Okiku’s Ghost: The True Scary Story That Inspired ‘The Ring’

The Ring‘s Sadako/Samara, believe it or not was based on a real life story.  The story of Sadako/Samara, was first introduced in the Kôji Suzuki-penned novel in 1998’s Ringu and then 2002’s The Ring involved three key ingredients: a girl, a well, and a cursed videotape.

In the film Sadako/Samara was a young girl with supernatural gifts who was thrown down a well and her ghost later returns via a cursed tape, When someone watches it, her ghost crawls out of her watery grave and 7 days later she violently takes that person. There are some other story boards with slight changes from film-to-film but that is the general gist.

Real Life Story!

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Himeji Castle stands high on top of a mountain, located in Western Japan. It was built somewhere between 1333 and 1346 as a home for the lord of Himeji. The castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations to visit in Japan and it is believed by many to be extremely lucky. It is here where the story of Okiku begins, a girl who died in a well outside the castle.

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Okiku, who worked in a dungeon beneath the castle and was the servant to a samurai named Tessan Aoyama.  Aoyama took a liking to her and fell madly in love and told her that he was going to leave his wife to be with her. Okiku wasn’t happy about this plan, which led to her apparent murder.
One of Okiku’s main duties was to look after ten highly valuable golden plates that were owned by Aoyama. One day, Aoyama decided to hide one of them and told Okiku that if she didn’t agree to be with him, he would blame her for stealing the plate, which would lead to her torture and execution.

Another version of the story is, Okiku ended her own life by throwing herself down the castle’s well, believing herself to be in a no-win situation with no other way out but to end her own life. Another variation, Aoyama threw her down the well after she refused to be with him.

In the wake of Okiku’s death, she was said to crawl out of the well and appear to Aoyama on a nightly basis. Aoyama was apparently driven insane by the vengeful ghost’s incessant screams in the night and she was regularly heard counting the plates in the dungeon…
Drawings of Okiku depict her as looking very similar to Sadako/Samara from the film, with flowing black hair and a long white dress. This is the general depiction of a person who has died under unnatural circumstances in Japan and these ghosts are referred to as Yūrei, translating to either “faint soul” or “dim spirit.” These tragic women are buried in white dresses, with their hair let down.

The well, locally known as “Okiku’s Well,” and can still be found outside Himeji Castle but it now has wrought iron bars covering it….Maybe to keep Okiku’s trapped soul within, who knows?

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info source: bloody-disgusting.com

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