Rather than telling ghost stories around Halloween time, traditionally in Japan summer is the season for spooky tales and scaring ourselves silly.

How seasonal then that recently this Japanese Twitter user (@sick4274shamo) had an (initially) unsettling nighttime encounter down a dark, lonely path.

While walking on the deserted path, suddenly an old woman appeared and approached him, speaking to him in a low whisper,

‘There’s crow gourd flowering over there! It only blooms at night so no one knows about it… I just wanted to tell someone…’

This enigmatic declaration left him a bit scared and he nervously walked over to where the old lady had pointed out.

Source: sick4274shamo

That’s when he saw this very strange plant. One that looks more dead than alive, almost like the ghostly apparition of a flower. It has creeping spider’s web like tendrils that spread out and look extra creepy in the dark.

Source: sick4274shamo

As the old woman said, the reason that this freaky flora is so little known, is because it only blooms during the nighttime. So on brand. Crow gourd is the literal translation of the Japanese word, but this type of plant can be known as snake gourd in English. Both appropriately spooky names, either way it sounds like an ingredient in a witch’s brew.

After seeing the old lady’s mysterious discovery, he realized there was nothing sinister going on, and she was just a nature lover, genuinely excited to show this cool plant to others.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.