Dark Art

Noppera bō

The Faceless Ghost – Japan

The Noppera-bō – Faceless Ghost

The Noppera-bō of Japan, while also known as the “faceless ghost”, is in fact one of Japan’s many Yokai. These strange shapeshifters have a pretty simple goal: to scare unwary humans at night, especially the lazy or idle. 

They will appear as a normal human in some scenario to trick their chosen victim, even mimicking loved ones to get extra close. Once they have the full attention of the human they’ve picked out, they will either stroke away their face to become smooth featureless flesh or else turn from hiding to reveal they never had a face at all. These Yokai are even known to work in groups to really get to someone, with additional shape-shifters lurking in wait in the direction the panicking person is chased to. Thinking they have found another person to help them, once they are relieved to find safety the next Noppera-bō pulls the “no face” trick to get them again. 

What is extra interesting about the Noppera-bō, or worrying, is that sightings of them have endured into the modern day. Some even popping up in Hawaii, which has historic links to Japan. 

Written by lukegreensmithscarybits

Art by Wanda Fraser, THOU in partnership with The Ghost Story Guys Podcast

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