- Case File 22-3195b, AKA the Matsuo Disappearance
The following report was submited to the Japanese police after a lengthy investigation into the disappearance of newly married Miyuki (26) and Tony (30) Anderson in the mountain town of Matsuo. As of yet their whereabouts are still unknown. Contained within this report are the salvaged journal entries and audio tape recordings of Tony Andersons that are to remain classified from the press.
- June 21st 1985
Oh Miyuki, my light and love which fills my heart with joy beyond words, it pains me to be apart from you for but one night, and how this night drags on! The anxiety of what tomorrow brings is making me tremble, but I know with all my heart this is what I want most in life. Has it really been 2 years since that day you came into my life when I felt there was nothing more to live in it?
I can still remember it so clearly, that day I awoke in the hospital after the accident and finding you beside me, your smile gentle and warming as you gently cleaned the flood from my head wound. Your almond eyes found mine and I felt electricity run through me and my heart race. I knew then, without a shadow of a doubt you were the one.
Tomorrow we will be wed and a week after you and I will start our lives anew in Matsuo, the paradise above the clouds. I know that we will make a wonderful life there in that small mining community, and perhaps begin a family too. My hand trembles as I write in my journal, thinking of tomorrow and at long last being yours forever.
- June 27th 1985
I’m amazed I have the energy to be up writing. This honey moon has been wonderful so far, and I can’t remember the last time I felt my crotch so sore. Our wedding took place at the Meiji Shinto shrine in the Shibuya ward in Tokyo, and immediately we rushed for our honeymoon suite at a cozy hotel. The ceremony was beautiful, and I was glad Miyuki was there to help translate for me. I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I moved here and still haven’t grasped the language…
I felt like a teenager again that first night. I was trembling from excitement and nervous too since we hadn’t made love since I proposed a year before. Without a doubt I’m sure we’ve been the cause of several complaints from other hotel guests from our passions, but I don’t care. We’ve barely left the bed since arriving except when we need to bathe or grab something to eat, but beyond that we’ve been naked in the room the rest of the time.
Even now I can see her laying there, naked above the covers and her pale breasts raising and falling softly as she sleeps. I’m so happy we are now married. In all my 30 years I never thought I would be married, and certainly not to such an affectionate and loving woman.
Between our love makings she tells me about her family, how happy her mother is to have a son in law and how her father can’t wait to take me out drinking with his buddies at the fish market he manages. I think we’ll check out on the 29th and visit them in Kyoto for the weekend before making our way north to Matsuo. I ask her if she is nervous about moving out of the city into a more quiet and isolated place, but she smiles that passionate and warm smile which makes her eyes glitter and she tells me “Tony, no matter where we are in this world, so long as we are together, I’m happy,” which she follows up with a long and wonderful kiss.
I’m growing too excited now to write, and Miyuki is stirring and I can’t take my eyes off her slender body. I think I’ll be able to write when we get to her parent’s house.
- June 30th 1985
On the train to Kyoto, weather is overcast and the air is crisp. Miyuki and I were up all of last night and she’s catching up on her sleep now. We’ll probably arrive in an hour or so.
- July 3rd 1985
The weather took a turn for the worse last night and flood warnings closed down the roads, so Miyuki and I will be staying with her parents a few days longer than expected. Her father, Nobuo is such a hilarious man, especially when you get a few draft beers in him. The first night there he whisks me away to a yakitori bar near the fish market where he and 9 of his co-workers and employees greeted us with frothy mugs of beer, baseball on the TV and lots of good times.
I don’t think I’ll drink beer again for a while…
Natsuko, Miyuki’s mother, was quite doting on me and was rather nosey about when we were planning on giving her grandchildren. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since my own mother had called me up on the wedding night asking the same. At the rate Miyuki and I go at it and the intensity, I wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t already pregnant.
Kyoto is nice, a lot like Tokyo but not at the same time. I can’t quite put it into words. Nobuo was telling me that it’s hard for a foreigner like me to understand the cultural difference with different parts of Japan, at least until I’ve lived there a few more years.
I asked him about Matsuo and he gave me a strange look followed by a shrug, telling me that it’s a mountain mining town that has a lot of superstitious people living there, though he wouldn’t say what kind of superstitions. I knew that it was a sulfur mining town that is almost always in cloud cover year round, but beyond that I knew nothing of what the people were like or how they would take to foreigners like me.
Then again, I’m not really a foreigner anymore. I married in Japan to a Japanese woman, and have lived her for 2 years! How long will it take before I no longer will feel like an alien?
Miyuki is calling me down for dinner now. I guess in a way it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t think so…
Dammit all I need to vent. I know I can confide in my wife no matter what, but when it comes to work I hate burdening her with how much I hate working for this magazine! Jason Kemp called during dinner to inform me that the moment I got into Matsuo that I was to do a full article on the mining community for this spread on rural Japanese communities.
That snake, that fucking worm! It’s his fault I got injured on the job in the first place, and now he expects me out of the blue to publicize my new home like it was some seaside resort for upper end businessmen? Damn him! He has no appreciation for natural beauty or leaving things as his, he always wants to cash in on something!
Ugh, my head is swimming…I need a minute and a glass of sake’.
The insurance covered by Kemp’s agency assures I don’t need to work again ever because of that fiasco back in Tokyo in ’83. Why should I owe him any favors? As far as I’m concerned I don’t need to do this for him, at all. We don’t need the money since Miyuki was transferred to the local hospital in Matsuo and I’ve saved plenty working as a freelance photographer and reporter.
I’m going to call him back, tell him it’s a no and that if he has a problem he can just sit and spin. Miyuki just came upstairs to see if I’m okay. I really should tell her, I have nothing to hide from her. I just hate having to make her worry; I only want to see her smile…
- July 9th, 1985
My back aches so much, but I can’t sleep and need to get my thoughts down. We got into town 3 days ago, and arriving was like walking into a dream. I can see why this place is called the Paradise in the Clouds! I got out of the car the moment we were in sight and snapped a picture. I can’t believe how beautiful it is, like something out of a fantasy story.
The house we purchased was an older building, what remained of one of the wealthier founder’s old manse until half of it was burned down and the other was rented out to whoever could make it work. Traditional doesn’t even begin to describe this place. The house was comprised of 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, living room and small office in the back. I was surprised by how much space we had at our disposal, considering the only belongings we had were some futons, a couple bookcases, a small color TV set and kitchen stuff.
Nobuo who drove us up and helped us unpack was very quiet when we arrived, looking…unsettled? He seemed on edge, almost afraid in some way. I asked him when we were unloading a box of books what was on his mind, and answered only with quiet shrug and saying, “It’s kind of lonely here is all. Quiet.”
He was right, it is quiet here. Once and awhile when we were unpacking and organizing the house I caught the sound of a cicada in the grass or a bird squawking in the distance, but other than that I didn’t hear any cars or machines. I personally found the silence refreshing after living in bustling Tokyo for 2 years. Still, I found it odd than an old fisherman was unsettled by such peacefulness.
Yesterday our first neighbor came to wish us welcome, an older woman named Ritsuko with her granddaughter Rena. They were very friendly and offered for us to come and visit for dinner in the near future, which we happily accepted. The visit reminded me that in Japan there is an etiquette to being a guest as well as being a new member of a community, so I’ll need to find out where the local store is and get a couple of gifts for our neighbors.
That was strange. I heard a noise outside like something rustling in the bushes, and when I went to investigate thought I heard a child’s laugh! I suppose it’s just the local kids coming to spy on the new people in town. Growing up in a small town with not a lot to do tends to make kids do funny things, I can personally attest to that. Hopefully in a couple days Miyuki and I will be better acquainted with the locals.
- 'July 10'th, 1985
Today Miyuki and I went into town to pick up groceries when we bumped into the mayor on the street. Mr. Takeda was very friendly and happy to meet the newest members of his town, and for an hour or so we chitchatted with in at a ramen shop his son, Matsuda, runs. So far everybody we’ve met is really friendly. Matsuda even offered the meal on the house, but I still managed to give a generous tip.
I asked Mr. Takeda if it was normal for teenagers in the area to snoop around houses, to which he looked at me with a puzzled expression, so I regaled him with events of last night. He brushed his mustache almost nervously as I told him, and when I finished he said, “Sometimes the junior or high school students from down the mountain come up and play pranks on the locals. Don’t you worry, though, they aren’t destructive vandals or punks like that, just bored teenagers looking for fun.”
It was how sudden and abruptly he said this that unnerved me, as if it were a rehearsed line in a bad television drama. I decided to change the subject to the sulfur mines which spurred a long recollection of his family’s history in the area and how prosperous the mines have made the small community and other typical stuff you’d hear in a chamber of commerce. After a few more pleasantries he took leave of us and we soon came back home.
I just woke up from a horrible dream, like something out of a horror manga or something! I was standing in the middle of town, except it was decrepit and weather worn. There were faces in all the broken windows and doorways, but they hideous. Some had small horns growing out of their temples, while others had wild hair and 3 eyes.
In the dream I turned around slowly when I heard a giggling, and suddenly saw a shrine that was covered in overgrowth and moss. The candles on the shrine flickered then went out, and as I was about to turn around again, a hand reached out from under my shirt and grabbed my face. I fell and felt as if I was falling down an infinite tunnel of darkness, while pale arms and clawed hands tried to reach out for me. I twisted to see where I was falling, and was met with a blackened face with wide white eyes and a grin like the Cheshire Cat.
I was covered in sweat and Miyuki woke up when I shot from the futon flailing my arms wildly at the dark. She tried coaxing me back to bed with promises of sex, but I’m too shaken now. I’m probably going to go into the office and watch late night TV. There is no way I’m going back to sleep now…
***The following text is taken from a personal tape recorder. Parts of the recordings seem to have been damaged, and will be noted with an ellipsis (…) for clarity. We have attempted as best we could to transcribe the audio for filing purposes. To whomever is responsible for this, keep in mind it is graphic and disturbing.***
*static followed by a click* “Is this on? Hopefully I got this thing to work. Okay, um, it’s July 11th, 1985 at 12:23 pm. My name is Tony Richardson, and this is a test. Now how do I… *pop followed by brief static*… “Miyuki’s at work now, and I just finished cleaning house. Decided I’m going to use this tape recorder to help keep track of notes. I’m going to walk around town and get an in-depth feel of the place. This place is smaller than I thought. Looks like there are only like a dozen buildings, a couple looking abandoned.”
*sounds of rainfall and croaking of possible crow or raven* “Just passed by a refinery, looks pretty rough. Tried getting closer to get some pictures but there are warning signs everywhere which I’m sure say stay out. Haven’t seen anybody out and about today, and half the shops are closed or unattended. Maybe I’ll find the local shrine and give an offering or something…”
*a series of clicking noises* “This is kooky. The shrine is apparently off limits to everyone too, yet on my way up the hill I swore I saw 3 people walking up towards it. Don’t see anybody else or hear anything other than the rain letting up. I wonder if there is …(the sound distorts somewhat as if it were slowed then resumes speed. We assume the word he said was “priestess” during the moment of distortion)…around here.”
*click* found an abandoned apartment. It’s in rough shape, but I got inside no problem. The air in here smells like rotten eggs (coughs) sorry. This place looks like a hurricane tore it apart. Snapped some pictures of the damage. The building looks about 7 stories, but the stairs go only about 3 before being too damaged.” (Loud crashing sound and moaning, possibly from timbers) “What the fuck!? Holy shit what was that? Hello? Is somebody up there? Um… Anata ga tasuke ga hitsuyōna nodeshou ka? Moshimoshi?”
***before the recording cuts to the next state date, several minutes of silence, though breathing can be heard. There seems to be the sound of footsteps that are distant, but right as the sound clarity improves the recording ends with static and a click.***
- July 13th, 1985
We got called by the doctor today to inform us Miyuki was not pregnant, and also wanted us to come to his office immediately. He told us the bad news…
(half of the paragraph seems to be covered in mud and has made part of the text unreadable)
…condition that occurs in 1 out of 50 women in Japan. As of right now there is no treatment for it, and so we can’t get pregnant. Miyuki is devastated. I held her until she fell asleep in my arms when we got home. I can’t sleep right now, I feel like I am the reason even though I have nothing to do with the disorder. I wish I could help, wish I could give her what she wants most…
*click* “ I hope I get…(static)…14th, 2:33 am…” (the audio that followed what at first listen was ordinary silence, but when enhanced we discovered the sounds of children’s laughter and soft knocking in the background. The recording of these sounds continues for 20 minutes before cutting out. One of our analysts claimed to hear the word “Jibōjiki” amidst the faint childish laughter.)
*click* “Looked around the house when it got light out. There are little footprints everywhere in the mud. If I catch those damn kids they’ll be sorry. In no mood for this shit.”
- July 15th, 1985
I don’t understand what is going on. I stayed up late to try and catch those kids who’ve been coming around at night. Though I saw one of them in the bushes covered in flower to look like a ghost and chased them, but lost the little brat. Could still hear giggling while chasing the punk, but it was strange because they couldn’t have gotten away. The small patch of woods they ran into runs right to the edge of a steep hill which drops down 100 feet into bamboo.
Tried snapping a picture of the kid’s face before chasing, but the polaroid jammed. The footprints around the house went in all directions but seemed to have first come from out of the woods. What the hell is going on?
- July 16th, 1985
Miyuki had passed out during work and is in the hospital. The depression caused by her condition has gotten to her, and as much as it pains me to, I’ve got to leave her there. She hasn’t eaten or drank since coming home no matter what I tried, and spent most of her time lying in bed. I feel so helpless…
The power cut out an hour ago and the repairman won’t come because it’s some holiday or whatever, so I’m using what’s left of the daylight to write. I have plenty of candles and batteries for the tape recorder and flashlight, so I’m sure I can manage tonight.
*click* “Shit! Those kids…” (loud footsteps fade and a door is opened.) (muffled shouting) “I don’t know who you are but I’m tired of this game! Show yourselves! Jibun o misete kudasai! Where are…” (The recording has suffered damage and several minutes of static intermixed with sounds of violence ensues. The investigation team who analyzed the audio tape could find no artificial tampering done. Additionally there was noted by 3 separate specialists that there was a voice speaking in a low, nearly inaudible frequency which seemed to have been spoken by a young Japanese child or woman. There is speculation as to what is said, as the first specialist claimed the voice to say, “Anata wa, nani no chikara o motanai” while the second reported hearing the phrase, “Anata wa ima, nani mo nokotte inai”. The variation seems to be derived from the static and sounds of struggle which may have masked or implanted phonetics. Tests are still being done to make a conclusion as to what was said.)
***After this segment it seems that Mr. Tony Anderson fled the home, and the recorder stopped after recording an hour of what seemed to be total silence. Further analysis showed, however that once again low frequency voices were captured. Our experts have isolated 3 individual voices in the recording, the first appears to be the same young or female voice in the previous recording; the second is possibly a young male; the third, however, cannot be identified, as the vocalization seems to be obscured or distorted to the point we couldn’t properly analyze it.
It is assumed that Mr. Anderson returned home sometime in the morning. However, the recorder seemed to have turned on roughly 5 minutes before we hear signs of Tony’s entry. There is still speculation as to how this phenomenon could occur.***
*Click* “Shit, this thing is still…can’t believe bat…didn’t stay on all ni…(static for 3 minutes)…(Sighs) What the hell was that? These 2 kids came rushing out of the bushes at me and started throwing shit around! Smashed…can’t believe how fa…(another minute of static)…Something’s horribly wrong. My camera was broken along with most of the film. Where is my...FUCK!...half covered in some black shit! What is going on!?”
*Click* “Can’t stop (panting heavily, sound of rainfall in background) something’s wrong. Left the house…(static)…nd Miyuki’s not there! Acting like she never existed! Threatened to have me…(strange interference which sounds of several low frequency clicks)…can’t trust anybody! Gotta find her and get out!”
*click* “Hiding in the bushes. Everybody in town is wearing black kimonos. Heading up to the…(static for 2 minutes)…eep hearing strange chanting behind me. Got to get moving. They have her, I know they do dammit!”
***The audio from this point is a jumbled mess. After the previous entry there follows sounds of choral screaming in a language that cannot be identified as of yet intermixed with static that either was caused by the microphone rubbing against varied surfaces or damage to the tape itself. Tony seems to be calling for his wife frequently when the audio quality improves, although sounds of child-like giggling are captured on the tape, however, at frequency that cannot be heard by the naked ear. One hour of recorded audio presented no clues as to Mr. Anderson’s current situation.
The final 10 minutes of the audio have proven to be the most disturbing. We cannot verify nor dismiss the authenticity of this final segment. Please bear in mind that we have yet to identify the horrible sounds with any known animal in our database. The tape recorder seems to have been flung at the last minute of recording and impacted against a tree or rock as the audio cuts out after a loud “thunk”.***
[final audio recording]
“(indiscernible weeping) dead. It ate her right in front of me. That face…NO!!!...(sounds of face footsteps on wet ground, followed by the sound of an impact)…this isn’t real, this is a dream! It came out of the shrine!”
(static follows for 30 seconds, then an unidentified voice at regular frequency says “Anata o mitsuketa” which if followed by Mr. Anderson screaming and running through foliage again.)
“…onster, it’s coming for me. What’s going…NO!!!!...Get away from…(unidentified roar or bellow)…(static for another 30 seconds ended with heavy panting and sounds of continued running)…please God, please help me. Oh god that fucking thing! It’s all black except it’s goddamned face! Shit, SHIT! (loud thud followed by breaking glass)…NO! HELP ME!!!!!!!!!”
***The final 30 seconds of the tape features horrific sounds we can only hazard a guess at, but undoubtedly were the cause of Tony Anderson’s final moments…
Miyuki and Tony Anderson were reported missing on July 20th, 1985 by Miyuki’s parents, and a police investigation followed. Officially on record the town of Matsuo had been abandoned for 16 years after the sulfur mines were shut down. By what agent Mr. Anderson gained accommodation in the city is still being looked into, but what is startling is that nobody had seemed aware the town itself was deserted entirely.
The tape recorder was found outside of one of the residential apartments on the outskirts of the ghost town. Visible signs of some kind of violence were evident, as numerous small trees were haphazardly downed as if run over with a small vehicle. All possible signs of footprints were washed away by the rain. The journal was discovered in an abandoned structure just a quarter of a mile from where the tape recorder was found.
The Shinto shrine was found to have been half destroyed, though by what we have yet to determine. Inside was found several bones, the oldest of which as old as the founding of the town itself. There was also discovered a cubby hidden beneath a pile of ashes where we found a small wooden box containing a traditional Goh mask. What struck the investigative team as unusual was the mask featured a grotesque toothy grin much like that of an Oni mask, and was all white. The mask was found atop a mass of black hair, which we have been unable to determine if it is human or animal.
As of now, the whereabouts of Miyuki and Tony Anderson is unknown. There are no suspects in this case, no witnesses, only fragmented and damaged final glimpses into the life of this young couple. As I submit this report I am reminded of the stories my grandmother told me about certain villages in Japan where in the dead of night people would vanish, being “demoned away” as the saying goes. The fate of the Andersons is still unknown, but there is without a doubt something unnatural about this case.
My prayers go to them, if they are still out there.
Thank you all for reading my second entry into my Anthology of the Macabre. This story was a lot of fun to do, and if you enjoyed it, please feel free to check out my other stories, and as always, I am always open to constructive criticisms, so use that comment box folks! Stay tuned for the third installment, because it only gets worse from here...