When I was teaching at the university here in Korea, the students loved to inform me about their culture as university students usually do in every country I go to. Since I told you about the death of an unmarried girl in Romania, I decided to tell you what the Korean students told me about the ghost of an unmarried girl in Korea. My Korean son in law tells me they call this girl Red Mask. He also says there is a Japanese version of the same ghost.
My Korean university students told me this ghost wears a wedding hanbok (traditional Korean dress.) A traditional wedding hanbok is usually red. However, some of them told me she wears a white hanbok because white symbolizes purity. One student told me she wears a white wedding dress, and another told me she wore a long white night gown. Lots of students told me this story, and each one seemed to have a little bit of a different version of this ghost.
Anyway, this young unmarried girl turned into a ghost, and she haunts people. Her smile is like the Joker from one of the recent Batman movies. Her mouth has been cut. It looks like a knife has cut her smile to be even bigger, and her mouth is bloody. If she appears to you, they say you are in real trouble. She will ask, “Am I pretty?” She knows she isn’t, but if you tell her she isn’t, she gets very angry and kills you. If you are afraid and lie to her, she is angry because you lied and kills you because you lied. It seems to me there is no reason for her question because if she appears to you, you are going to die.
However, according to my Korean son in law, she doesn’t always kill you. He thinks if you tell her she is pretty, she will leave you alone. He also read that you can distract her by throwing candy on the floor, and you can run away when she stoops to pick it up.
Koreans don’t believe in this ghost, but they love to tell the story and scare one another with the story. Koreans are really into horror films. They love ghosts and getting scared! Even though Halloween is not a Korean holiday, the young Koreans have taken it on big time. If you look back through my blogs, I went around and took pictures of all the different interesting decorations last Halloween. When Halloween comes, they are all looking for a big Halloween party. You can find them at Lotte World, the Korean Disney World, and you can also find them in the streets at Itaewon where all the foreigners go. I’ve heard there is dancing in the streets in Itaewon when Halloween comes. They just love to be scared, and telling ghost stories is part of it. There is a possibility the Koreans borrowed this ghost because they borrowed Halloween. My Korean son in law looked this ghost up, and what he read said she originally comes from Japan and they have made lots of movies about her. However, all those students at the university thought she was Korean.