Shadows in the Station is a scary story about a subway station in Japan where a lot of people commit suicide. It is based on a Japanese urban legend.
I live in Tokyo and I take the subway to work every morning. My local subway station is Shin-Koiwa Station, on the Chuo line. It is notorious as a place where people commit suicide.
It has earned the nickname “Suicide Station”. Over the years, countless depressed and misguided people have taken their own lives there by jumping in front of the train.
It became such a problem that they installed mirrors in the subway. They say that if the people catch sight of themselves about to jump, it will make them change their minds. I have no idea if it really works.
Just last week, there was a suicide at the station. I was there when it happened. I saw the whole thing.
It was early in the morning and I was waiting for my train. There were only a few other people on the platform. I heard a voice over the loudspeaker announcing that the train was coming.
Just then, I noticed a Woman who was standing right in front of me. She was just an ordinary woman, about 26 or 27 years old, but something about her made me nervous.
She was acting very strangely. As the train came closer and closer, she stepped forward and began inching towards the edge of the platform. Something was very wrong. She glanced back at me and I could see there was a look of sheer terror on her face.
Suddenly, I knew what she was about to do, but I was powerless to stop her. I was frozen to the spot by fear. All I could do was watch as she threw herself in front of the train.
There was a screech of brakes as the train tried to stop. The other passengers on the platform screamed. Through the echo of their screams and the metallic screech, I heard a sickening thump.
The sight was so grotesque, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. There was blood and chunks of flesh flying everywhere. I thought I was going to be sick. The other passengers ran away from the platform and I ran with them.
The officials had to close down the whole line. As we waited outside for a bus to take us to our destination, I kept thinking about that poor woman. The scene replayed over and over in my mind, but there was something wrong. Finally, it came on me.
That’s what had made me nervous. I noticed it just before the woman jumped. The lights in the subway were bright and when they shone down, they cast shadows from left to right. The pillars, the kiosks, everything cast a shadow from left to right.
But the woman’s shadow had been different. Her shadow went straight forward, stretching from her feet to the edge of the platform, as if a light had been shining from behind her.
There was definitely something wrong. I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and it wouldn’t go away. I had to get to the bottom of this.
As soon as I got to work, I went straight on the Internet and began searching for old news stories about the station. There had been almost 20 suicides in the last year alone. Some of them were businessmen, some were housewives, some were old, some were young and there were even a few children.
Then, finally, I found what I was looking for. It was a photograph that had been taken just seconds before a middle-aged man had jumped in front of a train. I zoomed in and examined it very carefully.
One of his legs was in the air and he was leaning back. I recognized the same look of terror on his face.
There was a black shadow, like an arm, stretching out from under the platform and grabbing the man by the ankle.
Suddenly it all made sense.
When I saw the young woman in the subway that morning, she wasn’t jumping in front of the train… She was being dragged in front of it.