Ghost Stories (3 from Around the World)

3 Ghost Stories (Japan, Brazil, Mexico)

by Jane Walsh

Three Ghost Stories from around the world, article by Jane Walsh
Three Ghost Stories from Around the World by Jane Walsh

Nearly all of us have grown up hearing ghost stories and folktales that belong to our own traditions and culture, yet there are so many other captivating tales from many other cultures that have been haunting children and adults throughout the ages.

This article looks at 3 bone-tingling ghost stories and traditions from around the world.




The Girl in the Bathroom

The schools in Japan echo with a cursed secret, and if you go into a girls bathroom on the third floor and look inside the third toilet, she might be waiting for you there.

Her name is Hanako-san, a small girl in a little red skirt with her hair cut into a bob.

To make her appear, knock 3 times and call her name.  Maybe she wants to play with you, or maybe she wants to flush your soul down the toilet and condemn you to hell.

Exactly what this she wants from her victims differs depending on the region of Japan.  In one region she may be a lizard that devours you while in another she may grab you with a bloody hand and pull you towards the toilet bowl.

But Hanako isn’t alone, there is another schoolgirl called Kashima Reiko that also haunts girls’ bathrooms.  Said to have been cut in half by a train, she asks people where her legs have gone, and will rip their legs off if she is not satisfied with the answer.

The Night Demon

A tall and skinny woman, with long scraggly hair and red eyes tiptoes across people’s roof tops at night and watches them, watches them while they eat, while they play, while they get ready for bed.

As soon as someone is calm and relaxed and has slipped off to sleep, if they have gone to bed on a full stomach, she will creep into their bedroom and sit on their chest so that they cannot move, and the more you try to fight it, the heavier the weight on your chest, you will feel like you are suffocating and there is no escape.

This sensation is like sleep paralysis.  There are many reports from people saying at the time this happens they feel as though there is a malevolent presence in their room, hovering above them.

In Brazil, this force is the skinny witch like woman known as La Pisadeira.  People believe that she seeks to punish gluttony.  Stay safe by going to bed a little hungry.

The Wailing Woman

A tortured woman named Maria from Mexico with long dark hair and a piercing look of desperation.  Said to have, during a fit of rage, drowned her children in a river.  All after being denied by man she loved.

When her rage lifted, now devastated and horrified by what she had done.  She marched back down to the river and drowned herself.  Consigning herself to the same fate as her children.

But because of the nature of her crime, she’s destined to roam the earth until the end of time.  Drowning in her inconsolable grief and the weight of her terrible mistake.

Nicknamed by locals the wailing woman or ‘La Llorona’, made American famous with the recent movie.

People can still hear her cries, and some have claimed to have seen a woman dressed in white, soaking wet, walking on the riverbank.

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