scary

Who needs room service? All-night haunted hotel event’s amenities include ghosts and zombies

I used to work in online hotel marketing, and sometimes properties in Japan didn’t mesh up smoothly with our database. The system allowed us to easily trumpet amenities such as sofas and Jacuzzi bathtubs by just pasting in a line of code, but if we wanted to tout things like provided yukata cotton kimonos or onsite natural hot springs, both of which were popular with our users, that took some extra fiddling around.

Since we were a global company, we had to accept that those “only in Japan” features weren’t going to get a spot on the standard, easy-to-use checklist. Still, I sympathize with the difficulties this sort of thing presents for boutique hotel operators, and that’s why today we’re spreading the word about a hotel in Japan with two incredibly unique amenities: zombies and ghosts.

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A little late for Halloween, here are some haunted photos from Thailand

So we might be a little late to the party on this one – on account of being at other parties that involved a lot of drinking – but we’re still taken with the Halloween spirit, and it looks like Thailand is too, because we managed to scrounge up a bunch of spooky, possibly “haunted” photos from the area recently.

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Detached female hand iPhone cases are here to provide…emotional comfort?

As awesome as smartphones are, do they really help us to better communicate with one another? Sure, it’s nice to be able to instantly talk with anyone, regardless of whether you’re at home or out and about, but there are certain things we lose by doing it with the help of technology. Even as mobile phones’ audio and video capabilities continue to improve, they’re still not perfect. Without talking face-to-face, you can’t pick up on every facial expression, hear each subtle change in inflection, or reach out and hold someone’s hand should the conversation turn emotional or romantic.

Unless you’re using this iPhone case that’s an eerily detailed replica of a human hand.

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Mermaids: The one time Japan passes on cute for straight-up terrifying

Some days, it seems like everything’s cuter in Japan. After all, this is the country where some construction crews feel if they have to shut down part of the street, the best barricades are the ones shaped like a procession of purple and pink kimono-wearing princesses.

There’s an exception to this rule, though, and it’s mermaids. In the West, they’re portrayed as enchanting beauties of the deep. In Japan, though, they were traditionally treated like yokai, ghostly monsters, as this collection of Japanese mermaid paintings has a few that would be better stars for horror movies than kid-friendly animated musicals.

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We spend the night at Zombie Camp! It’s like summer camp…but with zombies!

Summer is the season for ghost stories in Japan, and at the end of August we sent one of our reporters to try out the terrifying haunted house from the horror masters and game fans at Obaken. Amazing as that six-room production is, Obaken has since expanded its scale to something even bigger: Zombie Camp, a two-day excursion that combines the majesty of the great outdoors with the threat of rampaging zombies!

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Miyako-jima’s Paantu Festival: Traumatizing small children to bring them good luck

Say hello to your newest recurring nightmare, kids!

Held in Miyako-jima, one of the smallest of the Okinawa Islands, Paantu is a centuries-old festival which takes place during the ninth month of the Chinese calendar each year. During the festival, groups of men are elected to dress as the paantu, evil spirits covered from head to toe with mud and foliage, and are given the task of driving out demons and cleansing the island of bad luck.

Of course, like any good festival involving involving mud-covered monsters, this also means scaring the life out of small children…
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Terrifyingly terrific haunted house’s puzzles are so tough it has a continue system

A few months ago, we heard about a terrifying haunted house in Honancho, a neighborhood in western Tokyo. Unfortunately, our backlog of terror entertainment was a little jammed up, and we weren’t able to get to it right away, but this week we finally went to check out Obaken.

In addition to the horror movie-inspired creepy sights and sounds you’d expect from any decent haunted house, Obaken also takes a page from video games, with multiple levels, customizable settings, and even a continue system.

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Japan has cornered the market on weird but cute – a look back into history【Photos】

Japan’s history has such a huge influence on its current trends. In fact, what is old is cool in Japan. Samurai, geisha and ninja are all perfect examples of how Japan loves to romanticize their history and how the past continues to play a role in present day culture. It’s surprising that entertainment in Japan isn’t constantly just remaking old stuff into new stuff! (Oh wait, they are?)

One of the most popular things in Japan right now is Yo-Kai Watch, which combines the thrill of Pokemon with monsters of Japanese folklore. But aren’t the monsters of Japan too scary for a children’s Pokémon-like game? If you haven’t figured it out yet…Japanese folklore is a weird and wonderful place.

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Kobe woman’s cleaning interrupted by discovery of enormous artillery shell in her closet

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned out your cabinets and closets, you can be surprised at what you find inside them. Sometimes, you’ll uncover good things, like the time I was straightening up and came across an envelope with 5,000 yen (US$49.50) which I’d earmarked for some purpose, then forgotten about. Other times, the surprises aren’t so pleasant, like the time in my old, first-floor apartment where I lifted up a box and found a scurrying cockroach underneath.

As disgusting as the creepy critter was, though, in pure shock value it pales in comparison to what a woman in Japan found in her home: an artillery shell.

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Truly horrific bar in Tokyo serves up cocktails and ghost tales【Video】

With summer winding down, people across Japan are scrambling to squeeze the last bits of entertainment from the season. We may be into the second half of August, but there’s still time for a last trip to the beach, one more barbecue, or a final icy cold beer.

As a matter of fact, you can combine the last of those pleasures with another Japanese summertime tradition – ghost stories - at a bar in Tokyo that provides stiff drinks, spooky tales, and truly terrifying interior decorations.

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Japanese viewers spot “real ghost” in TV broadcast, get all freaked out

As well as barbecues, rooftop beer gardens, and delicious ice-cream, summer in Japan is time for horror. No, not the fear of opening your August electricity bill after all those nights sleeping with the air-con on, but scary stories. Whether you get your scare fix by going to the movies, visiting a pop-up haunted house, or do it old-school by telling ghost stories around a campfire, in Japan, summer is the season to cool off by giving yourself the chills.

I’ve never quite seen the appeal of actual horror films, personally, and tend to find them mildly distressing, although not in an exciting way like other people do. “Well, that’s kind of gross”, is about the strongest reaction I can muster. I do love Japanese TV though, and there’s no shortage of scary programming here in summer. Honto ni atta kowai hanashi (“scary stories that totally actually happened”) – or Honkowa for short – celebrated 15 years onscreen this year with a summer special that went out on the night of August 16th. During the broadcast, something unexpected happened – and viewers took to Twitter to ask the eternal question into the internet ether: “Did anyone else see that, or was it just me!?”

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Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills might just be the horror game we’ve been waiting for【Videos】

Those who owned an original grey PlayStation back in the day will no doubt be familiar with Silent Hill, the survival horror series that went on to spawn a host of sequels as well as a questionable feature film of the same name. The series has had its ups and downs over the years, and many feel that it has lost much of what made it so great to begin with, but it looks like the newest instalment is set to bring back what gamers loved about the originals: the kind of tense, tortuous, genuinely horrible horror that makes you consider keeping the lights on at bedtime.

Don’t believe us? Check out these reaction videos from makers Konami.

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Portuguese man-of-war creating beaches of sadness in Japan with its terrible toxic tentacles

With just a few weeks left before September, beach lovers in Japan are trying to sneak in a few last trips to the coast. A late summer trip to the shore means you’ll have to be on the lookout for jellyfish, but the good news is they don’t seem to be out in full force yet.

The bad news, though, is that Kanagawa Prefecture has something that looks sort of like a jellyfish but is even worse, with some people having spotted the Portuguese man-of-war.

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Get your chills on the rails with Kyoto’s Ghost Train 【Video】

Fear is commonly held to be a cold sensation, which is how we ended up with English phrases like “bone-chilling” and “a chill ran down his spine.” Those idioms may not translate directly into Japanese, but Japan has also traditionally thought of feeling cold as part of being scared.

Figuring that when life hands you horror lemons, you make horror lemonade, long ago Japanese society decided to use this to its advantage, which is why in Japan summer isn’t just the season of lightweight kimonos and all-you-can-drink beer gardens, but the time for ghost stories, too.

But in this modern age, maybe you’re too busy to sit around candlelit rooms in old manor houses swapping creepy tales with your friends. So if you’ve got an active lifestyle and need to keep moving while you get your terror on, a ride on Kyoto’s ghost train might be in order.

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21 hauntingly beautiful photos of deserted shopping malls

Hundreds of shopping malls across the U.S. have been forced to shut down following years of debilitating declines in consumer traffic.

In many cases, the shuttered malls are left to decay for years before developers or local governments raise the funds to bulldoze or renovate the space.

Pseudonymous photographer Seph Lawless traveled the country for years to find these forgotten malls and document their decay from the inside.

The photos he captured are haunting and apocalyptic, featuring dead trees and abandoned shopping carts against landscapes of broken glass and crumbling walls.

He compiled the photographs in a new book, “Black Friday: The Collapse of the American Shopping Mall,” and shared some of them with Business Insider.

You can also see his work on Facebook and Instagram.

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Japanese girls mysteriously collapse at school, rumors say it’s the work of a ghost

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.

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Emergency services get prank phone call–but was it the wind…or ghosts?

Summer’s here, and that means it’s time to gather your friends and head to a haunted house to scare the heat out of yourself. But maybe you’re a really tough guy or girl, and nothing like a few kids dressed up as zombies is going to give you a fright. You need a real ghost to help cool you down.

Too bad ghosts aren’t real, right? Well, after reading this story, you might not be so sure…

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Years-old spam message resurfaces in Japan, warns of flip flops made with hydrochloric acid

Way back in 2007, what appeared to be typical scare-tactic spam circulated the internet. The “spam” warned about cheap, Chinese-made flip-flops that some wearers’ feet were having nasty reactions to, resulting in terrible burns. Included were photos of one woman’s disastrous encounter with the sandals along with paperwork detailing her crusade to stop them from being sold ever again.

It now seems that a similar warning message is spreading like wildfire online in Japan. After checking our calendars and confirming that it’s not still 2007, we did a little research.

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Idol’s private moments caught on tape and used for a commercial

Japanese TV has a tendency to be pretty ridiculous. Japanese commercials are even known to be some of the most ridiculous out there. Think Superbowl-esque non sequiturs, used to peddle the most mundane things! But you will never guess what this new commercial is promoting, even after the big reveal!

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Japanese Twitter user discovers the perfect Halloween decoration in the form of…a flower?!

Who’s afraid of the big bad…flower?! Sure, we’ve seen the pitch-black Turkish rose that would harmonize perfectly with the home decor of any hardcore heavy metal fan…but we never thought that a flower could be downright terrifying! The following pictures posted by one Twitter user prove that Mother Nature has cooked up some pretty creepy recipes. You might even have nightmares after seeing what this certain kind of flower looks like after wilting. On the bright side, you can make a veritable Halloween bouquet!

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