5 Types of Japanese Ghosts

  • September 18, 2010
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The spirits known as Zashiki-warashi are unique in that they aren't bent on corpsing as many people as possible nor were they somehow wronged or mistreated while they were still living. Instead, these are the ghosts of children who simply act like kids. That is to say, they're kind of dickish. Once haunting your home, the spirit will demand your attention (as children tend to do). If you choose to ignore it then it will begin playing pranks on you until you do. If you still don't learn to love your ghost child it ultimately leave your home and presumably kick the back of someone's chair until they put on SpongeBob, or something.


Appeasement statues are like Pokemon for young ghosts.

Despite their somewhat annoying nature, Zashiki-warashi are considered lucky and capable of bringing great fortune to those whose homes they inhabit. Should they be able to adopt the child into their family, they are rewarded financially. However, should you fall out of their favor they will leave your abode, signaling the eventual ruin of your house and family. Again, they can be jerks. If you're in the market for an undead brat, they prefer larger, well kept homes over the shoddy studio apartment you're probably reading this article from.



Local to small fishing villages of Japan's coasts, funayurei are the marine spirits, the ghosts of those who drowned at sea. Though usually not the result of military conflict (those who died in battle or on a battlefield are considered separate spirits on their own) just about any old death by drowning will fit the bill. The ghosts appear at night on a phantom ship which they don't leave. They aren't haunting spirits nor are the vengeful. They're simply upset that they died because they forgot to wear a life jacket.


A rare sighting of the famed “sea-douche”

Their ship will linger by the coast in wait of passing fishing vessels. As one passes by, the ghost crew cries for help in repairing their sinking ship. Here's where the story gets really weird: should the fishermen in question be nice enough to help out the spirits, it totally bites him on the ass. If the funayurei are given a bucket they will immediately use it to fill the fishing vessel with water and kill all those on board, ultimately creating more funayurei and ruining a perfectly good boat.

These spirits are believed to look human. However, some are said to take on a scaly appearance not unlike an unsexy mermaid. Really makes you wonder who would want to lend a horrible sea-monster a bucket, doesn't it?


They say “sea-monster”, we say “corpse of Jar-Jar Binks”.

Got some more freaky ghosts? Join the discussion in the comments section!

Written by NN – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com

Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - Onryo: http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRUDW20v_5w7pjN9cQeeW-MS78g-Rs1P_XPPrgq0-ssuxxIB_I&t=1&usg=__ckZdlzbnRKHM62LeBz5AzJ5Ftn0
  • - Ubume: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKQ9yBI0xRpKTETd9gBj0NeO_nqxvFqqrwwXseS0J9jqWqLJ8&t=1&usg=__zWP5tQbm5gOPzN9ar3ttIztfj_A http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTfs37F6J6HY9JozDz3tSvQP8ZkqZf7Hpx6HYYvQnTKcDT8sck&t=1&usg=__qU5YKCgdXiVZdMqp_wM2W4aWRMk=
  • - Goryo: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRdJDNO9jFCLbSErXG3AsMbS07cc-NTuRekaz5V4wLL27WBj5Q&t=1&usg=__iUoCWIOi1NhXae_DdnS91N4dkfQ
  • - Zashiki-warashi: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSnd_4JJ-rq1XIALCNLVD9-6mYE09C9NU0akGS4MRcyb__Lj4I&t=1&usg=__jupqUDmxjuOlG1JD2-0HFgiIdCM
  • - Funayurei: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT-DeFWe7FwDEDxjWqmPo1oBvCqfPWr50cQwLy_J1TvlAWbqUs&t=1&usg=__vsgn1_BQ1twc64C13Fm7neABwfM http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSYuNGTrFElOZ5Awn6G71ZCfAEUqDyivCHzLBEj4qlTCuysVcY&t=1&usg=__2wCTuzSkaAOU_OSqp7JTjGc9FYM=