The Truth Behind 5 Horror Stories Every Korean Kid Heard Growing Up

Don’t read these before going to bed…

1. Human Trafficking

A popular story is about the human trafficking of average citizens. Organizations from the underbelly of society would kidnap people, to then either sell their organs or use them to sell sex.

However, it is hard to confirm how many of these cases there are exactly, but it is still a common issue that plagues not only Korea but the rest of the world as well.

2. The Red Mask


The story is about a woman who’s had her mouth ripped open, due to some unspecified accident. There are many different tall tales about what happens if you meet her in person, but most end with you dying.

The story originates circa 1978 Japan but is still highly popular amongst primary and secondary schools in South Korea even to this day. Many assume that it originated based on Japanese people having to wear a mask during the spring when allergens and pollution were prevalent in the air.

It’s then possible that women who wore the mask who were also coincidentally wearing red lipstick that they might have smudged some of it on their faces. Subsequently making it appear as if their mouths were ripped and bleeding.

3. Electric Fan Story (Fan Death)

It is a popular belief in South Korea, that anyone who turns on an electric fan with no windows open and goes to sleep, will die due to lack of oxygen.

During the 90’s, many South Korean news channels reported that fan death was true and also named that as the cause of death of many citizens around South Korea. All of that turned out to be false.

There is a conspiracy theory behind these reports. Due to the economic boom in the 90s more and more South Koreans could afford electric fans. However, since the electric infrastructure had not quite caught up with the booming economy, people speculate this was the government’s way of lowering electricity consumption.

4. Dozens of Doorbells

This ghost story started spreading when unknown letters were written next to doorbell buzzers in front of the house.

A concrete theory has not yet been found on why this was happening. People just recommended removing those signs and letterings if you happened to see them next to your doorbell.

5. Twilight Ghost

A story started circulating that in China there is a secret custom of eating human flesh on October 10. In this period, the crime of human-related crime is severely controlled in China so the story alleges that Chinese people would instead come to Korea to carry out the custom.

The story is completely false but a murder case in Korea did not help dispel the story. A Korean-Chinese man called Oh Won Chun was arrested for murdering a 28-year-old Korean woman.

Authorities found him guilty of murdering the woman in April 2012, Suwon Korea. He had dismembered the victim’s body and carved out around 365 pieces of flesh. Due to the high skill required in cutting flesh in fine pieces so accurately, authorities believe he was going to give these pieces of flesh for sale.

Source: Dispatch
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