Kankan Scarecrow

This is a story that’s personally scary for me, and it still going on to this day.

It’s about the Kankan Scarecrow.

When I was just a small kid, before I even started going to school, my Niigata-born father often spoke about the Kankan Scarecrow. He would sing:

“Kaankaan Scarecrow
Are there any baaaad kids heeeeeere?
Are there any kids awaaaaaake heeeeere?”

He was a monster that would eat children who didn’t listen to their parents, and if I didn’t listen to mine, then he would come and eat me too!

I was so scared of him at the time that whenever my parents brought him up, I would start crying and apologising. I dreamt of him several times, and whenever the “Yuuyake Koyake” chime went off at 5 pm, I could hear the song in my head.

“Kaankaan Scarecrow
Are there any baaaad kids heeeeeere?
Are there any kids awaaaaaake heeeeere?”

The Kankan Scarecrow that appeared in my dreams was a man with only one leg, wrapped up in straw. With his eyes closed and hands hanging out in front of him like he was playing with a pellet drum, he would chase after me, hopping on one leg.

Even though his mouth didn’t move, I could hear him singing the song in a high-pitched voice, repeating it over and over. It terrified me. Even now I still have dreams about it.

Time passed, and when I was a third grade university student I went to stay at my lady friend’s house. We showered, ate dinner, drank some sake and then got into bed together. During the night I needed to go to the toilet, but I noticed my lady friend wasn’t beside me.

‘Maybe she needed to go too,’ I thought, standing up. Just as I thought, when I got to the toilet she was standing there.

“You needed to go too, huh? You just finish?” I asked, but she didn’t reply. Something about her was strange, but I really needed to go to the toilet. I figured she was half asleep and tried to slip past her.

But when I did, she started singing.

“Kaankaan Scarecrow
Are there any baaaad kids heeeeeere?
Are there any kids awaaaaaake heeeeere?”

I never once told her about the Kankan Scarecrow story. In an instant I got the jitters; there was no way she could know about it. But just like the man I saw in my dreams, she started jumping around on one foot, her hands hanging in front of her.

That fear I felt as a child flared to life once more. I cowered, crying, “Please, forgive me! Please, forgive me!”

She jumped into the walls, repeating the song over and over.

“Kaankaan Scarecrow
Are there any baaaad kids heeeeeere?”

It continued for quite a while. Before I knew it, I saw the light of day peeking through the curtains, and my lady friend finally returned to normal.

I tried to put it out of my mind. I wet myself while I was crouching on the ground, so I secretly took a shower and washed my soiled clothes, then I waited for my lady friend to wake up. She woke up a few hours later, like nothing had ever happened. When I asked her about the night before, she said she didn’t remember anything. But her hands were covered in bruises from hitting the walls so much.

Ever since then, one out of every few girlfriends I get ends up sleepwalking and acting the same way, jumping around like the Kankan Scarecrow.

Every time it freaks me the hell out.

I went and asked my father about the story behind the Kankan Scarecrow recently, but he said it was just a story he made up on the spot.


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