The Teke-Teke

ghost month 2014

The teke-teke or bata-bata is a Japanese ghost legend about a woman who fell in front of a train. The train cut her in half, killing her. After her death she could be seen pulling herself along the ground on her elbows which made a sound like teke-teke or bata-bata depending on the teller.

This is one of the violent Japanese ghosts-it is claimed that the ghost wants to make her victims like her. There is a variation where a child sees the woman leaning out of a window. The woman smiles at him, so he smiles back. Once the woman realizes that he has her attention, she leaps out the window and he realizes to his horror that she only exists from the waist up. She eventually chases him down and cuts him in half with a scythe.

Many of the Japanese ghost legends require interaction before the ghost becomes violent. The act of smiling or talking to the ghost is often enough to mark a victim. The ghost often seems to be seeking some form of attention from the living, often to fulfill a lack of attention experienced during life. These violent spirits who seek to address the ways that they were wronged in life are referred to as onryo.

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