Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai: The Game of 100 Ghost Stories

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Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.  There is mystery and legend wrapped in that name…

I always hesitate when I sit down to write an article like this.  Do I really want to encourage what could very well be dangerous and irresponsible behavior?  Do I want to inform my audience of something that seems so much like a game and could carry such heavy consequences?

As a medium, I cannot tell you how many times I have been called to a home to help banish some astral nasty that has been accidentally conjured up by innocently playing with spirit boards and the like.  Too many, that’s for sure.

On the other hand, at the very least, forewarned is forearmed, and perhaps this information will come in handy for you, should you ever decide to pursue the subject further…if you should decide to play the game.

I first heard of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai almost 20 years ago.  It was mentioned in a book I was reading and I was, quite frankly, fascinated by the concept.

Dating back to at least the 1600s in Japan, the game has had many names over the years.  The Game of 100 Candles, The Game of 100 Spirits, The Game of 100 Storytellers.  These all have their roots in Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

The concept is simple enough.  Gather a group of friends together and light 100 candles in the center of a room where no outside light will permeate.  Each person, in turn, tells a ghost story (real or fiction) and at the end of each story, blows out a candle.

Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Go around the room as many times as it takes and as the room descends into darkness as each light is extinguished, it is said that the spirits gather closer and closer to you.  For, with the extinguishing of each candle, you are inviting them inside.

This is the way the modern “game” is played and I have to tell you, as the room gets darker and darker, even the bravest in the group will begin to look around at each little noise and jump as the floorboards creak.

Going back to the roots of the game in Japan, it was played out just a little differently.  At the time, it wasn’t considered a game at all, but rather a test of courage.

Continued on the Next Page!

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