One-Man Hide and Seek / Hide and Seek Alone

One-Man Hide and Seek / Hide and Seek Alone

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Updated Dec 20, 2014 at 11:26AM EST by mona_jpn.

Added Jul 29, 2013 at 04:24AM EDT by TakerTV1.

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One-Man Hide and Seek, sometimes referred to as Hide and Seek Alone or ひとりかくれんぼ (Translation: One hide-and-seek) [5] in Japanese refers to a urban legend ritual that is meant to summon a ghost or other spirit into ones home. Stories of people undergoing the ritual have spread online as creepypasta.


As early as July 2007, descriptions of how to play One-Man Hide and Seek were posted on Japanese horror bulletin boards.[9] The instructions tell the reader to fill a bathtub with stuffed animals, turn off all of the lights and chant ritualistic phrases while holding a knife. It asserted that people who had done this found that the toys had moved slightly and the television had turned on, blaring music. Around the same time, Japanese YouTubers began uploading videos[8] documenting the results of their attempted rituals.


In August 2007, the instructions were reposted on the now-defunct site Encount.[7] In March 2008, a horror documentary film titled 怪奇!アンビリーバブル 恐怖!呪われた遊び[6] was released, in which investigators attempt One-Man Hide and Seek to contact someone in an old photograph. The same year, instructions about the ritual were shared on[10] and that September, the first question about the ritual was asked on Yahoo! Answers Japan[11]. In 2009 the YouTube channel Gameama[12] was created to rehost videos of people performing the ritual (shown below) collected from threads on 2channel dating back to November 2007.

The ritual first appeared on the English-speaking web on September 16th, 2008, in a blog post on Japanese horror blog, Saya in Underworld.[13] Called "The One-Man Hide and Seek," this description requires the participant remove the stuffing from a plush toy, replacing it with rice and nail clippings. After sewing it up with a red thread, the participant must wait until 3 a.m. and declare the doll "it" before placing it in a bathtub full of water. The participant must then shut off all the lights but leave the television on, head to a hiding spot, count to ten and return to the bathroom with a knife. After stabbing the doll, they must declare the object "it" again and return to their hiding spot, where they are to sip a half of a cup of salt water without swallowing. After counting to ten, they must find the doll if it has moved and spit the salt water and pour the leftover contents of the cup at it, ending the ritual. Later, the doll must be dried, burned and discarded.

In February 2009, a personal account of someone who performed the ritual was shared on the LiveJournal community Hauntings[14], where the poster claimed she had recorded the incident and heard a girl humming during playback. In 2010, threads discussing One Man Hide and Seek were posted on the Heroes of Newerth message board[15], the Gamekiller forums[16] and 4chan's /x/[17] (Paranormal). In 2011, the ritual was archived on the Creepypasta Wiki[1] and Hakei's Scary Stories[2] blog. In June 2013, a Redditor from /r/NoSleep[18] began posting a three-part story involving the legend.

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