Over the years, I learned about certain locations people avoid entering after dark and warn their children not to play in, as it’s rumored to be haunted, surrounded by death or told in some urban legend. There are few places within the world, where actual events occur revealing something unnatural lurking within and entering it would endanger your life. Such a place lies within Japan, at the foot of Mount Fuji, a forest called Aokigahara or the Sea of Trees.
The vast forest covers over 3,500 hectares and often described as a scene from a horror movie by visitors. The trees within Aokigahara are thick enough to block out the sun where some places are shrouded in complete darkness. The terrain is lined with a twisted network of wood vines as the forest floor is a hazard of rocks, caves and entangling roots. Anyone entering Aokigahara would discover the area was mostly devoid of wildlife along with sound.
Local legends say the forest is inhabited by demons along with the spirits of the desperate people who traveled to this corner of Japan to die. In addition, some folklore mention how families once brought relatives to the wood and left them to perish in some primitive form of euthanasia, now reside as vengeful ghosts. Many in the region believe evil, supernatural forces roam Aokigahara and pose an actual danger to anyone wondering the woods. There are rumors about rituals performed by Buddhist monks to purify the forest with no affect
Despise the legends, myths and superstitions, people are going into these woods to end their lives by either hanging, poison, and other various ways. An annual body hunt is conducted by a team of local authorities and volunteers throughout Aokigahara. What’s has become alarming, is the body count along with the number of attempts continues to rise over the years. The government placed signs throughout the forest urging people to reconsider their actions and seek help. This forest of death continues to hold one of the highest rates of suicides committed in the world.
Brennan, Lyle . “The suicide forest of Japan: Mount Fuji beauty spot where up to 100 bodies are found every year”. Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers.
Strusiewicz, Cezary. The “The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth.” Cracked . http://www.cracked.com.