Dolls are creepy. Little girls play with Barbies and baby dolls, but when you have old porcelain dolls, they can be used in horror films. No one actually thinks that these dolls are evil or possessed, but they are associated with possession, making them creepy. What if there was a doll in our reality that was in fact possessed? Would it be treasured? Would it be destroyed? Apparently, the doll would be treasured because there is a possessed doll currently held in the Mannenji temple.
Okiku, also known as “The Haunted Doll of Hokkaido,” is possessed by the spirit of a little girl, causing it to grow human hair by itself. The doll was bought in 1918 by a seventeen-year-old boy named Eikichi Suzuki. He bought the present for his two-year-old sister as a souvenir after a trip to Sapporo, Hokkaido. The girl played with the girl everyday until she died from a sudden cold a year later. The parents kept the doll in remembrance of their daughter and built a household alter to pray to everyday. One day while visiting the doll, the family noticed that the doll’s hair had grown longer. The family moved out of Hokkaido in 1938 and decided to leave the doll behind on the island. They left the doll in the hands of those at the Mannenji temple, where it can still be found.
Presently, Okiku’s hair has grown down to its knees, when it originally started as chin-length hair. Another creepy quality that Okiku is said to have is growing teeth. If you look very closely, you might be able to catch sight of the teeth in her mouth. The monks at the temple have trimmed the dolls hair before, so the hair would be longer if they left it alone. The monks report dreaming of Okiku telling them to trim her hair before actually doing it themselves. Science has been able to reveal that the hair belongs to a human child, but no one knows why. Science cannot explain why the hair keeps growing either.
Novels, movies, games, and plays have all been created based on Okiku. The way that Okiku is portrayed in these arts has even creepier elements than the hair or teeth, such as the dolly giggling and moving around. She is a very famous doll that many tourists and curious inhabitants of Hokkaido go to visit still today.