Hanako-san

Date of Discovery

Matthew Meyer, an author and folklorist, has dated the legend of Hanako-san back to the 1950s, but like the western counterpart, Bloody Mary, it is clear that the legend existed before official documentation.

Supposedly the urban legend began in 1950 as, “Hanako of the third stall.” In the 1980s, her story became widely known all over Japan, and in the 1990s a variety of movies and animes were made about her. She is now known as, “Hanako of the Toilet.”

Name

Hanako-san and Toire no Hanako-san in Japanese, which translates roughly to, “Hanako of the Toilet.”

Vaguely related to the legend of Bloody Mary.

Physical Description

Hanako-san, according to Japanese urban legends, is the spirit of a young girl who haunts the bathrooms of schools. Although her physical description varies across the different sources, she is commonly seen as wearing a red skirt or dress, with her haircut worn in a bob long enough to cover her neck.

In Japanese culture, she is known as a yōkai–which is a reference to a spirit in the form of a monster, or demon–or a yūrei, which is synonymous with what western culture considers a ghost. 

Origin

Over the last seventy years, Hanako-san has become a fixture of Japanese urban folklore, before the 1990s, it was just an oral legend, but it has since become a part of their pop-culture, being featured in movies as well as manga and anime series. Michael Dylan Foster wrote The Book of Yōkai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore, in which he stated that Hanako-san is a well known urban legend associated with all schools across Japan.

Mythology and Lore

As a part of Japanese urban legends and folklore, Hanako-san is more versatile spirit than most, like Bloody Mary she comes to haunt only when she is called. Each reported case has different details of the haunting and encounter, but there are common themes across the board. In one version, she is a school child who was killed during an air raid, while playing hide-and-seek, during World War II–a variation on this is that she was starving, but agreed to play the game anyway, but her body gave in to hunger and died in the bathroom stall. In other versions, she either committed suicide or she was hiding from an abusive parent and upon finding her in the bathroom they killed her. Some stories suggest that she came to the school to play when it wasn’t in session, was followed by a pedophile, then was assaulted and killed. Depending upon the variant of the story, however, she can either appear as a ghostly, bloody hand or Hanako-san herself. Additional details about where her grave can be found are given in some scenarios, which suggest that she was either buried in a garbage dump in Saitama, or behind a school gym in Tokyo.

In Japanese schools across the country, the typical ritual goes, that you enter the girl’s bathroom (usually on the third floor) and knock three times on every door. From the closest door to the farthest door, after knocking, you would ask, “Is Hanako there?” After repeating this question three times the answer, “yes,” will come from the third stall in a small, soft voice. When you open the door to the stall, Hanako will be standing there, waiting to drag you into the toilet.

While it may sound like an odd trend, there are quite a few yōkai and yūrei that reside within bathrooms and toilets. Most any person from Japan will tell you that they have tried to summon Hanako-san while they were in elementary school.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Movies

Television Series



Is there anything we missed about Hanako-san? Let us know in the comments section below!

Heceta Head Haunted Lighthouse – Florence, Oregon

Date of Discovery

One of the earliest reports of the apparition came in 1975 via the “Siuslaw News.” We’re still looking for the original story to verify.

Name

“Rue” is the alleged name of the ghost. This was established by a group of Lane Community College students who claimed to get the name from an Ouija board several days before Halloween, possibly in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Physical Description

Rue is described as an apparition of a gray haired woman wearing late Victorian-era dress.

The lighthouse is 56 ft tall and sits 1,000 feet above sea level on Heceta Head. The lighthouse is located 12 miles from Florence, Oregon. The lighthouse is named after Spanish Basque explorer Bruno de Heceta.

1931 image of Heceta Head Lighthouse - Florence, Oregon

Origin

The rumor is that Rue was most likely a lighthouse keeper’s wife, however, there were no records of lighthouse keepers families kept. Only the men who managed the lighthouses sometimes called “wicked” were accounted for in records at the time. The story is that Rue had two daughters and one of them had drowned either in the ocean or a nearby cistern. Allegedly Rue has returned to the place of her daughter’s death after her own passing.

To add to the mystery there is an unmarked grave near the lighthouse that is reported to be overgrown and old.

Mythology and Lore

One encounter with the ghost was reported in the Siuslaw News in 1975. “Maintenance man Jim Anderson saw an odd reflection in a window he was cleaning. When he turned he saw the apparition which was described as an elderly woman in a Victorian-style gown. He fled in fear and later housekeeping reported hearing scraping sounds to find the glass he had broken in his escape neatly piled up.

The Lighthouse which now operates as a Bed and Breakfast has had guests reported seeing a figure float by, items being re-arranged in rooms, and feelings of being watched or a presence.

Modern Pop-Culture References

None known to date

History of the Werewolf from 1500 to Modern-Day

Werewolves have been around for hundreds of years as seen in art, folktales, horror books, and movies. Join us while we explore where it all started and how it has impacted modern writers and filmakers. Starting at the date of original discover here is the history of the werewolf.

Lycanthropy wood carving from 1500's

Werewolf Date of Discovery

In the countryside near the German towns of Cologne and Bedburg in 1591, the first werewolf sighting took place.

Name Variations

The Werewolf is derived from the Old English werewulf, which translated into, “man-wolf.” They can also be known as a wolfman, a loup-garou which translates from French to mean, “wolf man-wolf,” and a lycanthrope.

In Serbian, the term vulkodlaks has the meaning of both vampires and werewolves.

There are a number of cryptids known to be associated with the werewolf, most any shapeshifter can be regarded to as a “were-,” of sorts; this would suggest that they were originally a human and regularly shapeshift into another creature, such as the weretiger, werehyena, wererat, werebear, or werepanther.

Physical Description

Despite the varied lore that exists for the werewolf, there are common physical attributes between them all, Zachary Graves describes these attributes and the differences in-depth within his book Werewolves.

Attributes of the Wolf

Often described as having superhuman strength as well as the fortune of enhanced senses that far surpass those of wolves, not to even mention that of humans. They possess the typical attributes of a wolf, with strong jaws, sharp teeth, and large paws–however, they maintain their human eyes even after transformation into the wolf, but it’s also said that they are unable to cry, due to their fiery nature when they’ve been enraged. While the lore varies from culture to culture, most of them maintain that a werewolf doesn’t possess a tail.

Attributes of the Human

During the initial werewolf paranoia, people who had eyebrows that met at the bridge of their nose were suspected to be werewolves; in their human form, they would have curved fingernails, lowset ears and walk with a long, swinging stride. They’re reportedly listless, often fatigued, and uneasy in direct sunlight. Once a person has been turned to a werewolf, they would be repelled by cooked meat.

In some of the legends it is said that if you cut the flesh of a werewolf while they’re in their human form, you will see fur underneath. Meanwhile in Russia, it was considered proof of lycanthrope if a person possessed bristles underneath their tongue.

From Werewolf to Human

While in the werewolf form, the creatures are unnaturally powerful, when they have returned to their original human state their physical form is devastated. They are said to be weak, fragile, and often experience severe depression. This lugubriousness is caused by any crime or violence they may have unwittingly committed while in their feral wolf form, followed by an immense feeling of guilt.

Origin of the Werewolf

The first werewolf appeared in Petronius Arbiter’s The Satyricon, set in southern Italy, originally written in Latin and published some time in 60s AD. It talks about four poor, degenerate, self-centered companions who experience a series of increasingly outrageous and debaucherous exploits–as this is the first time the werewolf appears in any type of literature, it is referred to as a wolf or shapeshifter, the word for werewolf came much later.

Mythology and Lore

Man disguising himself as a werewolf ancient art

As dark and mysterious as the werewolf is, it has quite an illuminating history of folklore from all over the world; stories of creatures–massive wolves, stalking rural areas to terrorize and subsequently mutilate or kill their victims.

The First Werewolf

While the writers of the more ancient societies don’t exactly rise to what modern reader’s expectations may be, they contribute valuable information and a foundation of the legend. The Satyricon is one such legend that was considered to be an interesting first look of the creature.

Chapters 61-62 from The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter

After they had all wished each other sound minds and good health, Trimalchio turned to Niceros. “You used to be better company at dinner,” he remarked, “and I don’t know why you should be dumb today, with never a word to say. If you wish to make me happy, tell about that experience you had, I beg of you.” Delighted at the affability of his friend, “I hope I lose all my luck if I’m not tickled to death at the humor I see you in,” Niceros replied. “All right, let’s go the limit for a good time, though I’m afraid these scholars’ll laugh at me, but I’ll tell my tale and they can go as far as they like. What t’hell do I care who laughs? It’s better to be laughed at than laughed down.” These words spake the hero, and began the following tale: “We lived in a narrow street in the house Gavilla now owns, when I was a slave. There, by the will of the gods, I fell in love with the wife of Terentius, the innkeeper; you knew Melissa of Tarentum, that pretty round-checked little wench. It was no carnal passion, so hear me, Hercules, it wasn’t; I was not in love with her physical charms. No, it was because she was such a good sport. I never asked her for a thing and had her deny me; if she had an as, I had half. I trusted her with everything I had and never was done out of anything. Her husband up and died on the place, one day, so I tried every way I could to get to her, for you know friends ought to show up when anyone’s in a pinch.

“It so happened that our master had gone to Capua to attend to some odds and ends of business and I seized the opportunity, and persuaded a guest of the house to accompany me as far as the fifth mile-stone. He was a soldier, and as brave as the very devil. We set out about cock-crow, the moon was shining as bright as midday, and came to where the tombstones are. My man stepped aside amongst them, but I sat down, singing, and commenced to count them up. When I looked around for my companion, he had stripped himself and piled his clothes by the side of the road. My heart was in my mouth, and I sat there while he pissed a ring around them and was suddenly turned into a wolf!

Now don’t think I’m joking, I wouldn’t lie for any amount of money, but as I was saying, he commenced to howl after he was turned into a wolf, and ran away into the forest. I didn’t know where I was for a minute or two, then I went to his clothes, to pick them up, and damned if they hadn’t turned to stone! Was ever anyone nearer dead from fright than me? Then I whipped out my sword and cut every shadow along the road to bits, till I came to the house of my mistress. I looked like a ghost when I went in, and I nearly slipped my wind. The sweat was pouring down my crotch, my eyes were staring, and I could hardly be brought around. My Melissa wondered why I was out so late. “Oh, if you’d only come sooner,” she said, “you could have helped us: a wolf broke into the folds and attacked the sheep, bleeding them like a butcher. But he didn’t get the laugh on me, even if he did get away, for one of the slaves ran his neck through with a spear!” I couldn’t keep my eyes shut any longer when I heard that, and as soon as it grew light, I rushed back to our Gaius’ house like an innkeeper beaten out of his bill, and when I came to the place where the clothes had been turned into stone, there was nothing but a pool of blood! And moreover, when I got home, my soldier was lying in bed, like an ox, and a doctor was dressing his neck! I knew then that he was a werewolf, and after that, I couldn’t have eaten a crumb of bread with him, no, not if you had killed me. Others can think what they please about this, but as for me, I hope your geniuses will all get after me if I lie.”

The Legend that Followed

When considering the acts that were committed by werewolves had a man behind them, there was a common belief that the werewolf was in league with the devil; they committed heinous acts of violence throughout rural communities, craving flesh, and blood in the dark of the night. Amongst the most awful crimes that were attributed to werewolves in medieval Europe, was the discretion and consumption of the recently deceased. For this reason, many of the earliest serial killers were actually believed to be werewolves, because who else could commit such horrifying acts than a beast working for the devil?

Transformation into the Wolf

The innocent wolves that were blamed and slaughtered to atone for the crimes of werewolves started a fire under the communities that were afflicted. The knowledge of their very existence created widespread panic, just as it did for witches during the Salem Witch Trials, and for Satanists during the Satanic Panic. This kind of fear and uproar of panic is more dangerous to the community than the beasts themselves because it results in accusations against the innocent, as well as a rise in public anxiety, fear, and suspicion. Physical attributes such as eyebrows meeting over the bridge of a person’s nose were enough of an offense to accuse someone of being a werewolf and subsequently provide them with a torturous execution. It gave way to new traditions of cautious living, in order to prevent catching the affliction of lycanthropy–such as not accepting ointments or salves from strangers, not drinking from streams that were thought to be enchanted, and killing the seventh child born into the family–believing that one day it would transform into a werewolf.

Other strange things were associated with becoming a werewolf, wearing a wolfskin belt, a lycanthropic flower, or consuming the flesh (in particular, the heart) of a wolf or a werewolf’s victim was believed to immediately transform a person into one. This last belief was so deeply held in the mid 700s that Egbert, Archbishop of York actually forbade people from eating the flesh of animals that had been attacked and killed by wolves so that there would be no chance of transformation. In France and Germany, it was said that if a man slept outside on a Wednesday or Friday night during a full moon in the summer, it would lead to lycanthropy. There were also those who actually wanted to become werewolves–wherein it was recommended to drink from certain streams, or ponds that were common for wolves to drink from, or drink water from the tracks of the wolves themselves.

Stopping the Beast

In some of the oldest accounts of werewolves, followed by the stories of their demise, the tried and true method of ensuring the beast didn’t come back from the dead was decapitation. Some of the newest lore has integrated what was originally a bane to vampires, according to the oldest mythology about the blood-sucking demons, has added silver to the repertoire of what is lethal to werewolves.

Werewolves in Other Cultures

In Fennoscandia, Scandinavia werewolves were considered old women with claws that they would coat in poison–they had a special ability to paralyze both children and cattle with their gaze.

In Serbia, vulkodlaks would gather together during the winter around a bonfire and strip off their wolfskins and hang them from trees–during every such gathering, they would throw one of the wolfskins on the fire to release the possessor from the curse that had transformed them into a vulkodlak.

In Haiti, jé-rouges which were wolf-like creatures would attempt to steal children from their mothers in the dead of the night–they would gently wake the mothers and taking advantage of their half-sleep state would ask permission to take their child–there would on occasion be a mother so disoriented that they would say, “yes,” a word they would regret for the rest of their lives.

Inuit legends talk of the Keelut which has many similarities although no shapeshifting.

The werewolves are certayne sorcerers, who having anointed their bodies with an ointment which they make by the instinct of the devil, and putting on a certayne inchaunted girdle, doe not onely unto the view of others seeme as wolves, but to their owne thinking have both the shape and nature of wolves, so long as they weare the said girdle. And they do dispose themselves as very wolves, in wourrying and killing, and most of humane creatures

Excerpt from Restitution of Decayed Intelligence by Richard Verstegan in 1628

Modern Pop-Culture References

Werewolf Books

Werewolf Movies

Werewolf Television Series



Is there anything we missed about werewolves? Let us know in the comments section below!

Hot Lake Hotel – La Grande, Oregon

Categories
Haunted Places

Date of Establishment

The original building of the resort began in 1864 and has been reconstructed serval times over the years. In 1884 the Pacific Union Railroad cause constructing to go on again, followed by the renovations to build a fully operational hotel in 1903. Later it became a sanitorium and had a large fire once again leading to more construction issues.

Name & Location

Hot Lake Hotel is located off Highway 203 in La Grande, Oregon situated between beautiful hillsides and a hot spring named “Ea-Kesh-Pa”.

Physical Description

The hotel red brick buildings with a beautiful white railing around the building. The grounds surrounding the building feature rolling hillsides, a garden, statues, and walkways to draw their guests out into nature.

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Origin

Originally built in 1864 the Hot Lake Hotel had a long history of operation and disastrous events leading to remodeling and reopenings. It was first built to be a hotel featuring the hot springs, later being reopened as a therapeutic get-away, then as a training school, retirement home, and finally an insane asylum before being abandoned.

Mythology and Lore

The myths and lore of the Hot Lake Hotel can be hard to nail down as its long history and main use blur the lines of fact from myth. It’s been rumored to be haunted by past vacationers, a nurse who was murdered, a gardener who committed suicide, and a long string of asylum residents. There is a large number of reports stating a piano formerly owned by Robert E. Lee’s wife is haunting the 3rd floor and playing itself through-out the day. Other reports have been of ghostly screams, haunted crying sounds, whispers, rocking chairs moving on their own, spirits wandering the grounds, phantom footsteps, as well as other objects seeming to move around the rooms. The hotel was even featured on “The Scariest Places on Earth” television series in 2001 because of the main accounts of experiences. Today this haunted hotel has been remodeled into a bed and breakfast with a spa, though its owners are wary of highlighting the building’s darker past.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Ghost Stories from the Pacific Northwest (1995)

Television Series

Scariest Places on Earth (2001)

Is there anything we missed about the Hot Lake Hotel? Let us know in the comments section below!

Hotel Andra

Date of Establishment

The building now named the Hotel Andra was first built in 1926 for another hotel. During the mid-1940s the building served as a transfer station for the Women’s Army Corps. In the 1970s the building was transformed into a small boutique hotel until it made its final change to Hotel Andra in 2004.

This establishment’s glory days were set in the Roaring 20s during the years of prohibition and the beginning of the organized crime. Through this time the was of this hotel saw and experienced a good deal, but that was only the beginning. The next hard-hitting time was one of a war-stricken country through the 1940s. During these times the true “crimes” that may have happened to cause this haunting, where not well documented or known. Despite all the attempted reputational setbacks this establishment is doing very well and provides Seattle with outstanding lodging.

Name & Location

Formally known as the Claremont Hotel, the building underwent renovations and was renamed the Hotel Andra in 2004. This building is located in the heart of Seattle, Washington, on the corner of 4th Avenue and Virginia Street. This is known as the Belltown area of Seattle and is about 6 blocks from the Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum.

For many years this building has sat at the heart of Seattle, city planners, and hotel owners assure Seattle’s residents Hotel Andra is determined to stay put. This building is one of the few in Washington that has only served the function as a hotel, as well as being haunted by ghosts of the 1920s. With this historical history and haunted lore, it seems to fit perfectly into the busy swing the city Seattle has today.

Physical Description

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The building stands 10-stories high and holds a total of 119 guest rooms, along with dining areas. 2004 remolded gave the building a progressive, modern decorum while showcasing a mix of Northwest and Scandinavian styles. The building is flooded with rich woods, plank floors, knotted rugs, and modern furniture. In 2004 remodel they also added sitting areas and an in-house restaurant to provide room service for the guests.

In the highly fought over Andra suite, there is a lobby style living, with floor-to-ceiling maple bookcases. A granite fireplace is wedged in between the bookcases, giving this suite an intimate feel. Suspended over the living room is a reading loft for guests to cozy up in. 

Origin

Our hauntings origin can be a bit tricky to nail down who came from what time. This building has changed names and functions a few times throughout its history. While under the name of Claremont the hotel when though the late 1920s and 1930s, which was prohibition years. During this time the 9th floor was the spot to be for high-class levels of Seattle residences. Many believe these party-goers are the ghostly figures spotted today on the 9th floor.

In the 1960s there are reports of a hotel worker who fell to her death from the upper floors of the hotel. However, no one confirmed which floor or window she was reported to fall or jump out of.

Mythology and Lore

Which such a long history it is no wonder there are so many reports or sights within the hotel’s walls. The hotel has a long list of ghosts and or paranormal experiences from both guests and staff. One of the more common ghosts is a woman who stands at the foot of the guest’s bed, before fading away. Her clothes are described as if from the 1930s era, softy and unspoken as she watches the guests. There is also a second reported “female apparition” that appeared to a couple and just roamed around their room.  Others have reported seeing a “Flapper Girl” stomping about the 9th floor of the hotel as well.

Following our 1930s themed ghost, it seems the Jazz era is still in full swing on floor 9. Numerous guests have complained of loud 1900s style jazz music coming from an unlocated area of the 9th floor. There are often sounds of glasses crashing, bottles dropping, and even the occasional muffled brawling sounds. The staff remains puzzled as the source of these is unfindable, past random areas of the 9th floor. They seem to bounce from room to room parting their afterlife away in full jazz swing, can’t say I blame them.

Another common occurrence at the hotel is the moving of objects unaided and levitating. This also comes along with the ever-annoying appearing and disappearing objects that seem to move at random about the room.  One report states a guest saw a paperweight rise above a glass tabletop, all on its own. It hovered there for a few seconds before crashing back down onto the table making a loud noise.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Index
  • KIRO 7
  • Haunted Houses.com
  • Washington Haunted Houses
  • Haunted Hovel
  • RoadTrippers
  • Haunted Places
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Is there anything we missed about the Hotel Andra? Let us know in the comments section below!