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The Battleship Ghost Island: Hashima

The Hashima Island or Gunkanjima literally means Battleship Island. It has a unique shape that reminds us of a warship back in the days of the World War. If you’re familiar with the James Bond film “Skyfall,” this island was shown as the villain’s secret headquarters.

Hashima or Gunkanjima was once the most densely populated place in the world. Now, the island is a surreal ghost town where you will see abandoned and dilapidated structures, which were left as is. The inhabitants of this island are now feral cats, rats, and ghosts.

Serene blue waters in Nagasaki surround the island town. Looking from afar, the island radiates a haunting image of the past, where many people died during the coal-mining era until the World War II. According to the Island’s dark history, beginning in the 1930s and until the World War II, people from Korea and China were forced to work on the Island. It was said that many forced laborers died there every year due to the harsh conditions and brutal treatment at the coal mining facility. There were even reports that the nearby Nakanoshima Island was made into a crematorium for the people who died in Hashima.

The Paranormal Activities on the Island

In the past, the island was closed to the public with only special permission grants to go there. However, in the recent years, it gained interest from people from other countries due to its unique and powerful appearance of the past. It became a landscape inspiration for the film “Inception” and was the villain’s lair in the Bond film “Skyfall.”

Since 2009, the island has been open once again for tourists. You can now go to the island via boat trips from the nearby island Takashima.  Additionally, tourists can now visit some places in the ghost town. However, not all places are available to explore due to the dangers of the decrepit old structures.

According to the visitors, the island emits an eerily feeling of someone looking at you. It also has that cold feeling of someone tapping your back. There’s also an unexplainable sensation of someone behind you but there’s no one in your back except the cold gushes of air. Even locals are afraid due to the phantoms often seen on the shore, peaking from old and pitch-black windows of the Hashima buildings. There were also reports that some shadow entities wander the streets of Gunkanjima.

In addition, tourists who came to the island reported hearing screams and howls in the long-abandoned underground passages of the coal mines. This could be the most haunted areas of the Hashima Island because back in the past, many souls were swallowed here. These souls are from the people who died due to hunger, coal-related diseases and harsh conditions of coal mining.

Moreover, visitors claimed that the winding stairs, which was used as a path to neighboring apartments within the coal mining facility, was a stairway to hell. Tourists described feelings of pain while climbing the stairs and they couldn’t explain why and how the pain happened. Furthermore, boats passing the island described seeing lights coming from within the island rubble. The lights were flickering out but when inspected the sources were never located.

The above paranormal activities are very common on the Ghost Island. Personal experiences from visitors and locals describe unnervingly feelings of cold spots and an unexplained sensation of being pulled, pushed, scratched and even burned as soon as they set foot on Hashima Island.

If you want to experience personally this enigmatic and ghost island in Japan. You can schedule your boat trips with any of these five operators; Yamasa-Kaiun, Gunkanjima Cruise Co., Ltd., private service from Nomozaki Peninsula, Takashima Kaijou from Nagasaki Port and Gunkanjima Concierge. Just remember to have your courage ready once you enter the Island. Be careful on the falling debris too.

The Hashima Island is indeed a ghost island with no signs of living humans but with eerily non-living remnants of Japan’s past. Hashima is designated as one of the UNESCO’s world heritage site today. Despite the hauntings in the Island, one can’t deny that Hashima is an important part of the History.

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