Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kuchisake-onna, Ghost of The Slit-Mouth Woman

I confess, I'm a scardey-cat, and I have the particularly unreasonable fear of ghosts, of all things. I managed to completely terrify myself into sleeplessness one evening by just reading the Wikipedia article about the Slit-Mouth Woman.

According to Japanese legend, the ghost of the Slit-Mouth Woman approaches her victims on the street, covering her mouth -- in the old days she used the long sleeves of her kimono as her cover, but in modern form she wears a surgical mask. She asks her victim, "Do you think I'm pretty?" A no answer means instant death; but a yes prompts her to reveal her face, showing that her mouth has been carved into a Glasgow grin. She asks again if she if pretty. Again, a no ensures instant death, but a yes this time means she blesses you with the opportunity to look as pretty as her, by slicing your mouth open into a similar Chelsea smile. In some versions of the story, she will also kill you when she does this.

The legend however does say there are ways to escape. The Slit-Mouth Woman, like many ghosts of lore, is easily confused. Simply repeating your answer multiple times, whatever it may be, can be enough to confuse her and allow you a chance to escape. Another (very Japanese) way to flee her wrath is to simply tell the ghost of the Slit-Mouth Woman that you are in a hurry and need to be elsewhere: she will apologize for her bad manners for detaining you, and let you be.

According to the legend, Slit-Mouth Woman was a beautiful girl whose jealous husband mutilated her face by slitting her mouth out to her ears. This trauma drove her to insanity, and this is why her ghost remains bent on inflicting the same fate upon others.

5 comments:

  1. The Japanese sure have a lot of vengeful women ghosts with asshole husbands! This is an awesome story though, probably my favourite so far.

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    1. I think the Japanese belief is that you have to have been unhappy in life to want to return as a ghost (especially an evil one) and wicked husbands seemed the best way to create a trauma that could not be escaped.

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  2. I had never heard of the Slit Mouth Woman. It seems whatever answer you give her your s**t out of luck :(

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  3. I wish there was a version of how the joker got his scars that involved this ghost but you wold really have to stretch the plot thin to make that work. Oh and have I ever said how perfect your blog is?

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    1. I could see it in the Batman The Animated Series world but not inthe Dark Knight world, unless it weren't really a ghost but just some crazy Japanese girl. Doubtless Joker must have claimed it was how he got the scars to someone, though.
      And thank you for the kind words about the blog! (Psst, tell your friends ;) )

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