Sunday, October 31, 2010

Man and Nature

This video from VBS TV was linked to on BoingBoing last week and I thought I'd save it for Halloween. The video is more sad than creepy but it does make you think about man's relationship with nature.

The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.

Apart from hundreds of corpses what is it that makes a place creepy? I think there is something about a relatively dense forest of similar trees with little in the way of topography that ties into some primitive fear of getting lost in the woods. Like in the Blair Witch Project or that great episode of the Sopranos where Paulie and Christopher get lost in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
Happy Halloween.

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