So you’re scared of Japanese ghosts? It’s understandable. You’ve seen The Grudge and The Ring. Maybe you’ve even read the classic Japanese ghost stories of Lafcadio Hearn, or the creepy manga of Junji Ito. But is this strong horror pedigree a result of pure fiction, or is the Land of the Rising Sun really swarming with ghostly school kids and gruesome demons?

The ancient Shinto religion of Japan populated every corner of the country with thousands of spirits, not all of them benevolent, and modern days have likewise given rise to a plethora of fresh and terrifying Japanese urban legends: haunted bathrooms, cursed poems, and murderous onryō (vengeful spirits) prowling the streets.

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