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Hanako-san: an urban legend?


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
I just browsed a French forum about Japan and found an interesting story dealing with Hanako-san, a notorious school restroom ghost. Hanako-san is the spirit of a young girl [obake] dwelling in dark and smelly restrooms. She appears if her name is called, and a lot of mysterious and frightening things happen in her presence, in particular at night. One version of the story says Hanako-san died of bullying [ijime].

The story seems to be told all over Japan and has caused tremendous fear among elementary school students (a lot of them refused to enter the restrooms). Hehe, my wife has just confirmed that.

Apparently there's an animテゥ character by the same name (based on the story) as well as a horror movie ("Toilet no Hanako" by Mizuno Saeko, 1995).

So watch out next time you enter a restroom. Boo!
ohhh! tell all the gory details please, this is facinating, ghosts in restrooms, now that captures me!!! lolol;)
just reread my post, god but I must look sad,lolol:mad: lol

(ghost stories, fiction, ect, I'm hooked hehe)
ahhh, the horrible toilet goblins :)

Japan has a strong affinity to toilet monsters.

I missed that movie.

Apparently, Hanako is not really an urban legend.

first though the gore.


Many schools are close to 30 years old. Not very old you might think but in reality Japanese homes and buildings are normally rebuild after 30 years. It's something to do with how much money they spend on construction costs. So you have old scary looking schools with even scary restrooms.

Students at times are even at school after it gets dark at night.

The story begins. You are your friends are late at school. The building is dark and gloomy. Unfortunately you have to go pee. Yiou're thinking to yourself, "I gotta wait, I gotta hold on." But, nature's call is stronger than your resolve of patient. You beg your friends,"go to the bathroom with me, please!!!" They look at like your nuts. But, friends they are and unkowningly to you they too were jittering and holding on ...

You venture out of the classroom down the hall. You soft soled school shoes echo. fush fush fush .... goose bumps run down your arms. You shiver and look sidewise at your best who too looks a little unnerved.

Another friend mentions that OBon is next week. You and the friend next to you stare knives at her. Why now? [baka] The wise mouth she is ventures out, "hey, let's call for Hanako! Your not chicken are you???"

Again, you feel like killing her for having the audacity to even mention such a thing expecially, since today it's dark and gloomy outside ready to rain.

When you arrive at the bathroom the lights were turned off and you hit the switch.

Evenbody giggles a nervous laugh. There are 4 stalls on the left side with mirrors and sinks on the right. You look at the bottom of the doors to see if anybody is inside. You laugh to yourself since the lights were off when you came in.

Both of your friends aim for the 1st and 2nd ones. You say, "hey! I'm not gonna use the 3rd one. No way!" Your friends laugh and say, "What you afraid of Hanako-san?" "No, it's not that," you reply. "Then what gives?" they reply. "Well ... errr ... you know," you begin to stumble on your words and the goose bumps feel more like ostrich bumps.

You smart mouth friend then challenges you both, "Hey, let's chant for Hanako-san!" You and your other friend shutters. But not wanting to show that much fear. Well, spiders and what not are scary but not ghosts, they don't exist.

Out of peer pressure both of you agree. "Fine! You chant then!" both of say in definace.

The 3 of you step up to the 3rd stall and knock 3 times. KNOCK (steady is the rythm) KNOCK (not too fast) KNOCK. "Hanako-san" (once again) "Hanako-san" (what's that last part ... ah yes) "Let's play a game"

All, three of you brave but not foolish, yet, can't help to notice that with OBON and a dreay weather such a day as today ... could be the day ...

You wait ... no reply.

Everybody giggles ... ahhh ... safe.

Everybody is now a little edgy and agree that the 3rd one out is [kawaiso] (feel sorry for) so you agree to [janken] (rock - scissors - paper) for who's gonna use stall 4.

You loose. Just your luck eh!

You all enter into the stalls.

Horrible luck today you think to yourself. NO toilet paper. You call out to your friend and say, "Hey pass me a roll of toilet paper." "Hold on," you hear the reply. A flush of the toilet and a roll of paper comes up and over the stall. Nice catch.

HOLD ON!!!!!!!!

It came from the side, NUMBER 3 stall !!!! That's not logical. You didn't hear the door next to you open so it's not a trick! You friend said "hold on" ... You heard the flush. The roll of toilet paper should've came over the top of the DOOR!!!!!!

You forget to flush, You forget to wipe, You pull up you school uniform skirt. Open the door ....

A cool breeze, NO that's not a breeze, you look to the window. It's CLOSED. The light seems dimmer than when you came in.

You don't dare .... but you do .... you push open the door of stall number 3 ... with your hand ....

The door opennnnnnssssssss slowy.


OH MY GOD ........ you can't scream ..... you can't run ...... you're petrified with cold and fear ......

What you see is a girl not much older than yourself. But different.
Her hair is all over the place, her complection pale .... her lips a dark dark red ....... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Hey what's taking you so long in there?" Calls out your smart mouthed friend.

The spell breaks, the coldness suddenly disappears, the lights brighten it seems. You can move. You run out and hug your friend.

You tell the story to your friends and they giggle and laugh.
They think you're joking but ... the color of your face shows the truth.
You're NOT joking.

Everybody stops talking.

You all run as fast as you can to the teachers room.


Ok, that's the basic gist of the story. I had to change some of the imagng and lauguage to help the power of the story. Although it should be close enough to most standard cases.

hanako-san is a relatively new story in Japan therefore the possiblity of being an Urban Legend but ... compared to Richard Geere and his gerbiling story this story does seem to have some ties to the truth.

hanako-san is not really a girl but rather a boy. I forgot which prefecture but it was somewhere in the old country of Nagano or Nigata ken ??? I'll let Thomas do the leg work on this. A young boy in elementary school, a really old wood style type of school, was the unfortunate enough to die while doing his duties. The snow slide off the roof of the gym, I believe it was, and fell on top of the lavatory area of the school. The weight of the snow crashed through the roof killing the boy. Interestingly enough he was in the number 3 stall.

believe it or not.

I wonder if Thomas has any links to the other toilet goblins? The kappa is one too. This post is getting long. So, if you want I'll post more ... I just need to think of what the order was ... I'm not sure right now.

aahhhhhhhhhh!!!! hheeellllpppp!!!!

Moyashi that was great,you can sure tell a good story🙂

you should some day turn your hand too ghost stories, I can see a best seller in the makeing!!👏

please tell more,, you'v got me hooked

E-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t, Moyashi!

Thanks God that the sun was still shining when I read your story.
There are similar stories here in the states...basically the names have been changed and some of the details are a little different. Basically the same thing though.

Too funny how things like that can travel.
Ahh! samuriatora, tell the stories and the details, (sorry when I'm hooked I really do mean hooooked)please🙂 lolol these stories are fascinating, any twist or turn will be well greatly appreciated, I just love it when a story has different angles and a possible difference in layout, this gets my utmost attension lolol,
yes I know already "I'm sad" lolol🙂
funny thing, was that yesterday, was rainy gloomy day. At 4pm it was pretty dark out too!


best seller, I wish. I can' even write a grammatically correct sentence.
I'm a big fan of Steven King. I know his writting still needs much to be better but his imagination is just out of this world.
The story was great, Moyashi-san! 👍

I come from Romania, and we have Transylvania and the Dracula myth there.
Diana the landscapes are beautyful,, and yes I beleive once apon a time,, along time ago there was a real "Count Drac" well so I thought when I was a kid,, now I love to get into these stories and make beleive, hehe:eek:
you know this story really reminds me of "bloody mary". It was like the exact same thing when I was in elementary school. We'd go into the bathroom someone would turn off the lights and you were supposed to say her name 13 times into the mirror and everyone would try and we'd all scream and laugh and swear we saw something. Oh man, we had fun, we wouldnt go back to class for a full half hour. We got in trouble so many times. hahaha.

I learned a little, tiny bit about Hanako from a movie called Ghost Stories. Like that she haunts the third stall of the bathroom and that she's usually seen with short hair and wearing red. And one story says that if you call her, you see her and she asks what game you want to play. But I never got the full details on some of the stories of how she died (cuz there are quite a few). It said that one version says her boyfriend broke up with her and she commited suicide in the bathroom. Another says that her mom killed her in the bathroom. Anyone have details on these? Like how she killed herself or why her mom would kill her? I like knowing these little things. ^_^ Yeah. Some say that she's a mischief-maker, but some also say that she's just misunderstood.

I've talked with my friends about Bloody Mary. But I never had the guts to test it. I've heard she does numerous things to those who call on her. Like tearing their eyes out or scratching them, killing them, dragging them into her mirror world. One guy even said that she stuck a bullet in his mouth, but he was a liar. (He found the bullet on the ground that morning and had it in his pocket. Then he went in the bathroom alone, and came out with it in his mouth saying that Bloody Mary had stuck it in.) There are also various ways to call on her. Like lighting candles before you chant or chant strictly at midnight. Also some various chants like "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary...May I hold your baby?" If you do that one, she's said to appear as a skeleton, holding a skeleton baby, which she will then hand to you. If you drop it, she kills you. But it's always the same where you spin in circles as you chant. I always heard of chanting either 3 or 5 times. That's the first time I've heard of 13. But I guess that makes sense since 13 is an unlucky number.
There was another bathroom ghost in Ghost Stories. It was called Akagami Aogami. That was pretty interesting, too. Even though Ghost Stories is the only one I've seen, I think it's cool that there are so many movies about ghost legends in schools, cuz it's really fascinating.
Bumping up the thread, because it sure is an interesting read (what made me think about one of the Harry potter movies actually)
Hanako.jpg I think you have to go into the right Japanese bathroom to see her.
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