Urban legends and horror folklore has always been a part of our lives. From Japan to America to our own desi horror stories, we never ran out of things to talk about around bonfires.
But did you know about these Korean horror folklore stories? If not, you’re in for a creepy surprise because they will send chills down your spine.
1. The Slit-Mouthed Woman
An urban legend about the slit-mouthed woman says that children wandering on the roads alone at night have high chances of encountering her. Apparently, this creepy woman wearing a mouth mask walks up to the kids and asks them, ‘Do you think I’m pretty?’ If they say ‘no’, she kills them and if they say ‘yes’, she takes off the mask and asks the same question again. A ‘no’ takes them to their deaths and a ‘yes’ provokes her to slit their faces just like hers.
2. The Sesame Seed Bath
The story around this is that a girl decided to take a bath with sesame seeds soaked in her bathtub, after being told how good they are for the skin. She was so obsessed with her skin’s appearance that she decided to stay in the tub for hours. Her mother, worried about her daughter’s absence for so long, discovered her in the bathtub with the sesame seeds lodged into her pores, forming roots. The daughter appeared hysterical and was trying to remove the seeds with a toothpick.
3. The Elevator Murderer
According to how the story goes, a 19-year-old Haruko was going up to her apartment on the fourteenth floor. As soon as the elevators doors were about to close, a hand stopped them and a very handsome man entered and stood very close to Haruko. He informed her that he lived on the thirteenth floor and pressed the button.
4. Human-faced Dog
This is an age-old urban legend in Japan and Korea which involves people claiming to have sighted a human-faced dog. Since the 1970s, a lot of people have shared their horror story about how they were walking down the road in the night and heard someone talking. But as soon as they would turn, they wouldn’t see anybody. Soon enough, after hearing a voice for long enough, they would turn around to see a dog but with the face of a human. It is believed that a person who has lived a sinful life is reborn again as half dog and half human.
5. The Hollow-eyed Woman
Based in the North of Seoul, this story is about a highway called Jayuro which connects Goyang to Paju. The highway is quite infamous for the fatal accidents that happen to people travelling on it. Drivers have claimed to have seen a woman standing by the side of the highway who appears to be wearing sunglasses. It’s when they get closer to her that they realise that she isn’t wearing any sunglasses but instead, her eyes are gouged out.
6. Soul Stealing Dreams
According to an old urban legend in Korea, dreaming of a dead loved one is a bad omen — especially if they’re near water. It is said that the dead family member/friend will call you towards them and if you embrace them in the dream, they steal your soul away.
7. Virgin Ghosts
Virgin ghosts or Cho-nyo-Gwishin are a pretty common urban legend in South Korea. According to stories, the ghost appears to have long black hair covering its face with a very unpleasant face. Apparently, if there’s one around you, the temperature will suddenly drop significantly.
8. Cockroach Facial Mask
According to the urban legend, a young boy who suffered from severe acne read somewhere about placing a cockroach on a pillow before going to bed. Desperate to get rid of his acne, the boy catches a cockroach and places it on his pillow and goes to sleep. The next morning, the cockroach is nowhere to be seen but the boy’s acne is completely covered. Ecstatic with this development, he goes to school only to realise later that the cockroach laid eggs in his pores.