What is Aokigahara ? it sounds like the name of a cool anime show or a character from street fighter right ? Actually it’s a forest located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. As we all know Mount Fuji is one of Japans 3 sacred mountains so I find it hard to believe people travel to Aokigahara to commit suicide.
Can’t even hike peacefully
The crazy part is they have workers who go into the forest and find the dead bodies and have to carry them all the way down to the mountain. Then they have to play rock paper scissors to decide who will sleep with the corpse that night. It’s bad luck for a corpse to be alone the first night it’s dead. The spirit will scream all night and the body will go crazy. Japan is known for high suicide rates. Sometimes they have the most suicides in the world.
Yurei making me scared !
Aokigahara is said to be the most haunted place in Japan. Stories are told of screams originating from the forest randomly. To travel in the forest and not get lost you have to use tape to create a trail. GPS and cell phones and compasses don’t work in the forest due to high iron content in the soil or demons as the locals believe. Yurei (Japanese for ghost) are blamed for cutting visitors tape so people will get lost and die in the forest. Screams are also blamed on Yurei because those souls can’t rest or are evil it seems. If you’re near Japan and want to suicide or have one of the scariest hikes in your life then visit Aokigahara.
I loved my adopted family though. They were so kind to me. I ate well, I lived in a warm and comfortable house, and I got to stay up pretty late.Let me tell you about my family real fast: First, there’s my mother. I never called her Mom or anything like that; I just called her by her first name. Janice. She didn’t mind at all though. I called her that for so long, I don’t think she even noticed. Anyhow, she was a very kind woman. I think that she is the one who recommended my adoption in the first place. Sometimes I would lay my head against her in front of the television and she would tickle my back with her nails. She is one of those Hollywood mothers.Second, there’s Dad. His real name was Richard, but he never really liked me much so I began to refer to him as Dad in a desperate attempt to gain his affection. It didn’t work. I think that no matter what I called him, he would never love me as much as his own child.
That’s understandable so I really didn’t press the matter. The most notable attribute of Dad was his unmoving sternness. He was not afraid to pop his children when they did something wrong. I found that out before I could use the restroom properly. He didn’t hesitate to spank me. Well, I’m in line and it’s because of his methods.Lastly, is my sister. Little Emily was really young when I was adopted, so we were about the same age, but she was slightly older. I liked to think of her as my little sister, though. We got along better than any sibling could get along. We would always stay up late together and just talk. Well, she did a lot of the talking; I mostly just listened because I loved her. It was a great setup that we had!
We were short on bedrooms, so- because I didn’t want to sleep in the living room by myself when I was littler I had a pallet set up for me next to her bed on the floor. This is where I have slept since. But it was cool with me because I enjoyed being with her and I had always felt pretty protective of my little sis. Everything changed on a horrible Wednesday night. I was at home taking a nap when little Emily opened the front door. The sound of the door opening pulled me to a state of consciousness and I walked from the room down the hall to the living room. That’s when I first remembered it was Wednesday. I was never any good at keeping track of what day it was. Actually I’ll just go ahead and say it: My sense of time was HORRIBLE! But nevertheless, I knew it was Wednesday because Emily had just come home from her Church’s youth group gathering.
She walked in the front door and hugged me, and then was followed in by Dad and Janice. “You have a good nap?” Janice said teasingly as she ruffled up my hair. I just shook my head away and snorted in a way that clearly expressed that I was teasing back with her. “Don’t you snort at your mother like that!” said my father gruffly with authority. He shut the door behind him and hung up his coat. “I was clearly joking…” I growled under my breath. He must not have heard me because I didn’t feel him smack me. Emily then proceeded to our room and I followed.She started telling me about her day. You know… usual teenage girl stuff. But I listened so that she would feel better. After her summary she suggested watching TV and I obliged and jumped onto the couch as she was going for the remote.She rolled her eyes at my little-brother-like immaturity and scooted me over and sat down. The TV turned on and we watched it together until the sun went down. Emily was the kind of girl that instead of watching cartoons and soap operas- would rather watch Discovery and Animal Planet and Natural Geographic.
I like those too so I didn’t mind. Actually, those were the only channels that can hold my attention. So it got late and Janice walked up behind the sofa. “Emily it’s past your bedtime. Turn off the television and go to your room. You too.” she pointed at me. Emily turned off the program we were watching grudgingly and stood up.She started down the hallway to our room. As I followed I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. We went into our room and Emily turned off the light. Just as she did, I caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. It was out the window, but as soon as I redirected my line of sight to where the window was no longer in my peripheral vision, what it was that I thought I saw was gone. I still remained alert. For my sister’s sake. I laid there in the darkness with nothing but the thin ray of light from the street lamp outside to illuminate the room. It wasn’t much. Time and time again I could have sworn that I heard subtle sounds just out the window… a twig break, leaves crunching, clothes jostling. And all the while I could smell a faint stench of sweat and blood. I kept my eyes open most of the night. The sounds outside subsided and the smell left my nose. I began to feel at ease. My eyelids closed. Not long after that, I heard a very loud crash on the other side of the house. I was up in an instant. “THERE’S SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE!” I barked with extreme adrenaline coursing through me. “Wake up!” I shrilly pleaded with Emily.
She did, and as soon as I saw her sit up I ran to my parent’s room… Dad was dead. His neck was splayed open and gaping as blood spilled out of it, off the bed, and onto the floor. I saw that the master bathroom’s door was closed and just before it on the outside was a man. A man… I don’t feel comfortable calling it that. He was very large and rugged. He turned around and saw me and that’s when I saw him accurately for the first time. I wont forget it. His eyes were large and beady and trapped with lust. He was styling a beard that was badly unkempt with blood dripping off. His clothes were dirty and his face was cold. Just then I noticed the same horrid smell of sweat and blood from earlier, but this time it was overwhelming. He saw me. He saw me and grinned with a set of crooked yellow teeth. That smile threw me off. I thought that I was going to die, but then he turned back to the bathroom door completely unperturbed by my presence. I was terrified and didn’t no what to do. I just yelled and cried. I watched as he shouldered through door that was Mom’s only protection. I watched as he raised the large razor that he was carrying, but had obviously neglected to use properly. I watched as he sliced her open and tore her to shreds… I then heard something; the last thing that I wanted to hear…
It was Emily’s scream coming from behind me. The large monstrosity looked up from my butchered mother and stared at my little sister. I was distraught. He stood up and quickly started walking toward us. My sis turned and ran, and I was at a loss when he bypassed me and went straight after her. Why was she still in the house? Had she not assessed the situation and run? Apparently not, and now she was dead and I was alone. I ran after them both. I expected the man to kill her as he had the rest of my family, but I was sadly mistaken. He grabbed her by the arm and jerked her as a way to make clear that he was in control. He dragged her through the house… I was making all the noise I could now, hoping and praying that someone would come to my aid. He mustn’t take her. Not her. As he passed me I backed against the wall and whimpered with terror, “Why?” He didn’t respond except by putting his free hand on my head while Emily screamed in the other and saying “Good boy.” He gave another crooked grin and a very cold, unnatural laugh. I followed him to the door where he dragged my helpless sister after him. He opened it, pulled her out, and slammed it shut behind him. I am now sitting in the house with my mutilated adopted parents, shivering and whimpering with dismay. He’s out there with her. Doing who-knows-what to her, and I can’t do anything. I would if I could, but I can’t. I would chase after them in a heartbeat, but I can’t. I sit here, looking at the front door. I look down at my paws. If only I could open doors…
My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again.
The neighbourhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets. My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.
My mattress is narrow, single sized with room for only myself. I used to have a lovely queen sized bed but that was before.How big is your bed?She asked me while we shared a bench and waited for the bus. I thought she might be soliciting me at first, but then she went on. Trapped by unwritten social conventions, I had to stay put and listen. Her eyes were bloodshot and the bags under them could have passed for bruises. It was clear she hadn’t slept for quite some time. She told me that we get used to luxury far too quickly. We take for granted the electric lights, the sturdy walls and security systems of our houses. The plush couches, the big, wide beds.
Human beings have only lived like this for a very short amount of time. We forget that things weren’t always like this, that the world wasn’t always ours alone. There are stories of monsters out there in the dark, crawling on the fringes of our well-lit civilization. They want what we have. They have always wanted what we have and now we have so much. They knock on our flimsy doors and ask permission to come inside, to have a taste of what we gorge ourselves on. Permission must be given for them to enter but not all invitations are verbal. For example, she said, when I approached this bench you moved to one side. A silent invitation to sit down. You made room and that is an invitation. How big is your bed? How much empty space is there? Enough for someone else to get in beside you? Do you roll over to one side in the middle of the night, do you think? Do you make room, a silent invitation?
At first my parents thought they were self-inflicted in some way, but the shallow fingernail rakes down my back and tooth marks on my neck would have been difficult for me to create. They took me to specialists who were unable to help me, and then, inexplicably, they took me to a man who claimed to be an exorcist.The man claimed that I had a spirit following me. He offered to neutralize the ghost for us. Apparently he couldn’t get rid of it completely, but he could make it unable to hurt me.
He added that children are very resilient against spirits, so for years the worst would be these bites and scratches, so we had some time if we wanted to wait. I don’t know what my parents thought at the time, but they agreed to his treatment and paid him a small sum. The exorcist performed a ritual then, which looked like a prayer followed by three rapid slicing motions as if he were cutting off some evil force that had attached itself to me. He then mimed placing something in a box, locked it, and gave it to my parents with the admonishment that they never open it. In fact, I don’t think he ever gave them the key.
This all happened while I was too young to remember, and I only know about the story because as I was older I asked about the strange box kept at the bottom of my closet from time to time. My parents were always uncomfortable telling the story (I guess they realized they got fleeced by a kook), but they did say that after that, the injuries stopped. We didn’t really bring it up much, and truth be told, I forgot all about it until I saw the box again. Dad died a few years ago, and Mom stayed living in their old home. When she passed away this week, those of us from out of town came in for the funeral and a few of us stayed at the house rather than renting a hotel room. We spent shifts cleaning out the closets, trying to figure out what to do with all of their accumulated stuff when my brother-in-law and his young daughter came upon the box. He asked me about it and I laughed, thinking of the old story and told him about it. “Creepy!” he said. “So you never had the key?” He shook the box, holding it up to his ear. “It sounds empty.”
“I always figured there was some charm or talisman inside. But maybe there’s nothing.” “We could find out,” he offered. “I’ll bet I could pick the lock.” He pulled out a small pocket knife with a slender blade. I hesitated, and the hair on the back of my arms stood up straight. I forced my nerves down, telling myself I was being silly. “Go for it,” I finally said. “You can even keep any ghosts that are locked inside.” He laughed and set about picking the lock. When it didn’t open immediately, he sat down on the bed to concentrate on his task at hand. I saw his daughter was getting agitated. Bored, I thought. “Amber, let’s go downstairs and get some water,” I offered. She took me up on the offer and as we went into the hallway, she grasped my hand tightly. This was strange as she tended to be fairly shy and usually seemed to avoid me the few times of year we saw each other. “Is everything okay, Amber?”
“Yes, Uncle Mark,” she answered quietly. “It’s just that you don’t usually hold my hand. I thought you were shy.” “I’m just afraid of the woman that always follows you.” Her answer was blunt and factual, which made me nearly miss a step. I resisted the urge to look behind me. Mouth dry, I asked, “The woman that always follows me?” “Yes. She always lunges at you like she’s trying to hurt you.” “But I never get hurt. She can’t hurt me,” I said as soothingly as possible. “Of course not. She has no hands and no head, like someone cut them off.” “That still sounds scary!” I indulged, though I felt cold shivers tingling across my neck. “But you’re with me now. Did you realize she can’t hurt you, too?” “No. I’m still afraid, but she stayed upstairs with Daddy. She seemed awfully interested in what was in that box!”
I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.