Suicide photo

This is a story I heard on Sanma ga Waratte ii Tomo that happened to a particular cameraman.

The cameraman, an American, went to a lake in South Africa to shoot a photo book with a model. The area in front of the lake was flat, but there was a rather steep cliff behind it. The cameraman used that cliff as their backdrop and started taking photos.

With the lake and the cliff in the background, the cameraman pressed the shutter button over and over. But then, suddenly, he saw a person in his viewfinder falling into the lake. Panicking, the cameraman ran towards the lake, taking photos the whole time.

Of course, the rest of the photo shoot was cancelled. They quickly called the police, but they were unable to save the person who fell into the water. The person had thrown themselves from the top of the cliff. It was a suicide.

According to the police, the area was a well-known local suicide spot. The model was shocked, but they were somehow able to finish the shoot and then return home to America.

After that, several weeks passed. The man in charge at the publisher had heard nothing from the cameraman, even though the photos should have already been developed. Becoming impatient, he called the cameraman.

“I’d like you to cancel this shoot,” the cameraman said.

“You already went all the way to South Africa. We can’t do that. Tell me what’s really going on.”

The man in charge tried to get the reason out of the cameraman, but he refused to talk. He had heard the cameraman managed to capture a suicide on film entirely by chance, but not getting anything out of him on the phone, the man decided to go and visit his office and ask him directly.

The cameraman met him at the door, and his exhaustion was plain on his face. When the man questioned him, he said, “Okay. Look at the photos. Then you can decide what you want to do about them.”

The cameraman handed him a bundle of photos, and he went through them, one by one. The lake was in the background, behind the model. It was a beautiful lake, and the cliff behind it was gorgeous as well. But one photo in particular made him stop. There was a person in the top right corner, falling through the air.

“Ah, is this the person? But if this is all, well it’s no big deal.”

The photos continued. The person approached the water, closer and closer with each shot. Finally, he turned to the photo where the person was about to hit the water.

He let out a scream and felt his knees go weak. What he saw in the photos he held in his hands…

… was countless hands, all reaching up out of the lake.


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