Slit-Mouthed Woman (Kuchisake-onna in Japanese) is a malevolent spirit in Japanese folklore.
Appearance: A seemingly beautiful Japanese woman wearing a surgical mask to hide the fact that her mouth has been split open and is horribly disfigured.
She also carries a pair of scissors. For images of Slit-Mouthed Woman click HERE.
Lore: The legend of the Slit-Mouthed Woman begin in Japan in 1979. No one is sure just how the legend started but there were claimed sightings of the Slit-Mouthed woman that began a local panic and caused much hysteria. There are many legends about how the Slit-Mouthed Woman came about. According to one legend the Slit-Mouthed Woman was a woman who was mutilated and murdered by her husband. Her soul does not rest and roams the earth looking for revenge which she takes out on innocent people, usually children. Another legend speaks of a incredibly selfish, shallow woman who ends up being disfigured during a botched plastic surgery. Yet another legend claims she was mutilated in a car crash. When the Slit-Mouthed Woman has found a victim she will appear before them wearing the surgical mask. She will then ask the person if they think she is beautiful. If the person responds no she will then kill them. If the person responds yes she will then remove the mask and reveal her deformed face. She will ask the question again. If the person responds no she will kill them. If the person responds yes she will then mutilate their face with a pair of scissors.
Powers: As a spirit the Slit-Mouthed Woman can appear or disappear at will. She can also move so fast as to prevent her victims from escaping.
Defense Against Slit-Mouthed Woman: In order to escape becoming the next victim of the Slit-Mouthed Woman one must attempt to outsmart her. One way to do it is to answer her in a way in which she is not accustomed to. For example, when she asks her would-be victim if they think she is beautiful the person can respond with, "You are of average looks". This will confuse her as she is used to either a yes or no answer. Instead of being frightened one can respectfully bid her pardon and advise her that one is late for a prior commitment and cannot stop to speak with her. Because the Japanese are so big on respect and manners she will then likewise pardon the fortunate would-be victim. Some even claim that throwing objects at her can buy one time to escape as she will be forced to pick the items up. This is similar to beliefs in scattering seeds to protect a person from a vampire as the vampire would be forced to count each seed before they could attack the victim.
True Story?: There is a claim online that the legend of the Slit-Mouthed Woman began with a real case back in the 1970s of a woman who was hit and struck by a car as she attempted to chase children. Supposedly her face was mutilated or jaw ripped off during the crash. However, there is no actual proof online that this case happened. It may just be another aspect of the legend.
Similar Monsters: The Slit-Mouthed Woman is extremely similar to sightings of Phantom Clowns in the United States. In Korea the spirit called "Red Mask Woman" is pretty much identical to Slit-Mouthed Woman.
Japanese Urban Legend - Slit Mouth Woman
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Kuchisake-onna - The Slit-Mouthed Woman