Kuchisake Onna, also known as The Slit-Mouth Woman, is a scary Japanese urban legend about a disfigured Japanese woman who brandishes a large scissors and preys on children. She has an enormous slit mouth, which extends from ear to ear in a horrible, permanent smile.
The Slit Mouth Woman walks the streets of Japan, wearing a surgical mask and hunting for children. If you cross her path, she will stop you and ask you a question. If you give her the wrong answer, there will be horrible consequences.
Picture the scene. You are walking home from school and your path takes you down a deserted city street. Suddenly, you hear a faint noise coming from the shadows. You glance over and see a beautiful woman standing there. She has long black hair and is wearing a beige trenchcoat. A surgical mask covers the lower half of her face. In Japan, wearing a surgical mask is not uncommon during flu season, to prevent spreading germs.
She steps out of the shadows and blocks your path.
“Am I beautiful?” she asks.
Before you can answer, she tears off her mask, revealing a hideously deformed face. Her huge mouth is sliced from ear to ear and gapes open revealing rows of sharp teeth and a big red disgusting tongue twisting and twirling inside.
“Am I beautiful NOW?” she screams.
Terrified, you struggle to answer her. If you say “No”, she pulls out a huge pair of scissors and kills you immediately, chopping off your head. If you say “Yes”, she takes her scissors and slices your mouth from ear to ear, making you look just like her. If you try to run away, she will hunt you down and kill you, by slicing you in two.
The only way to escape from Kuchisake Onna is to give a non-committal answer. If you say “You look average” or you look normal, she will be confused, giving you just enough time to run away.
There are many rumors about how Kuchisake Onna got her horribly disfigured mouth. Some say that her slit mouth is the result of plastic surgery that went horribly wrong. Others say that she was injured in a terrible car crash. Some even believe she is an escaped mental patient who was so demented that she cut her own mouth apart.
According to one legend, years ago, in Japan, there lived a very beautiful woman who was extremely vain and self-absorbed. Her husband was a very jealous and brutal man and he became convinced that she was cheating on him. In a fit of rage, he took a sword and slit her mouth from ear to ear, screaming “Who will think you’re beautiful now?” She became a vengeful spirit, and began wandering the streets of Japan, wearing a surgical mask to hide her terrible scars.
The Slit Mouth Woman’s reign of terror began in the spring and summer of 1979, when rumors began to spread throughout Japan about sightings of the Kuchisake-onna hunting down children. The story spread like wildfire and actually created scares in many towns. Police increased their patrols and schools sent teachers to walk students home in groups.
In 2004, South Korea was plagued by reports of a red-masked woman who was chasing children.
In 2007, a coroner found some old records from the late 1970s about a woman who was chasing little children, but was hit by a car, and died shortly after. Her mouth was ripped from ear to ear.
The USA has its own version of Kuchisake Onna. There were rumors about a clown who appeared in public bathrooms and accosted children, asking “Do you want death or happy smile?” if they chose “happy smile”, he took out a knife and slit their mouths from ear to ear.