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Taxi drivers pick up 'phantom fares' in Japan

Posted on Wednesday, 10 February, 2016 | Comment icon 33 comments

Taxi passengers have been mysteriously disappearing. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Kure
Several cab drivers have reported having strange experiences in the area hit by the 2011 tsunami.
It might sound like something out of a book of classic ghost stories, but according to at least seven cab drivers from the city of Ishinomaki, a region that was devastated by the tsunami five years ago, some taxi passengers have been mysteriously vanishing from their cars without explanation.

In one incident a driver had picked up a female passenger near shinomaki Station who had asked him to take her to the Minamihama district, an area that was badly damaged during the disaster.

The driver asked her if she was sure she wanted to go there as the area was almost empty, to which she chillingly replied "Have I died ?" When he turned around the woman had completely vanished.

In another case, a taxi driver in his 40s recalled picking up a male passenger who asked to be taken to Hiyoriyama - a word which translates to 'mountain' - and pointed in the direction he wished to go.

The driver set off, but a short time later he realized that the man was gone and his cab was empty.

These stories, along with several others, were collected by Yuka Kudo, a sociology student at Tohoku Gakuin University, as part of her graduation thesis.

In each of the cases the drivers had genuinely believed that someone had got in to their vehicle and could offer no explanation for how they had managed to get out while the car was in motion.

Many of them also reported the fact that the passengers had all been quite young.

"Young people feel strong chagrin when they cannot meet the people they love," said Kudo. "As they want to convey their bitterness, they may have chosen taxis as a medium to do so."

Source: | Comments (33)

Tags: Ghost, Japan, Tsunami

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by evp on 11 February, 2016, 4:38
It must suck when your fare disappears!
Comment icon #25 Posted by preacherman76 on 11 February, 2016, 9:57
Now I know you are on a wind up! I have not claimed these cabbies have joined a cult or have a faith, (but I would not be surprised if their beliefs are playing a part in this... ) as you quite clearly have even pointed out = they were examples as to human behaviour and I was using it in reference to what YOU said in your previous post: "I have never seen someone tell a ghost story, to then watch a chain reaction of made up on the spot ghost stories from the people around them so they don't feel left out. Especially not adults. "Followed suit" smh that just sounds, well, unlikely. To say the l... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by Ell on 11 February, 2016, 10:23
It must be a hoax.
Comment icon #27 Posted by freetoroam on 11 February, 2016, 14:06
I could handle that just fine. Difference between me and you is I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. Now that's not to say that I 100% believe in the claims. I just recognize the possibility they are telling the truth. Next time Im down in the city I'll ask the first 7 workers I see if they have seen any ghosts at the trade center. Even though I already know the answer they will give. According to your theory they should all start making stuff up on the spot. BTW most urban legends are grounded in some truth, then end up exaggerated, often greatly, over many years. I don't see how... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by Black Monk on 11 February, 2016, 15:01
It's similar to those creepy cases of phantom hitchhikers.
Comment icon #29 Posted by preacherman76 on 11 February, 2016, 22:37
I have given people the benefit of the doubt in the past, the lack of any evidence eventually told me not to bother any more. I have done the open minded bit and in the end logic and again complete lack of any evidence changed that. I am on the other hand always willing to hear these stories, as you may know, I do read them on here, but so far....nothing has convinced me that they are true. This has nothing to do with not being opened minded, it is purely down to not being so gullible. do not ask the first 7 people you see, you ask around a hundred people and then ..well you can work ... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by preacherman76 on 11 February, 2016, 22:41
Oh just to add, as far as the camera's in the cabs are concerned. From what I read, sounds like they are new. And only applied to one cab company. Maybe they aren't even in the area in question.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Hudds on 11 February, 2016, 23:38
Good one. No mention of any ghosts or any taxi drivers talking to a ghost. Im surprised there aren't camera's in Japans cabs, i thought it was standard practice. Nothing obviously to do with the paranormal, just a link for Lucas's attention. Apparently, Japanese taxi cabs do have camera's installed, since 2012.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Misanthropic on 12 February, 2016, 13:00
Ahh, i love stories like these. Could sit there for hours reading them.
Comment icon #33 Posted by WoIverine on 12 February, 2016, 16:14
The short story about the woman asking if she had died is a little creepy.

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