Obon recently passed and Halloween soon approaches. Likely you have heard some of Okinawa's ghost stories, but I've collected a few of my very favorite. If you dare, visit the sites of the stories and see if you get chills. Each time I pass one of these legendary places, my hackles raise and I am sure the tales originate in truth.

One gate of Hansen always remains closed. No Japanese guard will stand watch at the barrier. It is said that every night at a certain hour, a man approaches the gate. He asks the guard for a light and then disappears.

The haunted Camp Hansen Gate 3 where no Japanese will stand guard

In Kitanakagusuku (near Foster), a half-built hotel nears the end of its days at the top of a tall hill near Nakagusuku Castle. Soon to be bulldozed due to the danger it poses to curious trespassers, many narratives surround the designing and building of the hotel. In some stories, the hotel lay on burial grounds, and from the moment the foundation was set, faced mysterious and terrifying events that sent workers fleeing the site. Soon, no one would return to build and the hotel started to fall into shambles. In another version of the history, the financier had a daughter who died during the construction and he went crazy from sadness and abandoned the project. In either case, the design of the hotel never seemed to make sense. Staircases often ended at walls or hallways led nowhere.

A view of the Okinawa haunted hotel, Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel

Pictures of Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel's interior show eerie bits of glamorous carpet or bathroom tile or half-finished rooms that give you an idea of what might have been, while leaving a strange pit of dread in your stomach.


A room inside the haunted Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel in Okinawa


Behind the USO on Kadena, a house (Building 2283) near the CDC finally had to be demolished after decades of terrorizing locals and Americans. In the 70s, a family died in a murder-suicide in the house and after, no family ever lived in the domicile without horrid and tragic events occurring, so the house became a storage shed. Even as a containment unit, the building continued to transmit screams and crying and many times, children at the CDC were said to throw toys back toward the house because 'the children there asked for them.'


Haunted housing building 2283 on Kadena

Truly, much can be done with photography and videography these days, but tourists repeatedly capture images of “people” jumping from cliffs on Okinawa. Over history, and especially during WWII, Okinawans committed suicide from the bluffs around Okinawa. Many believe their tortured souls continue to jump over and over, replaying fate.

Okinawa WWII ghost suicide cliff jumpers

As you doubtless know by now, Okinawans are sensitive to spirits. If you fear the spirits that live on the island, protect your house with a nice set of shisa (one mouth is open to inhale the spirit, the second has a closed mouth to hold the spirit in).

Okinawa shisa for protection from evil spirits

Many Okinawans also line windows and doorways with salt to bar ghosts from entering the home.
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About Author
Elizabeth Gomez
Elizabeth Gomez – Oki Adventurer, Artist, Dog Mom. Be sure to check out my Okinawa art!

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My husband was running the perimeter of the island with a group of Marines. They had rented a van and were doing five miles each and to make up 238 miles to celebrate that year. When they were up North and in the middle of nowhere, like really nowhere, my husband said he was running at night and noticed a woman walking in the grass, seemingly talking on a phone. But it was quiet and there was no one around and no houses and no place she could have come from or gone to and no cars and she made no sound...
 

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