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Hot and humid Japanese summers call for kaidan, scary stories that send shivers down the spine. In the days before we had air conditioning, kids would gather around after dinner to tell and listen to those terrifying tales in an effort to chill out with genuine chills.

At our house, my mother turned the AC off at night and my siblings and I would sneak off to the convenience store for free air conditioning as we were too lazy to tell kaidan. If only “Life” had been around back then — it’s so chilling that us kids would’ve needed extra blankets.

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