During a hike on a secluded mountain trail, an unsettling discovery poses more questions than answers.
Translated and written by John Boon
Original story: ４人で川っぷちに立ってたのね
My hobby is mountain hiking, the kinds of mountains I like to hike are ones with no roads, no other people and where wild vegetables grow. Off the beaten track hiking.
Sometimes on these hikes I come across strange or unusual things, for example I once saw an albino antelope and on another occasion I saw an eagle the size of a grown man.
However the weirdest incident was the time I came across a family impossibly far into the mountains.
It was a weekday afternoon and I was hiking along the prefecture border between Miyagi, Yamagata and Akita.
There was a forest full of huge beech trees, which made it quite easy to walk as it got dark. This is a place that not an everyday person would hike. Only local people to this mountain range would probably know about it or people like me who enjoy hiking and have GPS. It was secluded.
As I was walking along a small ridge I noticed a small stream flowing below, at the edge of the stream I saw a man standing there.
I first thought; ah he must be doing a spot of fishing. But then I noticed that he wasn’t alone, four other people stood with him. They were all standing in the river.
I couldn’t see clearly because they must have been about 100 metres away but I was sure that there were four people stood in the river.
Two appeared to be children.
I don’t know why but I thought they might be on the verge of committing a family suicide. I mean to come all the way out here to this secluded mountain river alone so close to dark. If that was the case I planned intervene and try and talk them out of it.
I hoped that wasn’t the case of course but either way I was interested in finding out what was going on so using my binoculars I took a closer look.
Just as I thought, there were four people facing away from me. Two children and two adults.
I watched for a moment waiting for them to turn my way so I could catch a glimpse of their faces.
But they didn’t move at all.
I must have been watching them for five minutes and yet they didn’t move.
Then it dawned on me, they’re mannequins.
Someone must have put them here as a prank. Or as a trap?
I decided to go in for a closer look since my first thought was to check on the family anyway.
I quietly crept closer, I didn’t want to be noticed, in my mind I was planning my escape route. Jumping in the river itself crossed my mind if something terrible was to happen.
As I drew closer, my predictions came true. There were four mannequins before me, two adults and two children. All dressed up.
Out here in the middle of nowhere.
I was disgusted, my body shivered. I couldn’t think of logically why they were here.
I thought to myself; someone did this, they must be absolutely not right in the head.
I was now close enough see details on the mannequins. Each one had a name painted on its front.
Each mannequin was peppered with small holes, bullet holes. Like a shotgun bullet trail.
The pièce de résistance was a broken box cutter blade sticking out of one of the child mannequins backs.
That was enough for me. I was terrified. I began to make it back down the mountain.
Even as I write this now, I am shivering.
Those creepy mannequin dolls with marks all up and down them, someone carried them over there to do whatever they did to them. But why?
These were not light mannequins, they were bulky heavy wooden ones. If I had to carry them myself I would have to stop for a while to take a rest. But there were four of them. It would take forever to carry them.
This all happened about two years ago.
I guess they are still there.
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