Japan is home to some very strange spirits, to say the least. Not long ago I did a post about an odd breed of spirit that exclusively haunt Japan’s bathrooms. Last night I was poking around, looking for more Japanese ghouls and goblins when I came across the Gashadokuro (also known as the Odokuro).
While classified as a spirit being, it seems that much like the yurei (and contrary to the West’s notion of ghosts), the Gashadokuro have a physical substance to them rather than being incorporeal. These beings manifest as gigantic skeletons, fifteen times the size of a normal man which would put them at roughly ninety feet tall. They arise from the gathered bones of people who died as a result of starvation or warfare. Due to the terrible deaths that gave them un-life, the Gashadokuro are full of anger and a blood lust that can only be sated by drinking the blood of the living.
They walk the countryside at night, seeking after human quarry. When they find an unwary traveler along the road, the Gashadokuro silently stalk them (although how a ninety foot skeleton can be stealthy is beyond me) and when the moment is right, catch their victim in a skeletal hand and proceed to bite their head off. Then the Gashadokuro sucks the body dry of blood. Imagine it as something like how we humans eat crawdads or lobsters. Pleasant, right? Japanese ghost stories are pretty hardcore.
So, how does a poor traveler avoid becoming a human crawdad? Unfortunately I’ve not come across any ways of combating the Gashadokuro. The only way I’ve seen to avoid becoming a midnight snack is to run like hell the moment you hear a strange ringing in your ears, which is the only warning the Gashadokuro gives prior to striking. Presumably then people like me who have ringing in their ears almost constantly are in a lot of trouble, then.
The Gashadokuro also walk around making a sound something like “gachi-gachi” and grinding their teeth, so presumably you could hear that as well. Plus, you know, a ninety foot skeleton is bound to stick out like a sore thumb no matter how dark it is outside. So if you find yourself broke down in Japan in the middle of the night (because that happens to all of us at one point or another), keep your eyes peeled and your ears open and you might just survive the night.
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