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Toilet Hanako ~ The Spooky Japanese Ghost Who Haunts Bathrooms

Updated on September 30, 2011

Beware of the bathroom! Toilet Hanako-San may live there!

Toilet Hanako (トイレの花子さん or "Toire no Hanako San") is a Japanese urban legend about a young girl ghost who haunts school bathrooms. The legends surrounding her story vary from region to region, but she is usually portrayed as a elementary school aged girl with a red skirt and bobbed black hair with a fringe.

She usually lives in the third stall of the third floor bathroom. If you knock on the door of her stall 3 times and ask, "Are you there, Hanako?", she may answer back, "Yes." If you open the door, she will grab you and drag you into the toilet.

Toilet Hanako image by cuteordeath

The Legend of Toilet Hanako

While Hanako doesn't have just one clear origin story, tales of her existence go back to the 1950s!

Some say she was a child in the time of World War II who was hiding in the bathroom stall during a game of hide and seek when the school was hit by a bombing raid. Others say she was an abused or bullied child who was killed by her tormentor in the stall.

In the most popular version of the legend, Hanako inhabits the 3rd stall in the 3rd floor bathroom. A victim who seeks Hanako will knock 3 times on the door and say, "Are you there, Hanako?" A small voice will reply, "Yes." If you open the door, she will grab you and drag you into the toilet (which presumably leads to Hell.)

Toilet Hanako in Popular Culture

The legend of Toilet Hanako has inspired movies, manga, anime, and video games!

One of the ghosts in the anime Haunted Junction is a Toilet Hanako. According to this anime, there are 10 million Toilet Hanako in Japan. She lives in the boy's bathroom and is portrayed as a pretty, flirty girl.

Hell Teacher Nube episode 2 portrays Toilet Hanako as spooky white hands that attack while one is using the toilet.

There are several live action films about Toilet Hanako, and at least 2 anime series, including Toilet Hanako and Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa Shin: Hanako-san ga Kita!! (Scary School Rumors: Hanako-San is here!)

Check out Haunted Junction if you love spooky Japanese urban legends!

Haunted Junction
Haunted Junction

This comedy anime features a lot of cool Japanese ghosts and demons!


Haunted Junction - Summoning the Ghosts

Toilet Hanako appears at 0:09.

Other Bathroom Ghosts

Hanako isn't the only ghost that likes to hang out in toilets!

When I was a kid, I remember looking for Bloody Mary in bathrooms. If you turned off all the lights and said her name 3 times, she was supposed to appear in the bathroom mirror.

Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a similar toilet ghost, although she is more annoying than scary.

Toilet Hanako Video Clips

A game intro, a short anime, and some other Toilet Hanako clips. Everything is in Japanese, but they're still cool to look it even if you can't understand!

Or would you like to?

Have you ever encounted Toilet Hanako?

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    • cuteordeath profile image

      cuteordeath 6 years ago

      @biiimu: Hehe, thanks. ^^ Japanese ghost stories are my favorite. *o*

    • profile image

      biiimu 6 years ago

      Fun article! I wonder what it is with Japan and creepy ghost girls. Reminds me of Sadako of Ringu fame, as well as that girl, whatever her name was, from the grudge.

      I love spooky stuff.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I hope that Toilet Hanako doesn't like to travel!