Call me a traditionalist, but I think Halloween is simply not Halloween unless there’s a dose of spook involved. Sexy cats, Disney princesses, slutty cops and nurses — yeah they’re all great. But let’s trace back all the way up to the origin of Halloween. The ancient Celtics believed that October 31st, as the end of harvest season and the arrival of cold breeze, was the one day the barrier between the living and the dead dropped, allowing the dead to walk and exist amongst the living in form. So let’s spook things up. Here are a few myths around the world to send chills down your spine.
1. Japanese Slit-Mouthed Woman
The terrifying Japanese Slit-Mouthed Woman story haunts everyone who hears it. A woman whose face was mutilated by her abusive husband returns as a vengeful spirit. She appears to people with a grin that quite literally goes from ear to ear… and asks: “Am I pretty now?” If you say no or even make a squeak of surprised sound, she will make sure to make your face just as “pretty” as hers.
2. Irish Mrs. Don’t-Come-Running
Clearly in Ireland, keeping kids under control during playtimes is taken very seriously. Irish children are told the tale of Mrs. Don’t-Come-Running who mothered her children in such an intolerant way that she broke their legs so that they couldn’t run around. So if you’re running around and you are not supposed to, Mrs. Don’t-Come-Running will come running to break yours too.
3. Korean Toilet Ghost
Any Korean child must have heard of this story at least once while growing up: the urban legend of a malicious spirit who haunts bathroom stalls. Legend has it that if you use the 4th stall in the bathroom at night alone… she watches you from above and reaches out her pale hand and offers you either red toilet paper soaked in blood or blue toilet paper as cold as her hand. As if bathroom stalls at nights are not scary enough, right?
4. The Chevenne and Arapaho Legends of Teihiihan
The Cheyenne and Arapaho legends teach us that the scariest thing could look just as innocent as little humans. The Teihiihan are believed to be the resurrected vicious warriors of the past lives in the form of dwarves. But don’t be fooled by their tiny appearances — they are dreadful; they will hunt you and will most certainly not be shy of their cannibalism.
Room got a little colder, huh? After all, the air gets a little icier on the last day of October, probably because a spirit with unfinished business is breathing cold air down your neck. So be aware this Halloween — you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the blurred barrier on November 1st.