On October 31st, 2004, Adult Swim aired this short film, Kakurenbo. The story is of 8 children who play the game of Otokoyo, “Hide and Seek”. During the game, they are pursued and whisked away by demons. With each missing child, the ruined city grows brighter.
I first watched this when I was 8 years old, and it scared the shit out of me. Ever since, I’ve looked for the name of the film (albeit lazily with very little effort). I’ve always loved the animation style, story, and light horror elements. I’d recommend giving it a watch as it’s only 25 minutes long. This is the highest quality English dub I could find on youtube, but I’m sure better versions exist. There seemed to be a lot of HQ Spanish dubs.
“The valley of the dead, Ikana Canyon. Whatever you do, don’t speak to the people there, they are only spirits, malicious or friendly, they can give you nothing. Do not accept their offers nor deny their advances. Give them no mind, no matter what, and whatever you do, never take off your mask. If they find that you are a member of the living… There’s no telling what they may do. Now go, return, save Termina from its own fate.”
Do you know of any animated horror films? All I can think of is Coraline.
Well, I went over creepy/disturbing animation before in this post (which does include a few full-length films that could be considered “horror”), but let’s see what else I can come up with (again, I’ll try to provide links to watch them free online where I can):
I know, by the times this comes out, it is Halloween
basically, but forgive me for being late on this spooky occasion. I do have a
life as well as an easily compromised digestive system. So, behold the spooky!
I am not usually a fan of spooky, creepy, suspenseful, jump
scares or gore, but I have a few recommendations that may look like a field of
flowers compared to what you actually find to be scary. These are in no
particular order and I’ve reviewed a few before, so you can click the links to
read those reviews, but I hope you have a good Halloween and enjoy these few
1. Hellsing Ultimate
Hellsing is an anime classic to most western fans, it really
is a creative and overall spooky and gut wrenching gore-fest—the manga, that
is. Hellsing the anime originally came out when the manga (10 volumes) was only
out to volume 3. So the production team panicked and slapped an original
villain on it and we lost way more than half of the story.
Years later, Hellsing Ultimate, the beautifully animated and
gruesomely detailed OVA series came out a little at a time. It’s faithful to
the manga, nearly panel-to-panel perfect and is just wonderfully chilling. Let
Alucard, Seras, Pip, Integra and Walter take you through the world of vampires,
ghouls, Nazis, werewolves and an ocean of blood in this 10 episode OVA series.
Take a trip back in time, to the scariest high school you
never want to attend where the spirits of the dead are here to fuck shit up and
kill people. Another and it’s gorgeous atmosphere and eccentrically creative
styles of death will make you never want to leave the house again. I’m still in
awe of how wonderfully suspenseful this show was, and still flooded by the
animation. Another is a great and easily digested 12 episode series, perfect to
marathon on Halloween.
3. Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek)
This short 3D animated movie came out quite some ago. I
first watched it as a kid on Adult Swim, and later as an adult, still
wonderfully creeped out by how well it held up. Kakurenbo is this wonderfully
set up world where kids sneak around to play hide and seek with Kitsune masks.
The idea is that you don’t eaten by demons, but that’s just a myth, demons
don’t exist and don’t children. Oh…these kids are in for a bad time. Suspenseful,
atmospheric, gorgeous, Kakurenbo is a treat for any anime horror fan.
My personal favorite: vampires portrayed as actual vampires.
And look—the dub is good too! Thanks Funimation for the three year delay on
that! Shiki is about a tiny town about to have a big problem, vampires. Don’t
let Megumi scare you away with her shrill voice and 8th grade
sensibilities; this show gets dark and fast. And worse, it elicits emotions
from you from both sides, making you wonder “who am I supposed to be rooting
The pacing is forgivable for the 22 episodes it covers.
Epidemics don’t just happen overnight and vampires get full just like me and
you. Enjoy the chaos that ensues in this wonderful series with poppy art and
some unforgettable sequences of terror.
5. Paranoia Agent
Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Paranoia Agent,
but I’ve been hunting down a full boxset for years because it left that big of
an impact on me. This show showcases the really scary thing in life: the human
mind. How creepy can we get? Very. With allusions to serious mental
instability, suicide, murder, jealousy, dementia, all the things a brain can do
to go bad, it gets scary. Paranoia Agent takes you on the tour of the human psyche
while police hunt down a kid with a baseball cap and golden bat and
rollerblades as he attacks people, who are on the brink of insanity, bat first.
The overall design and feel of the show (same director as Tokyo Godfathers by
the way) is gorgeous, while leaving you feeling a little unsettled just because
this stuff can happen in real life.
This happened three years ago when I was in 5th grade. While home alone that night, I came upon this game while surfing the Internet after 1 AM. I didn’t feel scared or anything, so I decided to play the game. I used a country girl doll and performed the steps, but I didn’t include anything from my body. I was late with the preparations, so by the time I got the knife and saltwater ready, it was already two minutes before 3 AM. Once the computer and all of the lights were turned off, I went into the bathroom and recited the chants. Afterward, I proceeded into the guest room next to the bathroom, counted to ten, and went out to stab the doll. Then I went back to the guest room, closed the door, turned the TV on, and hid in the closet with my saltwater and cell phone. I could hear the TV while I was waiting, but I don’t remember how much time had passed. Soon, I heard static noise mixed in with the audio of some show, then it switched back to static. It was pretty creepy, but the TV in the guest room did that a lot so I tried not to pay much attention to it. That is until; I heard a sound coming from the TV.
“Knock, knock, knock, knock”
It was mixed with the static noise, but it sounded as if a hand had come out of the television (It was next to the closet) and was knocking on the closet door. That knocking continued ten more times before stopping. I was so nervous; I couldn’t breathe even after the sound had stopped. Soon, the noise level started to decrease and increase. It would get loud enough to burst my eardrums and then quiet as if the TV was off. Then suddenly, the TV turned off. As a result, I stopped breathing and waited. The TV turned on again, this time with sound.
“Where” “Are” “You” “Hiding”
[TV on and off]
“Are” “You” “Here”
[TV on and off]
“I” “Know” “You” “Are “There”
[TV on and off]
[TV off, and after a while turns on]
“I” “Guess” “Not” “Here”
As the channel was flipping, one word would sound out (at channel A, “Where” then at channel B, “Are” and so on). The middle “Come out!” sounded as if it came from a drama. It didn’t come out one word at a time, but rather like a scene where a woman was screaming.
The TV turned off again and didn’t turn on for quite some time. I was so scared that I didn’t want to leave my hiding place. I wanted to call someone, so I took out my cell phone. My phone accessory made a clinking sound as they hit each other, and at that moment, the TV turned on.
Then it turned off. I felt that I shouldn’t make any sound, so I clutched my phone and stayed still.
It turned on again…
After that loud sound, the TV didn’t turn off and the static noise returned. Along with the static noise, I heard:
I was terrified, but it sounded like it hadn’t found me since all it talked about was finding me. So, with the saltwater in my mouth, I ran out of the closet. I didn’t know it at the time, but the TV was off when I came out…I had turned it on when I first entered the room. I opened the door and turned on the bathroom light, and found the doll on the floor with the knife. The soaked doll looked as if it were trying to crawl out of the basin and the knife was thrown across the floor. I was so shocked, that my mouth fell open. Luckily, the saltwater fell on the doll. I took the knife and disposed of the doll by ripping it to pieces. I then turned on every light in the house. I went to the kitchen to get a wrap, white plastic bag, and a black trash bag that I used to wrap the doll in and proceeded to stab it a few times. Then along with the knife, I wrapped about five more plastic bags around it. Only after wrapping it with tape could I finally relax.
I looked at the time as I walked out into the living room and the clock was pointing at 3:05.
All this happened in only five minutes!
Five minutes should have passed with I started hearing the knocking. No, taking care of the doll after the game should have taken longer than five minutes…
so I’ve been reading up on hitori kakurenbo out of curiosity and like
Who the hell plays hide and seek by grabbing a random person, drowning them, and then stabbing them? No fucking wonder you get a pissed off spirit.
Has anyone tried playing it nicely? Like, papping the doll on the shoulder and being like, “spirit who’s interested in a friendly, non-violent game of tag you’re it” and maybe not submerging the doll completely? And is the water really necessary anyway, what does it do?
maybe the spirit would leave you a message like
“nah son sorry they’re marathoning GoT next door and you don’t even have cable maybe next week”
This is a game from Japanese legends that is used to call something from a different realm.
To play the game you need: (this varies) a doll, rice to fill the doll, scissors and nail-clippers (they are used to cut hair and nails from your body to add to the doll) a needle with red thread, glass of salt water and finally a sharp instrument to stab the doll with.
How to play:
Cut open doll, replace stuffing with rice
Sew back doll with read thread and bind it
Name the doll
Wait till 3AM (make sure you are alone at home)
Fill sink/tub with water then turn off all lights
When ready to start say: “(your name) will be the first it. (your name) will be the first it. (your name) will be the first it.”
Drop the doll in the water and go into another room to count to ten and go back into where the doll is
Pick of the doll and say: “(Dolls name) I found you!” Stab the doll. Then say “Now (doll name) is it! Now (doll name) is it! Now (doll name) is it!”
The doll will supposedly come looking for you, if you are found, something bad will happen to you. When you are ready to quit playing, fill your mouth with the salt water and spit it onto the doll. Then burn the doll.
Like most legends, there is variation to the purpose of the game. Some say the spirit you are calling is a demon and some believe it to be an Earth spirit. This game has many variations and different tweaks depending on where and who you hear it from.
This is a terrifying Japanese game I read about as a kid. I seriously recommend not to try it as it is very easy to mess up with horrific consequences. Basically you play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a possessed doll. This game is also known as Hitori Kakurenbo, One Man Hide and Seek or One Man Tag. I’ve copied the exact directions from a website.
To Play Hide and Seek Alone, you need a stuffed doll (it must have arms and legs), a bag of uncooked rice (enough to fill the doll), a needle and crimson thread, a sharp knife, a cup of salt (natural salt would be best). You also need to choose a small room or closet which will be your Hiding Place.
Step 1: Cut open the doll and remove the stuffing. Fill the doll with uncooked rice. (In many Asian cultures, uncooked rice is believed to attract spirits).
Step 2: Clip your fingernails and put them inside the doll. (This binds the doll to you).
Step 3: Sew the doll up with the crimson thread, then tie up the doll with the rest of the thread. (The thread represents blood and binds the spirit to the doll).
Step 4: Fill the bathtub with water.
Step 5: Place a cup of salt water inside your hiding place.
Step 6: Choose a name for your doll. (Naming a spirit makes it more powerful).
Step 7: At 3 AM, go to the bathroom, pick up the doll and say three times, “(Your Name) is the first it!”
Step 8: Place the doll in the bathtub, take the knife with you and go around the house turning off all the lights. Switch on the TV and leave it on a static white noise channel.
Step 9: Go back to your hiding place, close your eyes and count to ten.
Step 10: Return to the bathroom with the knife in your hand.
Step 11: Say, “I have found you, (Doll’s Name)!” and stab the doll with the knife.
Step 12: Say three times, “Now (Doll’s Name) is it!” and put the doll and the knife back in the bathtub.
Step 13: Immediately, run back to your hiding place and wait.
At this point, you may hear the pitter patter of tiny feet. If the doll is close, you will hear the white noise on the TV change. Apart from the sound of footsteps and things being moved around, some people have reported horrible smells, drastic changes in temperature, and the TV suddenly switching off or the volume changing dramatically. Some have reported the sensation of being touched or pulled on.
If at any time, you feel the doll is about to find you, end the game.
To end the game, take a mouthful of salt water. Keep it in your mouth. Don’t swallow it. Get out of the hiding place and start looking for the doll. The doll is not necessarily in the bathroom. It could be anywhere. Whatever happens, don’t spit out the salt water until you find the doll.
When you find it, pour the rest of the salt water in the cup over it, then spit the salt water in your mouth over it as well. Say three times, “I win!” and cut off the crimson thread. This is supposed to free the spirit and end the ritual.
After this make sure you dry the doll, and burn or discard it later.
1. Do not stop this ritual halfway through. You must do it through to the end.
2. Do not go outside of the house.
3. Do not play this game for more than two hours, or the spirit will become too powerful and will not leave the doll.
4. You must be alone in the house when you play. You can play with friends, but if there is someone else in the house who is not playing, they will be in mortal danger if the doll finds them instead.
5. When you are returning to your hiding place, do not look behind you.
6. You must turn off all lights and keep very quiet while hiding.
7. Do not leave your hiding place without salt water in your mouth. The doll will still be searching for you.
8. If you are religious, take a symbol of protection from your religion into the hiding place with you (eg: a crucifix, rosary beads, a scapular, a Hamsa or a Buddhist amulet or talisman).
wait what exactly happened to you when you played hide and seek? did it really work?
It did. Short story- creepy shit happened.
Long story;//brace yourself for long explanation//
I live in an apartment, and my parents sleep out in the living room, so there wasn’t a lot of hiding space. Basically to protect everyone (which seemed to work), we placed salt around the entrance to the living room, and salt around my brother’s bedroom door. And for good measure, we also put salt around the closet door where we hid. Now I didn’t exactly feel safe hiding in my closet, as it’s a sliding door instead of an open-close door. And the worst part is; The only parts open for search was the short hall between my bedroom and the bathroom, and my room itself.
Some of the things we caught by ear was some whistling. And while my friend says otherwise, I did hear light footsteps outside of my closet door, over by the side I was hiding. The whistling and footsteps were all we heard by EAR.
Now I was recording with both my IPhone and my iPad. My iPad was rested upright against a pillow and facing the direction of the door and tv, and didn’t pick up much visuals as it was dark besides the tv, and even that you couldn’t see well because of the light emanating from it. However at one point in the recording, we saw the tv visually warp, but the sound stayed in tact. I can’t say for sure if this is completely accurate, since, once again, the conditions made it hard to see. (rest under a read more because this turned out longer than expected and I didn’t want to spam people’s dashes. But give it a read, it’s interesting!)