Scary Paranormal Stories & Short Horror Microfiction

Creepypasta

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Scattered throughout Northern Japan are two dozen mummified Japanese monks known as Sokushinbutsu. Followers of Shugendô, an ancient form of Buddhism, the monks died in the ultimate act of self-denial.

For three years the priests would eat a special diet consisting only of nuts and seeds, while taking part in a regimen of rigorous physical activity that stripped them of their body fat. They then ate only bark and roots for another three years and began drinking a poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi tree, normally used to lacquer bowls. This caused vomiting and a rapid loss of bodily fluids, and most importantly, it killed off any maggots that might cause the body to decay after death. Finally, a self-mummifying monk would lock himself in a stone tomb barely larger than his body, where he would not move from the lotus position. His only connection to the outside world was an air tube and a bell. Each day he rang a bell to let those outside know that he was still alive. When the bell stopped ringing, the tube was removed and the tomb sealed.

Not all monks who attempted self-mummification were successful. When the tombs were finally opened, some bodies were found to have rotted. These monks were resealed in their tombs. They were respected for their endurance, but they were not worshiped. Those monks who had succeeded in mummifying themselves were raised to the status of Buddha, put on display, and tended to by their followers. The Japanese government outlawed Sokushunbutsu in the late 19th century, though the practice apparently continued into the 20th.

 

Source (with photos!): The Self-Mummified Monks of Japan

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Rating: 7.9/10 (372 votes cast)
Sokushinbutsu, 7.9 out of 10 based on 372 ratings
  • icarus

    creepy. I googled it and it ended up being true.

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    Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)
  • Anonymous

    Yeah. It seems to be copy-pasted from Wikipedia. Partially at least.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokushinbutsu

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    Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
    • al

      plagiarized from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2012/01/sokushinbutsu-bizarre-practice-of-self.html

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      Rating: -4 (from 6 votes)
      • http://www.creepypasta.com derpbutt

        So, you hail from an alternate universe where 2012 happened before 2008?

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        Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
        • Anonymous

          but WHO IS SOKUSHINBUTSU

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        • http://www.creepypasta.com derpbutt

          No, John, you are the Sokushinbutsu.

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  • Ed

    yep. true

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  • Fund

    Junji Ito had a short manga based on this.

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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  • Anon

    Not so much creepy as it is historical. :/

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    Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)
  • fullmetalxfool

    Yeah, it was a pretty creepy story,(this one and the one by junji ito.)

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  • uhm, yess

    hehe, i dont get it…plus half the words i cant pronounce……………….khgcl dkashgv;wios

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    Rating: -20 (from 20 votes)
  • Truan

    I like the ‘creepy pastas’ that are really just weird historical things/urban legends.
    Although it does kind of take out the point of it being creepy pasta, if it’s just historical information.

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    Rating: +5 (from 9 votes)
  • Paper

    That made me sad.

    :/

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  • Anonymouse

    The best creewpypastas are the ones that are true, in my opinion.

    I mean, imagine if the Holocaust had been just a story instead of an actual event?

    … Sweet dreams.

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    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  • Blaze.

    Wow, this is actually true…
    How many of the creepypastas actually are…?
    I think this is the second one I’ve seen…

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  • Midnightgirl

    I already knew this. that it was true.

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    Rating: -3 (from 5 votes)
    • She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

      Well, yay for you.

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      Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  • YAY

    i thought that was how supermodels dieted…

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    Rating: +14 (from 18 votes)
  • richard

    wow this is true, very creepy!

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • Chadachada123

    Cool story, but not creepy. Historical, too.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • FaerieInCombatBoots

    Not very creepy to me, I’ve known about self-mummification rituals since I was 10. But if someone doesn’t research death rituals as intensely as I do, I ca see why they’d be vaguely disturbed.
    One question though, the sap used to lacquer bowls, wouldn’t that just make eating from the bowl dangerous, because of the poison?

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    Rating: -2 (from 4 votes)
  • Someone

    The liquid sap is filtered, heat-treated, coloured and dried before it becomes the hardened lacquer. Reactions are still possible, but rare, which is a big change from the liquid where even the vapours can cause extreme rashes.

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    Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  • Squee

    Not creepy but definitely interesting.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  • Nubcake

    This wasn’t scary, but it’s really interesting, and I’ll admit the pictures of the mummies were pretty unnerving.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  • thatgirl

    This wasnt really as creepy as it was interesting. The dedication it takes to just sit there as you die for the ultimate reward is kind of inspiring.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  • Anon

    How would this be allowed as a creepypasta if its made entirely of semi-plagiarized information? Not because it is true, but because its copied?

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • http://www.creepypasta.com derpbutt

      …there’s no rule against creepypastas being based on reality (that would eliminate an entire category and many excellent pastas), I’m not sure what you’re getting at here.

      Also, you’re completely ignoring that this post is from almost five years ago. It’s spread pretty thoroughly across the internet by now.

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      • Snyarhedir

        You’re missing the point.

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  • She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

    ..and this is why I am an Atheist.

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    • ThisIsANameForAComment

      I fail to understand what not believing in a god has to do with this story, please enlighten me?

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • http://Courtesycraft.com Eeirail

    I must say that this is a bit extreme, I saw the name and knowing about it already I decided to read it, I must say that finding this here was a treat.

    About the pasta itself, I think it is a job well done, a little history is good.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  • Majeh

    A large section of this has just been copy and pasted from Wikipedia

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  • Majeh

    Also not a creepy pasta by definition

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