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Nightmare Fuel / Higurashi: When They Cry

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That's quite some itch there. Quite surprising how that is all a delusion from a Hate Plague.
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Ahh Higurashi...how you rival Evangelion in terms of insanity, mind rapes, and wet-the-bed scariness...


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    Series-wide 
  • The alternate character reading for 'Watanagashi' can be horrifying on its own, but when combined with the ACR for 'Matsuri', it becomes kind of uncomfortable. 'Watanagashi' can be read as either 'cotton-drifting' or 'intestine drifting'. Pretty bad on its own, right? Well, 'matsuri' can be read as either 'festival' or 'feast'. So, the Watanagashi-Matsuri can be referred to as either the 'Cotton Drifting Festival' or 'Intestine Drifting Feast.'
    • The word 'nagasu', apart from meaning 'to set adrift' also means 'to spill' or 'to shed' (e.g. blood). This is not conveyed in most translations.
  • "She kept talking about a ghost-like being, 'Oyashiro-sama.' Night after night, it came to her. It would stand by her bedside and look down at her."
    • Even WHILE knowing that's Hanyuu, in the manga when Keiichi is going insane himself, there's a couple of scenes where he is thinking about how he feels someone is watching him, and behind him in the darkness are a pair of faint glowing eyes. And then the darkness breathes.
    • Hanyuu has a strange tendency to follow people who are going insane. Lunatics claiming to hear 'I'm sorry' over and over again when there's no one there- that was her apologizing for not being able to stop it. Imagine being in Hanyuu's position, completely helpless to do anything but watch people go insane, and pleading for forgiveness only makes it worse....
    • Hanyuu when she becomes angry. Those blank eyes along with the blood red pupils and the voice are really creepy, even if she's still ultimately benevolent even when in that state.
  • Satoko's uncle, Teppei Houjou. He, along with Rina, enjoy squeezing out money from people, including Rena's father. Not only that, but he abuses the living hell out of Satoko and does the very dirty work for him.
  • The lyrics for the PS2 port of the original novel contain what could be part of the creepiest nursery rhyme in human history:
    • "Be good little children and go to sleep, OR ELSE THE HANDS WILL DRAG YOU DOWN."
  • The anime's opening song has a line that translates roughly as "I'll cut off your fingers and leave them in the forest."
  • Shion's and Mion's grandmother. Most depictions of her throughout the series prior to Kai show her horribly grotesque and screaming in rage.
  • More generally, people on this show have an unnerving tendency to die by clawing their own throats out with their fingernails. *shudder*
  • Any of the mad laughter in general. Although it can sometimes cross over into Narm.
  • Think about what everyone must have thought when they learned their "nightmares" happened in other worlds. Especially Shion.
  • The Hinamizawa village, location-wise, was based off a real village called "Shirakawa-go". The anime is already nightmarish, now imagine living there and then watching it. Paranoia Fuel at it's strongest.
  • When you get down to it, the parasite that causes Hinamizawa Syndrome. Seeing the main characters commit horrible acts of violence against each other is scary enough, but you need to remember: at their core, the main characters are all good people and genuinely like each other. The fact that Hinamizawa Syndrome drives them to that point is pretty scary, especially if you know someone suffering from a similar mental illness.
  • The PC visual novels have no voice acting, instead using colour-coded lines to indicate who is talking. Nightmare fuel comes in when they add a deep crimson red to indicate someone (in most cases, the narrator at the moment) has gone off the deep end.
  • The anime opening theme. The music itself is quite lovely and very catchy. But... the lyrics are truly scarring. Prime example being "The raindrops turn into droplets of blood and travel down my cheeks, If there’s no place for me to return to anywhere anymore". Yes, this is the opening of an anime that is basically made of Pure Nightmare Fuel. Go on, click it.
    • And let's not forget "Naraku No Hana," which is just as pretty to listen to, provided you don't look up the translation.
    • Higurashi anime OST in general has really scary music in it. Tatari, Giwaku, Senkou... the list goes on.
    • Notable gems from the visual novel OST: Demonic Institute, Cave, and Days of Children, with the latter filling the Ominous Musicbox position.
    • The main theme from the anime OST makes you just tense and shiver all on its own. So naturally they play it in every already scary and disturbing scene. Don't click if it's dark.

    Arc 1 — Onikakushi-hen 
  • Rena's curt "Shiranai." note  when asked about a dismembered body in the rubbish heap in Onikakushi-hen.
  • The sudden changes in the eyes of any of the characters (Rena and Mion in particular) in the first arc is absolutely horrifying to watch late at night. The relevant Rena sprite in the Manga Gamer version of the visual novel is arguably one of the creepier versions, what with that unsettling little smile.
  • YOU LIAR!! Now with ten times more facial contortion.
  • In the Visual Novel, Keiichi smashing the bat against the ground during his practice swings. The sound effects and the way the camera shakes made it scarier.
  • There's a point where Keiichi is on the phone in his room, speaking to the police. He's been keeping this correspondence a secret from his friends, because he knows they're hiding something from him and have been getting increasingly creepy. After he hangs up the phone, his father comes in to ask what he and Rena were talking about. When Keiichi says that he wasn't on the phone with Rena, his father responds with something like, "Not on the phone, she showed up an hour ago and went right up to your room. I passed her on the stairs just a moment ago." This is when Keiichi figures out that Rena was standing outside his room, listening in on a phone conversation he explicitly told her he was not having.
    • In the anime this point is even more horrific if you re-watch the scene where Keiichi is on the phone. The camera takes various points of view, first from the ceiling, then from behind the telephone. This is done to add a circling atmosphere of paranoia and disorientation. Then it shows from the ceiling, a crack in the door, the floor, etc. When you find out that Rena was spying on the conversation, you realize the crack was her vantage point.
    • The original game and manga version of the door scene has Rena explaining how she knows what Keiichi is eating for dinner: she was stalking him at the supermarket where he bought his dinner. Of course, though, she was just playing a joke on him and it was innocent. It's revealed in Tsumihoroboshi that Rena often goes grocery shopping with Keiichi's mother, which is why she knows what he has for dinner.
  • There's a scene in Onikakushi-hen where Keiichi slams Rena's hands in his front door and screams at her to go away as she pleads with him to stop. The scene feels quite long, but in actuality only lasts about twenty seconds. Keiichi then returns to his room and looks out the window to see Rena standing just outside his house in the rain, looking up at him and mouthing, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."
    • Even worse in the manga is where Rena is still at the door in pain, and keeps chanting "I'm sorry" in a muffled voice, all the while possibly scratching at the door doing so.
  • In Onikakushi-hen, we are made to believe that the two girls in the arc are psychopathic killers, only for the answer arc to come along as show us how wrong we are. Keiichi himself was delusional, and hallucinated many of the things in that arc. The ohagi was Tabasco sauce, for example.
    • Somewhat worse with this outlook once you replay the visual novel, because everything is from his perspective and you see every single thought he has. The part of Keiichi that we are led to believe is his denial and trauma trying to make him think his friends innocent, all those bits where he even asks himself if his friends really are trying to kill him or not...That is actually his sanity desperately trying to fight its way out of the Hinamizawa Syndrome. His love and trust for his friends is aching to resurface as his mind drifts away with him being completely out of it and unable to do anything about it.
  • Onikakushi-hen itself has a chilling premise, once you watch the rest of the series to understand what exactly is going on: Two teenage girls see their friend acting strange, so they try to cheer him up. He avoids them, screams at them, and injures one of them much more then once. They still try to help him, and they try to cheer him up one more time before he goes away with Irie. They get beaten to death as a result.
  • Even the original is bad enough, before you realize what's actually going on. This kid moves to a town. For absolutely no reason, the two best friends he's made start stalking him, and then go threatening him, then to sending goons after him, and finally try to drug him into killing himself. All the while, he's being convinced that he's been slated for death by a god. Oh, and pretty much everyone he's identified as being willing to tell him anything get killed. All the while, you know exactly what's going to happen, since they showed it in the first scene.
    • The fact that your friends can easily get into your house leaves nowhere safe. The reality of Keiichi's paranoia is suffocating, especially when you look at it through his eyes. There's no-one to turn to, no-one you can be sure is on your side. You're alone in a village full of these kinds of people, any one of them could be out to get you. You could die at any time. Put together his behaviour of the first three arcs and Keiichi matches the criteria of a Paranoid Schizophrenic. Remember they portrayed Higurashi as a nice anime on the surface? Think about the people who bought that cover and watched the first arc alone at night.
    • Even worse is the flashback in the Atonement arc. Even if it was only a past iteration of the "Groundhog Day" Loop, just imagine being in his shoes, having a flashback of murdering your best friends over a misunderstanding.
      • Coupled with the parts of that scene that were left out in Onikakushi-hen but brought back for Keiichi's flashback, specifically a beaten and bloody Rena reaching her hands out to Keiichi with a smile on her face and gently telling him to "Believe in me" before he bashes her face in.
  • In the first manga arc, after Keiichi kills Rena and Mion, he runs from his house to a phone booth by the side of the road. Keiichi then calls up Ooishi and tells him that Oyashiro-sama is standing right behind him. Ooishi then begins hearing strange gurgling and coughing noises from the other end of the phone. Turn the page and you get a image of Keiichi tearing at his throat. It looks really friggin' realistic too. What's worse is that Keiichi is crying in this scene, which makes him look like an old creepy ventriloquist dummy.

    Arc 2 — Watanagashi-hen 
  • One scene where a young girl with a speech impediment is kidnapped by a psychopath and picks up a knife. Obviously she's going to go down swinging, right? Wrong. She picks up the knife, starts speaking in perfect adult Japanese, braces the knife's handle against the wall and headbutts it seven times before she dies. This being Higurashi, absolutely no explanation is given for this at all until Arc 5.
  • The scene where Satoko left to get soy sauce from a neighbor and never returned. Why did she never return? Shion kidnaps her and... take a look at the crucifix scene at Arc 5.
  • Keiichi takes a phone call from a distressed Shion, who supposedly went missing a number of days previously. He has only recently found this out, and pleads with her to tell him that he's wrong. All she can do is sob. He then begins to poke holes in her confession that she spoke to another person who went missing around the same time; if she's telling the truth, the only way she could have spoken to them is to have done so after they went missing. There's a moment of silence after he points this out to her, and then she begins to laugh hysterically. Without another word, she hangs up.
    • The PS2 version of the scene is much creepier. The scene plays out the same right up until the moment of silence. Then Shion starts laughing in a more psychotic style than the anime, then out of nowhere, the volume suddenly become ten times louder as the screen goes, black, is then filled up with text that is Shion's laughter, and then we get a shot of Shion in a completely dark room where all that can be seen is her face, which can be only describe as a clown-esque deranged smile, all while the laughter goes on.
    • The PC visual novels weren't a slouch in the nightmare department, either. Sure, there's no voice acting at all, but it doesn't even matter. Before that point, every silent moment was punctuated by cicadas, crickets, or something else. When you scroll through the text with ENTER, piece by piece and then the laugh suddenly fills lines of text with nightmarish speed, the program suddenly wrestles control away from you and shows those scary eyes with a Scare Chord... and then silence. Utter and absolute. The loudest and most disturbing silence.
  • Watanagashi-hen. When Keiichi finds Shion actually Mion, caged by her sister. She's elated to see him, even in her broken state...Then she realizes who is accompanying Keiichi, and starts completely breaking down. She probably thought she was being saved, only to have her hopes completely shattered before her eyes as she realized Keiichi had been swindled into coming there. In that moment she realized that she was going to watch Keiichi be tortured before her eyes after already having endured so much with the deaths of her other friends. Her screams are bloodcurling.
  • The ending of Watanagashi-hen itself has one of the most bed-wetting Nightmare Fuel scenes in history. After the main character evades two different attempts on his life by the same person and is told she was found dead, he's left alone in his hospital room. All of a sudden, someone grasps his wrist. Guess who? Not just her after she's supposed to be dead, though. Her with blood running down her face and over her body. She says that she changed her mind about her promise not to kill him, and even the subtitles get into the game here, fading from white to bright red. Then she readies her nail, and the last thing you see before the screen goes red is her hammer coming down right at you as she laughs hysterically.
    • In the English dub, she asks Keiichi if he really thought she'd give him that third wish (to not kill him), calling him a "silly, silly boy" before ramming the hammer into his face a nail into his finger. Of course, we find out that by this time, Shion is/are dead, and the Shion we see (which points to the Backup Twin point) is actually a delusion, and Keiichi suffers a heart attack and dies.
    • Which makes Hinamizawa Syndrome much worse: you're not only losing your mind and your life, you're having messed up hallucinations. Your last moments of life are full of madness and horror.
    • It was handled fantastically in the manga. He's left alone, and there's a full-page spread of Keiichi just sitting there and Oh, Crap! why is there a hand there? You flip the page, and you find the exact same shot, only that a terrifying face has emerged to accompany the bloody hand, rising from under the bed. The final two pages are, to be blunt, extremely disturbing.
    • Sure, the manga makes it worse in showing Mion's corpse with her broken neck and torn-off fingernails from when she crawled out of the well, guess who was afraid of their bedside for a month after that revelation?, but the sound novel is just as bad. Keiichi actually tries to hold a conversation with Mion as she slowly crawls out from beneath the bed, even though he knew it was a hallucination.
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    Arc 3 — Tatarigoroshi-hen 
  • In the Tatarigoroshi-hen story arc, the audience knows just what Watanagashi is all about. That doesn't make the opening to the first chapter any easier: A man is poking a bag in a canal with a stick, complaining that it stinks. When it bursts, the camera pans slowly across a decaying, maggot-infested corpse whose hands had freakishly long nails driven through every single joint. Later on, you learn that that person's death is often a trigger for Satoko's Evil Uncle to return, and it's implied that that maggot infested corpse is Mamiya Rina because we later learn that he only comes back after Rina gets offed, when the police are tracking him.
  • The two-page spread in the second volume of Tatarigoroshi-hen about Keiichi's maddening rants and thoughts about killing Satoko's uncle, and how to make it a perfect crime. It was hard to read the sentences not just because it was all vertical and close together, but because of how frightening it was to read through a mental breakdown.
  • You know Rena's hatchet? Remember Tatarigoroshi-hen? Keiichi used Rena's hatchet instead of a random axe in the sound novels and manga... To wreck Teppei's house. Just when we thought it was innocent in that arc.
  • As told in one of the TIPS of Tatarigoroshi-hen, there's a recording of an interview found between a reporter and the hospitalized Keiichi. The reporter asks him what happened after he got pushed off the bridge and how he escaped the gas cloud that killed everyone else in Hinamizawa. As the reporter begins poking holes into Keiichi's story, he descends further and further into insanity. Finally, Keiichi rants about how he can wish death upon people and how he caused the disaster by wishing for Hinamizawa to die as he fell of the bridge. After mentioning hearing Oyashiro-sama's footsteps behind him, he wished "death by water" on the reporter, and the tape cuts off as he starts laughing psychotically. The TIPS then notes that Keiichi died a few days later, and the reporter drowned while on a fishing trip several years afterwards.
    • This is handled superbly in the manga where you really see how mad Keiichi has gotten. The "death by water" comment is more a Fridge Horror as it is noted a few pages earlier that the reporter died when his boat capsized. Then after 10-15 pages of creepiness, they top it of in the last 3 pages first with Keiichi suddenly screaming out to the reporter: "Don't let yourself be killed by a curse from the likes of me" with his completly crazed face in the background. Then the creepiest thing of the all is the final page where it is noted that Keiichi died a few days later and there are records of him saying "There's an extra footstep again...", complete with a pair of legs walking across a completely black floor.
  • In the visual novel, one of the Tips is nothing but a recount of child abuse statistics, all while Satoko is shown on the black background, staring blankly with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness. It moves on to list various types of child abuse, ending with "Sexual violence", at which point an ominous sound effect plays... leading to some disturbing implications about what is happening to Satoko.
  • In light of later revelations, the ending brings up a frightening question: What happened to Satoko after Keiichi fell off the bridge? We can assume she returned to Hinamizawa if she was part of the body count caught up in the gas, but she had fallen victim to Hinamizawa Syndrome by then. What did she do until her death? Where did she go?
    • She is most probably caught up in Emergency Manual 34, and killed, she has also had Hinamizawa Syndrome for quite a while, she is the first patient to be brought back from L5, and she is the one resposible for her parents death, due to her L5 delusions.

    Arc 4 — Himatsubushi-hen 
  • The kidnapping of Inugai Toshiki is Adult Fear incarnate. Having been vanished for five days, as it was purposefully orchestrated by the Yamainu to coerce the government to halt the dam project, nothing happens to the boy, but it doesn't make the psychological terror of his family worried sick any less unnerving.
  • The final TIPS of the arc are diary entries of Rika's mother as she reminisces over her daughter's actions, and they're concerning looking through her eyes. Imagine this: You are a mother watching your five-year-old daughter acting strangely indifferent about everything and wondering who in the village was indoctrinating her. Because the elders believe she's a reincarnation of your village god and worship her, she, too, believes herself to be above everyone. She somehow knows how to skillfully cook and do housework unfitting for small children, can predict the weather (as well as some disasters around the globe before they reach the news) but has declared herself "bored with clear weather" numerous times, and although she doesn't smile around you, she laughs at you over the slightest misfortune that happens upon you. You know for a fact something is very wrong with her, but everyone, including your husband, tells you not to worry, leaving you feeling alone and frightened for your child.

    Arc 5 — Meakashi-hen 
  • Shion and the fingernail punishment. And the music during the scene.
  • The Rika suicide scene. First of all, when Shion injects the vaccine into Rika, she starts convulsing for a few moments. Her suicide scene in the manga is even worse than the anime. Full of screaming, even scarier and gorier images, and a girl literally driving a knife into her neck. When she falls to the floor she stares at Shion before dying in a giant pool of her own blood. The look Shion's face throughout sums it up.
    • Speaking of which, that laugh and subsequent ear-piercing scream. Dear god is it hard to fall asleep after that.
      • Try reading the VN version then! In which Rika not only headbutts the knife, but repeatedly slits her throat, she scratches it a bit and then rips it open! All while Shion is watching and saying that is 'a beautiful animalistic act' and starts laughing!
  • Something about the beginning of episode 20, where Shion is tormenting Keichii and manipulating the townsfolk with phonecalls, all while nonchalantly eating a popsicle is disturbingly psychotic.
  • Satoko's death. In the anime she's killed with a stab to the head. In the manga she's stabbed less, but dies of blood-loss, as her killer is having adorable-depressing flashbacks, while thinking of her brother and how she will be stronger when he comes back. Pick which is more horrifying.
  • Shion repeatedly stabbing a crucified Satoko, while the latter can only scream and cry until she decides to Face Death with Dignity.
  • And in that same episode, the moment where Shion calmly orders Mion to jump in that well and die so that Shion can take her place and act like the victim once more.
  • In the Watanagashi/Meakashi arcs, Shion imprisons Mion and takes her place without anyone ever realizing the truth, not even Mion's two best friends. That's high-grade Paranoia Fuel right there.
    • The effect is enhanced since Watanagashi-hen—which is part of the Question Arcs—tells the story from Keiichi's point of view. The reader isn't told what's going on until the Answer Arcs start.
  • The way Mion and Shion suffered for being born as identical twins may be one of the creepiest things in the series from a psychological standpoint. Hinamizawan tradition holds that if twins are born, one of them will be a devil child, so it's a strongly held custom to promptly kill one of the newborns. Mion and Shion avoided this fate, but the superstitions about twins made Shion—the second-born—an outcast in the family. Meanwhile Mion, as the firstborn, had the important position as the next family head. Since neither Shion nor Mion felt this treatment was fair, they used to impersonate each other so both of them could share being "Mion" and take a break from being "Shion". One day however, Shion, while pretending to be "Mion," was taken by the family and given a tattoo to mark her as the future family head. For whatever reason, the twins chose not to tell anyone about what had happened. (Possibly they were too scared of how their family would react.) The sisters decided to keep the incident a secret and permanently swap their names and identities. Let's recap. Both twins forever lost the privilege of having their own names and had to see those names used by someone else. Both twins permanently lost the luxury of expressing their own mannerisms, were forever after forced to portray the habits of someone else, and had to watch someone else act like them. Both twins had to express foreign personality quirks, and could never again indulge their native preferences and behavioral patterns unless they ensured that it didn't blow the act. The former Mion—now Shion—had to deal with going from being the favored twin to being a pariah in the family. The former Shion—now Mion—had to deal with suddenly receiving the responsibility of being the next head and she had to deal with the guilt stemming from the fact that her sister's life was ruined as a result of sharing the privilege of being Mion. Is it any wonder that their relationship is strained for most of the series?
    • As revealed in Eye-Opening, despite having to switch identities and personalities, Mion cried over Keiichi deciding to not give her the doll because it was too girly even though she still felt a little girly on the inside, like she used to be. This is the tipping point that made Shion go insane and bring out the "demon" in her.
  • Shion's path into insanity in Watanagashi and Meakashi. The anime left out a good portion of it, but the manga drives it home. She honestly thinks she's doing something good. It gets a bit depressing when she's having revelations and flashbacks mid-insane moment. For example, Satoko's death scene.
  • Shion's hallucinations of Mion after killing her.
  • Shion's close up head injury after her suicide in the manga. We get an adorable "What could have been" then..Wham.
  • It's something of a toss-up as to which member of the main group commits the most horrific acts, but the extreme contrast between Shion's initial portrayal, and just how far off the deep end she goes, is its own special kind of horrifying. If not for the "Groundhog Day" Loop Reset Button, she wouldn't even be able to see the Moral Event Horizon anymore.

    Arc 6 — Tsumihoroboshi-hen 
  • Rena killing Rina in The Atonement Chapter, manga version. She dies quickly in the anime, no problem. A few smashes and she's dead, no real pain. In the manga, it's a slow and painful death, where we hear her begging for life as she realizes Rena isn't just beating her, but killing her. It makes even her sympathetic.
    • Not only Rena's bipolar face-changes from dull to smiley to serious, but the Eye Scream when she checks to see if Rina's really dead! And her cold calculation: "Rina...has become completely immobile."
    • In the VN, it's also not a quick death, but Rena just stands and waits to see if Rina's going to move after falling over dead in the middle of trying to escape. Then she calmly stuffs the body into a refrigerator before heading home.
    • Even in the anime, the death of her and her pimp are JUST A TAD on the graphic side, to the point where Rina's face is just a mashed up thing with teeth falling out. The shadow that falls over half her face in the censored version did nothing to shield us from the horror. And the uncensored version...
    • In the manga where you see the toothless corpse with broken arms and fingers, complete with eyes bulging out.
    • In a similar vein, the image of the corpse of Satoshi and Satoko's aunt, after he beats her to death with a baseball bat. Seriously not pretty.
  • Rena chopping up Teppei and Rina was more graphic in the manga.
  • And then there are those times when Rena thinks there are maggots under her skin...even though it is a sign that she is infected with the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
    • "I thought that I wanted to harm myself. I even cut myself. Back then, when I slashed my wrists with a razor blade, mixed with my blood, a countless number of maggots came oozing out of me. Moreover, if they didn't overflow out of me, they would once again return inside of my wounds, wriggling their way back in. I scratched at the wounds on my wrist, trying to dig them out of me. It was just... so itchy."
  • In episode 26, it shows Rena talking with the police after taking the entire school hostage. The camera then pans up to reveal a shot of Rena's maggot-infested neck.
  • Also in episode 26, the scene where Rena repeatedly smacks Mion over the head with the handle of her machete.

    Yakusamashi-hen (anime-exclusive) 
  • Kai's first arc. Note this is all in Satoko's perspective. Imagine being a child of 9, living on her own with her 9-year old best friend, after both of your parents were killed. You're shunned by almost the entire village (save for everyone at school) because of a mistake your now dead parents made. Your best friend is acting strangely and differently, and you wake up at night because of her talking to "herself" about how she's going to be KILLED and nothing can be done. One day, you notice a strange man is stalking you and your best friend, but no matter who you tell, nobody believes you, not even your friends! You decide to tell the local doctor, a good friend and manager of your baseball team, but upon arriving, find out he apparently committed suicide. So, to catch the strange man in the act, you set up traps so you'll be alerted if someone comes in the vicinity. Your trap goes off that very night. You wake your friend and let her know, and she proceeds to hide you in the closet while allowing the strange MEN (yup, there's more of them) to kidnap her. After the noise dies down, you sneak out and go to the temple nearby that belongs to the family of your best friend. What do you find? Her DEAD, brutally murdered, her killers nearby and now chasing after you. You're barely saved from them as you fall off a bridge escaping them, and you wake up soon after on the shore. (pretty much a role recall of Tatarigoroshi with her being in Keiichi's perspective) So, you go to town, only to see it's swarmed with police officials making a huge deal about something around your school. Upon looking through the window, you see the open-eyed, drooling CORPSES of your teachers, schoolmates and friends, making you the ONLY survivor of the entire TOWN. The resulting shock makes you a vegetable, barely conscious. A police officer at your bedside tells you that your friend, Rena, is missing, but left behind her bloodied hat as a possible sign. You awaken a while later with memory of this, and you realize exactly what the sign meant, so you call a nurse. Too bad that nurse is involved in the conspiracy! Guess what? You'll be dead by morning, and nobody will even be able to prove you were murdered.
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    Arc 7 — Minagoroshi-hen 
  • The constant "mask" faces of the Minagoroshi-hen manga adaptation.
  • The nurse, Miyo Takano becomes horror incarnate the moment they're revealed to be the villain.
  • The manga's version of the kids' deaths in Minagoroshi. In the anime, they either have a Gory Discretion Shot or are overshadowed by awesome. In the manga they're shot, in the head, on screen. Complete with an up close of their heads. Mion's death is even onscreen, and everyone is tied up. The build up for Satoko's death is excruciating, because you know it's going to happen and that you're going to get an upclose; in her case, you get a close up of the bullet hitting her It's pitiful and horrifying. But you know what's the worst part about the chapter? Naked Rika being vivisected by Takano.
    • To say nothing of the actual Hinamizawa Gas Disaster. You know what's going to happen, but seeing the villagers being rounded up, not knowing that they're about to be killed is terrifying, especially in the manga, which makes it clear that not all of the Yamainu are entirely on board with the plan. One old man in the classroom tries to open the door to let a little air in... and abruptly drops dead. His wife goes to see what the matter is... and drops dead. Everyone else in the room drops dead, until the only person left is Tomita (one of Those Two Guys). His eyes are filled with terror and confusion... and he falls over. Finally, there's Takano's declaration that she is Oyashiro-sama. It's pretty clear she's even freaking out the two Yamainu with her.
  • Rika telling Miyo to disembowel her while she is still conscious and aware so that she may remember the event in her next world. You don't actually see it, but the idea sends shivers through one. In the manga, you actually get to see the whole process. And yes, that means they actually show Takano drawing Rika's internal organs out of her body while she is still alive. To top it all off, Takano laughs histerically while doing so.

    Arc 8 — Matsuribayashi-hen 
  • The Orphanage of Fear from Takano's childhood in Matsuribayashi-hen naturally brings several such moments.
    • The visual novel works more along the lines of Nothing Is Scarier with the punishments only given by names like the "Casket Punishment", "Drowned Ducky", "Splayed Piggy", and "Mashed Caterpillar". The text describing the punishments after Takano is caught is censored, more and more heavily towards the end, but it implies some nasty stuff.
    • In the manga, you get to see what the orphanage staff considers "punishment." The lesser punishments involve being beaten within an inch of your life while wrapped in a mattress. The "special" ones...Takano's friend Eriko is fed to chickens while still alive. Miyo herself is lowered into a latrine face first, and only Takano Sr.'s last-minute rescue saves her from dying there. The next page, when Eriko's eye pops out of the socket in a bloody mess. Doubles as Nausea Fuel.
  • Miyo performing a vivisection on Rika's unwilling mother in the manga. It isn't explicit, going for a Gory Discretion Shot, but it still hits. Miyo's deranged laughter, the horrific way her face and eyes are drawn, and her victims screams of pain all let it sit. It gets worse with hindsight
    • Even worse? It's performed with no anesthesia whatsoever. Miyo states that it's because anesthesia messes with the body's (and especially the brain's) natural chemistry and so interferes with test results, but as shown above, she takes way too much pleasure in doing it.
  • The notion that Miyo killed her own boyfriend.

    Gou arc 1 — Onidamashi-hen 
  • The first episode of the 2020 anime ends with a stinger of Rika looking down on Rena and Keiichi in the junkyard with piercing red eyes.
  • Just when Keiichi's fears and doubts had been assuaged by Rika and he apologizes to Rena while she's preparing dinner, we see the dinner items she's really preparing are actually various, highly disturbing instruments such as a saw, rope, a knife, and other items that were hidden away in her bento boxes. Keiichi walks in, only to see his best friend scratching her neck bloody and mumbling about how he needs to die and she needs to be demoned away in order for her dad to live happily in Hinamizawa. The image of Rena stabbing Keiichi and Keiichi beating Rena in the head with the alarm clock, almost in rhythm with each other, alongside copious amounts of blood splatter, definitely lets you know this is NOT a remake.
    • We currently have no idea if Keiichi was also hallucinating and which parts he was hallucinating. Maybe Rena died when he shoved her against the table edge, maybe she died when he smashed the clock on her head, maybe he was only imagining being stabbed multiple times...
    • Not to mention that this point was the halfway point through Onikakushi-hen. Rika's interference might've sped up this arc's tragic ending... if Keiichi refused to let Rena in his house like he originally did, then the horrific conclusion to this arc could've been delayed.
  • When Keiichi wakes up in the hospital, everyone refuses to tell him what happened to Rena until Mion comes to visit and tells him she passed away, but not only did Rena die—Rika and Satoko were found in their home afterwards, stabbed to death in the neck, both with the same knife.
  • As Mion leaves, a nurse comes in and asks Keiichi if he’s been feeling any symptoms, such as an itchy neck. The anime darkens her face and there’s a lingering shot on a syringe she brings in, while Keiichi pauses for a beat and scratches his neck once before it cuts to an outside view of the hospital, while his screams sound off the end of the episode and the end of the arc—implying either he had the disease all along and he came to that realization or he was murdered by the nurse, the same way Satoko was taken out in Yakusamashi-hen.
    • Doesn't help that a Tumblr post points out that the nurse at the end was also the same one that left Satoko to die in Yakusamashi-hen.

    Gou arc 2 — Watadamashi-hen 
  • In episode 7, Keiichi tells a metaphorical story to Rika out of paranoia that he and Shion would be targeted by Oyashiro-sama's curse. Instead of being comforted by her, Keiichi is instead intimidated by a red-eyed Rika who informs him that whatever he tried to do no longer mattered as everything would end for them.

    Gou arc 3 — Tataridamashi-hen 
  • The beginning of the first episode of Tataridamashi-hen starts with a landlord, knocking on her tenant’s door and yelling about how his unkempt home has a stench that the neighbors are complaining about, only for the door to open and a familiar blonde haired man lunging forward to scream and threaten the woman out of his sight. This is scary solely because fans of the previous series know this familiar face, this familiar voice, and his familiar threats before they cut to a prescription on the floor with his name on it: Hojo Teppei.
  • The episode ends with Mion explaining Satoko’s family history to Keiichi, with the scene fading out to an old man walking in front of a house and looking at Teppei, who promptly screams at him and scares the old man off... before ushering Satoko inside said house. Cue a collective Oh, Crap! from the fandom.
  • In episode 5, Satoko takes Keiichi to her house to give something special that belonged to Satoshi. The room it was supposedly in was dark, so Keiichi turns on the light only to be greeted by Teppei, who suddenly comes out of nowhere to attack him with murderous intent. Then Keiichi snaps and bludgeons him to death, all while Satoko is watching.
    • At the end of the episode, Keiichi wakes up in the hospital with no memory of what happened last night. Rena visits him, and when he asks what happened, she then breaks it to him that all of his friends were murdered at the festival. And the person who was responsible was Ooishi.

    Gou arc 4 — Nekodamashi-hen 
  • In the beginning of the first episode, we finally get to see what exactly happened at the festival: Ooishi suddenly appears with a bloodied baseball bat with a maddened look on his face, and it is very clear that he has gone batshit insane from the effects of the Hinamizawa Syndrome. He then proceeds to hold Rika hostage and starts clawing his neck out, only then to shoot everyone who tries to stop him, Shion and Mion included. And all because he believes that Rika somehow is responsible for the deaths that happened under Oyashiro-sama's curse, which of course makes no logical sense. Then, he proceeds to murders Rika by bashing her skull in with the same bat.
    • What make this more nightmarish is that this is completely out-of-character for Ooishi, since throughout the course of the series, he has been one of the more consistently sane and level-headed characters. Now this implies that anyone can get infected.
    • And it doesn't get much better from there. Rika becomes suicidal after being fed up with having to relive the events of 1983, all while she finds out that Hanyuu will disappear forever. Made worse by the fact that she was finally able to break free from the continuous cycle, only to have her happy ending robbed from her. At she gets better at the end, somewhat.
  • Episode two is honestly one big Trauma Conga Line for Rika. Rika had promised herself that she would hang on and try to find an answer for five more loops before ending her life with the shard found in the Oyashiro-sama statue. In the first loop, a continuation of the loop from the previous episode, Rika comes across Akasaka and manages to convince him to stay behind in the village instead of going on vacation with his wife. Bad idea, as that leads to Akasaka, coming down with the illness and stabbing Rika in the stomach and neck before setting the whole flat on fire. Next world. Sonozaki Akane is in the middle of scratching her neck and slaying everyone at the Sonozaki main house, including her own daughter, Mion, claiming that she needs to rid the earth of their "demon blood". Akane, at the very least, apologizes to Rika before chopping her head off. The Village Chief the kids love so much, Kimiyoshi, ties Rika up and drags her to the lake where he drowns her by tossing her over with a heavy stone while scratching her neck. Finally, the episode ends with Keiichi killing Rena, among many others, at Angel Mort in front of Rika, who just jaded tells a crazed and ill Keiichi that the cure he's looking for will be found by bashing her head in and eating her brains.
    • As each death goes, you see each of Rika's fingers go down one by one. By the time Keiichi has smashed her head in, she's got one finger left.

    Other arcs 
  • The part in Rei where Rika dies by getting hit by a truck after she finally got her sane reality will screw everyone up for a few hours.
    • And it doesn't stop there. Rika is shunted into yet ANOTHER alternate reality, just when she finally earned her happy future. First of all, the idea of being put in another reality is depressing and terrifying enough. But in this reality, Keiichi is nowhere to be seen, the girl who in other realities is her best friend is instead a bully, and the entire town of Hinamizawa is slated for demolition because the dam project went unopposed.
    • Hanyuu graphically describing to Rika the gory aftermath of the aforementioned car accident. Including the horrified reaction of her friends.
    "Your face... You had no face!"
  • Just Outbreak all together. The government stops helping Hinamizawa, there's no food because the stores are closed, no water, and those who don't get shot down when they try to leave the village, kill each other. It's like all of the other worlds where they killed the villagers in the school by gassing them and shooting whoever escaped, only so much more cruel.
    • Think about it this way, if the main protagonists (mainly Keiichi and Rena) have to get infected with the parasite just to survive you know this isn't going to end well.
    • When Keiichi, his parents, and the other kids sans Rika get to Okinomiya, everything is destroyed as if there was a huge outbreak like back in Hinamizawa. It was stated earlier that pretty much every country has something close to the virus behind Hinamizawa Syndrome, but even though the UN swept it under the rug, each country continued its research. Thanks to research that had been done, Japan had successfully made it into a biological weapon, only to have it accidentally leak out and infect some of the population in the country, mainly in Hinamizawa and neighboring towns. Their reaction? Something along the lines of "Oops. Well, let's cut them off and observe what happens."
    • The idea of a Global Hinamizawa Syndrome epidemic as mentioned in the ending of Part One.
    • It's also implied that this is what happened after Bernkastel stopped Miyo from going out to play with her friends, which would've caused her to lose her parents in a bus accident. Everything's still the same on the outside with Keiichi, Rena, and the Irie Institution being there and Satoshi disappearing, but without Miyo around, Takano Hifumi's research on brain parasites was recognized by the United Nations and the development of the virus being turned into a biological weapon got a early start, leading to a extremely Crapsack World. Nice job, Bern.
    • Even worse, in the context of Umineko: When They Cry the realization that this noble act screwed everything up may very well be what finally caused Bern to snap and become the cruel, sadistic villainess she’s known for being.
      • Or she's always been cruel and this was just her doing it either For the Evulz or just to see what would happen.
    • The saddest thing of all? This is what will happen if Hifumi Takano's work was legitimised and recognised by the scientific community. The majority of the damage caused in here isn't by the Hinamizawa Syndrome but the resultant panic and fallout caused by the general public being aware of the disease's existence. Remember the people who didn't laugh him out but told him to stop his work? They were likely having this scenario in mind when looking through his work. There are some truths that are meant to be buried forever, no matter how much you want them to be exposed. This means that in the grand scheme of things, what ultimately decides the kind of ending all the characters we grow attached to isn't actions by the heroes or villains but the decision by other nobodies to help with a minor character's work. The only silver lining to this is that Miyo being orphaned likely isn't a requirement for Hinamizawa's denizens' happy ending, unlike the statement above.
  • In Onisarashi-hen Natsumi's grandmother attempting to calm the wrath of Oyashiro by drowning puppies in the bath.
    • Also in Onisarashi-hen Haruko Kimiyoshi after killing Natsumi's grandmother forcing her teenage daughter to help her chop up her corpse
    • And not to mention the ending of Onisarashi-hen reveals that Natsumi was the one who killed her grandmother, not her mother, and that her mother's insanity was all a delusion caused Hinamizawa syndrome. She in fact was the one who chopped her grandmother up into pieces and the fact that she was doing this with a mixture of vomiting and a really creepy smile was just horrific.
  • The "Limit" chapter. It's a fanfiction that won a contest and was drawn up by one of the Higurashi mangaka. The entirety of it is horrific, it's a Shion-Mion-Keiichi arc where Shion starts to act strange all of a sudden, and a Tear Jerker being that it's post-Kai. It reaches its limits when Keiichi and Shion delusion (?) a headless Mion. Mion continues to ask for her head, horrifying her already psychotic murderer sister. The worst part is that Satoko has decided to finish the now dead Shion's business.
  • Yes, even Higurashi Kira has these. Episode 2, which features Rika and Satoko becoming Magical Girls, features a really dense fog that makes the residents of Hinamizawa act hostile towards those unaffected. And what's proof that someone was effected by said fog? Take a look at the insane look on their face, as well as the red eyes (with the same-colored pupils but now narrowed), and sometimes even blood running down their cheeks from their insane eyes, as if they were Tears of Blood. And what makes it scarier? Those effected by the fog are just as crazy as characters were when infected with the Hinamizawa Syndrome in earlier portions of the anime, with insane zombification added to the terror. Brrr...

    Live-action adaptation 
  • Though complete with Narm, there's one part in the live action adaption where Rena is not really harassing Keiichi, clawing at the windows, saying things like "A?" "B?" "C?" "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha!" And then you think it's all over and WHAM! She's behind him!? That wasn't in the anime!! Or manga. Or sound novels.
  • From the live action movies. Moreso a Tear Jerker then pure horror, however Rena being shot at the end of the second movie, and Satoko meeting Teppei.

    Others 

Alternative Title(s): Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni

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