This is the first case in the Ghost Hunt series.
An abandoned school house has been set to be demolished. However, there’s a rumor that the place is cursed, preventing workers from taking it down. Parts of the building have collapsed and killed people, fires and accidents frequently happen, and demolition workers have gotten injured or sick while working in the building. To find out the cause, the principal of the school hires several experts in the paranormal industry, including the SPR, to investigate.
Mai Meets Kazuya Edit
On a Thursday night, Mai and her friends Michiru and Keiko were telling ghost stories in a dark classroom at their school. When the lights came on, they saw that the voice came from a handsome young man who called himself Kazuya. Mai’s friends were immediately enamored with the good-looking individual. But Mai had her doubts and found him suspicious. Her friends invite Kazuya to tell ghost stories with them tomorrow after school, much to Mai’s displeasure.
The next day, Mai was walking to school when she passes by the cursed building. Curious, she looked in the window and saw a high-tech camera set up inside. Mai entered the building, wondering to herself out loud why such a thing would be in abandoned place. Suddenly, a voice shouted who was there and startled her. She bumped into a book case, which tripped and fell towards her. A figure dashed up and shoved her out of the way. The next thing she knew: the camera was broken with a man crushed underneath the book case. Kazuya then turns up to help his colleague, Lin, and asks for the closest doctor. Mai tries offering her hand to help, only to have it slapped away by the injured man. Kazuya asks for Mai’s name and informs her that she’s going to be late for class. Frazzled, Mai runs off to school hoping to never return to the abandoned place.
When class ends, Mai’s friends are surprised to see her uninterested in meeting up with Kazuya. Their conversation is overheard by their fellow classmate: Kuroda. As a self-proclaimed psychic, she berates them for telling ghost stories because it makes spirits gather and causes her headaches. She is then interrupted by Kazuya, who asks if she senses anything in the abandoned building near the school. Kuroda claims that the place is haunted by spirits who died in a war and that the building used to be a hospital. This discussion bums out Mai’s friends and they back out of telling ghost stories with Kazuya. Before leaving, Kazuya asks for Mai to come with him.
While the two of them walk down the hall, Mai asks about the condition of Kazuya’s friend. He states that he has a sprained ankle and that he won’t be able to walk normally until he recovers. With broken equipment and a bedridden assistant, he demands for Mai to become his temporary assistant to work off her debt. When asked about his occupation, he informs her that he is a ghost hunter and runs a company called Shibuya Psychic Research. He had been hired by Mai’s school principal to investigate the abandoned building.
The History of the Abandoned Building Edit
That evening, Kazuya takes Mai to his van and starts to unload a plethora of equipment. As they transport the view screens, cables, and boxes inside the building Kazuya explains what he has found out so far.
While the building was in regular use, one or two people died inside it every year. It was abandoned 18 years ago. Five people were injured while tearing it down, but it wasn’t by spirits. 6 years ago, the corpse of a seven-year-old girl was found in the building. A teacher also committed suicide in the school building, but his suicide note was found and it was concluded that it was self-inflicted. A demolition truck swerved onto the high school volleyball court and caused severe injuries on nine students. Two of them died after the incident. The truck driver was intoxicated, but others believed that the building’s curse was the cause.
As the two of them set up a base to observe the building, Mai beings to see the real side of Kazuya. She starts getting frustrated by his self-importance and degrading attitude towards her. This causes her to give Kazuya a new nickname: Naru the Narcissist.
By the time set up is finished, it’s late at night. Mai meets up with her friends and tells them about Naru’s ghost hunting occupation. Their conversation gets overheard by Kuroda again. She asks Mai to introduce her to her temporary boss, saying that her psychic abilities could be of help to the investigation. Mai states that since Naru is a professional, maybe she shouldn’t get involved. Kuroda gets snippy with Mai and tries to defend her skills, saying that she’s no amateur. Put off by Kuroda’s attitude, Mai gets dragged off by her friends. Keiko explains that Kuroda has always bugged others about her abilities since middle school and that her distasteful manner is nothing new.
Meeting the Other Experts Edit
That Saturday morning, Mai and Naru find themselves face to face with two other spiritualists hired by the principal: the shrine maiden Ayako and a monk from Mt. Koya called Takegawa Houshou. Both of them are skeptical of Naru’s credibility and are confident in their own abilities to solve the case. Suddenly, Kuroda walks on the scene. She gushes about her own abilities and how tormented she is by the spirits in the building. However, Ayako doesn’t buy it and claims that Kuroda is just trying to get attention. Mai jumps in to defend her, calling her comments rude and uncalled for. Kuroda threatens to summon a spirit to haunt Ayako and then leaves the premises. Moving on from the unsettling conversation, Mai turns to Naru and asks what they’ll be doing today. However, Mai accidentally addresses him as “Naru” instead of Kazuya. This surprises the young ghost hunter and he demands to know where Mai has heard that nickname. Mai is shocked that he’s been called that before. She just writes it off as somebody coming up with the same nickname because of Naru’s huge ego. The principal walks in an introduces everyone to another spiritualist he hired: an Australian Priest named John Brown who specializes in exorcisms.
The group walks into the building, only to separate to do their own investigations. Suddenly, a cry from Ayako rings through the halls. They find her locked inside a classroom screaming for help. Takegawa kicks down the wooden sliding door to free her. Ayako explains that she was looking around the classroom when the door slammed shut and refused to open. She claims that this was caused by an earth-bound spirit. A calm female voice corrects her, saying that there are no spirits in the building. The group is introduced to another hired spiritualist called Masako Hara. A spirit medium who makes television appearances and is known for her ability to sense the presence of spirits. Once again, Kuroda appears and claims that a spirit tried to strangle her in the hall a few minutes ago. Masako refutes this and says there aren’t any. When Naru reviewed the surveillance footage, the time frame of the incident turns fuzzy. He theorizes that it may have been an EM interference or a spirit since electrical equipment is known malfunction when they are active.
Kuroda stands by her belief that spirits are involved and that Masako is wrong. Naru explains that it’s common for female mediums to fluctuate between being accurate and being completely wrong. He explains that if it is a spirit then it must be in tuned with Kuroda’s psychic powers.
Ayako performs a Shinto exorcism while everybody observes. Afterwards, a shower of broken glass from the windows pelts the shrine maiden and the principal. The latter sustained cuts from the shrapnel, so he’s carried off in an ambulance. While discussing Ayako’s failed exorcism, Mai notices a chair out of place in a classroom. When reviewing the footage, it turns out the chair moved on its own after the glass shattered. Kuroda claims that it was caused by a poltergeist and so far, several signs have been seen to support that theory. Masako still thinks there aren’t any, but goes around the school again in another attempt. The sound of Masako’s scream is then heard. Checking the cameras, they see that she fell a couple of stories from the building. While being carried into the ambulance, she blames her carelessness and repeats that there are no spirits. Everyone starts believing that the place is being haunted, except for Naru. The lack of readings from his equipment prevents him from confirm the presence of spirits.
This time, John takes a shot at exorcism and performs it in the room where Masako fell. As everyone else watches at the base, they start to hear creaking. Mai notices that the ceiling is bending and rushes to warn John. Luckily, she makes it in time and John avoids injury. Naru deems the place unsafe and advises everyone to call it a night. As everyone leaves to turn in, Naru decides to stay back and investigate some more.
The next day, Naru explains his findings. He discovered the school was built on reclaimed swamp land above an empty aquifer. The weakened soil with the hollow space beneath had been causing a sinking effect on the area. While Naru puts away his equipment, Kuroda exclaims that she still believes the building’s spirits attacked her. Suddenly, more glass shatters and this time with knocking sounds and sliding doors moving on their own. Everybody rushes to evacuate. Due to the recent events, Naru’s subsidence theory had been disproven with Ayako and Monk criticizing his credibility again. Naru demands for Mai to leave him alone as he is disgusted with his mistake.
Monk proceeds with his own exorcism as Mai angrily packs up Naru’s equipment. This fails too, and everyone hears mysterious footsteps. The Monk and Ayako write off as the wind, which makes Mai snap. She defends Naru saying that he never made excuses and that the other two exorcists were acting more like children despite being older. Suddenly, the sound of knocking, breaking lights, and a hoard of footsteps occur. As everyone rushes out, a sliding door collapses onto Mai and knocks her out.
The Experiment Edit
Mai sees a world of floating lights with a gentle Naru by her side. He tells her to get some rest as she observes how handsome he is while smiling. Mai wakes up to the sound of Monk’s voice and sees that Monk, Ayako, and John watching over her. They inform her that she had been out for hours and that Kuroda went home. Monk admits that everyone may have been harsh on Naru, only to have Mai refute this and say that his narcissism would spare him from hurt feelings. The group shares a laugh as they grow a little closer.
As Mai walks into class, her friends ask for details about the investigation and say that Kuroda has been telling everyone about it. They say that Naru called them last night to get information about Kuroda, much to Mai’s surprise since she hasn’t seen him since yesterday afternoon. A teacher informs Mai and Kuroda to report to the principal’s office. There they see Naru and everyone who has been involved with the investigation, including Masako.
Naru draws the curtains and turns on a gentle pulsing light. Everyone syncs their breathing to the rhythm of the light and Mai enters a trance. She hears Naru’s voice in the back of her head saying: “Tonight the chair in the second floor of the old school house will move… tomorrow you will all meet in the laboratory”. Naru turns the lights back on, saying that’s all he needed. As Naru exits the school, Mai asks if he returned to the building last night. She thought that her encounter with a caring Naru was possibly real, only to be told that he didn’t show up yesterday. Mai relaxes and realizes it was only a dream. However, she can’t get the thought of Naru smiling at her out of her head. She becomes mortified and realizes that she’s starting to develop a crush on Naru.
After school, Mai reports to Naru again. She informs Naru that when the bookcase fell on her she braced herself by putting her arms out. When she did, she noticed that the bookcase was warm. Mai remembered Naru saying that when poltergeists move objects they show higher temperatures than normal.
The scene changes to John and Mai helping out Naru. They set up a chair with a chalk circle drawn around it inside a classroom. After setting up a camera and microphone inside, they board up all the windows and doors with plywood. They seal the classroom off with more plywood and sign their names on it with marker. A piece of paper is taped onto the wood where they sign their names again. Naru tells them they’re free to go and will see the reason behind all this tomorrow morning.
The next day everyone gathers, including Naru’s injured assistant. They find the plywood untampered with and John and Mai attest to this. Naru uses a crowbar to take the plywood off the door. Shocked, everyone sees the chair has moved outside of the chalk circle. With this, Naru concludes that he figured the case out. He explains that everything was because of both ground subsidence and a poltergeist. Looking at last night’s footage, they see that the chair was moved, turned, and tipped over.
Naru states that about half of poltergeist phenomenon is caused by humans. He explains that yesterday’s pulsing light was him putting a hypnotic suggestion on everyone, to see if the poltergeist activity was caused by one of them. Poltergeist movement has been said to be a sign of latent mental powers by people who unconsciously crave attention. When the subject becomes stressed, they can cause poltergeists without knowing it using psychokinesis. Naru also reveals that psychokinesis, or the ability to influence objects without physical touch, is common with females in their early teens. With the following statements, Naru concludes that Kuroda is responsible.
He explains that when he started disproving Kuroda’s statements with scientific evidence, it caused her great anxiety. This led to her unconsciously use her psychokinesis to cause poltergeist activity so that everyone would believe her and pay attention to her.
Ayako demands and explanation for how she got locked inside the classroom and the erased video since Naru said that Kuroda’s poltergeists started after that. He reveals that Kuroda voluntarily did that using a nail to jam the door and manually erasing the video when nobody was at base.
Everyone agrees to tell the principal that the spirits war victims were the cause and that they were exorcised. That way, unnecessary embarrassment wouldn’t be put on Kuroda since she subconsciously did it for attention. Also, everyone would be credit equally for solving the case.
After the case’s conclusion, Mai still can’t get the events out of her head. While reminiscing, she witnesses the collapse of the school house building. A few days later, Mai gets a call from Naru at school. He asks for Mai’s address so he can send a check for the hours she worked for him. He asks if her school would allow students to work part time and offers her a position at his company. Mai eagerly accepts and starts her assistant job Shibuya Psychic Research.
Anime vs. Manga Edit
- While this case is split into three episodes in the anime, it is not split into separate chapters in the manga. All of volume 1 covers this case.
- In the anime Mai is telling ghost stories with two of her friends. In the manga, there are three other classmates.
- In the manga, everyone first sees Masako on the surveillance camera while in the anime she appears in the doorway.
- When the building collapses for the final time, Mai stays in her classroom. In the manga, she rushes out towards the building to see everyone else watching
- In the original story, Ayako and Monk laugh when they first meet John because he speaks in a Kyoto accent. In the English dub, they laugh because he looks too young to be an exorcist.