There are numerous Japanese urban legends out there that claim if you look at a certain thing, whether it be an object, a person, a poem, anything, that you’ll shortly thereafter die. These types of legends remain popular to this day, so let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Cursed Paintings
Dubbed the “College of Arts Ball” by Japanese urban legend fans, it’s said that if you look upon this painting five times, you will die. It was painted sometime around 2010, although nobody is quite sure who by. This counts as one time, so be careful not to see it out in the wild a few more times after this!
It’s said that if you see this untitled painting by Beksiński three times then you’ll die. It’s believed that this blog was the first to spread the rumours of this, so the legend has been around for over a decade at this point. But it’s not the only one. It’s said that if you see either of the following pictures three times as well, your demise will soon follow:
“The Anguished Man” is said to be the most haunted painting in the world, created by an unknown artist who mixed their own blood in with the paint before committing suicide after its creation. In Japan, it’s also said that if you look upon the painting simply once, that’ll be enough to bring about your own death.
2. Cursed Objects
This mask appeared on the TV show Unbelievable in 2012. It’s said that simply looking at it once is enough to curse you and cause death. Although the show initially blurred the mask throughout the show, at the very end they showed a clear shot of it, and Twitter users of course screen captured it and set it as their icon, meaning anyone who saw their tweets would then be cursed, causing many social media users to get angry at them.
A photo of this traditional Japanese doll was placed on Yahoo! Auctions in 2008. The doll itself was for sale and came with an interesting caveat. The owner claimed the doll was “born” during the early period of the Showa era (the early 1900s) and had passed through many hands before reaching them. The doll, however, brought incredibly bad luck and was said to be cursed. Someone successfully bought the doll and it was never seen again, but these days people claim that just seeing the photo is enough to spread the curse to you too as well.
3. Cursed Photos
This particular photo was also shown off on Unbelievable. It was said to be so terrifying that it was never aired on television again. It’s called the “Aztec Altar,” and it’s a phenomenon you may have seen in other photos before. The edges of the photo warp and turn a reddy-orange colour, which can happen when a film is left in a camera for too long.
It’s called an Aztec Altar because it’s said to resemble, you guessed it, an Aztec altar, and these altars were used to kill human sacrifices, so obviously it’s up to no good appearing in a regular photo. The mere act of seeing one of these Aztec Altar photos, with this being one of the more famous ones, is said to bring a terrible curse upon you.
If you’ve successfully made it to the end of this list, you’ve probably been cursed numerous times over and/or died and just not realised it. Congratulations! You’ve once again survived the cursed landscape that is basically everything online in Japan 😉