Shikotsuko's Haunted Hotel
by Chihiro Ueno
You can hear the sounds of water lapping against the shore. Suddenly a white shadow appears! A ghost waits in the ruins of the hotel. This rumor is going around some of the bikers and the local circle of car enthusiasts.
Route 512, nicknamed, "the line between Sapporo and Shikotsu Lake," is a popular cruising course surrounded by forest. Along the way to Lake Shikotsu,sit the ruins of what some years ago was a lakeside hotel. A rumor has been spreading that a mysterious phenomenon has appeared at the hotel.
In the summer of 1993, two men in their mid-twenties left for the lake by car. While they were driving on the straight road surrounded by woods, they suddenly came across a two-story hotel. They stopped the car in a small vacant lot beside the road and started to walk to the hotel.
The windows were broken and the walls were crumbling. Standing in the moonlight, one man suddenly heard a loud sound. It was like a bomb going off, but the other man couldn't hear it.
Afraid, they decided to go back to their car. Getting close to the car, who should they meet there but a ghost. The white shadow seemed to be waiting for them. They quickly got into their car and drove away as fast as they could.
Actually, this story is quite popular among young people, and I have gone there several times. The following is my experience. The best time to go is late at night, commonly called "ushimitsu doki". This means "the most favored time for ghosts to appear." When you go during this time, you can really experience the horror. It is definitely worse than in the daytime.
The hotel looked like a lodging, and I thought it wasn't very old because its roof was steady and it seemed solidly built and not in such bad condition. It stands quietly in the center of the woods. It certainly seemed strange, but I didn't feel that it was a ghost hotel.
First, we went in the front entrance; We found a lot of cigarettes and coins on the wall frames, everywhere. Someone said these were left as an offering for people who died there. Also I saw a lot of names painted on the wall. Maybe this was a memorial to people who have been there.
The first floor was a spacious room, maybe a lounge, I thought . At the rear of the first floor, there was a big bath house (sento) like a pool.
On the second floor, there were a huge number of rooms. I hadn't imagined that there were so many from the outward appearance of the hotel. Just like the first floor, there were so many things on the floor that it was difficult to walk around.
Anyway, I didn't see a ghost, but as one person said, "I felt like someone was staring at me the whole time." For all that, there are still these questions to be answered: Why hasn't the hotel been pulled down? Why is it in ruins? And what really happened there?
These are all amazing and interesting to think about. I myself wonder, why? If you are interested in the hotel and these questions, please go and see for yourself. You might be able to meet a ghost.