Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spookey Month: Teke-Teke, the Woman Who Runs on Her Elbows

She has to run on her elbows. She doesn't have legs. Teke-Teke is another in our ghastly catalog of modern Japanese horrors. Once a normal woman, a railroad accident in Hokkaido cost her her lower body and now she wants to cut you in half as well. Teke-Teke crawls across Japan on her elbows, making the sound which provides her name: teke-teke-teke-teke-teke-teke.

If you hear this story (or perhaps if you merely read it... sorry...), within three days you will see Teke-Teke's lower half wandering around. I don't know if Teke-Teke's legs also have a name or if they do anything sinister. Teke-Teke herself preys on schoolchildren. And like many other Japanese ghosts, she inspired not one but two horror movies:

In the movie, she goes after high school kids; they make inviting targets for movie studios too!

The fun and informative site Scary For Kids also mentions a variation on Teke-Teke, the unfortunate Kashima Reiko. Kashima Reiko is another of those ubiquitous school toilet ghosts of Japan.

I don't know why Japanese school bathrooms attract the supernatural; perhaps there's something about the energy fields here in Japan and various social anxieties surrounding body functions in relation to bathrooms lead to psychic manifestations-- malevolent ones, indeed. Japan is a land haunted by many yokai and oni, so it may be that school bathrooms represent easy pickings to some of the nastier spirits here.

Whatever her motivation for haunting school bathrooms, poor Kashima Reiko lost her legs in an auto accident and now hangs out in toilet stalls where she waits for someone so she can ask them, "Where are my legs?" If you give her the wrong answer, she tears off one of your legs. There are different answers you can give her if she asks you. One is to say, "At Meishin Expressway." She'll then ask, "Who told you that?"

Just tell her, "Kashima Reiko told me that."

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