Contemporary Legend – Japan

“When you go to school in Japan, a lot of times each school would have their own ‘seven wonders’ or ‘mysteries’. Every school makes up these ridiculous stories, but the most common one that people always hear about is this ghost story about Hanako-san. Basically it’s about this girl that got trapped in a bathroom at school and died. People using bathrooms after school hours alone usually attribute any abnormal sounds or creaks to Hanako-san, making it the most popular out of the other wonders.”

The informant, who was born in Japan and grew up in Hawaii, learned of these wonders when he took summer classes in Japan. He thinks that these ghost stories are just a way people use to get students to stop loitering around campus after school.

I agree with the informant. However, I also see how most people would easily believe in Hanako-san. With ghost stories especially, context is a huge factor. If I was, say, a middle school or high school student all alone after school at a place I’m not supposed to be, I would be very nervous and my senses would probably be extremely heightened and sensitive. Not to mention bathrooms are scary places if they’re not well lit and empty. The quietness on top of the unfriendly cleanliness of cold hard bathroom utilities is sure to make anyone second-guess themselves regardless of what they might think outside of that context.