Scares from Korea!

It’s the spookiest day of the year, so while we’re all busy trying to avoid all the witches, vampires and ghosts roaming about, why not take a break from hiding from the undead (asking for sweets) and find out about some of the urban myths that exists on the other side of the world in South Korea. South Korea doesn’t actually celebrate Halloween but after the research we did for this article, we don’t think they need a specific day for scares, every night seems like a night filled with possible horrors for South Korea…
Korean Halloween Scary Story

Click for larger image

First up we bring you the frighteningly titled ‘Red Mask Girl’! Yeah, ok, doesn’t sound that menacing, but you wouldn’t want to meet this lady on a dark night. The story goes that this young woman underwent plastic surgery, however something went wrong and the surgeon cut her mouth from ear to ear. Sexy… To cover her face, the woman wears a red mask and now stalks the night for unsuspecting passers by and harasses them by asking if they think she’s pretty. The dreaded question! But wait, this tale gets scarier than that. If you say ‘no’, she’ll get angry and give you a matching smile. If you say ‘yes’, she’ll accuse you of lying and cut your throat. There’s just no pleasing some people! WHY SO SERIOUS? (you see what we did there?) (Image source)

If you’re walking at night and manage to avoid the ‘Red Mask Girl’, you’re not safe yet! There’s an octogenarian who’s lost her cat. Yup, more terrifying tales. ‘Hong Kong Grandma’ was on her way to Hong Kong with her beloved moggie when the plane crashed and poor beloved Hong Kong Grandma and her cat died. But her love for her cat was so strong that their spirits merged creating a catwoman (not the sexy leather clad version but a half and half face version…) and now she wonders the Earth trying to locate her beloved pet. (Hint: You ARE the cat, Grandma!) Never fear though, there are some fail safe rules to follow if you’re confronted with this confused woman:
If you go outside your house after sunset, you will meet the ghost of the Hong Kong Grandma. If she asks you a question you must always make sure to add “Hong Kong” at the end of your answer. If she asks to see your fingernails, you must never show the white part, you have to turn your fingers the other way. Sometimes she also calls your name from outside the window, in which case you must never open the window.” Quote from this website

We’re not quite sure why she needs to see your fingernails…but whatever, she’s lost her cat (again, it’s on your face, Nan!), so she’s probably feeling a bit emotional and confused. Apparently this tale was created to discourage kids from going out at night and talking to strangers. Not sure how effective this was except to confuse all the grannies when everything they ask is answered with the word “Hong Kong” at the end… Must be a hip new slang Hong Kong.

Up next, a tale that will not go down well with those who get claustrophobic in elevators. If you’re in the elevator, a lone man may get in with you. He will look at which floor you selected and then press the button for the floor beneath. As he gets off, and just before the door shuts, he’ll stick a knife through the closing gap and tell you he’s be waiting to murder you at the next floor… We’d like to say that’s it’s probably best not to let this send you into a mass panic every time a random man gets in the elevator with you. Though if he selects the floor below you, it might be a good idea to stay on guard and mentally figure out if the ceiling tiles are removable…

Here’s a story that might make you delay your next visit to the toilet. The so called ‘Toilet Ghost’ lurks in squat toilets waiting for its victims to answer the call of nature. When they do, it sticks its hand out of the toilet and asks if you want blue or red toilet paper. No, this is not a super helpful but slightly pervy ghost, there’s an ulterior motive! If you pick the red toilet paper, it’ll skin you, but if you pick blue, it’ll choke you. A nice win win situation right? Luckily, we haven’t seen many squat toilets around lately. Just watch out during festival season!

So now that we’ve made you fear toilets, grandmas and elevators, how about some superstitions to take note of…….

Writing someone’s name in red pen is a no no. When a person dies, their name is written in red ink therefore if you write someone’s name in red ink, it’s like you’re willing them to die. So next time you’re writing to a friend, make sure you don’t get out the red pen, they might get the wrong idea about what you are wishing them! Teachers especially should take notice of this when marking homework! Make sure you never write a student’s name with your red pens! More along the lines of death symbols is the dreaded number 4. In Korean and also Chinese culture, 4 can be pronounced as sa (사), which sounds like the word death. For us, 13 is often seen as unlucky, so we often find it omitted out of some floors and room numbers etc, same goes for the number 4 in Korea. Often elevators will stop on floor ‘F’ (for four) and not ‘4’.

Korean Halloween Fan DeathBecause we are a bit wimpy these are just a few “light bites” but South Korea is a country known for their Horror movies with quite a few having had a Hollywood remake such as the infamous Tale of Two Sisters. If you are looking for a proper scare for tonight then look no further then a good ol’ Korean horror movie. We personally recommend the fore-mentioned Tale of Two Sisters, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. Or how about something a little different in the form of A Chilling Romance? It’s a RomHorCom(?) a Romantic Horror Comedy, even with the Rom and the Com parts, they still managed to throw in a good few Korean style scares!One of the most famous urban legends you’ll hear from Korea is the famous ‘fan death’ legend. Apparently, if you keep an electrical fan on all night with closed windows, you can die…..Yup. It’s something to do with increased carbon dioxide in the air, lack of oxygen and some even say that the fan chops the air molecules…  We have to say nothing conclusive has ever been proven, but people will still keep a window open if the fan’s spinning just in case. We have to admit, since hearing this, even though there’s not really any evidence for it, we’d crack open a window if a fan was running all night, better safe than sorry right?

To finish off, we’ll leave you with a very popular Korean cartoon. Sounds harmless, might actually make you wet yourself (and scar you for life). You have been warned! This is a really popular comic (봉천동 귀신) that made it’s round around the internet earlier this year from Korea. We don’t think we’ve come across anyone who’s not been terrified by this. Go here to be scared! <- WARNING: ((this link is terrifying and I watched it from behind several duvets, behind a sofa, 10 metres from the computer screen. I personally advise you not to watch it, no one needs this in their life. Seriously don’t. I don’t even know why it’s here. Why have we even linked it? Please don’t hate us!!! ;_; ~ From Ema ))  

Happy Halloween! 

Sources: Daily Korean Stuff, Daily Korean StuffYoung Hyuna

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