The Sinister Hungry Ghosts of Japan

There are numerous forms of ghosts in the world, and these can take a vast variety of forms. There are the wandering wraiths, the poltergeists, the revenants, shadows, ghouls, and specters, all subject to the cultural influences thrust upon them. In Japan there is one very curious and unique form of spirit, and that is of the eternally hungry, ravenous ghosts.

One of the more well known of the hungry ghosts of Japan are what are known as the Hidarugami, which roughly translates to “Hungry God.” These are said to be the souls of those who have fallen due to starvation while wandering the remote mountain trails of Japan, dying alone and without any sort of grave or marker for where they fell. Also alternatively called the Hidarutami, the Darashi, and the Daru, depending on the region, in this unfortunate state of affairs these specters are said to have been cursed to seek out others with whom to share their agony and strife in their eternal hunger.

There have long been tales of travelers navigating remote, lonely mountain paths who have found themselves suddenly and overwhelmingly overcome with an insatiable hunger the likes of which they have never experienced. The sensation is reportedly absolutely overwhelming, with the traveler completely incapacitated by an intense hunger they cannot understand. This is often accompanied by an inexplicable fatigue and numbness of the limbs, causing the victim to collapse upon the ground without really comprehending what is going on. If not stopped, these episodes will supposedly almost certainly lead to death or insanity……