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“That’s weird. I didn’t see any sign of people around here just a few minutes ago.”
I was feeling something suspicious about the family.

I casually looked at the father’s back. Then I realized why I’d been feeling strange all along…

Today, I will share one of the Kaidan masterpieces from Toshiyuki Tanaka.

Abekobe Family (Japan Makes Me Scared Podcast)

Scary & Horror Story of the Kaidan (transcription)


The original story is from Toshiyuki Tanaka.

He’s got a weird and unusual job title, “Kaidan teller and Occult collector.” As well as sharing several Kaidan stories, he’s been collecting some occult things like cursed dolls and ghost paintings. 

He has many unique Kaidan stories, so I’m sure I will be talking about more of his stories again in the future, but today, I would like to share the most famous story of all.

This story won him a Kaidan competition and was a monumental start to his career as a Kaidan teller.

He heard this story from his friend K-kun. From here, I will describe “I” as K-kun for convenience.

Night Fishing

At the time, I was really into fishing. More specifically, night fishing was the thing, so I would take my girlfriend out to various spots to enjoy fishing at night.

The place was a secret spot I heard about from a fellow fisherman. It was a bit far from the city centre and there was no good access by public transport. So we decided to go there by car.

We left the house around midnight and drove for a while, and we arrived at the spot around 2 am. It was a lonely beach with no houses around. I parked the car in a parking lot just next to the sea.

The area was completely quiet in nature. The perfect environment for night fishing. We started fishing straight away.

But after half an hour, we still hadn’t had any bite. If I was alone, I could have waited as long as I wanted. You know, I like fishing, so waiting is not a problem at all. But my girl, she looked so bored.

So, to change the mood, I said. “Do you want something to drink? I’ll go and buy some.”

When we arrived at the spot, I remember seeing a vending machine not far away from the parking lot. So I left her there alone and went to get drinks.

I bought some juice and came back. Then I could see that she was chatting with some strangers.

Weird Family

When I joined her, I discovered she was talking with a family of four. There was a father, a mother, a sister, and a brother. Kids seemed about the age of elementary school students.

“That’s weird. I didn’t see any sign of people around here just a few minutes ago.”

I was feeling something suspicious about them. And you remember? This fishing spot was in a remote place so you need a car to get there. Plus it was almost 3 or 4 am. Even more suspicious.

The father said they live nearby. He also said, “You don’t fish much here, right? I know a better place, so do you wanna come with us?”

His tone was polite, but I was somehow hesitating to respond yes.

First of all, I had just met this family, so they were strangers, and we didn’t know them very much. And more than anything, I didn’t know why, but I still felt something strange about that family.

I thought it would be better to be honest with myself. “Thanks for the invite, so nice of you, but we were…”

I was telling words to refuse, then…”Sure, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!!”

My girlfriend interrupted me and said yes to the offer of the family. She’s usually so quiet and wasn’t acting like this. But she forcefully asked me to come.

In the end, I gave in to her and decided to go with the family.

The family went in front of us, and we were following them. The father kept saying, “This way, this way.” 

We walked at a slow pace, but I could feel that It was getting darker and darker around us without less light.

At that moment, I casually looked at the father’s back. Then I realised why I’d been feeling strange all along.

Abekobe: everything is opposite

Normally, tags are hidden on the back of clothes. But on the father’s, it’s visible on the outside.

You know what I mean? He’s wearing his clothes inside out.

I also looked at his trousers and then realised he was wearing them inside out, too.

I was shifting my eyes from mother, daughter, and son. They were all the same. The whole family was wearing their clothes inside out.

There is a Japanese custom of doing things completely opposite to what they are supposed to be.

We called it “Sakasagoto (逆さごと)” in Japanese. We usually do this to distinguish between the dead and the living.

For example, the kimono on the dead person is put on the left front. Or, to wear tabi socks, which are Japanese socks with each finger pocket separated. They are the same, right and left should be opposite to each other for the dead.

I knew this custom, so I had a hunch at that time. “If the two of us continue to follow this family, we’ll end up in a terrible situation.”

So, I whispered in my girlfriend’s ear. “Hey, let’s not follow them. We need to leave right now.”

“What do you mean? Why?” She wasn’t happy, but I forcefully grabbed her arm, and we ran away.


Then we got to the car. I put her inside as quickly, and I got in the driver’s seat myself.

She seemed mad, saying, “Hey, Why are you running away? It’s gonna be fun with a new spot.”

But I said, “Did you not notice? They were all wearing their clothes inside out. Trousers, skirts, even shoes. That’s not good.”

“WOW, SUGO~~I~!” (*Sugoi means amazing in Japanese)

Her voice was unnaturally high, and she sounded over impressed, and started clapping with the back of her hands.

And,  “Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!”

She started laughing in a high-tone voice I’d never heard before.

That made me terrified to my core.

I put the car into drive. But even though I pushed the accelerator, the car didn’t move forward.

Instead, the car started moving backwards. It was like we were being pulled into the sea.

“Hey, we’re going to fall into the sea!” I was almost shouting at my girlfriend in the passenger seat.

But she said, with a vacant expression on her face, 

“Don’t worry. We’re moving forward”. And then she suddenly fainted.

“Hey, what’s going on?” I completely lost it, and I stepped on the accelerator again and again.

Then, finally, the car started to move normally. We were able to leave the spot.

When I looked in the rear-view mirror… The family was standing there and looking at us.

And their faces?

Not angry, not smiling. They seemed somewhat sad.

After a while driving, my girlfriend woke up.

She remembered that we met the family, but she didn’t have any memory of what happened after…

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