Horror & Mystery Series Vol. 23: How to know if there is a ghost in your house? Japanese Style!

So lately I have been experiencing paranormal activities in my house a lot. It got me thinking about how to make sure if the house has a ghost or not... So, I would like to present you another installation: Japanese Method on how to know if there is a ghost nearby! Try some and let’s share what you experienced!

Warning: Proceed with cautions

Turn back if you are not ready!

In Japan, there are many kinds of being that can cause unnatural phenomena, from benevolent gods to malevolent evils or even astral projection of a fervent stalker. What you will discover if you follow these methods can be dangerous or cause trauma. But if you insist that you must know for real that the strange things in your room are not just your imagination, then proceed. You may need expert to deal with them though. Not recommended for people with weak stomach or easy to panic. Running in the dark may cause harms to yourself or belongings.

Sharpen your Senses

I mentioned in previous installation before, Sixth Sense does not come in one form. For people who cannot ‘see’ ghosts, some can still ‘hear’ or ‘smell’ or even ‘feel’ the presence of something you cannot see too. Even if you cannot see, you may have your own form of sixth sense; instead of sight, you may be gifted with sounds, scents, or sensations instead.

Being paranoid can sharpen your senses...

If you experienced some whispers out of nowhere or waking up by your own sleep-talking, you may be in for a haunting problem. Scents of incense, smoke, raw fish, rotten eggs or iron (rust or blood) can also distinguish what kind of beings/visitors are in your house. And if you feel the sudden chill or dreadful feeling or some presences watching you, there certainly want their presences known.

Some Physical Phenomena

If your pet stares at one spot, they might see something there

The ghosts may play pranks on you sometimes. Things as obvious like household objects moving on its own or as subtle as electrical disturbances on devices are a sign of paranormal activities. Pets can also help as they have better senses. And of course, sleep-paralysis or sudden paralysis can be dreadful experience, but once you know or attuned to the feeling, you might be able to feel it beforehand.

Check the History of the House

In Japan, there is a word called 事故物件 (Jikobukken) or “Building with Incident” to call a place with history of death, either from suicide, homicide, illness, accident or otherwise. There is even a free web service to find out if the area has any Jikobukken or not. (Search for oshimaland or 大島てる if you're curious)

A building with history of incident

But even if the house is not a Jikobukken, it could be situated on former grave site or 霊道 (reidō) “spirits’ pathway” which are not recorded on the web. In that case, you might have to rely on more solid method.

Traditional Method: Semi-Astral Projection

This one was aired in TV program in Japan. First, close your eyes and imagine that you stand right outside the door to the house. Then, in your mind, open the door and enter the house, open the doors and check every room in your mind. Once you checked all the room, return to the outside through front door then open your eyes. During the process, do not open your eyes at all.

Use your mind and travel to the place...

It is said that if you felt like someone walk passed by or saw strange shadows in your mind, there are ghosts in your house. This method works better if you perform at night in a shrine or temple. Also, this may only works for Japanese people since they are numerous cases of subconscious astral projection, like Ikiryō (生霊), Rokurokubi (ろくろ首) or using the curse to send their own spirits to haunt opponents.

Modern Methods with Technology

Here are a few methods that was told in the modern Japanese internet forums.

Video Camera or Smartphone

You would be surprised too if you see it...

Go to the room that you feel strange or suspicious paranormal activities, turn camera outward and start recording video, close your eyes, slowly turn around once. Next, repeat with camera pointing toward yourself and the background. Try to stay calm if you saw something in the video… This may not work for ghosts who do not want their presences known, such as your own guardian spirits… unless they want to warn you of something.

Face Recognition Application

If there is a strange rectangle at the place with no face...

Modern camera, applications on smartphone or for webcam can detect faces and even add cute ears or effects on the faces. But if you see them adding effects to something that you cannot see, you would best be ready to call exorcist or a priest…

That is all for now. So, until next time, enjoy your own paranormal experience at your own leisure!

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