School Ghost Stories

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School Ghost Stories
Japanese film poster
Japanese 学校の怪談
Hepburn Gakkō no Kaidan
Directed by Hideyuki Hirayama
Screenplay by Satoko Okudera[1]
Story by Toru Tsunemitsu[1]
  • Kasumi Toyama
  • Shiori Yonezawa
  • Hajime Atsuta
  • Junichiro Tsukada
  • Shohei Machida
Cinematography Kozo Shibazaki[1]
Edited by Akimasa Kawashima[1]
  • Toho
  • Sun Dance Company[1]
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • July 8, 1995 (1995-07-08) (Japan)
Running time
100 minutes
Country Japan
Box office $14.5 million

School Ghost Stories (学校の怪談, Gakkō no Kaidan) is a 1995 Japanese film directed by Hideyuki Hirayama.[1] The film is the first of the School Ghost Stories features, and was followed by School Ghost Stories 2 in 1996.


In an elementary school, a girl name Mika disappears mysteriously after following the sound of laughter into the bathroom. The rumors of the school being haunted, strange things happening around 4:44 AM and the disappearance of children soon come to emerge, but Mika's older sister and her friends decide to go after Mika despite this. They soon find out all the rumors are true, and now they not only have to find the girl, but also save themselves from the malevolent ghosts that haunt the school building.


In the mid-1980s, a schoolteacher named Toru Tsunemitsu began to share ghost stories with his young students.[2] Tsunemitsu originally began his focus on ghost stories around town, but found an unusually large amount of them centered on school.[2] He began to narrow his focus to school-based ghost stories, and asked his students for them, which led him to receiving over 160 stories in two weeks.[2]

In 1990, the first volume of these stories by Tsunemitsu was released under the title Gakkō no Kaidan.[2] The stories were aimed at children and published by Kodansha and became very popular in Japan.[2] The stories were later adapted into television where they were bought by Kansai Television who televised a six episode miniseries in 1994.[2] In 1995, a film adaptation was made.[2]


School Ghost Stories was released in Japan on July 8, 1995 where it was distributed by Toho.[1] The film is the first of the School Ghost Stories features, and was followed by School Ghost Stories 2 in 1996.[1] School Ghost Stories grossed at total of $14.5 million in Japan.[3]


David Kalat, author of J-Horror: The Definitive Guide to The Ring, The Grudge and Beyond (2007), described the series as being "packed with two scoops of wild, surrealistic visions, but no real sense of menace. A threadbare and uninteresting plot holds together 100-some minutes' worth of weird but mostly non-threatening spooks."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Galbraith IV 2008, p. 390.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kalat 2007, p. 55.
  3. ^ a b Kalat 2007, p. 56.


External links[edit]