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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Staircase and Old Man

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Once when I went on a trip I stayed at a certain Japanese-style hotel. *1
The food was superb and the service impeccable; I was satisfied thinking I'd made a right choice to stay there.
I was comfortably watching TV in my room when I felt a sudden thirst. I decided to go to the vending machine next to the front desk to get some beer.

But when I came out of the room I saw a steep staircase next to the room, and spotted a vending machine at the bottom of the stairs.
"Huh? Was there a staircase here? Well, it's a good thing that I don't have to go all the way to the front desk," I thought.
I went down the steps and bought a can of beer from the vending machine. There was a Japanese-style room *2 next to it and I could hear some people talking behind the door.*3


When I came up the stairs, I met an old guy who was staying in the room next to mine, and he asked me where I bought the beer. When I told him, he too went down the steps.

But as soon as I walked into my room ----
"Aghhh!"
Clang clang Crash!

He fell from the stairs!
I opened the door, but there were no stairs there.

I searched the area but there was no sign of stairs anywhere.  I knocked on the next door but the old guy wasn't there.

I made an inquiry to a hotel worker but he said there were no stairs there too.
Of course it would have been no use telling him what had happened because there was no way he would believe my story.

It was creepy but I spent a night at the hotel as I had planned and went home the following day.
The old guy in the end didn't come back.

A few years later, when I had forgotten all about it, I moved into an area which I remember to be not far from the hotel. There I heard that a certain hotel named ____ discovered, during renovation work, the skelton of an old man buried deep in one of its walls.

How come did they find a few-year-old remains of a man inside a 20-odd-year-old wall?
Moreover, they didn't find any signs of the wall being tampered with....
Those were the sort of things I read in the local newspaper.

I couldn't recall the name of the hotel I stayed at the time, but I didn't have enough courage to check its name.


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*1 a Japanese-style hotelRyokan (旅館) in the original text. The picture on the right shows Yokote-kan (横手館) at Ikaho hotspring resort (伊香保温泉), a famous ryokan which the bath house in the anime movie Spirited Away was modeled after.
*2 the Japanese-style room: zashiki (座敷) in the original text. In a hotel, it refers to a kind of room where people hold a dinner/drinking party. (See the second picture from the top for an example of a zashiki with shou-ij doors)
*3 the door: shou-ji (障子) in the original text. It consists of translucent paper over a frame of wood (wiki).

Read a message from Saya below:
 Since it's Halloween time, I want to update more freuquently than usual.
I might have to postpone replyig to your comments until this weekend though. Please do forgive
me!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey! how did the narrator knows that the wall is 20 years old? Also This story feels more of a murder case than ghost story I think.

said...

怖い話ですね。もしかしてあの老人が降りたら階段が元の形になって老人を壁の中に閉じ込めたのかも知れません。主人公も老人も霊感を持っていたのでしょうか。だって他の人は階段の存在を知りませんでした。生き埋めは怖いですね。
怖いながらも日本でこのような旅館があったらとても面白いと思います。Sayaさんが載せた写真は私の想像力を働かせています。一番の写真に階段があるのに、三番の方が話の中の旅館に見えると思います。と言っても、素晴らしい所ですね。さすがに「千と千尋の神隠し」に登場した旅館です。もしいつか日本の旅館に泊めることが出来れば、きっとこの話を思い出すと思います。今日は誕生日ですが誕生日にこの面白い話が読めて本当に嬉しいです。ありがとうございます。

Anonymous said...

so... the phantom stairs ate the old man?

nunu said...

OH MY GOD!!! So scary. And poor old man!!

The staircase must have disappeared when the old man fell down the stairs thus alerting the ghosts of his presence.
I wonder whether the old man were killed by the ghosts in the room next to the vending machine or got stuck in the wall when the stairs disappeared.
And whether the beer was safe to drink.

This is a good story Saya-san.

Edweefication said...

@Anom 14:16, maybe 20-odd-year-old means he predicted the wall is AROUND 20 year old.
Anyway, this is a very good story. Please bomb us with more scary stories this halloween! We will wait for your reply patiently. Thank you for the stories Saya San..

Saya Yomino said...

@渚: Happy Birthday! I thought I must answer your message first because today is your special day.

写真気に入ってもらえて嬉しいです。お話の雰囲気に合うように、頑張って選びました。実は私も、横手館という旅館が千と千尋の旅館のモデルになったことを、知りませんでした。このブログをやっていると、私自身も日本のことに詳しくなっていきます^^。

渚さんは、とても上品な日本語を使いますね。とても上手だし、感心します。

こちらこそ、コメントありがとうございます。時々日本語でコメントをもらうのも、嬉しいですね。では、Take care!

Tia said...

Awesome! More creepiness! Thank you so much Saya chan for updating more frequently now! This story definitely is horrifying, but its weirdness surpasses my imagination! I honestly worked very hard to try and come up with a theory around the stairs that spirited away the old man! :P It is a very frustrating story to figure out, cause even in horror stories most of the time you learn who or what causes the whole thing. Here? Nothing!
The only possible theory i can figure out about the staircase is this: The owners of the ryokan where the author was staying used to visit the old hotel or had some sort of relation with its managers. Therefore, when the hotel shut down they decided to keep some stuff from inside the old hotel. However gruesome events occured there and still are unknown to us. Some of these events caused several objects from the hotel to become haunted by something malicious probably (thus the spiriting away), and the owners of the new ryokan brought them with them. Thats about the best thing i can come up with, otherwise i'm pretty bumped :P. Once again thank you for updating Saya chan! :) Take care!

Kira Collins said...

Aww, that's more sad than creepy. They buried the old man behind the walls? How cruel! Have to give him a proper burial! Spirited Away was modeled from the Yokote kan?! That's the first anime movie I watched when I was 6! By the way, almost Happy Halloween, Saya-san! Love you and your work!!

Anonymous said...

i hope it's okay to post this here -- happy halloween saya!! ♡

http://25.media.tumblr.com/14ecd8cf75c3802187a42e10503caebe/tumblr_mvgddcT0YP1qaeybqo1_r1_500.png

Anonymous said...

I think the Old Man is the Stair Ghost.

He just telling the inn visitor that he was buried there for years so somebody can extract his body and give him proper resting place.

...or maybe not.

Kiera said...

Saya-sama~

Poor old man! Creepy story. I'm glad every hotel I've ever been to I'm always on the ground floor! XD
Thanks for the post!
~Kiera

Bleblo said...

Woah picture looks really nice.. I'd also like to visit a japanese hotspring one day :|

Subaiii said...

Oh no that poor old man! D:
What if that staircase was something like a wormhole or a teleporter?? :O

~桔子~ said...

The old ghost could once be a guest at the hotel and died falling down that particular flight of stairs. To hide the death frpm public, the hotel management covered the stairs by cementing it, together with the corpse.

I read that dead people will keep re-enacting their death scene everyday ,at the time of death. I think the guy just happen to be there, when the old ghost is re-enacting his dead scene.

wild wild guess =P

Anonymous said...

It took me a bit to understand this! So basically, the body had been dead for five or so years while the wall was made twenty years ago?

sunflowerbloom said...

Hi Saya~ Thanks for your hardwork!
Hmmm, initially I thought that the old man was 'fated' to die instead of the author. Since he was alright after getting the can of beer.

What im curious is, if he couldnt find the staircase (after hearing the sound), which means there is no vending machine, wouldnt his can of beer disappear too?

Or maybe, following what some fellow reader commented on..
Its probably the author murdered, and hid the old man body. But when he heard about the body in the walls, he is haunted by his guilt and decided to write it out.

Also, ~桔子~ is probably right too.
It might also be the ghost of the old man replaying that scene over and over again.

Ah, I have wrote too much. ><"

Tani M said...

Perhaps the staircase and vending machine were no longer there during the author's time, but once existed? And an old man fell down and died... and was buried there? And the author somehow stepped into the time of that past event? Things like this have been reported before... In France, two English ladies found themselves back in Marie Antoinette's time while taking a walk through her garden.