If you’re a fan of good old horror films, then you must have heard how many films are inspired by real life killers. Buffalo Bill in the film Silence of the Lambs was heavily inspired by the real serial killer Gary Heidnik, and how Jeepers Creepers was inspired by Dennis DePue. If you’ve watched the film The Ring, you may be curious of its origins too.
The Ring is actually based on a Japanese ghost story dating way back to 300 years ago. The story of Sadako in the film was loosely based on the death of Okiku, a young lady servant who worked in the Himeji Castle.
Who is Okiku?
The Himeji Castle stands on top of a high mountain in western Japan. It was home to the lord of Himeji between the years of 1333 to 1346. The castle itself is quite a popular tourist attraction and is said to bring lots of good fortune to its visitors. But there is a scary story attached to this castle.
Okiku, is a servant to a samurai by the name of Tessan Aoyama. She worked in the dungeon underneath the castle. Aoyama was infatuated with Okiku and eventually fell in love with her. He told her that he was ready to leave his wife and child to be with her, but Okiku did not feel the same way. This led to her supposed murder under the hands for the obsessed samurai. (Source: Bloody Disgusting)
How Did Okiku Die?
Okiku’s job is to look after 10 priceless golden plates that were owned by Aoyama. One day, he decided to hide one of the plates and told her if she did not agree to be with him, he would blame her for stealing. Back then the punishment for stealing from your employer was torture and eventual execution.
There are two versions of the story. In one, Okiku committed suicide by throwing herself down the castle’s stone well. She believed there was no way out of her situation. She felt death was better than loving a horrible man. In another version, it was Aoyama who threw her down the well when he refused his offer. (Source: Bloody Disgusting)
What Happened After Okiku’s Death?
After her passing, Okiku was said to crawl out of the well and appear in front of Aoyama on a nightly basis. She was said to be wearing her white funeral dress in her hauntings. He long dark hair was soiled and messy. This drove Aoyama insane. Okiku’s ghost was heard screaming, and counting plates in the dungeon at night. Whenever she reached the end of her counting, she would go on a violent rage upon finding out that the 10th plate was missing. (Source: Bloody Disgusting)
Is the Well Still on Castle Grounds?
The well is still on the premises of the Himeji castle. It was named after Okiku. Visitors have claimed to still hear her counting the plates even after the castle had closed.
The fear of her haunting is so real that the people placed a cover over the stone well to keep her from escaping. (Source: iHorror)