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Demon Encounter In Tokyo, Japan


The year was 1978 and I was 15 years old. My best friend had returned to Japan after spending a year attending our junior high school in the states while her father was a visiting professor at the local university. I missed her terribly after she had gone and was able to persuade my grandfather to send me to Japan to visit her during that coming summer. I arrived on a July evening, completely exhausted, of course, yet terribly excited. My friend and her mother showed me to my room which was the only traditional Japanese room in the home, one with tatami matting and sliding doors. This is a feature common to fairly affluent homes in Japan - modern construction and conveniences for the majority of the house with one traditionally Japanese room. I recall that when her mother opened the corner closet to retrieve the futon mats that would be my bed, a cold chill emanated from it. I thought nothing of it. Of course, an enclosed space would be less affected by the ambient temperature of a room. I slept very soundly that first night.

The following night after I had retired, I lay awake, listening to the sounds of the house as it was winding down for the evening. I heard light switches click off and bedroom doors upstairs closing. I was imagining what new adventures we might have tomorrow. I then began to hear a faint laughter. It seemed to be coming from, perhaps, the neighboring house. Perhaps there was a little get together over there. Then the laughter became louder. Then the laughter became closer. Now the laughter was...menacing. It was a decidedly evil, man's laughter which now closed in around my ears, growing louder, and louder. Hey! Just get up and go upstairs and get your friend! I was wide awake. I tried to do just that only to find that... I could not move, not a muscle. My instinct and unusual spiritual training for a young person kicked in. I had practiced yoga since I was a young child and just before leaving, my yoga instructor had mentioned something about an East Indian holy man named Ramana. The mere mention of his name dispelled negative energies. I tried to say his name aloud - I was ready to try anything. To my horror I discovered that I could also not speak. Fear freezes, my instinct told me. What I have to do in the midst of this terror is to relax. I began to imaging myself floating through a starry night sky. A calm in the midst of this storm around me came over me. I tried to speak the name of the holy man again and this time I was able to mouth the word (though still no sound came out)..."Ramana". As I did so, it was as if a switch had been turned off. The evil laughter which had become deafening about my ears stopped. I was able to move and considered running upstairs to my friend, yet, somehow, I knew that I was safe now so I thought I would not wake her.

The following day, a number of my friend's friends came by for a welcoming tea. I told the story of what had happened to me. Oh, yes, that was "kanashibari" they told me, quite matter of factly which means "wrapped in bandages". It was a common thing which occurs in Japan whereby some spirit or another who happens to be roaming about decides to have a bit of "fun" with a resting human. They proceeded to tell me other tales of spirits, both playful and malevolent who specialized in turning children around in their beds so that their head would be where there feet had been when they awoke. They were not surprised in the least by my experience and had no trouble believing that I had indeed been awake and that this was no dream. The entity was likely a demonic one judging from my description, they said, and I imagine that anyone who heard that laughter would concur. The direction from whence the laughter had originated, I realized, had been the bedding closet which had exhibited the chilly draft the night before.

I took from that experience the notion that calm in the presence of malevolent entities is a powerful strategy. Indeed, my later studies of martial arts would serve to underscore that conclusion. "Don't strike when you are angry," I once heard a Tibetan monk remark, "you might miss".

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Zander, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
4 years ago (2018-02-05)
Thank you, Gayatrishiva for reading my tale! I was fascinated to hear about the similarity of your experience. Please thank Ramana for me... God Bless ~
Gayatrishiva (3 stories) (121 posts)
5 years ago (2017-03-29)
Hi zander,
It's an well written story and like you I too have a story in which when I felt the attack I was like I went blank and I tried to remember all the God's in fact any God names from any religion but it was like I couldn't and suddenly I remembered jesus name and the attack stopped. I am also yoga therapist and teach meditation and go to ramana ashram every year. I understand this post is old one... I liked the way you relax
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
9 years ago (2013-06-18)
Dear Sceptic Ari,

So kind of you to read my tale. Scepticism keeps us honest, I've heard it said. There is enough real paranormal phenomena, albeit rare, without having to 'scare' any up, I think. For instance, some of the 'ghost busting' shows on television where heavily festooned techies turn off all the lights in a room and consequently bump into an end table. 'Aha!' now that was definitely something! Did you hear that! Start filming here!'

Funny you should ask about Ramana. I knew little about him until you did so. I tried to find out a bit more and discovered that there are ashrams of his devotees around the world, including in central Ohio, here! His full name is Sri Ramana Maharshi. They seem to be operated by East Indians. I wonder what they would think of my turning up to tell them of how their guru saved me once long ago?

So sorry for the delay in getting back with you and thank you again for writing. Hope this message finds you well.
Sceptic-Ari (2 stories) (611 posts)
9 years ago (2013-04-07)
Dear Zander,
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. If it would have happened to me, I would surely have screamed my lungs out, just saying 😳

I would rather like to know more about "Ramana" that you mentioned in your narrative. I have not come across such a name which wields such power over the paranormal! I know it has been a long time. If it doesn't bother you too much, could you provide a litte more detail about "Ramana"?
Do reply...

Starberrywishes (3 posts)
9 years ago (2013-04-06)
Lol, it's similar to what my mom experienced.:) I'm not too shocked when I'm used to hearing my mom tell me these.
YureiGuy101 (guest)
10 years ago (2012-04-17)
cool story, I love japanese ghosts and ghost stories, I like them as much as our stories, I have noticed how similar japanese beliefs in ghosts and types of ghost are to ours
acuteangles (4 stories) (28 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-14)
Wow I loved this story. Its very well-written and it resonates with the reader (or at least with me because I can't tell you how many times I was flipped around while I slept when I lived in a certain house in Las Vegas, NV). I had other experiences in that house, too, but I never thought that particular thing was spirit-related (even though I never sleepwalk or toss about in bed). At any rate, you've got me thinking about it differently. Cool experience, by the way. You handled it so well. That's so unnerving, I probably would have cried I would have been so scared about the not being able to move or speak part. And I have never heard about saying Ramana. I guess I will have to try that because I am dealing with an entity right now that I don't quite know how to deal with. Its not evil, just angry. But if it really frightens me again, I will say that. Thanks.
TsukiHirosue (6 posts)
10 years ago (2012-01-27)
Konnichiwa! Something similar happened at my Obaachan's house 😕 Well, sayonara for now!
randle0121 (3 posts)
11 years ago (2010-11-30)
hay I liked your story when I read that part about turning kids around in there beds it made my jaw drop becouse that use to happen to me id go sleep and wake up with my feet were my head was and have no idear how this happen
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
12 years ago (2010-10-31)
To the dear reader from the third floor of the memorial suite of Monday evening last, October 25. I would welcome hearing from you again and trust that you are doing well. My heart went out to you and never came back. Perhaps you could send an email to me through this site?
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-21)
Thank you, Jim. This happened more than 30 years ago and only once with no re-occurrence so I'm not certain that I need any regimen of holy water at this stage, but I will keep your comments on hand should any further event occur.
JimD (431 posts)
12 years ago (2010-04-20)
In the spirit world, there is no time, either for the holy angels, or for the demons. Yesterday is equal to 15 years ago. Try lots of Catholic Holy water and commanding it to leave in Jesus name. 'Mary' and 'St. Michael the Archangel' are also effective, as are frequent Mass, confession, Eucharist and the Rosary. The Rosary is especially hated and feared.

As an active demonologist, I've seen 'magical wisperings' to be too often the start of bad things. Good lucck.
aussiedaz (18 stories) (1523 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)
Zander,Although I haven't seen that episode kirk is 100percent correct... I believe their are evil spirits that get a kick out of coming across as demons, but most of the time demons are conjured out from with in our own inner realm, what you come across was either a bad spirit or a collection of negative energies looking to absorb your fear to manifest its own identity, as you meditated yourself to relax you created positive energy, these 2 energy can not occupied the same space, LAUGHING IS THE BEST
MEDICINE,some clinic around the world have laughing classes to deal with stress and depression, Laughing is" positive energy"and relaxing, recently during a out of body experience I was attacked by something (possibly conjured up from my own insecurity's) "NOT REAL" I started laughing and it disappeared straight away thankfully, I have done this on a couple times over the years, it works for me I hope others give it a go.
MsAngelsndemons (guest)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)
God that's scary. I hope it never happens to me if it did I would cry and run to my momma. LOL, but good story.;) 😁
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)
Devious Angel,

Thank you very much for your kind review of my telling of this tale. I'm going to look into the yurei, now. The Project Gutenberg compilation sounds quite fascinating as well.

You reminded me of a story that my Japanese friend from this story told me about a gift from the country of Japan to Disneyland--or I suppose I should say a proposed gift.

Inspired by the Haunted House at Disneyland, several horror special effects experts in Japan got together to create an addition to the exhibit, there as a gift in the 70's. Disneyland refused the gift saying that it was too scary. What it was, I don't know.

Thanks again and take care
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)

Thanks so much for reading my story and for your kind comments.

Yoga comes from the same Indo-European word as "yoke" with the idea being that, most of the time, we have a mind, body, and emotions--all with their own agandae about what they'd like to do. Yoga is said to "yoke" the three into one, making us a more focused and stronger being, a sort of braided or banded together cord instead of three strands. It can't hurt to be "in shape" for spiritual warfare, I think. Heck, none of us ask for this. St. Michael is awesome as a defender in that battle as well, as I understand. Take care and thanks again. 😊
Zander (7 stories) (138 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)
Hi Aussiedaz,

Thank you for your kind comments about my story, m8!

I'd like to learn more about your laughing technique. Makes sense to me. Reminds me of an old Star Trek episode where a sort or evil pinwheel of light had boarded the Enterprise and was feeding off of strife that it could cause among the people on the ship. Kirk somehow figures this out and encourages everyone to laugh at it which renders it harmless and causes it to disappear.
aussiedaz (18 stories) (1523 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-23)
Thank you for sharing your story, your story should be included and subtitled (strategies on combating sleep paralysis or demon attacks) either one it is, relaxing and conquering your fear sucks the power away from these expriences, my technique is a little different (laughing at them) but it gives me the same result.
Well done good story!
StMikal (4 stories) (37 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-22)
wow, that was awsome! Not what happened to you of course, but the way you were able to overcome by staying calm and concentrating. People who have had encounters with paralysis should read this because they tend to panic which I imagine is a natural reaction. May be I should take some yoga care
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
12 years ago (2010-02-22)
Thank you for sharing this story as well! You have a very unique and well-detailed writing style that I enjoy very much. I have heard of the Japanese terminology when I was studying up on yurei and other spirits from Japanese folklore. They definitely have some of the scariest stories. I remember one book that I read, which had been translated and published for free on Project Gutenberg, which was a compilation of Japanese folklore and ghost stories. They kept me awake, let me tell you! It's no wonder the Japanese horror cinema industry is so successful.

I also love the technique you tried, and if something like that ever happens to me, I will be trying it myself. I would imagine that the calm is an excellent repellant to things that feed off of negative energy. Well done!

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