Taxi drivers in Japan report of picking up ghost ‘passengers’
Several taxi drivers from towns in Northeast japan have reportedly had ghastly encounters with “ghost passengers” who disappear from the backseat of the cab upon reaching their destination. The incidents took place in towns like Ishinomaki, which were badly affected by the 2011 tsunami.
The news surfaced after Yuka Kudo, a 22-year-old sociology student from the Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, reportedly interviewed over 100 taxi drivers as a part of her study.
Kudo noted interviewing a taxi driver in his 50s who recalled having a ghastly encounter with an apparition of a woman near the Ishinomaki Station.
The female passenger allegedly asked the taxi driver to take her to the Minamihama district to which the driver responded: “The area is almost empty. Is it OK?” The woman next said: “Have I died?” Upon turning back to answer the woman, the taxi driver says the car’s rear seat was empty.
Multiple more similar incidents have been reported by taxi drivers, leading to unpaid fares since the drivers reportedly activated their meters in all cases, believing the passenger in the back seats were living people. None of the drivers, however, reported being afraid by the ghosts.
According to the interviews, Kudo said that most of the ghosts were identified to be young. “Young people feel strongly chagrined [at their deaths] when they cannot meet people they love. As they want to convey their bitterness, they may have chosen taxis, which are like private rooms, as a medium to do so,” said Kudo, reported The Asahi Shimbun. “[Through the interviews], I learned that the death of each victim carries importance … I want to convey that.”
“The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami,’ said Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in Ishinomaki, reported The Daily Mail.
“We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places. It will take time for the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to emerge for many people in temporary housing for whom nothing has changed since the quake.”
It goes without saying that these taxi drivers have nerves of steel to keep at what they do. Most of us would have ran back home with our tails between our legs at the very first sign of a supernatural occurrence.