A significant number of taxi drivers from the tsunami-stricken regions of Japan have reported seeing ghosts, some even hired their taxis and then disappeared. The stories came out from Japanese town of Ishinomaki where more than 6,000 people died in the tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. People believe that the ghosts seen up and down the region are of the people who perished in the catastrophe.
On March 11th, 2011 when Japan’s coast was practically flattened by 30 ft waves, Ishinomaki felt the most of the force and upwards of 6,000 residents vanished in no time. According the official statistics there were 3100 confirmed deaths, however there are 2770 people who vanished without a trace. The whole mystery surrounding the missing people has given rise to the stories of ghost sightings in the area, and everybody seems to have been affected by the phenomenon. Experts are citing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to be the reason, however the locals are convinced that what they are seeing are the souls of the lost people.
After the tragedy, ishinomaki the town of 145,800 was rebuilt by the authorities, however the horrors of the tsunami still lingers in the memory of those who survived the giant waves.
When the locals were interviewed by the researchers from Tohoku Gakuin University, a large number of cabbies reported somewhat similar stories regarding ghost encounters. One driver told the researchers that he picked up a well dressed young lady who wanted to go the worst hit region of the city, upon discovering that her neighbourhood had been destroyed five years ago, she replied with shock and awe asking ‘Have I died’, when the driver looked back the woman had vanished in thin air. Another man reported to have picked up a young man who also disappeared while the driver watched him in his mirror.
A number of studies carried out in United States on PTSD found that there is a direct correlation between PTSD as a result of a disaster and seeing what is really not there. Psychiatrists call this a ‘mental projection of the horror’ that survivors had been through and their brains are still struggling to come in terms with the disaster. PTSD is a direct consequence of a trauma, and trauma comes in a variety of forms and arguably the worse type of PTSD emerges after one survives a horrific disaster. Psychiatrists suggest that despite the fact it has been five years since the tragedy, it will take a long time before life comes back to normal for the survivors, until then such stories must be expected from the locals.