Why Do Korean Horror Movies Have Only Female Ghosts?
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Why Do Korean Horror Movies Have Only Female Ghosts?

Before I saw this article, I hadn’t realized I’ve never seen any Korean or Japanese horror movie with a male ghost/monster. Can anyone think of one?


Warning: Conducting Satanic rituals is a clear violation of school policy.

Why are women ghosts popular in Korean horror movies? Horror movies coming out this year include “Whispering Corridors 5” (여고괴담5), “Yoga Hagwon” (요가학원) and “Bulshin Jiok” (불신지옥). In each film the ghost is a woman.

“Whispering Corridors 5: A Blood Pledge”, released on the 18th, features a group of adolescent female high school students who swear a dangerous blood pledge to die together. Son Eun-seo, Oh Yeon-seo, Song Min-jeong and Yu Shin-ae star. The role of the ghost is filled by Jang Gyeong-ah, in an un-rookie-like performance noted for being bloody and frightening.

“Yoga Hagwon” is a horror movie based on a strange incident that occurs when five women with body perception complexes go to a yoga school which promises to grant them immortal beauty. It stars Eugene, Park Han-byeol, Ch Su-yeon, Kim Hye-na, Lee Yeong-jin and Hwang Seung-eon. The object of horror is a woman. This woman, who has lived for decades without losing her beauty, is surrounded and attacked as the school is enveloped in horror.

“Bulshin Jiok,” originally to be called “Scream,” is a bloody mystery-horror movie in which a young girl is possessed by a ghost. It is the first Korean movie to feature a story based on cults and shamanist practices. The object of horror is the young girl. Possessed, she murders without knowing what her body is doing. Nam Sang-mi and Shim Eun-gyeon star.

Besides those three films being released this year there is “Phone” (2002), “Arang” (2006), “Muoi” (2007) and “The Epitaph,” all featuring female monsters. What is thre reason Korean horror movies are dominated by women ghosts?

One person in the movie world said, “in the past women were systematically represssed and invisible, and this unreasonable treament and the pressue they received from men built up han in them. I think that as that insurmountable repression continued on and on and on, they entered a freakish state and the result was for them to take care of their grudge through vengeance. The prevalance of women ghosts in so many horror movies so far can be seen as due to that freakish state brought on by repression.”