The Japanese ‘Haunted’ Doll Whose Hair Never Stops Growing

Fact checked

Creepy, haunted dolls are the stuff of legends and stories told around campfires in order to spook little children.

But then there is this strange tale about a bizarre little porcelain doll that is believed to house the spirit of a restless young girl and it has hair that keeps growing.

The Occult Museum reports:

The story begins in 1918, when Eikichi Suzuki bought a doll for his baby sister, Okiku. Clothed in a kimono with a traditional black bob, Okiku loved her doll so much she named it after herself and the two became inseparable until tragedy struck the following year when Okiku fell gravely ill. The girl soon died from complications of severe influenza and fever, and the mourning family placed her beloved doll in a family altar in memory of their daughter.

Soon the family noticed something odd about the doll: its hair was growing. The short, neat bob soon became a long, shaggy mess that would grow to the doll’s knees. The family cut the hair, but it always grew back, stopping just at the knees. The family came to believe that Okiku’s spirit now lived in her doll.

The Haunted Doll Of Hokkaido, Whose Hair Won’t Stop Growing

When the family moved in 1938, they were wary of taking the doll with them. Though the doll had never shown any malevolent tendencies, it made them nervous. But if their daughter’s spirit really did live within the doll, they certainly didn’t want to just throw it away. Instead, they gave it to the Mannenji temple, who took it even after being told about the hair. The doll’s hair continued to grow in the hands of the monks and trimming it became a regular chore among the order.

The Haunted Doll Of Hokkaido, Whose Hair Won’t Stop Growing

It is unclear what is going on with the growing hair of the Okiku doll. No one has really been able to explain how it has kept growing continuously for the better part of a century. Is this a truly supernatural phenomenon or some sort of hoax? Samples of the Okiku’s doll have been taken and analyzed in the past and it was determined that the hair was indeed human, but this does not necessarily point to a supernatural origin. What is going on with this doll? Is this some sort of trick or are there paranormal forces we don’t understand compelling its hair to perpetually grow? 

For now, the Okiku doll continues to stand in its box as it always has at the at Mannenji temple, wearing its kimono, staring out from its box as its hair continues to grow.