Aokigahara forest (suicide forest) at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan is where more than 500 people have killed themselves by hanging.
It’s believed that this tragic pattern began after Seicho Matsumoto published the 1960 novel Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two of his characters commit suicide in the thick dark forest.
Some argue that the wave of suicides predates the novel. Shockingly, Aokigahara forest was recommended by a 1993 bestseller as the best place to commit suicide.
Suicide became so rampant in the 1970s that the government had to step in and conduct sweeps throughout the forest in an effort to clear out the bodies.
As many as 78 bodies were discovered in the forest in 2002 and by 2003, the toll had climbed to 100.
Sadly, the numbers doubled by 2010 and the despite the governments best efforts to derail the suicides by not publicizing the numbers.
According to TOFUGU, “Legend has it that in ancient times families would abandon people in the forest during periods of famine when there was not enough food to go around.
By sacrificing family members to the forest, there would be less mouths to feed and therefore enough food for the rest of the family.” The forest is also said to be extremely haunted by various ghosts and demons.
Here’s a pretty good documentary from Vice
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