For decades, locals have said a woman’s ghost appears in the park at night, and our visit ended with frightening female fury.
As with any organization, one of the management principles that RocketNews24 operates under is that employees should be assigned tasks that align with their individual aptitudes. For instance, if we need something crazy done, we call on Mr. Sato. When we’re dealing with the supernatural, though, Japanese-language correspondent Ryo is our go-to guy.
Ryo recently returned from Kohoku Bridge, said to be one of the most haunted places in Tokyo, where he saw some shocking sights. But as soon as his heart rate returned to a reasonable level, we sent him back out to inspect another supposedly haunted site in Tokyo: Mizumoto Park.
Located in the capital’s Katsushika Ward, Mizumoto Park is a sprawling riverside green space that sits at the northeast tip of Tokyo. It’s a relaxing spot to stroll about in the daytime, but once night falls, locals say that a woman’s ghost can be seen in one of the park’s telephone booths.
Having grown up in the neighborhood, Ryo had heard this tale many times, starting from when he was a young boy. This made him initially reluctant to go, but we assured him that he was the man for the job (primarily since as a native son of Katsushika Ward, he’d also know the best places to run to and hide at should he indeed encounter the specter). And so Ryo hopped on his bike in the middle of the night, pumping his legs to fight off the chill from the winter wind and his sense of impending dread.
Unfortunately, the route Ryo took caused him to arrive at the opposite end of the park from where the supposedly haunted phone booth stands. With no choice but to cut through the park itself, he began walking along its heavily wooded paths, with the dark branches of the towering trees blocking the light from the surrounding city.
It was now past 2 o’clock in the morning. An eerie fog had rolled in, and the park’s sparsely placed lamps were only able to partially fight off the gloom.
At this point, Ryo realized that since setting foot in the park, he hadn’t seen a single other person. As a matter of fact, the only living thing that greeted him was a cat, which looked at the interloping reporter with cold disinterest, as if to say “You shouldn’t have come here.”
Finally, Ryo came to a plaza with a circular arrangement of stones…
… and just beyond it, bathed in faint light…
…was the phone booth!
Having reached his destination, Ryo stopped, and as the echo of his footsteps died out, he found himself wrapped in a grim silence. Steeling himself away, redoubling his resolve, he gripped the door’s handle and stepped inside. “If you’re here, spirit, show yourself!” he mentally commanded.
And yet, nothing happened. Looking around, Ryo actually started to feel a little silly. Actually, what with the spread of mobile phones, phone booths like the one he was standing in are becoming rarer and rarer in Tokyo. A nostalgic feeling settled in his heart, and he came to the bittersweet realization that he may only have a few more opportunities left to use a payphone before they’re all taken out of service.
So he slipped a coin out of his pocket, dropped it in the slot, and in order to share the moment with his wife, dialed his home phone number.
On the third ring, Ryo’s wife picked up the phone. He said hello to his beloved, and she responded with:
“Just what time do you think it is, you damned moron?!? And what the hell are you doing calling me from a payphone? Oh no, don’t tell me – you lost your smartphone like a putz, didn’t you? I’ve had it with you. You’re dead. You hear me? I’m going to kill you. Just seriously kill kill kill kill you. As a matter of fact, it’s going to be so bad that you’re going to be praying for me to just kill you quickly.”
So while Ryo’s supernatural investigation didn’t find the female ghost, it seems that Mizumoto Park’s phone booth does have the power to amplify the murderous inclinations that dwell in a certain woman’s soul after all.
[ Read in Japanese ]