It’s a dense sea of trees. You can go in, but sometimes, you cannot come out. Your GPS and compass will stop working. That is Aokigahara – a 30 kilometer squared forest, notoriously known as Japan’s Suicide Forest.
Located at the northwestern base of Mount Fiji, Aokigahara is darkened by its tragic history of being the final destination of many people who walk in their simply to commit suicide. Every year, almost 100 suicide cases are reported inside this forest. A number of visitors have reported having scary encounters within the thick foliage. In this article, we have compiled the spookiest ones for you.
1. The Bloodcurdling Cry
Explorers often report that they have heard bizarre, frightening screams coming from the dense forest. Some say that these cries were coming from people who were killing themselves at that moment in the vicinity. However, on one occasion, an author from Japan Times heard a horrific scream and wandered off in the direction of the noise in search of its source. Eventually, he came across a man’s dead body, only to find that the man had actually died a long time ago so the scream could not have come from the corpse.
2. GPS, Compass, Tapes – Gone!
Once you walk into the forest, your GPS and compasses are likely to stop working. But, before you panic about demons, you should remember that the forest floor is made of magnetic iron which messes with your compass and GPS. Sometimes, visitors also tie tapes to trees along their way into the forest so that they can trace their way back. While this is a clever tactic, there have been alarming reports that many have found their tapes were purposefully cut by someone or something!
3. Crucified Dolls
Those who come into the forest to commit suicide are people who utterly hate their life and are drowned in depression. As they prepare to end their life, they want to express their despair and hatred towards this world by leaving mutilated and crucified dolls pinned to trees as a symbolic curse. In a documentary by VICE, the host spotted a doll with its face cut-off crucified upside-down on a tree.
4. Grim Human Remains
If you dare to explore the remote parts of the forest, it is quite likely that you will come across some gruesome remains of human beings who took their own lives. Starting from stray personal belongings of people who committed suicide, to rotting corpses lying on the ground or bodies hanging from nooses on trees, you might encounter some nightmarish scenes that will not let you sleep at night.
5. Unexpected Altars
Imagine walking through the creepy Suicide Forest and coming across religious altars of worship! Some Buddhist monks believe that demons from the world beyond are inviting people to come into the forest and kill themselves. In order to fight against these demons, Buddhist monks have set up altars in different parts of the forest which makes it look extremely spooky.
6. Shocking Legends
There are a few traumatic folklores surrounding the forest. Notably, there is a legend that once upon a time, when Japanese families would face famines, they would bring one of their family members, especially one of their elderly, to the forest and abandon them there to die since they could not manage food for all. These poor, abandoned souls generally experienced long, agonizing deaths in the forlorn forest.
While Aokigahara might not be the best spot for a hiking trip, it can definitely take you through a thrill ride of emotions. The natural eeriness of the forest, coupled with the horrifying encounters, will surely haunt you for days!
Wattapad, “Aokigahara Suicide Forest”
Mental Floss, “15 Eerie Things About Japan’s Suicide Forest”
Bustle, “Actual Creepy Stories From Japan’s Most Haunted Forest”