SuperHaunt Bucket List #4 : The right brain rebellion of Aleister Crowley, Boleskine House in Foyers, Scotland

“Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.”  –Aleister Crowley

Known as the “Wickedest Man Alive” in the early 1900’s, Aleister Crowley was an extremely well known poet, occultist, magician and founder/prophet of the religion and magickal arts of Thelema.   The Boleskine House was purchased by him to perform one of the most ancient and feared black magick rituals known…he never finished it, and left that portal wide open…for him and others to suffer the consequences.

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The background of this man challenges all logic, as he was born to a preacher and his wife, that were members of the extremely oppressive Plymouth Brethren, a Protestant religion.  He lost his father early as a boy, which triggered an anger and rebellion towards all things religious and an inability to tolerate his mother.  He denounced everything, including the bible.  This rebellion continued to drive and push him through the rest of his life.

He begun his formal education at Cambridge University, where he found his freedom and ability to break away from all things oppressive, religious, or that would push conformity in any way.  His theology had already begun unbeknownst to him.  He dabbled in experiments, including bisexuality, that eventually led to him getting expelled from Cambridge, but gave birth to the connection between sex and magick.

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Later he found the Hermatic Order of the Golden Dawn while staying at the Hotel Cecil in Zermott, Switzerland.  Although his interest in alchemy drew him to this, it soon became much more.  It was a full fledged introduction into the Dark Arts of magick and rituals that are known to be Satanic.  He was drawn to ancient rituals that had not been performed in over 400 years, meant to ONLY conjure demons and control them.  This led him to purchase a home on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland, with the sole intention to perform the ritual found in The Book of the Sacred Magick of Abra-Melin the Mage, which consisted of several weeks of purification, invocations at 3 am each day, and a diet of only bread and water… it came with a stern warning to complete said ritual to avoid severe possession.

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He found new interests in the middle, and abandoned the ritual midstream. What has happened since in that home is of great interest to me.  Aleister himself went on to pen The Book of Law, which was divinely transferred to him by an entity named Aiwass.  Things got increasingly darker since then.  Many works were penned by him, and are considered text books for the occult now.  His religion dove deeply into bestiality sex magick that would make even the most seasoned occultist wonder.  Drug use was rampant with him and his followers.  Deaths did occur, human sacrifices were made.  Aleister Crowley died at the age of 72 in a boarding house, alone, addicted to Heroine.  His fortune gone, his fame still abounds, after his journey to hell and back.

If you have time, and are interested in this incredibly unique individual, please watch this vid.

The house itself:

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“Aleister Crowley considered Boleskine to be the Thelemic Kiblah. This is an Arabic word which refers to the direction of Mecca, the holiest shrine of Islam. It has a slightly different meaning in Thelema, as it is mentioned in several rituals written by Crowley where it is identified with the East. The Gnostic Mass and Liber Reguli both identify the principal orientation (sometimes known as “Magical East”) as being towards Boleskine. It is considered to be the focal point of the magical energies (also called the “93 Current”) of the Aeon of Horus. In this way it is similar to Jerusalem inJudaism and Mecca in Islam.

As Sabazius X (1998) notes:

Thus, the location of Boleskine House is to be the Omphalos or Center of Power for Thelema, and is to continue as such for the duration of the Aeon of Horus, regardless of the physical presence of the Stèle or of the house itself. Thus, O.T.O. Lodges, Profess-Houses and Gnostic Mass Temples are ideally to be oriented towards Boleskine.”

He continues:

Crowley describes Boleskine in Confessions:

“The house is a long low building. I set apart the south-western half for my work. The largest room has a bow window and here I made my door and constructed the terrace and lodge. Inside the room I set up my oratory proper. This was a wooden structure, lined in part with the big mirrors which I brought from London.

The home includes the entrance hall, five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a drawing room, dining room, family room, kitchen, utility room, and the cellars. The grounds (about 47 acres) includes the Gate Lodge, which was originally the home for a coachman. It has a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, as well as a pond, small garden and an orchard.”

Cool fact:  Jimmy Page from Led Zeplin owned the house from the early 70’s to 1991.  He considered Crowley a misunderstood genius, as did many others.

Facts:  The house is said to be haunted by a severed head……interesting, as I personally have never seen just a head haunt a house, but I HAVE seen partial manifestations that are just legs or just a torso… lets go with that.  Likely a partial manifestation has been seen on numerous occasions.

From a paranormal standpoint, this is of interest to me.  The fact that he opened a portal from basically hell, and left it wide open is of interest to me.  Portals do not magically close themselves.  It’s still there, and wide open… and the kicker?  In his diaries he told us right where it was in the house. Not many have been able to stay in the home, which tells me much more than one partial manifestation is there.  Evil lurks there, even if it’s residual evil that can be felt.  The psychic in me wants to explore this house like a playground.

Yes, folks, I’ll be going to chase monsters in Loch Ness… but it won’t be Nessy.

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SuperHaunt Bucket List Location #5, Island of the Dolls, Mexico

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South of Mexico City, in the ancient Xochimilco district, deep in the old network of canals, is a chinampa, or floating garden… basically a small island.  An extremely disturbing island.  And when I say disturbing, I mean just a visit to this island will mess with you psychologically and emotionally.  La Isla De La Munecas, or the Island of the Dolls, tops the creep factor scale, and will haunt a visitor’s nightmares for years to come.

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On this island,  thousands of dolls in various states of decomposition and mutilation hanging from trees, structures, fences, bushes, clothes lines.  Dolls rejected by previous owners for different reasons, decapitated, disfigured, mangled.  Not just that.  This island also has a shed, housing very SPECIAL dolls, complete with an alter set up for the ghost of a little girl found floating in the canals, 50 years ago.  (As if the dolls themselves weren’t creepy enough, right?)

One man’s labor of love and FEAR:

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Don Julian Santana was the only inhabitant of this island.  Said to be a loner and described as a hermit, he rarely made visits into the city.  It is said that  years ago, Don Julian found a girl drowning in the nearby canal… some say he tried to save her but could not, and others say that she had already drowned.  This death haunted him and began to change him through time.

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Days after the occurrence he found a doll in the canal near where she was found.  He assumed it was hers, fished it out, took care of it, and hung it to dry, hoping this would please her spirit, and as a tribute to her.  Soon other dolls were found in the water, he would fish them out and save them for her too, hanging them to dry.  However, soon it became an obsession.

Her death still haunted him.  He became obsessed.

He started to rummage through trash piles and dumps, looking for dolls and doll parts, so he could try to please her.  When that wasn’t enough, he started to trade his belongings for dolls to please her.

Some say she haunted him and as she became more active, more dolls were collected in an effort to silence her.  Others say he went mad and thought that the dolls were live children, forgotten and left behind, pulling them from the canal and trying to revive them.

In 2001, Don Julian himself drowned in the same canal he found her in so many years ago.

The locals believe that the dolls came alive and conspired to kill him.  Others believe the dolls took over his role and became the caretaker of the island.  I ask you this, maybe he joined her so he could take care of this little girl, maybe he found it was the only way?

Other questions I have… Was he insane BEFORE he began living on the island, and did he have something to do with her death, with this display he created a conscious display of guilt? Was his fear heightened by guilt OTHER than not being able to save her… why the fear that she would come back and kill him?  There is no information about the little girl that can be found… I’m sure this is to protect the identity and privacy of her family.

From a paranormal investigative standpoint, the residual energy there must be amazing.  The attachments that many of these dolls have has got to be incredible.  The fear and awe that visitors have each day feeds the energy that is already there.  It’s said that the dolls whisper, and that you can hear the girl laugh or cry at night.  Don’s insanity and obsession surely has left an tangible imprint.

From the psychic side of things… wow, what to read, what to read.  Items?  Alter?  What happened to Don?  What happened to the little girl REALLY, and what put her there in the first place?  So MUCH information and so many situations to read there!

I. Can’t. Wait.

Bucket List Location #6, Rancho el Angel, the Bordello from Hell

What happens when two sociopathic serial killers get together and work as a team?  What happens when they decide to run a business and exploit women at the same time?  BETTER YET, what happens when these two serial killers are sisters?  The Bordello from Hell happens.  

From about 1950 to mid 1964, Delfina and María de Jesús González (known as Las Poquianchis), lived on a small ranch in Guanajuato, Mexico, 200 miles north of Mexico City, in San Fransisco del Rincon.  This ranch later became known as Rancho El Angel, one of the most infamous and murderous brothels in all of Mexico’s crime history.  Lets back track a bit, and get some details on these women, shall we?Image

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Delfina and Maria were born into poverty, and early on began to fear it with all they had.  Their father was a controlling and abusive man that headed up a vigilante police department in their local town, at times hiding behind his authority as a way to shoot and kill others during heated arguments.  He was feared, and for reason.  As his daughters got older, if they wore makeup or any clothing he didn’t see as ‘fit’, he would lock these two girls in the local jail for days, sometimes weeks at a time.  He was feared by his family and by townspeople alike.

As they came into adulthood, they stuck by each other as their only support systems.  Their fear of poverty led them to open many small businesses in town and even up into the border towns.  They opened small bars, and conducted illegal activities in them, yes, but would bribe authorities to look the other way using their sexual advances and services.  It became only a matter of time before they realized that associating sex, power, and control would be their money maker.  

Opening up shop on their main ranch happened roughly in 1950.  They began to recruit girls through want ads, and help wanted word of mouth, for maid and housekeeper positions, promising excellent pay to live in on the ranch.  Women would respond to their advertisement, and if they were deemed pretty enough, or young enough, then the true job would be revealed.  If you were unlucky enough to be young and attractive, you would not see the outside world again.  If a girl would try to run or refuse to work, then she would be killed… after all, she knew too much.  If resistance wasn’t so strong, they would simply break down the resistance by forcing cocaine and heroine use.

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Soon that wasn’t enough.  They began to prowl the towns for young, pretty girls.  They would bribe them with promises of money, houses, security, dream jobs…  and if they really wanted a girl to work for them, sometimes they would just save the trouble, and snatch her, never to be seen again.  The younger prettier virgins were saved for later, because “johns” would pay the big bucks for the girls that were untouched.  

I’m sure you can imagine that girls were never just politely retired, and sent on their way.  They were killed if they were too damaged from repeated sexual activity, lost their appeal, refused to please customers, or became pregnant.  If it was a prized girl that became pregnant, she would be lucky enough to live (if you can call it that).  She would be hung by her hands, and beat until she successfully miscarried.  The fetus would then be taken to the back of the ranch and MAYBE buried.  Sometimes just dumped.

The girls weren’t the only ones at risk of murder.  If customers came in with an excess amount of cash, they just saved a step, and killed them right there.  When the women were eventually questioned by the police as to how these men were murdered, Delphina simply smiled and said, “The food did not agree with them”.  

In 1964, three of the prostitutes managed escape.   It is said that Delfina and Maria were tipped off about the possibility of a raid, but in my opinion the escape* would have been enough for them to flee.  Police planned a raid on their ranch on January 14th, 1964. There they found at least a dozen malnourished and abused women still held captive for work.  These women would point out the areas of the ranch to dig for the others.  At that time, the police found the bodies of 80 women, 11 men, several fetuses and infants.The survivors accused the sisters of dabbling in Satanism and forcing the girls into beastiality for ritualistic purposes.

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Delfina and Maria were finally captured while trying to sell off their things to flee the country.  They were both sentenced to 40 years in a Mexican prison, each.  A less commonly known fact, two other sisters were involved in this, yes two other sociopathic sisters, Carmen and Maria Luisa.  That’s 4 sociopathic women teamed up together.  That’s never happened before, and lets hope it never happens again. 

Delfina died October 17, 1968 after going mad, and having a freak accident in her cell.  Maria de Jesus was the youngest of all four and finished out her sentence and was freed, only to disappear.  Maria Luisa died alone in her cell on November 19, 1984.  Carmen died of cancer in prison.

This was considered a concentration camp in it’s own rite.  In  while clearing land around the ranch for another development, almost 2 miles away, another mass grave was found, with 20 more bodies.  This isn’t over, there will be more.

SuperHaunt Bucket List Location #7: Socialite Serial Killer, Madame LaLaurie’s Mansion, New Orleans

Money and status do not make you a good person.  And no better place to prove this than New Orleans, Louisiana, known as one of the most evil and most haunted cities in the world.

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On  April 10, 1834, late in the evening at an upscale party with New Orleans most elite citizens, a fire broke out at 1140 Royal Street, in the French Quarter.  Oddly, the hostess of this party, Madame LaLaurie herself, opted to move the party outside, and so it did.  Little did she know she was setting up ring side seats to what would happen next.  As the fire department and police showed up to the scene, while she scrambled to move her fine furniture out of her mansion, the authorities required access to the top levels of her home, and they were denied access vulgarly and abruptly.  They entered anyway to find a 70 year old slave woman chained to the stove as the house burned around her.  They saved her and some other freed up slaves only to hear in passing panicked stories about the third level room where others were taken and never reappeared.

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They found and forced entry into  the room, only to find a number of slaves tied up, chained, mutilated, dismembered, tortured, experimented on, in many different stages of death.  The experimental surgeries conducted in that room left their bodies in contorted positions, many with joints broken and reset, one resembling a crab.  Another was so covered with decomp and maggots that the only way the police could tell he was alive…he blinked.  It was a horrid and psychologically scarring display.  And the responsible party for all of this?  Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie, with some involvement from her third husband that happened to be a surgeon, Dr.  Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie.

Read the original newspaper articles here:

http://www.nola.com/haunted/index.ssf/2000/09/the_fire_on_royal_street_new_o.html 

There were 10 bodies recovered that night, with the surviving mutilated and tortured slaves put on display at the jail.  But the slaves had many more stories of others that were taken to that room and were never seen again.  It is estimated that there were as many as 90 victims, many buried in the courtyard and thought to be buried in the walls.  When word of these atrocities traveled through the city, a mob formed and she was run out of town.  Her house was looted by the community in an attempt to make sure nothing was left usable in the home.  They succeeded in destroying everything in mansion, and she was not seen again.

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It is widely thought, even among historians in New Orleans, that she fled to France, where she later died.  Also there are a few different known potential dates for her death, however it’s reported that after these dates, there were estate transfers to her, and that doesn’t happen with someone deceased….

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Madame LaLaurie would have found it difficult to leave her children behind and flee the country, though.  Which makes this a very plausible explanation:  The underground (not so underground anymore) VooDoo community in New Orleans believe (apparently with proof) that she faked the France trip, and traveled into the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain where she became the apprentice of the famed VooDoo Queen Marie Laveau, who she had befriended when Laveau and come to her house to do her hair.  

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Because they were friends before the fire, for a few years before the fire, while Delphine dabbled in Witchcraft, VooDoo, and other Dark Arts, I think it’s a very valid question to ask if VooDoo had a part in the torture and mutilation of these slaves as well.  To date, rarely can anyone stay overnight in this building.  

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SuperHaunt Bucket List Location #8: The AntiChrist project: Auschwitz

When a sociopath instills enough fear to take over a nation, it really doesn’t matter how irrational his beliefs are.  We all are taught early on what happened during the Holocaust.  Mass grave sites at the concentration camps still exist today.  Between 1933 and 1945 5,860,000 Jews died, with another 5,000,000 non Jewish people listed as casualties as well.  The Holocaust affected Germany of course, but also Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union.

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Means of extermination were calculated and usually entailed a train ride like cattle to a concentration camp of their choosing.  If you were chosen for this ride, you were about to have all evidence of you being human ripped away.  It was a one way ride, and everyone new it. The Nazis manning the camps would strip you of all belongings, valuables, sentimental or not… you were a number (literally tattoed on your arm), they would experiment on you, starve you, and then when you’re gone, pull all the teeth in your head with gold fillings so they could melt it down.  They treated livestock going to slaughter with more respect.

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Auschwitz itself was the largest concentration camp built by the Nazi Regime, and was divided into three.  “At least 960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz alone, men, women and children.  Other victims included approximately 74,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma (Gypsies), and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war; and 10,000-15,000 members of other nationalities (Soviet civilians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, French, Germans, and Austrians).”  The majority killed in the infamous gas chambers, but many more killed by failed medical experiments, daily shootings, disease, and torture.

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I am very aware that the intensity of this location must be respected, both for the victims and for the actions that took place there.  It must be approached with the utmost respect.  This is the final resting place of so many people that were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, aunts and uncles.  Each person had a family.  Each person had a story.  In order to investigate a location like this, after so much horror and sadness has taken place there, the paranormal side must be done very carefully, and indoors when possible, but with a secondary focus on the residual energies outdoors as well.  From a psychic standpoint, it is far too overwhelming for even a large team of the best psychics worldwide.  I would like to focus on one or two victims and tell their stories.  I feel that’s the most respectful route to take.

May nothing like this ever happen again.

 

 

SuperHaunt Bucket List Location #9: Mindfu** to Death: Jonestown

On November 18, 1978, over 900 peace loving followers of the The People’s Temple communion and agricultural group were found dead after drinking cyanide and valium laced Flavor Aid…all because they were told they should.  304 of these were children. How could this be?  Mind control.  But who is strong enough to control over 900 minds, and even government officials to look the other way at times?  Jim Jones.

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The life of a cult leader:  Who is this Jim Jones?

James Warren Jones, born in Crete, Indiana on May 13, 1931, appeared to be just a normal kid early on.  His home life was a bit dysfunctional, but no more than the average that you hear about nowadays. His father didn’t have much interest in him, and his mother left him alone much of the time so she could work.  Nothing oddly out of place there… he DID attend church regularly, and became slightly obsessed with preaching early on though.  By age 10 he showed no interest in sports, as expected of a boy in that time period.  Instead, he would preach to his friends, preach to other families, preach to whomever would listen.  It appeared that he was just on a life path to become a minister, and although some were turned off by his tenacity and the level of which he preached, it appeared to be his calling.  Think of him as a mini televangelist. Later on of course, he entered the ministry and followed through with his goals.  

He eventually started his own church in 1955, and in 1960 moved it to California.  

In 1965, Jones declares himself God’s only true prophet, and that the bible is false.  High profile slick sermons continued on, and people were taken for all of their money, regularly.

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In 1973, He decides it’s time to inform his followers that he has been chosen to be God.  They buy it.

 In 1974 he purchased land in Guyana and began to build a compound with his followers.  This was a dream come true for Jones, as he always hoped to have a communist based compound. 

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His paranoia rose as his health declined.  By this time he was highly addicted to amphetamines and opiates both.  Loudspeaker sermons over his prison camp compound were daily while suicide drills in the middle of the night (mock mass suicides) were a very regular occurrence for the ‘congregation’.

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To watch a mini biography on Jim Jones, produced by the Bio Channel, click here:  

http://www.biography.com/people/jim-jones-10367607/videos/jim-jones-mini-biography-2165761096   (you may need to reload the page once there)

Concerned family members back in the United States began to complain and even sue for the return of children.  Stories leaked out of people held against their will.  And the paranoia Jones experienced continued to rise, as his major health complaint would be the stints of insomnia he would experience for sometimes 3-4 days straight.  Armed guards surrounded the perimeter… all part of Jones’s militia.  Things were now out of control.  

Finally Senator Leo J Ryan visited Jonestown in an attempt to confront Jones on the allegations of members being held against their will.  He was asked to leave by Jones himself, but he attempted to take followers that wanted to leave as well.  A shootout on the runway ensued and the Senator was killed.  

Now there was no hope, and Jones gave the order for “Revolutionary Suicide”.

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Cyanide and Valium laced ‘flavor aid’ was prepared and delivered to the congregation, children and babies first, by means of syringe.  It took each person a full 5 minutes to die.   There were only 33 survivors of Jonestown, and that was by their bravery alone as they hid in the jungle, knowing that death would surely ensue if they were found.

Now from a paranormal standpoint, I am interested to know how many of those 900 people still reside there, as earthbound spirits.  Each has their own story… each died a horribly sick and painful death, and for each and every person that was poisoned, I’m sure that last 5 minutes seemed to last forever.  Jonestown made my bucket list for the simple fact that communication of the deceased should technically be amplified there.  I’m an empath, so of course the symptoms will manifest in me, but it’s worth it to hear and know them, and their stories.  For a list of all the victims, click here:  

http://www.jones-town.org/victims.html

 

SuperHaunt Bucket List Location #10, Suicide Forest Oikigahara, Japan

Rising from the ground on Japan’s Honshu Island, roughly 100 km SW of Tokyo, is the beautiful and majestic volcano known as Mount Fuji.  It’s snow capped magnificence is portrayed in Japanese literature and art throughout history.  300,000 people climb Fuji every year.  Travelers far and wide visit for it’s beauty and serenity.  It is an active volcano that is thought to be ready to erupt most recently in 2013.

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It’s name in itself means ‘immortal’ or ‘neverending’, it’s symbols are derived from ‘abundance’, ‘wealth’, and ‘a man with certain status’.  Yet at it’s base, lies a beautiful and lush forest, named “The Sea of Trees”, Oikigahara, also known as the Jukai, thought to be cursed early on with demons, and oddly devoid of wildlife.  It is the resting place that thousands have chosen to travel, take in their last moments, and in final desperation, take their own lives.  This is the second most popular suicide location, only to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

The irony of this is not lost on me.

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The forest itself is named Aokigahara.  This beautiful and lush forest lies on a base of lava, This creates an eerie and spectacular vision of trees rooted above ground, vines intertwining throughout, and rocks covered in moss.  The trees are enormous, and the forest itself so dense that the trees create a natural ceiling, that sometimes bows so low it’s difficult to crawl under.  It is oddly silent, and extremely rare to even hear a bird chirp.  The only wildlife that you can detect: the trees, and the insects that will feed off of the corpses.  The sunlight shining through the mist within this forest creates a beauty and serenity that I can only compare to a natural gravesite.  Or in this case, a thousand of them.  It. Is. Surreal.

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The forest itself covers 35 square kilometers of jagged, uneven, sharp lava ground.  The moss and fallen foliage covers hazards like lava tubes and underground caves that people can, and do, become accidentally trapped in.  Suicide is not the only means to an end here.  Another unique feature this location boasts: LARGE underground iron deposits verified by NASA,  that literally throw off all navigation via GPS, cell phone signals, and definitely make for quite a fun night of paranormal investigations, considering that no EMF sensitive equipment can’t possibly be accurate with this underfoot.  These large magnetic deposits certainly explain the lack of wildlife as well… at least aviary wildlife, as their navigation is thrown off by this as well.

It is neighboring Saiko Lake, which also adds to the paranormal phenomena, as water tends to feed psychic phenomena in every form.

For the die hard para investigator, this goes against all rules of the game.  Investigations don’t take place outside, because of contamination.  Hardcore equipment will not give accurate readings there, so that’s completely off the table.  You are left with old school audio and visual evidence collecting, in the woods, DEEP in these woods, where thousands have died in deep sorrow, or horrifically without a way out, trapped in lava features…passing from the elements alone.

Now for the creep factor and stats that will draw you in, just as it did me:

This epidemic of suicide was thought to start with the publication of Seicho Matsumoto’s novel Kuroi Kaiju, (The Sea of Black Trees), in 1960, which romanticized suicide in a place like this.  This novel was followed up by yet another, yet far more morbid publication by author Waturu Tsurumui, called Complete Suicide Manual, which detailed this forest as the perfect place to commit suicide.  Any media coverage of this location is followed up promptly by a spike in suicides there as well.  It is estimated that on average there are 100 suicides in this forest every year, although that is downplayed by the government that vowed to cut the suicide rate in japan by at least 30 percent.  The AUTHORITIES, on monthly sweeps, report twenty bodies each year, but those numbers do not reflect the bi monthly sweeps that the local volunteers conduct, as well as the suicides that are stumbled upon.  And certainly those are only the bodies that are removed from the forest formally, however it is not uncommon to stumble upon human remains, scattered and intertwined with personal effects, just while hiking along on a Sunday afternoon for example.  It must be noted though, that BEFORE these books were published, people used this location for 19th Century practice of “Ubasute”, where the elderly or ill were taken to a mountain or desolate location and left to die of dehydration or starvation.

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Statistics show that the majority of suicides there are a result of hanging, followed closely in numbers are the drug overdoses, and then many drink themselves to death.  The majority of this is circumstantial though, considering 80 percent of the corpses FOUND have deteriorated past the point that a cause of death would be decipherable.  Pills laying next to bodies, or remains hanging from a noose is usually how they tell the tale.

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Posted at the entrance and throughout the forest are signs…but these are not ordinary signs. They certainly don’t mark trail heads.  They urge people to reconsider their choice to die.  They beg them to think of their families.  “Life is a gift from your parents…”   They even urge them to contact police instead.  “Don’t go through this alone…”

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The forest is covered by multi colored tape.  Please don’t feel like these strings of tape will lead to a family reunion already in tow!  These are the tape lines for the people that have worked the forest and found bodies.  These strings of tape each lead to a suicide location, and are so thick in some spots that it’s a threat to the ecosystem, yet they regularly clean it up to attempt to stay on top of the problem!

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The forestry workers are trained specifically to deal with these suicides, and have a very fixed routine.  There is a specific ranger station with two beds in it.  The forest workers play a Japanese game of rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to sleep in that station after finding a corpse.  “But that’s only one bunk taken up” you say?  Well, the other is for the remains.  According to Japanese religion, the suicides rise as yurei (unhappy ghosts) cannot sleep alone, or they will awaken and move to find regular sleeping quarters.

Most victims are left unclaimed. A lack of space has forced the Japanese government to store hundred’s of bodies in a protected building in the nearby village of Kamikuishiki, along with large piles of the decedent’s belongings.  Vehicles regular sit in the parking lot for weeks before being towed out, after someone has driven to their final destination.

To me, though, the most macabre part of this entire location?  No matter where you go in this forest, whichever path you take, you are walking in the final steps and seeing the last glimpses of a person that has ended it all.  You will feel their sorrow, you may even cry for them.  You will feel their presence as well.  They are all still there.  You are not alone, and you are watched always.

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