Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Aokigahara Forest

Steadily numbered among the Creepiest Places on Earth, Aokigahara forest, on the foothills of Mt Fuji in Japan, is where people go to die, and where spirits seek comfort. It is so dense that it has areas that have never seen the light of day!
Dear friend Aerosol sent me the link this August, but kept putting it off. Well, here is a nice excerpt:
Aokigahara is a wonder of nature, a place of pristine beauty. That being said, beauty is not what the forest is most famous for.
No, it is most famous as a forest of death. Or, more accurately, a forest where people come to die.
It’s a forest of suicide.
In the past sixty years or so, nearly five hundred people have gone to Aokigahara to end it all….
The forest has long been associated with ghosts. One type of ghost in particular: the Yurei. These are the restless dead, spirits who have been torn from life unnaturally. They howl their suffering to the winds.  But maybe that’s simply the winds whistling through the stillness in the Sea of Trees, being mistaken for ghostly moans by frightened and superstitious travelers.
In any case, the Japanese take this idea of Yurei very, very seriously. Yearly sweeps are made of the forest looking for suicide victims. Beyond these, the members of the forestry service go about their daily duties, but keeping a watchful eye out for bodies. Now and then they find one. Many times they’re hanging from low branches, decomposed and gnawed by wild things. They cut the poor soul down and take the body back to the station, to a special room built for the dead. A room with two beds.
See, the Japanese believe that if the body were left in the room alone, the Yurei will scream its agony all through the night. Worse still, the body of the dead will rise up and enter the regular sleeping quarters. To prevent this, someone must share the room with the body.
Spooky, right? I love places where legends are right there, where you feel something is wrong, but cannot quite tell what.
Original story, and also on CNN

UPDATE: Reader Michael kindly posted a link to his personal experience of the Forest and I am posting here as well. Visit and read a thourough account of the forest as well as lots of photos and videos, some with strange shadows/orbs clearly seen.
Thanks Michael!


Michael said...

Hey, thought I'd comment as I recently visited Aokigahara forest and spent 6 hours exploring it with two friends and three cameras. I compiled most of the video footage + photos along with bits and pieces from my journal to construct the story of my experience there. You can check out my post at the link below

Illuminatus said...

Thank you Michael for your comment and a great first person account! Much better than a lifeless journalist's piece..I am posting the link above!