Gozu (“Cow Head”)

Cow head, also known as ox head, is a story so terrifying that some people who read or hear about it can not overcome their fear and they tremble for days until they die.

A teacher told a fragment of the story to his class on a bus ride while they were on a school trip. The kids and unfortunately, the bus driver, were paralyzed by fear. The bus crashed while the teacher was reading and survivors had no memory of what happened. I’ve heard that no one is able to read or retell the story because they die after reading it.

There are only bits and pieces left of the story, as no one will write it down or retell the tale. I know it’s got something to do with a town that got cursed after they ate a cow’s head.

There is a Cow head story that was rumored to be an unpublished piece from Sci-fi writer Sakyo Komasu, but I haven’t found evidence to the link the author to the legend. A Ukrainian folktale called Cow Head exists about a women who receives good fortune by offering food and shelter to a disembodied cow’s head that visits her in the night. A Gion Matsuri folktale called Somin Shorai exists about a poor but charitable person was looking for a place to stay the night on his journey and a 2003 film called Gozu directed by Takashi Miike neither of which are linked to the legend.

reader submitted
Merrisa Lukenman from New Jersey