This is a true story from when I was in university. My university was close to a famous suicide spot. A short distance into the woods there was a waterfall, which I’ll call S Waterfall. Although it was famous as a suicide spot, the scenery was beautiful and it wasn’t too far from the city, so lots of parents visited with their children during the summer, and often went there to enjoy the cool air as well.
One hot, humid summer’s night. Myself and a few other club members were drinking at my place and enjoying some scary stories. Like a friend of a friend who could see ghosts, you know, the usual sort of stuff.
Myself and another friend of mine, I’ll call him K-ta, were well-versed in all things occult, so honestly, we were kinda bored. So suddenly he said, “Let’s go visit S Waterfall!”
Myself and one of the ladies, I’ll call her A-ko, were like, “Yeah, let’s go!” and got all excited, but nobody else seemed to want to go. It wasn’t that they were scared, but they were drunk and couldn’t be bothered going outside again.
We ended up splitting into two groups—those who would stay and drink and those who wanted to go out—and the three of us went to visit the waterfall.
“We’ll bring you back a great story, look forward to it,” we said, and with a torch in hand left the house.
The waterfall was only a 30 minute walk away, but it was too much of a hassle so we took a taxi. We got out in front of the forest and walked the rest of the way in.
“Wow, it’s so dark,” A-ko muttered. We only had a single light, and the sky was cloudy so there wasn’t any moonlight either.
“How scary!” The three of us jumped around as we walked through the forest. We only had the one torch, so K-ta and A-ko used their phone lights to see as they walked.
It was the first time I’d ever been there at night, but the path in was paved so it was less scary than I thought. Right when I started to think it was no big deal, I could hear the sound of the waterfall in the distance. A cool breeze blew through the humid air as well.
A-ko suddenly let out a small scream. There were a bunch of Jizo statues lined up to the right in front of us. There were around a 100 of them, all around the size of a kokeshi doll, and they were all smiling. A-ko had apparently been focusing on the ground with her light so much that when she saw them out the corner of her eye, they scared her.
“Come to think of it, these were here, huh…”
They weren’t really remarkable during the daytime, but at night, seeing so many of them in the little light we had, they were definitely creepy.
“Now it finally feels like a test of courage, huh?”
As I moved to walk ahead, K-ta suddenly grabbed my sleeve. He looked at me, worried.
“What’s wrong? You scared?” I tried to make fun of him, but K-ta held a finger up to his lips and shushed me.
“Can you hear something?” he said.
Hear something? Hear what? Knowing him, I figured he was just trying to scare us, but he looked serious. Confused, A-ko and I fell silent and tried to focus on the sound.
All I could hear was the waterfall… No… There was something else mixed in with it. A low sound… Yeah, I could definitely hear it.
“Is that… chanting?” A-ko whispered and looked to me for confirmation. It certainly sounded like chanting. Like several people chanting together at once.
A chill ran down my spine.
“Come to think of it, I’ve heard something about this before,” K-ta whispered in a small voice. “About some religious group that’s taken up residence somewhere near S Waterfall… Maybe it’s for real?”
Hey, hey, that was even scarier than some ghost story.
“I don’t feel very well…” A-ko said in a small voice herself. “Let’s go back. Yeah?” Her face went pale and she was trembling. I looked at K-ta and we both gave a small nod. We decided to leave.
On the way back, we noticed A-ko was acting strange. She was in quite the rush. Despite saying that she felt sick, she was walking briskly, almost as though she was in a race. She almost left us behind.
“Hey, A-ko…?” Right as I tried to speak to her, she took off running at full speed. We had no idea what was going on, but both of us took off after her. She was so fast that we could barely catch her!
We finally caught up to her at the edge of the forest. She was stooped over, bawling her eyes out. We were even more confused, so all we could do was stand by and watch her.
When she was down and had finally calmed down, she started to tell us what had happened.
“Back at those Jizo statues, when I heard the chanting, I turned to look through the trees, and… I saw people in white clothes. They were surrounding us. It wasn’t just one or two people! There were dozens of them…”
“Are you for real?”
K-ta and I were at a loss for words. We certainly didn’t want to hang around for our test of courage anymore. We wanted to get home as quickly as possible.
As we went to stand up, we heard numerous chanting voices coming towards us from the path, as well as footsteps heading our way.
The three of us silently screamed and ran as fast as we could. It was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. Whether they were the cult members or the spirits of those who had killed themselves there, I dunno. I don’t want to know.
And I don’t ever want to go back there again, not even during the day.