Teke Teke

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An artist's depiction of Teke Teke

Teke Teke (テケテケ),[1] also spelled Teke-Teke,[2] Teketeke,[3] or Teke teke,[1] is a Japanese urban legend about the ghost of a schoolgirl who is said to have been tied by her bullies onto a railway line, where her body was cut in half by a train. She is an onryō, or a vengeful spirit, who lurks in urban areas and around train stations at night. Since she no longer has a lower body, she travels on either her hands or elbows, dragging her upper torso and making a scratching or "teke teke"-like sound. If she encounters an individual, she will chase them and slice them in half at the torso, killing them in such a way that mimics her own disfigurement.[4]


Common elements of the legend include that "Teke Teke" is the vengeful ghost or spirit (also known as an onryō) of a young woman or schoolgirl who was executed by being sliced in half. Missing her lower extremities, she is said to walk on her hands or her elbows, making a scratching or "Teke Teke"-like sound as she moves. If an individual encounters Teke Teke at night, she will chase them and cut their body in half (often with a scythe), mimicking her own death.

One version of the story concerns a young woman known as Kashima Reiko, who is said to have died when her legs were severed from her body by a train after she fell on the tracks.[5][6] According to some sources, the "Kashima Reiko" story predates TekeTeke.[7] According to legend, her legless spirit haunts bathroom stalls, asking occupants if they know where her legs are.[5] If a questioned individual replies with an answer that Kashima does not find acceptable, she will rip or cut their legs off.[8] Individuals may survive the encounter by replying that her legs are on the Meishin Expressway,[8][9] or by responding with the phrase "kamen shinin ma", or "mask death demon" (which may be the phonetic root of Kashima's name).[10][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meyer, Matthew (31 October 2015). "Teke teke". Yokai.com. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Teke-Teke - Japanese Urban Legends". ScaryForKids.com. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ Murguía 2016, p. 317.
  4. ^ de Vos 2012, p. 170.
  5. ^ a b Meza-Martinez, Cecily; Demby, Gene (31 October 2014). "The Creepiest Ghost And Monster Stories From Around The World". NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  6. ^ Fierro, Romina. "Teke Teke: el fantasma japonés que aterra a quienes caminan por las estaciones de tren" [Teke Teke: the Japanese ghost that terrifies those who walk through train stations]. Vix.com. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Japanese Urban Legends: Kashima-san | Kowabana". 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  8. ^ a b c Grundhauser, Eric (2 October 2017). "Get to Know Your Japanese Bathroom Ghosts". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  9. ^ Bricken, Rob (19 July 2016). "14 Terrifying Japanese Monsters, Myths And Spirits". Kotaku. G/O Media. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ Bathroom Readers' Institute 2017, p. 390.

Further reading[edit]