Located in the northwest of Mount Fuji, is a thick-foliaged forest of Aokigahara, that spans 13.5 square miles, also known as the Sea Of Trees. This world-famous forest is one of the most haunted places on earth, which made its way as the location of a horror movie known as The Forest. Many visitors have chosen this place to breathe their last breath, unknowingly inspiring its name as the Suicide Forest. Bloggers and adventurers that visited this forest have experienced many creepy things, but don’t worry you do not need to visit this spooky place to know creepy things about it, here are a 16 spooky things about Japan’s Suicide Forest.
1) One Of The Most Famous Suicide Destinations In The World
Aokigahara is estimated to have an approximate successful attempt of at least 100 suicides per year, hence adopting the name of The Suicide Forest. The approximate number of 100 is got by the number of bodies discovered, however, many bodies go undiscovered in this lush forest, or might be lost forever. Bloggers, YouTubers, and adventurers have themselves discovered dead bodies while exploring the forest.
2) Blend Of Beauty With Eeriness
The beautiful, lush forest is nature at its best, but this beauty comes with a blend of eerie and dead silence. The forest has naturally twisted trees, with their roots spreading across the forest floor. Aokigahara has deep, icy caverns such as Narusawa Ice Cave and Wind Cave. Hikers can go underground and experience sheets, columns, and pillars of ice hovering at freezing temperatures. The forest has an uneven, rocky ground covered with vegetation, all wrapped around a feeling of isolation. The forest is dead silent, which makes it easy to hear the faintest of noises or sounds. A visitor would easily be able to hear the screams of a suicide victim, in the dead silence.
3) Restriction Of Camping
Aokigahara is strictly off limits for campers. This rule was implemented to reduce the rates of suicides in the forest, however, people still seem to go camping into the forest. If you seem to go off your path on your trail in the forest, you might find belongings of people who committed suicide.
4) Risk Of Getting Lost
The dense forest of Aokigahara allows you to easily lose your way and the unavailability of cellphone service, GPS systems, along with the dysfunctioning of a compass are the additional factors allowing the same.Therefore visitors who intend to commit suicide loop tape around the trees in their path, enabling them to find their way out in case they decide to change their mind. Adventurers who follow these taped trees often seem to find belongings of the deceased, and sometimes come across the dead bodies as well.
5) Mysterious Cut Of Tape
Like we mentioned earlier, people can easily get lost in the dense forest, so they tie loops of tape around the trees to mark their paths. However, one woman claimed that her tape was deliberately cut, leading to her losing her path in the woods. She luckily managed to make it out, but the person who cut her tape remains wrapped in a blanket of mystery.
6) Signs On The Paths
The police have put up signs in the forest that say “your life is a precious gift from your parents”, “please consult with the police before you decide to die” and other such signs, to somehow discourage the visitors from taking their lives. However, the effectiveness of these signs are questionable as the death rates are only increasing.
7) Dark Legacy Of The Forest
The forest has been said to have seen more deaths than only suicide. The local tale revolves around Ubasute. Ubastue roughly translates to ” abandoning the old woman”, the practice was similar to its meaning. The locals in the olden days would abandon their old family members, leaving them in the forest alone to die due to dehydration, starvation, or to be eaten by wild animals. This was only practiced during a famine, so that there would be fewer mouths to feed, along with acting like a sacrifice to the forest.
8) Paranormal Activities
Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed have permeated the trees, causing paranormal activities, which sometimes do not allow visitors to leave the forest’s depths. The Locals believe that demons and spirits haunt the forest, spirits not only of the suicide victims but also of their ancestors who were left there to die during famines. It is said that these spirits glide between the trees with their white and shifting forms, viewed by the visitors from the corner of their eyes.
9) Mysterious Screams
Explorers and visitors often report hearing unnatural, bloodcurdling screams while they explore the forest. The screams are said to be made by the Yūrei. The Yūrei is said to be a woman dressed in white with long hair, generally, a spirit of a person who has committed suicide. A writer of the Japan Times claimed to hear a chilling scream while he explored the forest. The writer tried to follow the source of the scream and, to his horror landed near a man’s dead body, which laid at the base of a tree. An examination revealed that the corpse had been dead for some time, hence could not possibly be the source of the scream. So what do you think was the source of the horrifying scream then?
10) Hung Till Death
The most common method of committing suicide adopted in the forest is by hanging to death, the second most common being poisoning or drug overdose.
11) Failing At The Attempt
Many visitors who aim to commit suicide, do not always land up dying in the forest. A similar case was recorded in an interview of Japan Times, with Hideo Watanabe. Hideo Watanabe owns a shop at the entrance of the forest, allowing him to witness numerous people leave the forest after failing in their attempt to commit suicide. He had witnessed a lady who had tried to hang herself and failed at doing so, she had part of the rope around her neck and her eyes were almost popping out of their sockets. He took the woman in, made her some tea and immediately called for an ambulance.
12) Cursed Objects
During a VICE documentary, where Azusa Hayano, the guide, explores the forest. He finds the belongings of a suicide victim with his death note nailed to a tree, and a cursed doll nailed upside down, with a cut off face. Azusa said “They nailed this character upside down to as a symbol of contempt for society. No, it’s more like a curse. The curse is nailed in.” According to the documentary, it is not uncommon for the suicide victims to leave behind a curse on the world they are leaving behind. Many such objects can be found in the forest.
13) Avoiding The Invitation From Beyond
Buddhist monks have set up altars in the forest to try and fight the evil spirits, who according to them haunt the forest and invite people to come and kill themselves. The New Zealand Herald was told by a Buddhist monk, who was visiting the forest to set up an altar, that the spirits of people who had died in that forest before, were calling other people to kill themselves in the forest.
14) Annual Searches
Police with the help of volunteers and the forest department hold searches in the forest, not to look for survivors but to locate dead bodies. Volunteers have found decomposed bodies that have been torn apart by the wild animals, and have had to carry them to the police station. The police station has a special area dedicated to storing these dead bodies, where one of the policemen sleep there each night. Volunteers have found fresh dead bodies, bones, remains of dead bodies and other disturbing things.
With the constant rise in suicide rates, people take the opportunity to scavenge. Scavengers roam around the forest looking for belonging of the suicide victims and, sometimes even rob corpses.
16) Effect On Locals
The locals around the forest do not commit suicide here. They might volunteer to help conduct searches as they are well versed with the type of trees and the way around the forest, but they try to stay as away from the place as they can. The local children are told to stay away from the forest as it is a “scary” place. The locals, however, do believe in myths related to the forest and its eeriness.
Aokigahara, a place filled with an environment of horror, sorrow and a series unnatural deaths. Unnatural deaths of people who might have been disturbed or have lost all signs of hope. All they might have needed is a friendly helping hand, and someone to show them a thin ray of hope, but received darkness in return. Lets us all take a pledge of helping someone we think is in need. A helping hand could have made a difference.