The Japanese internet is exploding after a succession of high school girls in Fukuoka Prefecture disturbingly collapsed during school hours on Monday. Students who were at the scene took to their Twitter accounts to post updates as the bizarre spectacle unfolded.
While the most likely explanation for the mysterious series of events is that the girls were induced into a state of mass panic after the first girl collapsed, some are attributing it to a vengeful spirit. Feel free to draw your own conclusions from the details, but either way, this is one creepy happening.
Summer is traditionally the season for telling tales of horror and ghost stories in Japan, and it seems like this season is off to a spectacularly eerie start. Around 10am on June 30, a first-year student at Yanagawa High School, a private school in Fukuoka Prefecture, suddenly began screaming in the middle of class and became unable to move her body. Soon after, several of her female classmates began displaying the same strange behavior, and their numbers increased to either 26 or 27 (based on varying reports) as more students from surrounding rooms arrived to see what was happening. The afflicted students, who were all female and ranged from first-years through third-years, were taken home by their guardians. The school eventually shut down completely around 1pm, and remained closed on the following day for authorities to investigate the cause of events.
As bizarre as the above series of events may seem, the story gets even stranger with the addition of a strange twist–some are whispering that the girls were actually possessed by a ghost!
Every year, the first-year students at Yanagawa High School go on an excursion to the nearby Mt. Hiko as part of their studies. In the past, the surrounding area, including the large Aburagi Dam, has been rumored to be inhabited by the spirit of a headless girl. Some people are hypothesizing that one of the high school students became possessed by the ghost during her class’ recent trip, and it came home with her when they returned.
Here are some tweets from a student as the events unfolded on Monday:
“Our school. Rumor’s going around that an evil spirit was brought back from the mountain. Now over 15 people are dropping like flies. The girls are saying things like “Kill me!” and “Die!” It’s too crazy. We’re on standby in the classroom…”
“In the end the school was closed. The number who collapsed: five turned into 15, eventually surpassing 20. 27 girls collapsed in total. Freaky”
Many others commented as the news spread online:
“When I checked up on Yanagawa High School, this came up…are they all right? Is it group hysterics? The pictures are frightening…”
(Text in the picture:) “About 20 female students at Yanagawa High School were possessed by a ghost and collapsed! It’s really scary! The whole school went into a state of panic and shut down! It might be on TV!”
While officials are attributing the collapsing fits as a case of mass hysterics caused by the first girl, others are not so quick to shun the involvement of an evil spirit. Or perhaps the whole happening was a prank by Hanako, a toilet ghost that is rumored to live in the bathroom of Japanese schools. We may never know what the real reason was…