The Teke Teke (or Tek Tek) is a Japanese urban legend about a girl who fell on a railway line and was cut in two.
She is an onryō, or a vengeful spirit, who lurks in urban areas and around train stations at night.
She has no lower half and carries a scythe and travels on her hands while searching for victims to cut in two, mimicking her accident.
The Teke Teke is universally portrayed as a girl or a young woman, usually with long, black hair.
She is often portrayed as having claws instead of fingernails or fingers, as these help her drag her torn body around.
The legend is called "Teke Teke" because of the sound she makes while "walking" and carrying the scythe.
Like most urban legends, there are so many versions of the Teke Teke story that it is impossible to know what the original story was or where it began from.
Every locality has its own version with different details.
In some stories, the Teke Teke was the victim of a tragic accident; in others, it was suicide.
In some stories, certain magic charms can protect you from its wrath; in others, nothing can protect you and you will certainly die.
In some versions, the Teke Teke's victims become Teke Teke themselves.
There are many things in common between these variations, and the most common ones point towards a woman from Hokkaidō named Kashima Reiko.
In the years after World War II, an office worker in Muroran, Hokkaidō was assaulted by military personnel.
She was left injured on the rail tracks and was hit by a train which cut off her body in half.
The severe cold of the Hokkaidō night caused her blood vessels to contract and prevented her from bleeding out quickly.
Instead, she squirmed and wriggled around for help for several minutes.
She was seen by an attendant.
Instead of trying to help her, the station attendant just covered her with a plastic bag. She died a slow, agonising death.
According to legend, three days after hearing this story, you will see the ghost of a woman with no lower half.
The ghost will try to catch you, and escape is impossible even in a car; the ghost can crawl at a speed of up to 150 km per hour. Some say that the ghost is searching for her missing legs.
Others say that she is simply out to slaughter as many people as she can.
Another version of the story suggests that the legend was designed to deter people from bullying, abusing or assaulting others.
In many variations of the legend, the Teke Teke was mistreated by others in life and this ill-treatment directly caused her death.
The only reason why she rose from the grave was to get revenge on others, albeit rather indiscriminately.
So the moral of the story is, be kind to others or they may just split you in half. Now that is a message that speaks to all of us.