Japan’s Most Haunted Places
August 19, 2009 | by MDeeDubroff

The Japanese believe that all humans have a spirit or soul called a reikon. Ghosts are yurei, meaning “faint spirit.”

If a person dies in a sudden or violent manner, the reikon is thought to transform into a yurei, which can then bridge the gap back to the physical world.

The yurei tend to remain near where they died. They usually appear between 2 and 3 a.m., which is like the western world’s bewitching hour of midnight, and a time when the veils between the world of the dead and that of the living are at their thinnest.

Many Japanese ghosts are connected with battlefields and military bases. Here are some to chillingly consider.

Atsugi Naval Base

Located two hours south of Tokyo, Atsugi Naval base has a secret past, which includes the fact that it was a CIA U-2 Base, which housed the U-2 flown over Russia by Gary Powers in the early 1960s. In 1957, Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, was stationed at Atsugi as a Marine radar operator.

The spirit of a young man who wanders aimlessly from room to room is said to haunt the naval base. It is believed that he is the ghost of a young marine who was killed in a car accident back in the 1960s

Atsugi: The Corrosion Hangar Bay

Located on the other side of the naval base, this hangar stands over an older one that was used by the Kamikaze pilots of Imperial Japan. Here, many pilots killed themselves in disgrace after Japan’s final surrender to the allied powers.

It is said that doors slam and disembodied red eyes float about.

Field Hospital- Kanagawa Prefecture

Located on the military base named Sagami Depot, this hospital has been the site of several unexplainable occurrences.

The building is hardly used, but nightly security checks reveal raised windows and locked doors that had been previously unlocked.

Many of the military police who patrol the building have reported hearing someone or something walking around inside.

Iwakuni- Barracks 1687, Room 301

A few years ago, a Marine living in that room committed suicide. He broke the mirror in a fit of drunken rage and slit his wrist with one of the shards of broken glass.

Since then, there have been reports from other soldiers staying in the room that sometimes very late at night when looking into the mirror, the dead marine stares back from somewhere deep inside.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

It should come as no surprise that these two sites of such terrible tragedy are haunted by the unfortunate souls who perished during the nuclear bomb attacks at the end of World War II.

Ghostly voices are heard at twilight crying and screaming for help.

Okinawa: Camp Hansen- Gate #3

After darkness falls, every weekend a soldier with blood all over his World War II fatigues and a cigarette in his hand would ask the gate guard: “Gotta light?” The MP would oblige and as soon the cigarette was lit, the soldier would disappear.

Whether you believe this or not, gate #3 at Camp Hansen is closed because of this reported haunting.

Tokyo: Akasaka Mansion

Many guests have reported seeing specters standing at the end of their beds, white mists coming in through the air vents and sudden changes of temperature in their rooms.

Some have reported a feeling of someone stroking their heads while they sleep, and one person claimed she was dragged from her bed to the other side of the room and then back again. Scratch marks on her back the next day corroborated her story.

Yokosuka Naval Base: Gridley Tunnel

It is thought that the ghost of this narrow, one-way tunnel that runs through a hill is that of a Samurai warrior who was on his way to avenge the death of his lord when he was ambushed and cut down in the tunnel. Because he failed in his mission, he can’t leave his place of death.

Visions of the samurai as reported by passing motorists have caused several accidents in the tunnel over the years.

Himuro Mansion: Tokyo Outskirts

The basis of the survival horror video game series that deals with ghosts, exorcism, and dark Shinto rituals, “Fatal Frame,” Himuro Mansion was the site of a brutal family murder and sacrifice.

Many weird happenings have been reported in and near the old mansion; including apparitions of those who once lived there, bloody handprints and sprays of blood, which mysteriously appear on the walls.

Sometimes, a small girl in a kimono is seen in one of the windows. To add to the mansion’s mystery, no one knows the significance of the vast tunnels the run underneath.

Yokohama: Ikego-The Middle Gate

The Middle Gate marks the spot where a concentration camp from the World War II era once stood. Here, thousands of Chinese and Korean people were put to work and then killed by the Japanese army. Today it serves as a U.S. military housing base.

There are five incinerators on the premises and three gates that separate it from the Japanese community. At the middle gate, patrol guards have reported hearing voices and footsteps, and have described the feeling of being watched by unseen eyes.

One recurring vision concerns a Japanese soldier from World War II in a brown uniform with no legs floating between the middle and back gates.

These incidents are part of a much bigger picture, as there are many more haunted spots in Japan. Most but not all date back to the era of World War II.

If you plan a visit to one of these spooky places, whatever you do, don’t go alone!




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.
  • Excellent article. Thank you for posting it.

  • It is either time for another drink or time for Ghosters Hunters. I enjoyed reading this and hope someone else has more in fo on it sometime

  • "Pacat" I was just thinking "Ghost Hunters International" lol!

    The Himuro Mansion sounds very interesting.

    • No it's Not, I have done Reaserch into it. Belive it or Not There is An Actual Mansion That exsist in Japane, The Mansion itself is said to be Fairly Big With it's Own Temple. The legend has it many of who lived there Died. Movies Like "the Grudge" & Video Games Like "Fatal Frame" are based off the One place.

      The Original Family That lived there where into Dark Rituals & abducted near by Girls For Sacrifices. ALSO That LASt know Famly that has lived there, Disappered, But a journal Was found Describing Events Where a young girl With long hair Covering her Face Attacked the family Repetedly. Other Events Enclude Bleeding Wall's Spirits Of Shento Preist With Strange Masks Apper. Exetra.

      Trust me It is Real

  • Nevermind. I just found out that the Himuro Mansion is not real, lol. It's an American urban legend about Japan.


  • I can tell you that the corrosion hanger at atsugi is haunted. I was stationed there from 1991-1995 and worked in the hanger for 2 years painting tomcats. There is many other buliding on the base that are said to be haunted. The base church,enlisted club, base admin buliding. I use to manage the club in the evenings part time. one friday night after closing about 6 of us were sitting drinking are first beer before locking up and going home for the night. All of a sudden the jumbo tv and the 18 28' tvs around the club came on for about 10s and then went off by themselves. We looked at each other to see who had the remote and none of us had it. We heard a noise and turned and looked out the door. On the bottom of the door was one of those metal kick plates and you could see the reflection of the fire exit sign on it and we seen something walk/pass in front of it. We got up and searched the club but found no one so we went back to the beer. We got talking about what we had seen and myself and scott said we don't believe in ghosts.

  • Okey ( Korean Bartender) said we should not talk like that about ghosts. The next night was about as bad as it gets, scott and myself had to cover for 2 barbacks thst called out. We dropped/broke about $300 dollars in boozes. Okey said it was because we had insulted the ghosts. Before we went home that night we apoligized to the ghosts. Nothing ever happened like that ever again. Later in the week I asked Jimmy san ( Japanese National ) about the club , he said the club was built over the old wwII japanese hospital and the morgue was in the area of the club were we had are incounter. Sorry so long winded.

  • The Himuro Mansion is not real :D Stories started because of the video game fatal frame, they advertised the game a based on true story which is not. So the Mansion might be even exist.

  • like it……….

  • Fatal Frame 1 was a game based on the himuro mansion :O

  • Himuro mansion might or might not be real, if the location is unknown well propbably because first, its a very old urban legend so the actual location might not be known to people nowadays in japan, second, if its a story that was passed from one generation to another through word of mouth then it might be a real, there might be still a number of people there who knows a lot about the legend, some stories does’nt need a lot of evidences to be plausible, it only needs consistency, but since we’re now on the infotech era, i’m pretty sure that by the use of the internet we can still unravel the truth behind this, true or not, still its a story worth searching for. I got interested w/ the story when i first played Fatal Frame on PS2, it gave me one hell of a gaming experience, simple but scary sh*t, until then, i started searching for more info regarding the story… until now.

    • I'm looking for more info regarding Himuro mansion and the rituals as well. So far, I found one guy who went to the mansion and experienced it. He said that finding the mansion was hard and inside it resembles the map of the Fatal Frame game. The scripts found mentioned about the rituals. Sounds convincing. But he is no longer active in that forum.

      Recommend you to refer:

  • thanks for the pictures! lol

  • i used to live in NAF Atsugi and i can tell you that picture of that base looks nothing like it, but when i was living there i heard a lot of rumors about the base being haunted and there were a lot of haunting hot spots throughout the base. i lived in a apartment tower that was rumored to be haunted too. one of the most infamous of the haunting hot spots was the haunted tree near the flight line. it was the only tree that wasn't cut down because no one could cut it down. apparently, whenever someone tried to cut it down or hurt it something terrible happened to them. lots of teens from my old school took pictures there and they saw weird orbs around them in the picture and a classmate of mine's printer broke when she tried to print out a picture of the haunted tree.

    • Maybe it has changed since you lived there.

    • I know that haunted tree, I patrol around it everyday at work. I have heard the storys about it and a friend of mine pee'd on the tree and the next day wrecked the police unit we have in Kamiseya. Im suprised that there is nothing about NSF Kamiseya, the old Marine barracks is a scary place, doors slam and windows shake. The building has since been locked down and overgrown with vegitation. then the base it's self is spooky as well, all that is there is the Japanese security and the fire dept. If your in japan, check out NSF Kamiseya.

    • I live at NAF Atsugi now, and that's exactly how it looks. I've heard of a lot of haunted places, but the tree is probably the most famous among residents.

  • I stood the midnight watch at the Corrosion Hanger at NAF Atsugi back in the early 90's. Old Red Eyes is real. I have seen the red eyes and seen doors open, then slam shut. It was a pretty weird place. The duty officer of the JN helicopter squadron next door refused to set foot in there.

  • i live in deppot. i think the myth had something to do with a geisha lady.

  • The Sagami Depot Hospital is actually off base and is haunted but not sure by who.
    The Atsugi main gate pic is current. The Flight Line Tree is now gone via force of nature it could not be moved any other way cause it was haunted. The towers by the elementary school had a woman killed in it about 15 years ago. I too have heard that couple of the old hangars are haunted. As for the club I didn’t know that was the Morgue but if Jimmy said it was so I know it to be true. Alot of the old buildings are being renovated or condemned. They have been there since World War II.
    Yokosuka-I heard about the tunnel but I also heard there is a ghost at the MWR/Taco Bell building. I heard man was seen at one of the windows but no one was actually inside. I am in a building that may or not be haunted one of the JN said she saw the ghost this morning. Trying to find out any more information on that right now.

  • Fuk WAR…. :( WAR=DEATH=GHOSt=ME pissin my pants LOL :O

  • I can add to the atsugi corrosion hangar as I stand watch there often. I usually see a man in an imperial uniform walking through at about 0100 every time I stand watch. I’ve heard people say that they hear voices speaking to them through the night.

  • I was stationed there from 2004-2008 stood a lot of weekend and late night watches there. Now I remember the tree, and I remember something about another building, but the only time I ever heard about the corrosion hanger was from other guys. I remember the place had a nasty draft to it, especially if one of the doors were open, and I remember the vending machines constantly turning on (they had motion detectors to save power and kept waking me up during watch.) but I don't recall any fire eyes, or anyone thing else strange. But that place was the hardest places to stand watch at since no one is there, and maybe someone will stop in while on watch. But perhaps I was lucky

  • twilight princess

    when im 19 im going to go to the place fatal frame was made and im bringing 5 people my friends and my cusin and im bringing a camra YAAAAAAA
    im 11 right now im going to have to wait 8 years for that.

  • I was stationed at NAS Atsugi 1998-204, and lived on NSF Kamiseya from 2001-2004.  Kamiseya is by far the worst.  My ex wife and I lived in a townhouse that backed up to the rice fields.  We had two cats at the time and they would always track something walking by in the house and no one was there.  Another time I was pulled off the bed by my ankles in my sleep. A few nights later, my wife woke me up screaming.  She was holding her belly and when she let go, there was a handprint the size of a child.  That night, we moved downstairs and was never bothered until we moved.  The barracks was really creepy and the gate guards would tell us of a woman that would walk up to the gate from the rice fields and then disappear. I never want to go back to that base again!

  • Always hated standing the 0000-0400 corrosion hangar watch.
    VFA-27 ’04 – ’08

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