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Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Impossible Game

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A classic urban legend

Four college students belonging to a hiking club became lost in a snowy mountain.
They walked and walked, until they caught sight of a little cabin in the midst of the raging snowstorm.

To protect themselves from the snowstorm, they went inside the cabin.
However, it seemed no one had been to the cabin for a long time, and there was nothing inside to warm themselves with.

As the night descended, the temperature began to drop rapidly.
If they fell asleep, they would freeze to death for sure.

It was then that they came up with a game which would ensure they stayed awake.
First, each person had to stand in each corner of the room.
Next, one person had to run to the person who stood in the next corner, and touch his body.
Then the person who was touched in turn had to run to the next corner and touch the body of the person there. The touched person of course had to repeat the same thing.
So they repeated this game on and on, in the darkness, until the day broke.

The following morning they were found by a rescue party and managed to go down the mountain.
When they returned to their college they met up with the other students in the club, and told them what had happened.
But after they had finished talking, they noticed that one of the students who had been listening to their story was looking very perplexed.

This student said to them,
"But...isn't that an impossible game to play? If each of you stood in one corner and the first person ran to the next corner, there would be no one left in the first corner. Then the game would have to stop there -  unless of course you had a fifth person."


  1. So then that means there had been a ghost?

  2. this game, its like the game that played by protagonist at shin megami tensei persona 1 if i'm not wrong :v

    thanks for your hardwork saya

  3. I don't understand this at first, but now I get it hehe.

    I think the 5th person in this game is actually a nice "person"(?), because they're willing to help accomplish an impossible game for all night long, so the students can survive the night.

    This story feels so heart warming Saya san, at least for me :)

  4. Ah, I'm a fairly recent follower of your site, but I've managed to read and enjoy every single one of your posts,and this one is no exception! It confused me at first, but then I understood haha, I'm just a bit slow :P

    Even though I'm new, I appreciate the work you put into your posts Saya, thank you!

  5. Oh gods, I had to emulate it with random objects on my desk to verify that indeed, you can't play that game without a fifth person.

    I've been following your blog for a long time now, but this is the first time I venture to leave a comment.

    Your blog gives me life, thank you for your hard work Saya ♥

  6. Ha... I was a bit confused at first.
    Bu I'm glad that narrator and his friends did not realize about the 5th 'person'.
    They're already miserable, to feel scared on top of that would really be terrible for them.
    So, I'm glad it was a nice ghost that joined them that night.


  7. Haha, I heard this story when I was in elementary school. They had to take four scissors to explain why the game was impossible to me.

  8. Next time, just go back to your corner

  9. Ahhh.. yess.. I heard this one before, this is one of famous folklore from Japan.
    I tried it with my friends and just before last person run to the supposed empty corner, he got possessed.
    Maybe it's the game, or maybe the room we're using to play is haunted. idk.

  10. Hi Saya! I like your blog very much!

    I have heard this tale before (despite being in a faraway country than yours LOL) but the version is a bit different.

    In the one I heard, five students went hiking when the storm struck, and one of them died from the freezing. The rest is pretty much the same with your story, that the four left alive played this game in order to stay awake, aided by the ghost of their dead friend.

  11. the logic is Cabin is square...
    and have 4 corner each...

    this story try manipulating people brain to scare..

    Then I realize something 4 people and 4 corner they can play until it morning but if they had 3 people then it's a ghost story..

    just suggestion..

    1. It's impossible. 4 corners and 4 persons. One goes to one corner and touch the other and stays there. And that until the fourth's turn. The fist corner is empty. Try it yourself with your imagination. I freaed out when I did it D:

  12. Ninik, what a heart-warming version. Thank you for sharing that one.

  13. And thats what you call a very nice ghost. Thats actually really quite sweet thanks Saya!

  14. I heard this one before, but the one that I heard is much more sad than scary, they have five people instead of four, they're all friends and all, but one of them died because of the heavy snowstorm, not long after the four of them went into the cabin and start this 'impossible game', well, the conclusion is, it was their friend that died in the snowstorm that helped them from freezes to death. :'(

  15. I've heard of this before, but it was told to me as a ritual, and was called "Four Corners" :)

    If ya'll wants to know, it's basically the same, but omitting the story and is played with 3 people in a four-cornered (dark) room. they go corner to corner to tap a person's shoulder (to indicate them to go) and when passing an empty corner, cough and continue. and it's said to summon a 4th person (a ghost?) because eventually the players will notice that there is no longer any coughs while playing the game.

    i was delighted to see this story actually, it brings back such good memories :)

  16. It's not that impossible if the last person travel through two corners to reach the first person. Then the third person have to take two corners as well to reach the last person. They then take turns to go through two corners each untill the sun rises.

  17. I'd like to say that in the past, me and a group of friends used to do haunted urban exploration. One method we used to verify if there were "friends" around was this method, but there are things missing in this story.

    In addition to what has been written, we would ensure that all windows are closed, and there was only one door opened.

    A candle was lit in the middle of the room, and we proceeded to "play", walking at a decent pace but not too fast to generate wind.

    If the candle's flame suddenly goes out, that means a "friend" rushed into the "fifth" person's position to join the game.

  18. This game is pretty popular in my country, Indonesia

  19. Maybe they ate the 5th person in the morning? Gotta survive, you know

  20. gee. this gave me major goosebumps. halloween's nearing so i was looking for good creepy stories to read and was lucky enough to discover your amazing blog. Thank you for your effort as an awesome translator Saya-san. ^___^ i've been interested in Japanese folklore/culture for such a long time now. please continue to share these creepy but cool stuff. *biiiig huuuuug*

    From: Ayu-chan

  21. @MinorNxyz: Thank you for your compliment and support! Take care! :D


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