Japanese Scary Stories: Teke Teke

  • Every country has multiple ghost stories and scary urban legends. Kids and teenagers, in particular, enjoy sharing these stories when they do things like attending parties, school club events, or school retreats. The practice is so common that we often see scenes from movies or television when kids sit around a campfire and tell scary stories, or horror movies that kick off after a group of teenagers release a curse.

    Scary urban legends and ghost stories can shed a lot of light on the culture of the place and the people where the story is based. In this article, we want to focus on one particular story, the one of Teke Teke.

    The Legend

    The story begins at night, when a boy named Satoshi is on his way back home. He had just left his cram school, and was walking through some empty streets as it was nearing 10 pm. As he passed through a neighborhood, he saw a beautiful young girl near the top of an abandoned building. She was leaning out the window, with her elbows propped on the windowsill. She looked down at him, contempt and jealousy hiding behind her eyes.

    Suddenly, the girl jumped out of the window. Shocked, Satoshi could do nothing but watch her fall. When the girl landed, Satoshi realized something horrible: the girl only had half a boy. Her torso had been split in half, and her legs were nowhere to be found.

    Unbeknown to him, the vengeful spirit belonged to a girl who had accidentally fallen onto some train tracks seconds before a train passed by, cutting her in half.

    The girl started dragging herself toward him, a scythe in one hand. As she skittered toward him on her elbows and claw-like hands, a “teke teke” sound echoed around him.

    Before he could move, she pushed off her elbows swinging her scythe at his midsection. Satoshi felt the scythe tear through him, and soon nothing. As he lay on the ground, blackness closing in around him, he saw her hate-filled face hovering above his. A look of triumph crossed it. That would be the last thing he would ever see…

    Alternative Version

    There is an alternative version. In this version the Teke Teke ghost, is named Kashima Reiko, and haunts bathrooms. If she spots you in the bathroom she will brandish her scythe, and ask you, “Where are my legs?” If you answer incorrectly, she will cut you in half. If you answer, “On the Meishin line.” She might let you live.

    This alternative version can be very popular in schools since encountering the ghost inside an empty bathroom stall would appear more likely than if walking late at night when not a single person is around.


    Teke Teke is an onryo, a vengeful spirit. I could not find any documented origin of the Teke Teke legend, but onryo legends go back to the 8th Century and continue in various forms.

    *Featured Image by blogdel__gatodepapel on Instagram
    : blogdel__gatodepapel/