Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Spookey Month: Japanese Ghost Videos and Photos

Have you ever had a photo developed and discovered something surprising in the background? The undead or a spirit from the other side, for example?

These kinds of stories show up on Japanese TV every once in a while. Last year around New Year's, while I was staying in a Tokyo hotel, I watched a fun documentary about unexplained phenomena around the world and in Japan; UFOs and the like. The best part was the bit on ghosts appearing in the backgrounds of amateur videos and snapshots. The host was the multi-talented and omnipresent Kitano Takeshi. His celebrity guests really got into the ghost segment, squealing, oohing and ahhing, and laughing at some of the more obvious fakes. During a video of a hip hop dancer practicing his moves outside around sunset the camera revealed what appeared to be a severed head lying behind one of the concrete planters behind him.

Kitano snickered and said, "That's not a ghost. That's a homeless guy sleeping back there!"

Some of the video clips in the YouTube offering I'm linking here today are from Japanese TV dramas-- hey, if you accidentally capture a crew member in the background of one of your shots, it's a sign of incompetence, not supernatural intervention.

A popular "ghost" image is the unexpected hand. You see them eerily protruding from figures in the photographs. I saw one where a hand pokes out from between the sweaty thighs of a soccer player. There are probably plenty of people who would like to get their hands into exactly that position. But during a match? Another shows a hand on top of the head of a Chinese national team basketball player during a game. Most of these I discount as either optical illusions or outright fakes.

Lock the door as twilight falls. Dim the lights. And check out the creepy video and decide for yourself which are which. But beware... for those of you with a sensitive nature, perhaps more attuned to the sinister forces lurking just beyond the ordinary in our universe, some of these photos may prove... quite unsettling.


Marie said...

Hi super-gaijin '76, I think I watched this tv show as well, while I was in Japan in January a year or so ago. Do you know what the tv show is called? I remember they not only played japanese ghost videos on the tv show but also videos from other countries.

Joel Bryan said...

Hi Marie-- Sorry, but I have no idea what the name of this show is! Wish I did! Thanks for the comment, too.

Anonymous said...

whyd ya remove it lol too many flames?