The 13th Floor

5 Absolutely Terrifying Urban Legends from Asia

Drawing from a vast array of ancient myths and legends, Asian horror has always been a favorite of Western audiences. However, not everything that comes from the continent is drawn from classic tales. Here are five relatively modern, yet extremely frightening urban legends from the Asian continent.

The Cursed Kleenex Commercial (Japan)

In 1985, Japanese television viewers began complaining extensively about a Kleenex tissues commercial they found to be extremely unsettling. The commercial featured a strange and grumpy red demon child sitting on a bale of hay while a young woman attempted to cheer it up with a floating tissue, all to the tune of Jane and Barton’s 1983 song “It’s a Fine Day”.  Whether the campaign actually moved tissues in Japan is unknown. What is known is that it did move Japanese viewers to call for the commercial to be taken off of the air.

According to some, the curse of the Kleenex commercial began with the crew. The cameraman was said to have been burned to death in a bizarre sauna malfunction that sounds like it could have come from a FINAL DESTINATION film. Some have even said that by the time the commercial aired the entire crew was already dead, each one killed in a bizarre yet accidental manner.


Sesame Seed Skin Cream (South Korea)

A girl obsessed with her beauty regimen decided to try a new miracle treatment. The young girl mixed sesame seeds in her bath water and soaked in it. After several hours, she had yet to emerge from her bath. Her mother began to worry. Her mother repeatedly knocked on the door and asked her daughter if she was alright, to which the girl continually replied, “just a moment”.

At the height of her worry, the girl’s mother burst into the bathroom and found her daughter curled up in a ball in the corner. The sesame seeds had begun to root into her skin. Hundreds of thousands of seeds had all embedded themselves into her skin. Her mother could only watch as her mad daughter dug out each seed one by one with a toothpick.



Monkey Man (India)

The Monkey Man of New Delhi was first spotted in 2001. This four-and-a-half-foot tall creature is, as the name suggest, said to be half man, half monkey and covered almost entirely in black hair. Others believe him to be an ordinary man wearing a fur coat and metal claws.

Since his first sighting, fifteen people have reported being scratched, bitten, or bruised by the simian nuisance. However, to this day no suspect, man or otherwise, has ever been apprehended.



Midnight Bus (China)

As the legend goes, a driver, conductor, and four passengers (a young couple, an old woman, and a young man) were riding on bus 375 at midnight. During the ride, bus picked up two men who were holding a third man up by his shoulders. They took a seat at the back of the bus and sat there in silence.

The old woman was immediately disturbed by the three men and kept looking back at them. After a few stops, the young couple got off leaving the driver, the conductor, the young man, the old woman and three new passengers on the bus.  The old woman suddenly jumped up and began yelling at the young man, accusing him of wanting to steal her purse. The young man, confused, began arguing back. Their exchange became so heated that old woman demanded that the bus pull over so that she could take the young man to the police. The driver obliged and pulled over so the young man and old woman could depart.

Once outside, the old woman apologized and explained that she was certain that two of the three men who had gotten on the bus were ghosts and that they were about to do something horrible to the bus. Sure enough, the next morning the bus was found submerged in a reservoir. Inside the bus, they found the decomposed bodies of the driver, the conductor, and an unidentified man.



Don Simeon Bernardo’s Tomb (Philippines)

Before his death in 1934, Don Simeon had a statue carved depicting Satan triumphing over Archangel Michael. Upon his death, he instructed his children to place the statue in his tomb. He also insisted that a tablet be placed next to the statue proclaiming Satan’s dominion over man and Earth.

Those who live near the statue have claimed that it grows in size every year. It is also said to haunt anyone who hangs around the cemetery at night. Years later, an iron cage was placed around the statue in an attempt to protect local residents and visitors.