Do you believe in ghosts, Rocketeers? A bloodstained woman with long hair is said to haunt this Tokyo tunnel.
No matter where you go, there are local tales of ghost sightings and unexplained occurrences. In the Haunted Tokyo series, we bring you first-hand reports from some of the most notoriously haunted spots in the capital filed by our brave paranormal investigator and Japanese-language reporter Ryo.
This time we sent him to Sendagaya Tunnel in Shibuya Ward, which famously passes under a cemetery and has long been a hot spot for ghost sightings. Here is his report.
The Bloodstained Woman
Sendagaya Tunnel is about a 15-minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station. It’s found just off the Senjuin intersection, home to a well-known Buddhist temple and its adjoining cemetery. In fact, the tunnel passes directly under the cemetery. It was completed in 1964, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics, and since then it has been featured in many television shows and publications about hauntings.
The site is supposedly haunted by a blood-stained woman with long hair. Many people have reported being chased by her and drivers passing through the tunnel at night claim to have heard a heavy object drop onto the roof of their cars. In fact, I asked some people near Sendagaya Station about it and many said they felt a frighteningly ominous atmosphere in the tunnel.
An Unsettling Mood
In the freezing cold, I left the station and headed for the tunnel. The neighborhood was dotted with various restaurants, bars and gyms, so you would think it would be bustling on a weekend, but it was just after midnight and hardly anyone was around. I started to feel unsettled.
I turned off of the major thoroughfare of Gaiennishi Dori, a street that just happens to be nicknamed Killer Road, and soon arrived at Senjuin intersection. In front of me was Victor Studios, a recording studio which is also said to be under the spell of the bloodstained woman. Supposedly, unexplained sounds like babies crying have turned up on recordings made late at night.
I passed the studio, keeping a wary eye out, and finally arrived at Sendagaya Tunnel. In the darkness, the hazy orange light of the halogens gave the passage an eerie look. I could feel my heartbeat start to pick up. What would I find in inside?
Into the Mouth
Honestly, I’m scared. What would I even do if I saw the bloodstained woman? With that image in my head, I try to gather my courage and taek my first steps into the mouth of the tunnel.
I notice a sign commemorating the completion of the tunnel in March of 1964 (year 39 of the Showa era). The structure is beginning to show its age, with cracks spreading here and there on the ceiling and walls. With my fear mounting, I move further along.
This strange scribble catches my attention. It looks like an eye in a triangle. What could it mean? No matter what the artist intended, looking at it all alone in the middle of the night, it feels very ominous, but I try not to think about it and continue on.
Seconds later, a sound like water dripping from the ceiling echoes through the tunnel! A strange feeling creeps over me, and I notice that it is especially cold in here. Have I crossed some border? Is this “the other side?” Although no one is around, I begin to feel watched and can’t help looking behind me. No one. Crap. I think I’m going to pee my pants!
What the Hell Is That?!?
I want outta here, like now! All I can think about is how scared I am. All the stains on the walls and ceiling start to look like faces. Thankfully, I’m almost at the exit! I fix my eyes on that and make a beeline for it, refusing to look behind me, but just a few meters short of the exit, my eyes are drawn to something.
What the heck is that?!
A handwritten map…?
On a memo-sized page, someone has drawn a map to somewhere. And looking closer, it’s written in Korean. But who stuck this here and why?
Intrigued, I asked an acquintance of mine who studied abroad in Korea to translate. He said it was a map showing a part of Seoul, with directions to or from a subway stop. And the building with the flag on it is labeled Koroking. But what is Koroking? And why was a map of Seoul in a tunnel in Sendagaya anyway? The mystery only deepens.
To conclude, although Sendagaya Tunnel is really famous as a haunted spot, even at night cars do pass by. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a fear factor of 2, yet it was definitely a mysterious experience.
▼ But, hey, the ramen at nearby restaurant Hope Ken was delish!
So after searching for paranormal evidence at Tokyo’s most-haunted spot and the haunted payphone of Mizumoto Park, Ryo has returned alivr from his third ghost hunt, having received a message from beyond that night, though just from beyond the Sea of Japan.
[ Read in Japanese ]