Japanese Ghosts

by Stefan Chiarantano, Jan 28, 2006 | Destinations: Japan / Tokyo

I haven't seen them but I have definitely heard them. After moving into my unit, several months later, I was waking up in the middle of the night by the sounds of a door continuously being slammed against its frame. This went on for months. I didn't think anything of it and thought I just had some noisy neighbours living above me. It wasn't until I was about to vacate the premises that I knew something was up. Everyone in the building had moved out except for me. I realized there was something odd going on when I heard the sound of slamming doors again. "Who was it? Could it be a loose shutter?" I thought. Anyway, as I was moving out within a few days, I put it out of my mind.

One evening, I was talking with my Japanese friend about ghosts. She told me that Japanese ghosts make themselves known by slamming doors. Eureka! I had my answer. I told her that I had been awoken at night by the loud sounds of slamming doors. I told her that I chucked it up to some noisy neighbours living above me. "Perhaps, they want you to teach them English." She said. I laughed. She laughed. I responded, "If they come back, I'll just tell them to go away and sign up for a language course somewhere."

Believe it or not, a month later, they re-appeared at my new place. I was awoken again by the characteristic sounds of slamming doors. I remember getting out of bed, going to the door and politely telling the Japanese ghosts to go away and to please not bother me. "Go away!" I said. "You ain't getting free English lessons from me!" I then went back to bed and tried to get to sleep.

I now tell my Japanese students that I believe in ghosts and that they have visited me. They listen intently hoping I'd provide them with some gruesome details. Instead, I tell them that the ghosts just wanted some free English lessons but I sent them packing. They have a chuckle. So do I.

* * * * *