Japanese Urban Legend: Headless RiderNovember 19, 2019
Translated from Japanese by Shishou(師匠)
This is the story of a couple who arrived at an old building that was rumored to be rife with supernatural activities. They searched the place for an hour or so but couldn’t find or feel anything that they could call ‘paranormal’. Dejected and Disappointed, they returned to their car, started it, and headed back towards their home.
“Yeah…It was boring.”
They chatted such useless things while riding the car back. At this point, the boyfriend, who was driving the car, was blinded by a beam of light from an oncoming vehicle. From the looks, it seemed like a motorbike. As soon as they passed the bike, the boyfriend hit the gas pedal hard and sped up the car.
“Hey!–That’s dangerous…” the girl spoke in a distressed voice.
Her boyfriend, however, didn’t listen. His face was pale with fear, and he was trying his best to control the car with his trembling hands. After a while, when they reached a familiar street, he stopped the car.
“What was that??” the girl asked.
“The bike rider…whom we passed a while ago…didn’t have a…head.”
Headless spirits are nothing new and they have been a part of popular culture from ancient times. Among these headless spirits, the most famous one in Japan is the legend of a headless rider. Its reality most probably lies in a tragic accident where a motorbike rider, who was unaware of an installed wire on a road, got his head stuck in the wire and died on the spot due to decapitation.
Also, it might be the case that in the darkness of the night, a black helmet is not clearly visible and so people who see such riders might assume that they are the headless riders from the legend.
So, I wanted to translate Headless Rider’s urban legend that I first saw in Gakkou no Kaidan. Oh! Btw Celty from Durarara!!! is also a headless rider.
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