Japan’s Suicide Forest is known as one of the creepiest, most haunted, and paranormal active locations in the world. Is Japans Suicide Forest (other wise known as Aokigahara (青木ヶ原?), Sea of Trees (樹海 Jukai?) really haunted by ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. Why have thousands decided to take their lives there. Who, and what haunts the forest?
The forest is a popular place for suicides, reportedly the most popular in Japan and second in the world after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Statistics vary, but what is documented is that during the period leading up to 1988, about 100 suicides occurred there every year
In 2002, 78 bodies were found in the forest, exceeding the previous record of 74 in 1998. In 2003, the rate climbed to 100, and in recent years, the local government has stopped publicizing the numbers in an attempt to downplay Aokigahara’s association with suicide. In 2004, 108 people killed themselves in the forest. In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of whom completed the act. Suicides are said to increase during March, the end of the fiscal year in Japan. As of 2011, the most popular means of suicide in the forest were hanging and drug overdoses.
The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs in the forest, in Japanese and English, urging suicidal visitors to seek help and not kill themselves. The annual body search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers, and attendant journalists, began in 1970.
The site’s popularity has been attributed to the 1960 novel lit., “Tower of Waves” (波の塔?) by Seichō Matsumoto. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara predates the novel’s publication, and the place has long been associated with death: ubasute may have been practiced there into the nineteenth century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the Yūrei (angry spirits) of those left to die.
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