Real Places That Are Really Creepy

By Penny Chavers
Oversized tree roots in Aokigahara Forest
The world is full of places which are alleged to be haunted or cursed, and if you’re afraid of ghosts, you might want to avoid visiting any buildings not built in the past few decades. However, there are some places on this planet that are disturbing even to the most devout skeptics.

If you’ve seen the 2016 movie, The Forest, then you should already be familiar with Aokigahara Forest. Nicknamed the “Sea of Trees,” it lies at the edge of Mount Fuji on a bed of hardened lava. Due to the fertility of the land, the roots of the trees often grow so large that the trees appear to be walking. However, it is the number of suicides, rather than the unusual appearance of the trees, that gives this forest its reputation. The most recent recorded number of suicides was 105 in 2003. They haven’t stopped since then, but the police have stopped releasing the numbers in an attempt to disassociate the area with the suicides. The 2016 movie built upon the myth that the forest is haunted by yurei, a Japanese ghost, possibly a result of the elderly who were allegedly abandoned there in the 19th Century, in a practice known as ubasute. However, a likelier scenario is that the high number of suicides can be attributed to two books, Tower of Waves by Seichō Matsumoto published in the 1960s and The Complete Manual of Suicide by Wataru Tsurumi published in 1993. Tower of Waves tells the story of a couple who commits suicide in the forest. Tsurumi’s book; however, describes the forest as the ideal place to end it and describes the best parts of the forest to avoid being discovered.