Hyakki Yagyo - Night Parade of 100 Demons

One of the spookiest things in Japanese folklore is the hyakki yagyo, or night parade of one hundred demons. On inauspicious nights, all the yokai, ghosts and other supernatural creatures parade through the streets of Japan, singing and dancing wildly.

'Hyakki  Yagyo' - Itaya Keii Hironaga.
For anyone foolish enough to be outside, or even to peek out of their window, an encounter with the pandemonium of the dreaded night parade will result in death, or bring spirited away by monsters. In order to protect yourself from danger you can either chant a magic spell or obtain handwritten exorcism scrolls from onmyoji spell-casters. Best of all is to stay inside! 

'Hyakki Yagyo' - Kawanabe Kyosai.
The night parade was a popular subject in art, especially during the Edo period.

'Hyakki Yagyo' - Kawanabe Kyosai.

'Hyakki Yagyo' - Yuko Shimizu.
'Hyakki Yagyo' - Kawanabe Kyosai.
Night Parade of the 100 Demons - Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1865.

'Hyakki Yagyo' - Olivia Lai Shetler
Studio  Ghibli film 'Pom Poko'.