Ishinomaki residents see ‘ghosts’ due to ‘terror and worries’, says expert
Unsolved Mysteries is back on Netflix with more unexplained cases to obsess over.
One of the episodes, titled Tsunami Spirits, explores mysterious paranormal events that have happened in the wake of a massive disaster.
An earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan in March 2011, killing more than 18,000 people.
At its peak the tsunami reached 131 feet, sweeping away thousands of people and their homes too.
Years later the residents of Ishinomai, one of the worst-hit areas, still claim to see ghosts, with many turning to exorcists for help.
One resident claims that he saw his mother’s ghost right after the tsunami swept her away.
Another resident called Ami has said that spirits often took over her body, after which Buddhist priest Taio Kaneda performed exorcisms.
But the most common reports of ghost sightings came from taxi drivers, who report phantom passengers.
Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in the city of Ishinomaki, believes the reason tsunami survivor claim to see ghosts is because of the “terror and worries” they have experienced.
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He explained: “The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami.
“We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places.”
He said many of the survivors might now be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Hara said: “It will take time for PTSD to emerge for many people in temporary housing for whom nothing has changed since the quake.”
Unsolved Mysteries is streaming on Netflix now
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