Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Weird: Tsunami Ghost Passengers

It's been 5 years since the earthquake and subsequent devastating tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. Which is really shocking to think it's been that long.

And today's Wednesday Weird (brought to me by my good pal Josh) directly relates to that disaster.

Today, we're talking about taxi ghost passengers.

Ghosts passengers have long been a well-known phenomenon (not well-known in "proven" just well-known in that there are plenty of tales and first person stories of people picking up hitch-hikers, etc, who then turn out to be ghosts)

In the coastal communities of Tohoku, Japan, there have been a spat of taxi drivers reporting ghost passengers.

More than 100 drivers were interviewed by Yuka Kudo for her sociology thesis (which, holy crap, that's got to be THE COOLEST THESIS ever. And, I mean, my own thesis was on monsters, so...)

Seven of the drivers were from the city of Ishinomaki, where close to 6,000 people died as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami.

Usually I just like to summarize, but I'm going to pull some direct quotes from this article just because they're so creepy and cool.

"One of the men told Ms Kudo that a woman climbed into his taxi near Ishinomaki Station just a few months after the disaster. She asked him to go to the Minamihama district, to which the driver said there was nothing left standing there.

The driver recounted that the woman asked, "Have I died?" and, when he turned to look, his taxi was empty."

Which, I mean, holy cow what an awesome story. Other drivers reported picking up passengers, many of them young people, and driving them to their requested destinations only to find their cars were empty. The drivers seemed to truly believe that they had picked up genuine fares because they had started their meters.
Some of the drivers logged their passengers in their reports and others didn't.
And, on top of the ghost taxi passengers, there have been other claims of ghost sightings in Tohoku, including "spectral figures" lining up outside of shops that no longer exist.
None of the taxi drivers said they felt any fear, but instead took their passenger visits as a sort of gift. Which, man, I don't know if I'd be able to do that.

So there you go!
Thoughts? Theories?


Anne Gallagher said...

I totally love these stories. Of course, I don't know what I'd do if I was a taxi driver in this situation, but still, it's wicked cool.

Christine Hardy said...

Ghosts are an accepted part of Japanese culture so that totally makes sense.

Christine Hardy said...

Ghosts are an accepted part of Japanese culture so that totally makes sense.

Rena said...

I read that article, and oh man, Those are some amazing stories! I also feel like, with many of the tsunami victims, there might be a prevalence of stories like that because many of the towns completely wiped out had tsunami walls that completely failed. Those people lived in the belief that they were safe. In some of those communities, no one lived. It's very chilling.

Maria Zannini said...

I read about that. It made me realize just how suddenly those poor people lost their lives.

Nicola said...

I find those stories warming rather than weird or frightening. Thanks for sharing. I hadn't read the article but I am interested to now I know about it. Thanks for sharing.

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