“We are the fates that people fear to become. We are what happens to good persons and bad persons and to everyone in between. Murdereddeads live in storms without seasons, in time without flux. We do not go because people do not let us go.”
The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco is the story of two ghosts, a boy with tattoos, and a Japanese folk tale of horror. The girl in the well is said to have lived a long time ago, in the days of the samurai. She was a dutiful servant but was in love with another/She was in love with her master, and depending on what version you read her master took one of the ten tablets in her care in order to make her surrender to him/she pretended to lose one in order to test his love for her, he then beat her until she agreed to sleep with him/ as punishment for her lie, and then unsatisfied the master throws her down the well and she breaks her neck: forever gazing at the world upside down and with a twisted neck. She is the ghost that rises from the well, she is the ghost that screams bloody murder, and she is the ghost that kills those who do wrong. The reader is introduced to the ghost at first and we learn that she know finds retribution for children who have been murdered, by murdering the culprits and in turn releasing the spirits of innocent children attached to their murderers; we follow her through the story until she meets the tattooed boy, also known as Tarquin, who appears to have a malignant spirit that follows him around. Soon Tark begins to notice her, his cousin begins to notice her, and she is no longer a vengeful ghost, she becomes the woman in white, while the entity that is poisoning Tark is known as the woman in black.
This was such a creepy, horrific story. If you have seen Ringu, or The Ring, then you are familiar with the girl in the well. Using Japanese folklore really amps up the horror in this story, since to me, Japan happens to do a wonderful job freaking the daylights out of people. The woman in white is not a bad spirit to innocent people, but she is scary in her own right, and the woman in black is just awful. There are gruesome scenes, gruesome crimes committed, and ancient rituals to explore in this fast paced novel about tragedy, malice, and redemption. If you like horror, but not supernatural whimsy (which I thought was the “horror” description for this book), and you wouldn’t mind some culture in your life I suggest picking up this book.
4 out of 5 stars. Thanks Edelweiss.