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Friday, 24 August 2007

100 Ghost Stories (Hyaku-Monogatari)

This is a classic Japanese ritual for summoning a ghost, called Hyaku-Monogatari (Hyaku=hundred, Monogatari=Tale).


The Modern Version (practiced since the Edo-period)

Prepare a hundred candles.

You will need a group of people, up to a hundred in number.

Sit in a circle. Light all the candles and place them at the centre of the circle.

Make sure the room has no source of light save that of the candles.

One by one, tell one another ghost stories. As each story ends, blow out one candle.

When a hundred ghost stories are told and all the candles are put out leaving the room completely dark, a ghost will appear in the middle of the circle.




The Ancient Version (from a source written in AD1666)
The ritual should be done at New Moon.

Prepare 3 rooms (or if that is impossible, 2 rooms will suffice) , adjacent to each other. Preferably these rooms should be arranged in a way that they draw the shape "L" when viewed from above.

The room in which group gather should be completely dark; the next room likewise. The third room should contain a hundred andon (a lantern with a wooden flame and paper shade) and a mirror on a table.

The paper which the andon is made of should be blue in colour. All participants should also be attired in blue, and all should enter the first room without carrying swords. Put away any other weapons and such dangerous objects from the room (although there were some who would adorn the room with a sword, to ward off evil)

When a story is told, the storyteller has to grope his way in the dark to the third room where he is to put out one andon, look himself in the mirror, and return to the first room once more. The group are allowed to continue story-telling while the previous storyteller is away. The stories here do not have to be only about ghosts or monsters; they could be stories of enigma or a curse.
When all the stories are told and the true darkness descends, something supernatural will happen.

In reality when they used to perform such ritual, they often stopped at 99th story and waited until the daybreak. It was because the true purpose of the ritual was to test one's courage, and they did not want the risk of actually summoning a supernatural being.

*The picture at the top shows rows of andon.
*The picture on the left shows Ao-andon (Blue Andon), one of the monsters which were said to appear at the end of Hyaku-Monogatari.
Ao-andon is a she-demon with long hair and horns and her teeth painted black, clad in white kimono.

16 comments:

katia said...

Hello Sayasan!

I thought you might be interested to know that the frightfest( horror and sci-fi) festival is currently on at the Odeon cinema,in the West End.
It ends on Monday ,with Guillermo del Toro presenting the Orphanage (el orfanato),which looks very promising .You can watch some trailers from the film on the frightfest website.
Ooops! I forgot to introduce myself!
My name is Katia ,I used to be the very obscure B horror movies correspondent during Iain Lee's afternoon shows .
I had the honour of interviewing the carnivorous plant from the little shop of horror and playing the Attack of the killer tomatoes tune down the phone.
I will be at the festival on Monday ,and maybe I'll see you there?

Alexia Treacle said...

Hello Saya (and Katia), I heard you say that you want to dress up as a Zombie, so there a perfect opportunity this Bank Holiday Monday as there is the world record of Zombies gathering. You can look at www.myspace.com/zombiewalkuk for more information. This is what they say:

We're going for the World Record for the BIGGEST EVER GATHERING OF ZOMBIES (currently standing at 894, for a gathering at the Monroeville Mall).
The event will take place from 9.30am-10.30am on Monday 27th August (Bank Holiday - don't worry, you won't be at work!) to celebrate the release of The Zombie Diaries
, which will be screening at FrightFest at 11am.
The Zombie Walk will take place prior to the screening at the Odeon Leicester Sq and culminates in a huge Zombie gathering in Leicester Square!

You have to do your own make-up, or blood... Maybe see you there?

SAYA said...

Hi Katia! Hi Alexia!
Thank you guys for your information!!!
So much is going on while I'm not looking, innit?

I want to go there so much but I'm already doing something else on Monday (cry)
But if I can somehow get there, I will!

Thanks again!:)

Saya

steeple333 said...

That ao-andon... It makes me think of the save points in Fatal Frame III. Although the lantern was atop a stone pillar.

Or it could be just continuing the trend from FFII with the theme colored lantern. =]

Anonymous said...

In the popular anime xxHOLiC the main characters gather to perform this ritual, but what they call an 'abridged' version... =P
Both rituals sound incredibly complicated and spooky! Yay! ^^

Luckii~

jessica said...

how would you get 100 people, 100 candles, and 100 ghost stories?
And what circle?

Sugar said...

Well...I'd have 2 agree with Jessica.And the ppl wud hv 2 b super small 2 fit 100 of them in a room...
Have u tried dis ,Saya?

SAYA said...

Jessica and Sugar - what I want you to understand is this; this ritual does NOT require 100 people. It just needs 100 stories. Which means, for example you can have 2 people telling each other 50 stories each. Now you can try it out yourselves!:)

Catty said...

I'm trying this!!!

Tani said...

Maybe this can be done on the internet!! Like in a chatroom instead of a house. I'm definately trying this with my older brother. If the ghost comes, it'll just see his face and die- again!

Anonymous said...

Good dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

Blue Spy said...

Can you give me 100 ghost stories so I can try this plze

Anonymous said...

I can't take this seriously after watching that one episode of Zetsoubou Sensei.

^^SnOw^^ said...

Hey Saya...the ancient version still works if we tried it right???

Yoku said...

...Maybe I'll try this.
But only with my friend Carl, And my little sister.

Niya Koroko said...

I wanna try it but on the other hand what if the spirit's like evil...then you're in for a world of trouble