The legend of the slit-mouthed woman (kuchisake-onna) is meant to scare children from being out after dark. According to the story, a woman wearing a surgical mask will ask a child who is walking around alone at night if she looks pretty. If they say no, then she kills them with a pair of scissors. If they say yes, then she takes off the mask and asks them again. The ones that say no get cut in half, and the ones that say yes get their mouth sliced like hers.
Teke-Teke is the legend of a woman who comitted suicide by jumping onto the subway tracks and was cut in half. Her top-half became a ghost that crawls around cutting people in half with a scythe. Any of her victims are doomed to become Teke-Teke themselves, which means that these creepy ghosts keep multiplying!
Beware of the third bathroom stall from the end of an elementary school bathroom in Japan. If you knock on the stall door three times and ask “Are you there, Hanako-san?”, you’ll summon the ghost of a young school girl in a red skirt. She’ll respond “Yes, I’m here” and if you open the door she’ll pull you into the toilet and drown you.
Most urban legends are scary stories meant to creep you out, but this Japanese legend is about a story so scary that it can’t be told! Supposedly, there’s a Japanese short story called “Cow Head” that was discovered in the 1600s. Anyone who reads or hears the story will have seizure-like symptoms and go insane. All copies of “Cow Head” have since been burned, so the details of the story have been lost.
Another urban legend meant to keep Japanese off the streets at dark was the story of the starving skeleton (gashadokuro). This massive skeleton is 90 feet tall and follows you home at night. You’ll hear a ringing in your ears, and before you know it you’ll be captured. The skeleton will then pop off your head and drink your blood.