Yuki Onna

Yuki-onna (or The Snow Woman) is a classic ghost story legend from Japan about a young man who encounters a mysterious woman in the snow. She turns out to be an evil spirit who agrees to spare his life under one condition. It is also known as “The Snow Ghost” or The Snow Witch.

Snow Witch

Yuki-onna

In a small town in Japan, there lived two hunters named Mosaku and Minokichi. Mosaku was an old man and Minokichi, his son, was sixteen years old. Every day, they went out together into the forest and hunted rabbits and other animals which they would bring home and cook for dinner.

One cold evening in Winter, Mosaku and Minokichi were on their way home when they got caught in a blinding snowstorm. They couldn’t find their way out of the forest and became very worried that they would freeze to death. Luckily, they came across an abandoned cabin in the wilderness where they could take shelter for the night and wait for the snowstorm to pass.

It was a tiny hut and there was no fireplace or any way to make a fire. Mosaku and Minokichi fastened the door, and lay down to rest, shivering with their coats pulled tightly around them. They hoped that the storm would soon be over.

The father immediately fell into a deep sleep but the boy, Minokichi, lay awake a long time, listening to the wind whistling through the loose boards of the old cabin and the snow beating against the door. The ramshackle hut swayed and creaked in the storm and Minokichi shivered under his coat until, at last, in spite of the cold, he managed to fall asleep.

He was awakened by the feeling of snow falling on his face. When he opened his eyes, he could see that the door of the hut had been forced open. He saw a strange figure standing in the moonlight. It was a woman, dressed all in white. She was bending over his father and breathing on him. Her breath was like a bright white smoke. Suddenly, she turned to Minokichi, and stooped over him. He tried to cry out, but found that he could not utter any sound. The white woman bent down over him, lower and lower, until her face almost touched his own.

She was very beautiful, but her eyes were glowing yellow. He was terrified and she continued to stare at him as she whispered “I am the Snow Witch. I was going to kill you, but you’re such a pretty boy, I will let you live. But if you ever tell anybody, even your own mother, about what you have seen, I will kill you. Never forget this warning!”

With these words, she turned around and floated through the doorway. The boy jumped up and looked outside, but the snow witch was nowhere to be seen and the snowstorm was still raging, driving snow into the hut. Minokichi closed the door, and wedged a log against it to keep it closed. He began to wonder if he had jest been dreaming. Perhaps the snow witch was a figment of his imagination.

He called out to his father, but the old man did not answer. The boy put out his hand in the dark, and touched his father’s face. It was completely frozen. His father was dead.

By dawn, the snowstorm was over and Minokichi had to drag the frozen corpse of his father back into town. He was devastated by the death of his beloved Dad and remained ill from the effects of the cold for a long time. He had been so frightened by the snow witch that he didn’t tell anyone about her. The police assumed his father had frozen to death in the forest and never asked any questions. He said nothing about the vision of the woman in white to his mother either, fearing that the ghost would return and kill him as well.

As soon as he was well again, he returned to hunting in the forest every day. He had to put food on the table somehow. At nightfall, he would come back with dead rabbits, which his mother helped him to cook.

One year later, in the middle of winter, he was on his way home, when he met a girl who happened to be traveling on the same road. She was tall, thin and very good-looking. As they walked down the road together, they began to talk. The girl said that her name was O-Yuki and she had recently lost both of her parents. She was on her way to her uncle’s house, where she hoped to live for a while until she could find a job. Minokichi was very attracted to this strange girl and the more he looked at her, the more beautiful she appeared to be.

They dated for a few weeks and gradually fell in love. Then Minokichi asked O-Yuki to come to his house for dinner so she could meet his mother. After some hesitation, she went there with him and his mother found the girl very pleasant and friendly. Eventually, the young couple got married and O-Yuki came to live in Minokichi’s house permanently.

When Minokichi’s mother died, a year later, her last words were words of affection and praise for the wife of her son. And O-Yuki bore Minokichi ten children, boys and girls,– handsome children all of them, and very fair of skin.

The country-folk thought O-Yuki a wonderful person, by nature different from themselves. Most of the peasant-women age early; but O-Yuki, even after having become the mother of ten children, looked as young and fresh as on the day when she had first come to the village.

One night, after the children had gone to sleep, O-Yuki was sewing by the light of a paper lamp; and Minokichi, watching her, said:–

“To see you sewing there, with the light on your face, makes me think of a strange thing that happened when I was a lad of eighteen. I then saw somebody as beautiful and white as you are now — indeed, she was very like you.”…

Without lifting her eyes from her work, O-Yuki responded:–

“Tell me about her… Where did you see her?

Then Minokichi told her about the terrible night in the ferryman’s hut,– and about the White Woman that had stooped above him, smiling and whispering,– and about the silent death of old Mosaku. And he said:–

“Asleep or awake, that was the only time that I saw a being as beautiful as you. Of course, she was not a human being; and I was afraid of her,– very much afraid,– but she was so white!… Indeed, I have never been sure whether it was a dream that I saw, or the Woman of the Snow.”…

O-Yuki flung down her sewing, and arose, and bowed above Minokichi where he sat, and shrieked into his face:–

“It was I — I — I! Yuki it was! And I told you then that I would kill you if you ever said one work about it!… But for those children asleep there, I would kill you this moment! And now you had better take very, very good care of them; for if ever they have reason to complain of you, I will treat you as you deserve!”…

Even as she screamed, her voice became thin, like a crying of wind;– then she melted into a bright white mist that spired to the roof-beams, and shuddered away through the smoke-hold… Never again was she seen.

Comments

  1. jenn3985 says

    “I said I would kill you if you said one WORK about it!” XD Lol Work? I think you mean WORD. Hahaha :3

  2. jenn3985 says

    I Really Appreciate ScaryForKids For Posting This Amazing Ghost Story. 10/10 Gorgeous Ghosts For This Story! And Btw, That Women Is So Pretty! :3

  3. Dark_Destroyer says

    Dude he was 16 when it happened…not 18….anyways, why would she do that? Marry him and have 10 kids….terrible of her to desert them like that. Why didn’t she just kill him and take the children? Is forcing him to take care of the kids part of the punishment?

  4. Pjchang says

    wth? 10 kids in 1 year? obviously there’s something suspicious about her *ahem*she’s the yuki onna *ahem* technically he didn’t tell anyone, he told her so it’s more as remember the first time we met sort of thing

  5. ShadyDragon says

    Actually if you think about it, it wasn’t told that she actually DID kill his father the man really could have just died of cold so maybe she just wanted to make the boy feel more anger than sadness by making him think she’s the culprit but she was actually sorry for his father’s death but also fell in love with the boy so she told him to never speak of the incident so later on he might forget about her and not realize he had just married a spirit
    That would make her an all good spirit
    I think that would be a very interesting perspective to view this story with.

  6. zombie_pegasister says

    I would have not told anyone because I would have been scared for life plus I would be worried that she would kill that person too.

  7. ScaryThingsHappen says

    Ok i’m gonna have to think twice before going camping with my older brother this year. O.o

  8. animefruba says

    Okay so the girl is the witch and the witch is the girl and she doesn’t kill him because technically he didn’t tell anyone right?

  9. frankiemcstein says

    this is like the gumiho… nine tailed fox story. From Korea and China. She could have turned into a human had he kept his promise- and that’s what angered her the most.

  10. Josh Z says

    This is sort of a Romeo and Juliet story because they both fell for one another but their fates weren’t entwined.

  11. Blazingflame16 says

    shes HOT O_O if i was minokichi i woulda begged yuki onna to stay with with me…if you know what i mean ;D

  12. Paradise says

    The girl is really beautiful and I knew that his wife was the snow witch or at least had a feeling but she was merciful unlike alot of spirits and all so she’s kinda my favorite since she doesn’t kill little children

  13. pinkKaygana says

    u know, i bet it sucks having a job as the snow witch– you have to kill the fathers of dumb sons, but then you fall in love with the son and spare him (which was a wrong move, she really should have killed him.)!!! and then, because u have to keep an eye on the stupid jerk (so that he doesn’t tell anyone about u) AKA the frozen dude’s son, u have to marry him. and at the end he DOES tell your secret– and you STILL get a low pay, after all these years of nothing!!! that was one stupid, STUPID jerk.

  14. pinkKaygana says

    woah.. weird… but kinda predictable…. and im surprised that shes not as evil as she seemed at first.

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