CREEPYVILLE IS A NEW SERIES OF ARTICLES WHERE WE FIND THE SICKEST, CREEPIEST…WEIRDEST AND STRANGEST STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
A place of shrouded darkness where few come out…At the foot of mount Fuji in Japan lies “the sea of trees” Aokigahara Forest. 14 square miles of dense, beautiful….yet creepy and eerily quiet landscape. Thick trees and hundreds of tangling roots where the only sunlight to be seen is through the the treetops. Through its quiet serenity and beauty it seems the perfect place to take time out…so thought the hundreds of people a year that have gone there to die.
Also known as the suicide forest, Aokigahara has had over a hundred deaths every year. It has been steeped in dark japanese mythology and legend since tourists and locals started finding decomposing bodies in the 1950’s, since the 1970’s it has been policed and had local volunteers scouring the forest to either find bodies or talk people out of what they have gone there for. Families often go in desperate search of friends and relatives, most are never claimed and are left to the forest that will in time cover them up and eventually be lost forever. It is believed that the penchant for suicide in the area stems from the 1960 novel, ‘Wave of Trees’ by Seicho Matsumoto, in which the protagonists commit suicide in Aokigahara forest. The death rate has shown a significant annual increase, reaching a peak in 2004 when 108 people committed suicide in the forest.
They have often found strings from near the entrance to deep into the woods that normally lead to bodies that people have strung up walking in….just in case they decide to come back.
Azusa Hayano has lived near the forest for over 30 years and is a main volunteer that has found over 100 bodies himself over the last 20 years. He did a documentary on the forest with the Vice World Deep (see youtube under Aokigahara Forest) His interest in death and despair may seem to stem from morbid fascination, but as the film rolls on it becomes clear that this softly-spoken, pensive man acts out of a desire to understand and prevent these tragedies. Though the footage includes disturbing stills of bodies found dangling in the forest, perhaps equally chilling are the personal belonging they leave behind, often signs of distress and indecision.
The film starts with a car abandoned on the edge of the forest, Mr Hayano tells the camera it has been there for months. ‘I’m assuming the owner of the car entered from here and never came out,’ he says. ‘I guess they went into the forest with troubled thoughts’. As well as finding the bodies possibly even more dark and un-naturally creepy is the personal belongings left by people. Clothes, shoes, photos and memories. Also to be found are letters to family, one Hayano found said “please don’t look for me” and in another spot found a doll upside down with its face torn off, thought to be a curse “ I think this person was tortured by society”.
Currently the 2nd most popular suicide destination in the world, 1st being the golden gate bridge, the forests entrances have signs saying “please reconsider” and “think about your children and family”. In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of which were successful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I’ve been into everything creepy and unnatural (e.g horror) since i was a kid. Forever reading and watching things I probably shouldn’t, Seeing every horror film possible, from the classics to going exploring and researching supposed haunted sites where actual events have happened as well as an unhealthy obsession with zombies and all related to… has led me to really look into the paranormal and what’s REALLY happening out there, the real horrors behind the myths, stories, rumours, films an imagination…and not being too bad with words I thought I’d start to write for you lovers of all things horrific, about the creepiest places/events around the world and the history of it.
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