Japanese Ghosts Haunt Your Bathroom in The Gasp Menagerie - Dread Central
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Japanese Ghosts Haunt Your Bathroom in The Gasp Menagerie



The Gasp Menagerie

As Jack Burton’s buddy Wang pointed out, Chinese got a lot of hells.  Well, Japanese got a lot of ghosts.  I mean, a LOT.

They’re called Yokai, and various ghosts, spirits, demons, and other associated spooks haunt many aspects of traditional Japanese beliefs and folklore.

The wonderful site Atlas Obscura recently posted a story that covers a specific segment of yokai: the ones that hang around bathrooms.

As documented in a book I desperately want to own, The Book Of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures Of Japanese Folklore, these yokai can be attracted to baths, toilets, or the things that go on in baths and toilets.

As the author, Michael Dylan Foster, relates, bathrooms are a doorway to another realm.  Yes, we’re referring to the sewer.  American sewers don’t really tend to contain much other than poop, stuff people shouldn’t flush down toilets but do anyway, and the occasional mythical alligator.  It’s clear, however, that the sewers of Japanese folklore could get much more interesting.

Such ethereal denizens can include Hanako-San, which can be summoned via a specific “Bloody Mary” type of ritual in girl’s bathrooms.  My personal favorite spook that’s related specifically to the shitter is Aka Manto, or Red Cape.  This isn’t your standard Little Red Riding Hood, oh no.  Red Cape is said to knock on the door of the stall you’re currently using to drop the kids off at the pool and ask you if you want red paper/cape or blue paper/cape.  If you say red, your back gets flayed (hence, Red Cape) and if you say blue, you get strangled and turn blue (hence, Blue Cape).  If you get clever and ask for another color, you get dragged off to hell.  Aka Manto doesn’t like smartasses.  You can only dodge the ghost by turning down all offers and just free-handing it like the middle ages.  Getting stinkpalmed is a small price to pay for avoiding hell, I guess.

The better known Kappa is also tied to bathrooms.  (If you’ve played a Mario game, you know about the turtle-like Kappas.)  Their love for water can attract them to bathing areas, and they’ll harass women.  One way to dispel them is their aversion to farts, which is extremely convenient for bathroom run-ins.  Cut one loose like the fellow in the drawing below and your turtle-esque intruder will be sent packing so you can proceed with copping a squat without interruption.

For more info on these and other crapper critters, check out the Atlas Obscura story above or Foster’s book which, thankfully, also covers ghosts that won’t pester you while you pinch a loaf.

Explore The Gasp Menagerie!

Have a weird story? Potential evidence of the supernatural, or at least something hard to explain? Spot any creepy critters out there roaming the wilds? LET ME KNOW! I’d love to talk about it and possibly write it up right here in the Gasp Menagerie. You’ll get appropriate credit, of course, and everyone else will get fresh creepy (as opposed to fresh Creepy, which, trust me… nobody wants that) to enjoy. As always, I can be found at mrdark@dreadcentral.com. Now get out there, find some weird, and let’s get this party started.

The Gasp Menagerie

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Poster Debut: Nicolas Pesce’s Piercing Starring Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott



One of the films that I’m most interested in hearing the feedback about during this year’s Sundance film festival is director Nicolas Pesce’s psychological horror-comedy Piercing.

Not only did Pesce’s last flick The Eyes of My Mother impress the hell out of me but his new film boasts a killer premise and cast including Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) and Christopher Abbott (It Comes at Night).

The movie will be premiering at Sundance this weekend and today we have the film’s poster to share with you guys. You can click on the poster to the right for a higher-res version.

After checking it out let us know what you think!

Piercing is based on the critically acclaimed cult novel by Ryu Murakami and directed by Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) and stars Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) and Christopher Abbott (It Comes at Night).

The film hosts its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Saturday, January 20th.


Reed (Christopher Abbott) is going on a business trip. He kisses his wife and infant son goodbye, but in lieu of a suitcase filled with clothes, he’s packed a toothbrush and a murder kit. Everything is meticulously planned: check into a hotel and kill an unsuspecting victim. Only then will he rid himself of his devious impulses and continue to be a good husband and father. But Reed gets more than he bargained for with Jackie (Mia Wasikowska), an alluring call girl who arrives at his room. First, they relax and get in the mood, but when there’s an unexpected disruption, the balance of control begins to sway back and forth between the two. Is he seeing things? Who’s playing whom? Before the night is over, a feverish nightmare will unfold, and Reed and Jackie will seal their bond in blood.

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First Details on Eduardo Sanchez-Directed Supernatural Episode 13.13 – Devil’s Bargain



The upcoming 13th episode of the 13th season of “Supernatural,” titled “Devil’s Bargain,” is notable for two reasons: (1) it’s directed by none other than Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly), and (2) it features a guest appearance by series star Jensen Ackles’ wife, Danneel Ackles (“One Tree Hill,” The Roommate).

The CW has released the official synopsis for the ep, which you’ll find below.

Are you still a fan of the show after all these years? Looking forward to seeing how Sanchez leaves his mark on the Winchesters? Sound off in the comments section or on social media!

“Supernatural” Episode 13.13 – “Devil’s Bargain” (airs 2/8/18)
Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Castiel (Misha Collins) search for Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino), who, meanwhile, strikes an unlikely deal with a local faith healer named Sister Jo (guest star Danneel Ackles). Asmodeus (guest star Jeffrey Vincent Parise) inches closer to finding Jack (Alexander Calvert). Eduardo Sanchez directed the episode written by Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner.

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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead




The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.

Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.

Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.

Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.

If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.

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