Friday, April 1, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE -- AKA MANTO

So, you have to go to the bathroom.  You enter a stall and do your business.

A frigid draft floats over the stall wall.  Goosebumps rise on your arms.  Your heart skips a beat as the lights above flicker and die.

 An inhuman voice speaks. "Do you want a red cloak or blue cloak?"

Chills crawl all over your body at the disimbodied voice.  You have to make a choice.  Which one will you choose?



And that my friends is the basis of the urban legend from Japan called Aka Manto, which translates to Red Cloak.  It has many names Red Mantle, Red Cape, Red Paper Blue Paper, and more.  In Romanji they are: Aka Manto Ao Manto, Aka Hanten Ao Hanten, or Aka Kami Ao Kami.

And sitting alone and vulnerable, you contemplate them.  Only, either choice is dismal.

With red, you end up being beheaded and your blood runs down your body in a grotesque mock cape, your flesh is ripped from your back (and some versions have the ghost tying it around your neck), skinned alive, or slits your throat (again mocking a red cape).

With blue, your blood is entirely drained, or you are suffocated by choking. Either of which will leave you a sick shade of blue.

If you think choosing another color will get freed.  Sorry. Not happening.  Any other color gets you sucked into a vortex to some netherworld. . .
Well, that is if you can believe the last version of the story.
If you say yellow . . . yellow may let you live.

Yellow gets you a swirlie in your own filth.

Lastly, you might get away if you chose no color at all.

This modern day urban legend has its roots starting around 1935.  There are variations of who started it.  There was a rumor that a to-die-for handsome man wore a white mask to cover his face and he hung out in shoe lockers.  Another is a banker wanted to cause a panic. He didn't start hanging out in girl's bathrooms until the 1980s.

In any case, this urban legend may have even older roots.  The Kamishibai (kah-mee-she-bye, 'paper theater'), a traditional storytelling method, has mention of a gentlman in a red cape said to be magical.

25 comments:

  1. Snap! I had Aka Manto as one of mine today too :) Your post is much more detailed than mine. It's such a gruesome urban legend isn't it.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. yes, it is.

      i watched ghost hunt the first time i noticed it. the first episode had them tell ghost stories and the mc was doing a version of it.

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  2. Yellow, yellow, YELLOW!!! Sorry, I couldn't resist. What a scary urban legend. Thanks for sharing... I guess :P Urban legends can be very interesting. I wrote a short story about a urban legend from my country, Spain, and researching it was really scary. Anyways, interesting topic!

    @CintaEscribe de
    El Rincón de Cinta

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    1. that's all right. I'd be doing the same thing. i haven't come across many from spain yet. i will have to find out more.

      thanks for stopping by.

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  3. So if I ever end up in Japan I shall not be going to the toilet - ever! :)
    Suzanne from
    Suzannes Tribe

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    1. thanks for popping in.

      yeah, don't like public bathrooms to begin with, but i wouldn't want to run into it ever.

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  4. Fascinating. Of course, now I won't use public restrooms in Japan...

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    1. neither will i.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  5. That's a creepy urban legend. I wonder if that's where the Matrix writers got their "two pills" idea from?

    Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with. I love me some urban legends!

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    1. who knows. the matrix was just a weird movie. liked it more that the sequels.

      thanks! love to see what you come up with too!

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  6. Wow! This left me chilled to the bone! But I love it! Fascinating legend.
    Have a great weekend!
    Lori

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully every one of mine are chillers!

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  7. My sis just told me about this ghost yesterday, since it's her choice as well for A and it gave me the creeps then. Urban legends are a great source of ideas for writers, because the group consciousness that build them up into these kind of horrors has a real visceral nastiness ;P

    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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    1. I agree. They are a great source for ideas.

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  8. That is pretty creepy, definitely not someone I would want to run into! I hate using public loos, now I have a reason :)
    Debbie

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    1. I don't like public restrooms either. They creep me out, especially in places like shopping centers.

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  9. Huh! Japanese bathrooms just got a lot more sinister... XD Interesting urban legend, especially for the fact that there is really no way to trick it...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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    1. It is a scary thought. And all public bathrooms are sinister. To me anyway.

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  10. Don't you know that no color at all sucks all the air and light from you, and casts you adrift somewhere in the cold, cold void of space, in a galaxy light years away? Seriously - try it, if you're asked.

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  11. Wellll...yellow, of course. As long as you can hold your breath, you're golden. (Har har). Like a few others, I'm already averse to using public bathrooms unless it's an emergency. Your post makes me feel just a teensy bit justified in avoiding them!

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    1. I think that's everyone's reaction! I can't even imagine being talked to by a disembodied voice.

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  12. That's a gruesome legend! But what happens if you pick "rainbow'? ;)

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    1. I don't know but that thought scares the crap out of me!

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  13. Interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

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  14. Oh my! First, I find your theme super cool! :D second, this Red Cape dude sounds scary as Hell! I think if it happened to me I'd die of horror before I get to choose a color or not!
    ~Saraallie

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