While most people know of vampires, werewolves, zombies, and even the Slenderman, an entire subset of lesser-known ghosts exist throughout the world, all dedicated to haunting this mortal coil. These forgotten paranormal entities and rare ghosts may not appear all that often in pop culture, but they still wait in the shadows nonetheless. Some of these creatures are pets who returned as ghosts, or shadows that wait until you’re cozy in bed before they crawl out from the corners of your room. Another forgotten ghost is a mysterious fog that pours from a European forest at night. These may be ghosts you never knew existed, but not knowing about them will not protect you from their mischief and wrath.
These forgotten ghosts offer an insight into the history and local legends of where they come from, and are as terrifying as they are fascinating. Perhaps you even grew up with a few of them, in which case you understand how scary they can be. For those of you just learning about these unique and strange supernatural beings, make sure you take note of how best to avoid them.
These vengeful spirits from Japan are some of the most powerful and terrifying paranormal creatures ever reported on earth. According to reports, the onryō are not only capable of assaulting people, they can also cause natural disasters. So what makes an onryō? These spirits all began life as women who were wronged by their lover, and who return only to make them miserable. If you’ve seen The Ring or The Grudge then you know exactly what the onryō looks like; typically they wear a white robe, with faces covered in pasty white kabuki-esque makeup, and they have jet black hair streaming into their faces. When an onryō is created, its effects go far beyond just those who incurred their initial wrath. Onryō spirits enjoy tormenting their subjects, often by killing off those around them before finally attacking their targets.
This ghost, whose name translates loosely to “slit-mouthed woman,” first appeared during Japan's Edo period (between 1603 and 1868) and managed to grip the consciousness of Japan to this day. According to storytellers from the Edo period, the Kuchisake-onna is a ghost that presents itself as a woman with a scarf covering her face. Modern versions of the Kuchisake-onna story depict the ghost wearing a red surgical mask rather than a scarf. She approaches victims and asks them, “Am I pretty?”
If you answer "no," she kills you immediately; if you answer "yes," she removes the scarf and repeats her question. If you answer "yes" again, the kuchisake-onna will follow you home and murder you there. To escape being murdered by this angry ghost, throw candy or money in her face and run away. One may also give her an open-ended or confusing answer, forcing her to think while you make your escape.
Woe to whomever comes across La Llorona, "the weeping woman" while making their way through Mexico. Many different theories attempt to explain why this weeping ghost kidnaps and drowns its victims, but the main story tells of a young woman who grew jealous of the attention her husband was receiving from other women. Enraged, she ended up throwing her children in a river; when she realized what she’d done the woman committed suicide shortly there afterwards. Now, the woman haunts the darkness of Mexico as La Llorona, a weeping ghost who kidnaps children who stay out after dark, drowning them so she may make them her own.
Of all the lesser-known ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, shadow people definitely grew in infamy as more people claim to come across these mysterious beings. Reports of shadow people increased since 2001, when Native American elder Thunder Strikes appeared on Coast To Coast AM to discuss shadow people. The discussions of shadow people on Coast to Coast provided a language for people to discuss these types of hauntings; multiple listeners submitted drawings to the show, and the topic of shadow people remained a mainstay ever since. In 2015 a study on sleep paralysis and shadow people stated a part of the brain pulls shadow people from the depths of one’s subconscious in order to “clear out confusion.” Regardless of where they come from, shadow people still terrify whomever they come across, filling witnesses with dread and on occasion even physically assaulting them.