Black Hair is a spooky ghost story from Japan about a man who leaves his wife for a younger woman, but later regrets his decision. It is based on an old Japanese ghost story by Lafcadio Hearn called “Reconciliation”.
There was a Japanese man who had grown tired of his wife. When they had gotten married, she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, with long black hair, beautiful brown eyes and soft skin. However, over the years, her looks had faded and she had grown fat. Her face had become wrinkled. He realized that he wasn’t attracted to her anymore and decided to leave her.
The man told his wife he wanted a divorce and promptly moved out of the house. He rented an apartment in the city and took to visiting bars and clubs in search of a new romance. It wasn’t long until he met a stunningly beautiful young girl. She was only 18 years old, tall and slim with long flowing blond hair. He was instantly smitten and within weeks, he had asked her to marry him.
The blond girl accepted and after they got married, she moved in with him. However, as soon as the ring was on her finger, the blond girl’s behavior changed. Before the wedding, she had been sweet, pleasant and polite, but now her attitude was hard, mean and rude.
She was very vain and seemed to spend hours in front of the mirror, preening, applying makeup and gazing at her own reflection. She was also very demanding and made him spend all of his money on her. She forced him into buying her new clothes, new jewelry, new gadgets and a new car.
One day, the man came home and took a good look at his new wife. All of the makeup… the eyeliner, the mascara, the eye shadow… only hid the ugliness inside. He began to wish he had never married her.
As the years went on, the man started longing for his old wife. She may have been old and overweight, but she had been a caring and considerate person. He cried when he remembered her soft voice, her gentle smile and her eternal patience. He regretted the day he had divorced her.
He gradually realized that he still loved his first wife, loved her more than he could ever love the blond girl. He began to understand how he had thrown away the only woman who ever truly loved him. Sometimes, in his dreams, he would see his old wife, sitting alone in her room, her long black hair covering her face. Late at night, he would ask himself how she was living, what she was doing, would she ever take him back?
One night, after a bitter argument, he decided that he had endured enough. He couldn’t take it anymore and left his blond wife. He left the city and mad ethe long journey back to his old wife’s house. When he reached the street where they used to live, it was already late at night
The house looked deserted. Tall weeds were growing in the garden and the windows were cracked and broken. Tiles were missing from the roof and the walls looked as if they hadn’t been painted in years.
He knocked on the front door, but no one answered. Then, he tried the handle and found that the door wasn’t locked. He walked inside and found the rooms empty and silent. A chilly wind was blowing through the broken windows.
Going upstairs, he opened the door to the bedroom and was startled to see his wife sitting there on the bed. He ran to her, embraced her in his arms and cried on her shoulder. Through the tears, he told her how much he had missed her over the years and begged her to forgive him for leaving her.
Her face was covered by her long black hair, but he heard her sweet voice whispering in his ear. She told him “I’m glad you came back to me,” she said, “if only for a moment…”
“Only for a moment?” he replied, with a laugh. “I’m back for good. Now we can spend the rest of our lives together.”
He brushed the hair from her face and leaned in to kiss her, but when he opened his eyes, he screamed in horror. Her face was a dirty, moldering skull. To his horror, he realized that what he was clutching in his arms was nothing but a sack of dusty, old bones and long, stringy, black hair.
The man scrambled to his feet and tossed the bones away from him in disgust. He stood there in the dim light, shuddering as a sickening feeling spread throughout his body.
He ran downstairs and out the front door. On the street, he found a neighbor and demanded to know who lived in the old, broken-down and abandoned house.
“There is no one living in that house now,” said the neighbor. “Years ago, it belonged to a woman whose husband left her. He divorced her in order to marry another woman. She was so distraught that she killed herself soon afterwards…”