Haunted by the Old Woman

This happened when I was in high school.

My mother was from a family with strong spiritual roots, so I’d long been able to see and feel such types of things. This story is about one of those things.

At the time, our family often ate meals late at night, and we always went out to do so. On this particular day, my father felt like ramen, so we went out to eat that. We lived in the mountains way out in the countryside, so whenever we went out we had to use a car to get anywhere. My father drove, and I sat in the back behind him. I stared out the window as my parents chatted.

Suddenly I saw an old woman standing in the middle of a field. It was after 10 p.m. and there were no streetlights, so it was pitch black. It was the countryside, so there were no houses nearby either. I found it strange, but I told myself that maybe she forgot some of her work tools and was just retrieving them.

Thinking back on it now, there were no other cars around, so how could she have gotten there? But there were so many strange points that I didn’t even consider it.

We ate ramen, returned home, and then I went to bed. I quickly fell asleep as always, but then around 2 a.m. I suddenly woke up. I couldn’t move.

I suffered from sleep paralysis roughly once a month, and so all I thought was ‘again?’ But that was just the start of something I’d never experienced before.

With sleep paralysis, generally you can’t move. That’s it. But then I suddenly felt something grab my ankle. That had never happened before, and while it seemed strange, I could do nothing about it. I was frozen. Then the sensation of the hand gradually crawled further up my body.

By the time it reached my hips I began to panic. I debated whether I should try to look or not, over and over. I realised that I was going to see whoever it was anyway, so I might as well do it of my own volition. I worked up the courage and, finally able to move my arm, lifted the blanket.

I soon regretted it.

That old woman from the field was underneath it. She glared at me angrily, her expression indescribable, but that wasn’t the only thing that terrified me. In her hand she tightly gripped a sickle…

For a moment we stared at each other, and unsure of what to do, I decided to put the blanket back down on top of her. As I did, the paralysis gripping my body broke free.
I closed my eyes as though nothing had happened, but it didn’t get rid of the sensation of her hand by my hips. Before long I could feel her moving up again. If she kept going, it wouldn’t be long until we locked eyes again, so I desperately started chanting an incantation that my mother had taught me. I discovered later that it was an incantation used in Shingon Buddhism to dispel evil spirits.

I must have repeated it about 10 times before the weight on me lifted and disappeared. I carefully lifted the blanket, wondering if she was still there, but she was gone.
I later discovered that the owner of the field where I’d seen the ghost had died that day. Perhaps that was who I’d seen. Ever since then, I’ve run into ghosts quite a lot.

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