The Legend of Sugisawa Village

Published by Lemex in the blog Lemex's Blog. Views: 2571

[No reviews, no comedy, and no controversy this time. This is just straight-up folklore.]

The legend of the Sugisawa Village is an interesting one, and I will here put down everything I can find of it and within the best of my abilities to distinguish fact (whatever that maybe) from speculation and sensationalism.

The Sugisawa legend is very obscure, yet also well known. This contradiction seems to be a theme around this legend but it is easily explainable: it is known mostly in other forms, and under other names. It has been the basis of - like a lot of other Japanese ghost stories and folktales - a lot of fiction, and horror fiction in particular, and the video games Project Zero 2: The Crimson Butterfly by Tecmo (Fatal Frame 2 in the US and Zero 2 in Japan) and Siren, a 2003 game by Japan Studio, are both based on this legend.

Considering this it is great a shame that the actual story of Sugisawa Village is hard to find, at least in English. Bits and pieces can be found but most of it is hear-say, and from untrustworthy sources. One of the most trustworthy sources available comes from a wiki site for Project Zero which states that Sugisawa village was supposedly in the Tohoku region, and was the site of a massacre.

The story states that a villager in a ‘moment of madness’ killed the entire population of Sugisawa village before killing himself. The land the village stood on was later incorporated into a neighbouring village, and all trace of the village was erased from official maps and documents.

This was not the end for Sugisawa Village however as it is said that people wandering near the site of the village would never be seen again, having been killed by evil spirits. It has even been said that people who wander close to the site of Sugisawa Village will hear in the distance - but very clearly - talking and laugher, as of a festival, before fits of screaming; after a while this screaming halts and returns to talking and laughter. Another legend states that the village is now part of a spiritual world from which people trapped in can never escape. However, people have also claimed to have stood in the remains of Sugisawa Village but these have continuously been found to be hoaxes.

Many fans of the occult and abandoned buildings have visited the area looking for it. Most having heard about the legend from the television show "Miraculous Experiences! Unbelievable" and accounts of trips are often posted on popular websites, but these people either find nothing or post stories without any proof of their veracity.

The site of the supposed village is also hard to pin down exactly. Zero wiki claims the village remains became a part of Aomori City along with the rest of the Kosugi district, and others claim that the village was more rural and still stands intact. This extreme contradiction makes it impossible to validate either story.

The timeline of the events of the legend are also poorly recorded, or contradictory. The massacre has mainly been said to have taken place in two different timelines. The most common is sometime during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) however, some place the events between 1914 and 1934, and some still suggest earlier.

Whatever the truth, if there is any truth to this story at all, it is clear that the Legend of Sugisawa Village will remain and continue to gain attention. Any factual corrections or additions that could be suggested and made are encouraged.
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