Previously: Dry Bones.
Technically I should probably put this one in quotation marks — “Japanese New Year Ritual” — because I haven’t been able to confirm that it actually is a Japanese New Year ritual and not just a creepypasta (possibly written by someone who isn’t actually Japanese) masquerading as one. Besides the fact that I’ve only been able to find this one on creepypasta sites and places like Wattpad, the thing that kind of makes me think it’s more creepypasta and less ancient mythology is how it deals with food. I’m by no means an expert, but from what I’ve read, food factors prominently in Japanese New Year celebrations — traditional dishes and a whole lot of mochi are typically eaten in the days leading up to the ringing in of the new year. This “ritual,” however, does the opposite — it instructs players to fast, which seems at odds with everything else I’ve read.
But then again, maybe that’s the point.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A basket or other container.
- Fruit: One pineapple, three bananas, two apples, and 30 grapes. Nothing more, nothing less.
- A timekeeping device. It must be as accurate as possible.
- Something sharp.
- A forest with a clearing.
- Anything you require to start a fire.
- Begin when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31.
- Close all of your curtains.
- For 24 hours, do not eat anything. Do not drink anything. Do not sleep. Do not go outside.
- Two hours before the arrival of the year, prepare a fruit basket. Place within your basket: One pineapple, three bananas, two apples, and 30 grapes. There you should now be 36 pieces of fruit in the basket. Do not miscount.
- With your sharp object, cut your hand. Anoint each piece of fruit with a drop of your blood. Do not miss any. Do not close your eyes. Do not dress your wound.
- At midnight, take your basket of fruit and your fire-making tools and go to the nearest forest.
- Walk deep into the forest until you find a clearing.
- Build a fire. Sit by it. Place the basket of fruit in front of you. Do not let the fire go out. Do not move unless the action you are taking is to ensure that the fire does not go out.
- If no one approaches you from the forest: The ritual has failed. Do not proceed.
- If a figure approaches you from the forest: You may proceed.
- The figure will make eye contact with you. Do not break it.
- Do not scream.
- Do not run away.
- Do not speak.
- After you have proven your bravery, the figure will begin to eat the fruit. Continue to maintain eye contact. Do not break it.
- If you have made it this far, the figure will ask you a question once it has finished eating: “What would you like to know?”
- Tell him. Do not look away.
- He will give you your answer. And then he will walk away.
- Do not look away until he has vanished from view.
- Go to sleep. (You will not actually have to actively follow this step; you will simply drop off, whether you want to or not.)
- When you awaken, you will be in your own bed, newfound knowledge in mind.
Concerning the Figure from the Forest:
He will be very thin and very tall. His eyes will be large and black. His mouth will be wide, and his teeth sharp. He will not be wearing any clothing. He will not be wearing any expression on his face.
He is called the Wise One. Treat him with the respect he deserves.
He doesn’t take kindly to those who disrespect him.
When Asking What You Would Like To Know:
Choose your words carefully. You may ask anything you like, from how long your life will be to what you’ll have for breakfast in the morning. But ask one question and one question only. Do not be greedy.
And Know This:
Whatever you ask?
Make sure you really want to know.
Once you have gained the knowledge, you can never go back, no matter how much you might wish to.
Knowledge is power…
…But it can also spell out your ruin.
[Photo via Kathleen Tyler Conklin/Flickr]