So, there was an anon who asked what I thought of Hitori Kakurenbo earlier today. While I’m still waiting to find out if they meant the movie or the game, I realized some people might not even know what the game is. It is, hands down, the creepiest shit I’ve ever heard of.
Did you ever play the game Bloody Mary, where you stand in front of the mirror in the dark and say “Bloody Mary” three times? Hitori Kakurenbo is Japan’s more horrifying version.
Here’s how you play. If you die, it’s not my fault.
- A stuffed animal that has both arms and legs
- Fingernail clippings (yours)
- A knife, shard of glass, or some sharp instrument
- A needle with a long piece of red thread
- A cup of salt water or Japanese sake
- A bathtub
- Someplace to hide
- A prepared will, because you’re going to die
First, name your stuffed animal. Let’s call our hypothetical teddy bear “Mister Squish”. Cut open Mister Squish and remove all of his stuffing. Replace it with the rice and your fingernail clippings. Make sure he is stuffed up good then sew him back up. Use the needle and red thread. It’s important that you use a long piece of thread so you can wrap the excess around his fuzzy, adorable body like some sort of furry bondage.
At 3am, take Mister Squish into your bathroom. Fill the tub with water. Hold Mister Squish in both hands and say out loud “For the first game, I’m (your name here) going to be it.” Say this three times then drop Mister Squish in the water.
Now, run around your house, turning off all the lights as you go. All of em, even that Spongebob Squarepants nightlight you have that you think I don’t know about but I do. You can keep your TV on but only if it’s tuned to a static-filled station. If you’re really a fan of The Ring, now is your chance to die just like in the movie!
Got all the lights off? Good. Close your eyes and count to ten. When you’re finished, open your eyes and grab the knife (or whatever sharp instrument you picked) and go back to the bathroom. Out loud, announce “I found Mister Squish!” Grab your soggy teddy and stab the shit out of him with the knife/scissors/glass/etc.
Congratulations! You won that round.
Note: The word for “it” in Japanese hide & seek or tag is “oni” - which means “devil”. This makes the next part of the game all the more terrifying.
Next, say “Now Mister Squish is it.” (AKA “Now Mister Squish is the Devil.”) Leave the still-impaled (this is very important) bear in the bathroom, either in the water or on the floor. Quickly (the instructions specifically say quickly) run out of the room. “Hide Quietly.” (Again, the instructions specify ‘quietly’.) Wherever you hide (closets are a good recommendation), make sure you have your glass of salt water or sake with you. Seriously. Don’t forget this. Just don’t.
Let’s say you pull and R Kelly and you’re hiding in the closet. (Dare I say you are “trapped” in the closet?) Stay there, listening and waiting. For what, you ask? All sorts of crazy shit, apparently. People have reported sounds (footsteps, voices and things being moved), horrible smells, changes in temperature, and having the TV suddenly switch off or the volume change dramatically. Some reported the sensation of being touched or pulled on, others said that their household pets freaked out (cowered or cried out). Whatever happens, stay hidden for as long as you can or until sunrise.
Ready for this shit to be over with? The ending ritual is extremely important. You can’t just hop out of the closet at sunrise and announce that you’ve won. Let’s say it’s still dark, something has freaked you out and you want to end the game. Take as much salt water (or sake) in your mouth as you can, holding it there while you return to the bathroom. Don’t assume Mister Squish will be where you left him. There have been people who find either him or the knife moved or missing entirely. Keep searching until you find Mister Squish. And, contrary to what guys usually say, DON’T SWALLOW! Hold that salty water in your mouth until you get that bear.
Once you find Mister Squish, spit the salt water (sake) all over him and tell him three times, “I won!”
That almost always ends the game… but you can never be too sure. As a final precaution, it is imperative you burn the stuffed animal you used. Even though the game is over, people have posted that they’ve become ill, gotten into some kind of accident, or continued to feel the presence of someone or something.
Oh, and another note of warning - DO NOT PLAY WHILE SOMEONE ELSE IS IN THE HOUSE. There is the possibility that they will be “found” instead of you. And something terrible will happen to them. You must be alone in the house when you play.
So there you go. If you want to die tonight, here is a delightful game just for you. Thanks, Japan!