Hell-o there, Boos, Ghouls and in-between! Your friendly neighborhood Brazilian Vic here, reporting to The Yurei with a new fresh take on folklore!
Have you ever seen the rain fall and wondered if there is a larger, supernatural power behind it? I live in an old town deeply connected to its folklore and culture. Because of this, I often find myself thinking about all kinds of occult possibilities, especially when torrential rain hits out of nowhere. Gods, spirits, demons and other mythical creatures have been used as an explanation for many natural phenomena for thousands of years, but one of them immediately caught my attention when I heard about it a few years ago.
Enter Ame Onna, the Rain Woman, a dangerous yokai known for bringing a dark cloud of rain wherever she goes. These creatures are said to be ancient rain goddesses who have fallen from divinity and are doomed to spend the rest of eternity preying upon mankind.
Little is known about them; we don’t know their purpose, their diet, where they actually come from or what led them to be corrupted. What we do know is that wherever they go, children tend to vanish. Perhaps they’re taken to another world or turned into sustenance for the Ame Onna, there’s no real way to tell with such a malevolent spirit.
Another sinister power possessed by this wretched demon: the ability to spread like a virus. Whenever the shadow of the Rain Woman looms over a household where a child is taken, the mother, taken by extreme grief, becomes an Ame Onna herself. This creates an endless cycle of darkness and pain no one familiar with the creature is quite sure how to break.
“But how can I recognize an Ame Onna when I see one, Victor?” you ask, looking at me with childlike wonder as I sit in my big, luxurious chair in front of the fireplace, blowing bubbles with my pipe. Once a sudden rain starts pouring in your town, you have to be alert when walking around, especially at night. Ame Onna look like decrepit, haggish women, soaked to the bone with rainwater, which they constantly lick from their limbs, leading some to believe that this is their primary source of sustenance. They are frequently seen roaming the dark, empty streets of towns during rainy nights or in dark alleys under the same conditions.
The Rain Woman has had many appearances over the years. The most iconic, in my opinion, being season one, episode eight of Yami Shibai. The story deals with the Umbrella Goddess, a creepy mountain deity that haunts my dreams to this very day with her bent neck and the ominous death rattle she produces.
In conclusion, the Ame Onna scares the ever-living shit out of me and should probably do the same to you. Fear is what kept humanity alive all these years, after all. So, if you ever find yourself walking your city’s streets at night and a dark, foreboding rain cloud suddenly makes an appearance… you should run.