the body can't navigate without eyes(or brain to be exact).

    2. When I first read this I imagined that if things had gone the other way the head would've suddenly come to life. Because I assume that for the head to come into the room with the body in the story originally, it would've had to either roll or fly towards the narrator. Or, in a different outcome, the body would've shuffled in from the other room (there's a few tropes about this, for example: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PullingThemselvesTogether). And if there was no window in that room with the head...

    3. Nice info on the link. I've read several stories that makes use of that trope. But yeah, if the body came towards the narrator instead of the head, it would've been helluva creepier as the image of a decapitated body dragging itself on the floor, slowly and slowly advancing towards the narrator, is creepy enough to make someone faint.


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