Trust the Japanese to come up with a specter this bizarre! Nurikabe is a ghost of a different sort. It isn’t the ghost of a person, nor even an animal. It is the ghost of a wall, a huge white wall with arms and legs which accosts travelers at night and gets in their way.

The only way to escape the wall is to tap it on the lower left side with a stick, and if you have no stick then you are out of luck as any attempts to run from it will be foiled by the wall’s ability to extend forever in any direction it wishes. It can also teleport itself if you simply turn around and run, and if you are really unlucky the wall will be so enraged by your attempts at escape that it will crash down on you and kill you! As you can see from Kanou Tourin’s 1802 painting above, the Nurikabe’s appearance is sometimes not very wall-like at all. In fact, in some versions the Nurikabe is actually invisible, but the whole idea seems much cooler if its’ a visible spirit.

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