YouTuber who tours haunted places says there are no fake performances
There are no fake or staged performances. Omoide no lemonade yasan” is popular among occult enthusiasts for its late-night videos of people visiting haunted places, abandoned buildings, and former crime scenes in their regular clothes.
The videos are uploaded by a mascot character named Lemon-chan, who wears a stuffed cat costume, and28-year-old Ryosuke-kun, who enjoys visiting occult spots. The site has 50,000 registered users, and its biggest hit, “Chateau Fuji, an abandoned love hotel where a young girl was found,” has received more than 1.15 million views.
There are many YouTubers who post videos of abandoned buildings and haunted places, but the difference between YouTubers like Ryosuke-kun and others is that he does not “go to see the sites beforehand.
I don’t want the ghosts to think, ‘Oh, he was here during the day, too,’ so I go into the field without making an appointment. There are a few life-threatening ghosts, but most of the Japanese ghosts are very reserved, moving things around a little or making a few noises.
Two years ago, he uploaded a video of a search to a nearby shrine guided by an app called “Randonautica,” which uses location data to search for nearby destinations. The video was viewed approximately 20,000 times when it was uploaded. The response to his uploads inspired Ryosuke to start making videos of “psychic phenomena” and “location shooting,” and since then he has focused on videos exploring haunted places and abandoned buildings.
He has visited many haunted places and former crime scenes, including those he did not make into videos. The scariest place among the haunted places and crime scenes he has visited is Aokigahara Sea of Trees, a virgin forest at the foot of Mt. He experienced unexplained phenomena on the route from the trailhead to the Kentsoku Dojo, a religious facility.
Five of us camped out during the day and set out for the Kentsoku Dojo at 1:00 a.m., but one of my friends who went with us walked silently as if possessed by something and went off the trail into the depths of the jukai on his own. He left the path and went off on his own deep into the sea of trees. I was in a real hurry because I was lost in an area where I could barely make a phone call due to the radio signal.
My friend took a video of the incident, and when I checked it out later, I found that he had been walking toward the end of the road without saying a word. He accidentally fell into a hole along the way, and the shock brought him back to himself and he said in a panic, ‘I’m really lost. I’m really lost,’ he called me in a panic, so I was able to find him. I was completely lost, and I was really scared that there might be an incident.”
One of the most interesting questions when touring haunted places is whether psychic phenomena are real. Ryosuke answered, “Yes,” and told us about a haunted experience he had at an abandoned facility called the “Ophthalmology Laboratory” in the Kanto region.
It was a three-story old laboratory, and nothing happened on the first floor, but when I was shooting negative film on a table on the second floor, I suddenly heard something hard hitting the wall. Thinking that there might be a ghost up there, I went up to the third floor, and the sound of banging on the walls, floor, and ceiling started coming from all directions and seemed to be closing in on me. I still get goose bumps when I remember the pressure I felt.
When asked if he had experienced any health problems or “hauntings” after visiting haunted places or crime scenes, he said that he had when he went to “Kawagaso” where a viewer had requested to see a stain in the shape of a person.
I went to the second floor because there was no stain on the first floor, but I felt a tightening pain in my head as I went up each flight of stairs. There was a stain on a doll in the hallway on the second floor, so I took a picture of it and that was the ending, but after that day I suffered from a terrible headache. I don’t remember what happened before and after that day, but my skin became purplish, my eyes were unfocused, and everyone around me thought I was a bad guy (laughs).
When he returned home, the headache had not subsided, and fearing that he was possessed, he went to a nearby shrine for an exorcism. The exorcism seemed to help, and the pain gradually eased, but the cheapest prayer had little effect, he says, laughing.
As a YouTuber, he earns “around 100,000 yen a month. He also has to spend about 10,000 yen per location, which is not enough to support himself as a full-time YouTuber. He is able to make use of his art college education to teach art classes and work as a two-legged stool.
He says, “I borrow a car from my mother to get around, and I’m working hard (laughs). Still, I have a big dream: to build “Lemon-chan Land” on an island in the Seto Inland Sea. The current theme parks don’t open at night. I want Lemon-chan Land to be open 24 hours a day so that visitors can enjoy it anytime. The attractions will only be open at night, and there will be noises coming from somewhere (laughs).
The “no appointment” pilgrimage to haunted places, where he put his body on the line to make his dream come true, continues.
Interview and text by： Daisuke Iwasaki