The Japanese Invent A New, Horror-Filled Bathroom Experience
File this under things I didn’t know, but find strangely intriguing: the Japanese culture has a number of legends involving ghosts hiding in childrens’ bathrooms. That’s right – ghosts. Plural.
Japanese school children fear the ghosts of Hanako-san (so terrifying that some kids apparently prefer to pee in their seats in class than brave the restrooms), Kashima Reiko (who is missing her legs) and Aoi Kami (a murderous ghost who hides in the last stall of the girls’ room). (You can read the legends here – just turn the sound off before you click through.)
Now, American culture certainly has a few scary ghost legends of our own (I once laid awake, terrified, at a sleepover after my friends and I tried to summon Bloody Mary; and who hasn’t been thoroughly creeped out by a Ouija board?); the difference is that the Japanese have capitalized on this phenomenon in a truly brilliant way – one I dare say would never occur to an American …
… The toilet paper horror novella.
The story, “Drop” by “The Ring” author Koji Suzuki, takes up just three feet of toilet paper, and can be read in just minutes, according to the manufacturer. Each roll, which carries several copies of the novella, is available for 210 yen (that’s $2.20 US).
(OK, it didn’t fit neatly into the above, but I feel the need to copy and paste the last paragraph of the Associated Press article, to preserve its awesomeness:
Toilets in Japan were traditionally tucked away in a dark corner of the house due to religious beliefs. Parents would tease children that a hairy hand might pull them down into the dark pool below.)