It is apparent that every culture has had its fair share of ghost stories. There are also certain locations in various countries that stir superstition with the locals. One particular place has piqued my interest for a number of years now, a forest located in Japan at the base of Mt. Fuji. Aokigahara, or the Suicide Forest, is the second most popular suicide location in the whole world, hence the title. Walking through this beautiful forest is very tranquil, and as hiking always is, relaxing in some ways. Explore enough of the off-beaten paths and, crossing many no entry signs, you will discover many macabre things.

Deserted campsites left as a statue in time, although affected by mother nature, or if you are as lucky as I, skeletal remains of undiscovered corpses of the forgotten souls that chose to end their lives. I lost pieces of my sanity from the amount of skulls I discovered, and in some cases when discovering abandoned tents, family portraits took bites out of my heart. I do not want to trifle you with the instability of my emotions; it was my mistake to spend so much time mourning the loss of people I did not know. Suddenly, the moon rose high in the sky and fear began to infest my soul. Being a foolish city boy, I let my curiosity get the better of me and I found myself lost in the denseness of the forest. It is funny how quick panic sets in, especially when I remember Aokigahara is supposedly haunted.

With the amount of death reeking from the place, I was not surprised. Fearful, yes. You never know true darkness until you are surrounded by trees and civilization seems a mere fantasy. To add to my stress, I neglected to bring a flashlight. I assumed I would only visit the forest during the day as I knew it would be impossible to navigate through the dense woods at night. Even with a flashlight, it would be hard to have sense of the word "direction." As sweat began making home to my brow, the ambient voices flooded my ears. There was an echoing of thousands of footsteps. I was petrified, not understanding what course of action to take. I began walking.

In true horror fashion, I was suddenly at a 'No Entry' sign and, looking down the path it blocked off, my eyes met a terrifying fright. Under the moonlight there was the silhouette of 2 people nearly 10 feet away. Blinking, their insidious movements implied I was their prey. There was something surrounding their feet. My immediate assumption would have been rocks if I had not seen the glowing of a dozen pair of eyes. Heads. They were standing on a pile of heads. The girl, I managed to make out, picked up one of the heads and began stroking its hair as if it were a cat. I started running as fast as I could. I only took a second to look behind me when I immediately struck a tree. At least, that's what I told myself; she was a solid mass but visually she did not resemble something alive.

Red, dripping blood surrounded her blackened eyes. Her devilish smile reduced my legs to extra weight I was unable to lift. As she clasped her ghostly fingers around my throat, I noticed her pupils were milky white. Tilting my head back caused me to spasm. A male figure stood above us laughing at my anguish; he was also talking to the head the girl was stroking earlier, telling it, “Look at how marvelous this is. She is an amazing woman.” The light finally began fading from my eyes. I heard the girl utter these words: "Death is a welcoming affair. Can you not see how happy we are? This forest, under the moonlight, holds many wonders and terrors. You are a mere drop in the sea of blood running through the roots of each and every tree."

Written by NightmareHungry 
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