Tag Archives: Japan

The Red Room – an Internet Horror Video, with a Twist!

We’ve all heard of urban legends and weird things on the Internet; however, most of us dismiss
them as just that, legends. The Red Room, a Japanese interactive horror flash video, takes advantage of our skepticism in a unique, and scary, way.

In the flash video, two friends talk about a rumor of an Internet pop-up that asks, Do you like-
What makes this pop-up different than all the other pop-ups on the internet is that if you close this one, you will die. One of them is skeptical of the legend starts to search for it himself; however, after failing to turn up any information about it, he gives up and goes back to surfing the net as usual. A short time later a message pops up on his screen asking Do you like–? It starts to automatically
reload and the voice becomes mangled until the boy realizes the question has changed to, So you like
red? The boy keeps trying to close the pop-up until the message changes again to, Do you like the
red room? Then, a website with a list of people who have died after seeing the message loads on his computer screen, with his name at the bottom.

The best part of this video is that after it has finished playing, the pop-up appears on your screen. It doesn’t take long for you to figure out what is going on, but for that brief moment it just might make you catch your breath.

The Aokigahara Forest: Suicide Capital of the World

The Aokigahara forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a 14 square mile forest that rests at the base of Mt. Fuji. It is known for being extremely quiet due to the density of the trees and absence of wildlife, and has an historic association with demons in Japanese mythology. It is also a popular place for suicides. There have been so many suicides in the forest, that there are signs up both in Japanese and English urging people to get help.

In 1998 74 people killed themselves in the forest; in 2002, 78. By 2003, the rate had climbed and exceeded the 100 mark. In 2004, 108 people killed themselves in the Sea of Trees and in 2010, 247 people at least attempted suicide, but only 54 completed the act. It is said that suicides increase in Japan toward the end of the fiscal year, which is in the month of March.

 

In recent years, the local government has quit publicizing the numbers of suicides in order to downplay the forest’s association with suicide. Every year since 1970 there has been an annual body search consisting of police, volunteers, and journalists.

The exact reason this forest is so popular for suicides remains a creepy mystery.