Uzumaki is a manga about a small town that was infected by creepy and deathly spirals. This is one of the best full-length story from the master of horror manga himself, Junji Ito. And I honestly cannot believe how much scary stuff he could came up with just from spirals alone.
Out of every nightmare-inducing things that happened in Uzumaki, these are the ten creepiest moments that would certainly haunt you long after you finish reading the book.
Keep in mind that due to the nature of this list, there will inevitably be some SPOILERS UP AHEAD. But I try my best to leave out the context of the scenes to make sure you would still have a good time, or rather a creepy time, reading it.
Just take this list as some of the things to look forward to from Uzumaki.
1. The spiral tongue
I know that under certain condition, especially after death, human’s tongue could swelled up to the point of filling up your whole mouth. Kinda similar to what you see in this illustration.
The difference being the old man in this image is still alive, sort of. He simply wanted to prove that he could indeed create a spiral out of his own body part, the tongue. To be honest, this is one of the instance where the scene looks gross, rather than scary.
2. Spiral man in a wooden tub
The spiral man is at it again. This time, though, rather than just his tongue, he decided to turn his whole body into a spiral. He somehow manage to fit his entire body inside what seems to be a medium-sized wooden tub.
He broke his bones, tear up his muscles, and stretch his skin in order to fit snugly inside. Creepy and painful aside, to be able to achieve such a thing is actually quite remarkable, don’t you think?
This mark the first major spiral related event in Uzumaki. Things would only get even weirder and creepier from now on.
3. Girl with the spiral face
It started small, just a barely noticeable scar on her forehead. Slowly but surely, the spiral grew larger and digs deeper into her skull. Until it finally eat about half of her head.
Interestingly, the girl herself doesn’t seem to feel any sort of pain. To be fair, most people afflicted with any kind of spiral-related ailment in this story don’t seem to exhibit any kind of pain.
The spirals seem to invade the head first before doing anything to their body. Such as the case with this girl and the old man on the tub from before. Bunch of deformed lunatics.
4. The twisted lovers
Have you ever seen snakes mating? Well, the male and female snake would intertwine and they would squirm around for quite some time. The whole process is a rather bizarre thing to watch.
That is precisely what happened in this scene. A lover turns into spirals and intertwines with each other. Their limbs go longer, stretchier, and somehow harder as well.
And just like the snakes, they squirm around trying to move away from everybody else. Finally become one for all eternity.
5. The spring boy
This one is actually rather scary. There are elements of the strange horror stories that you usually find in Japanese horror flicks. A story about a terrible accident, ghost, and vengeful spirit.
The concept behind this gruesome monster came from the jack-in-the-box toys. You know, the one where a character, usually a clown, would suddenly jump up and down when you open the box.
And so does the corpse in this story. A disfigured corpse with its upper body attached to a spring. Hopping around trying to catch any unsuspecting passerby.
6. The snail man
This is another disgusting entry to the list. As the name implied, this is about incidents in which people began to turn into giant, slimy snails.
It began when one person slowly morphs into a snail. It happened during the course of several weeks. But the whole process is getting faster with each subsequent person.
Next thing you know, people started to turn into snails left and right.
7. Reverse pregnancy
This one is one of the scariest shit in this book. And there’s actually a crazier image for this category but it’s just too damn graphic. And that’s why I used this rather tame image instead.
Anyway, there’s a sudden influx of pregnant women in town. And the closer they are to the due date, the more messed up they’ve become.
When the children are finally born, they all could talk and demanded to be put back into the comfort of their mother’s womb. The doctor agreed. And this image is what happened after the crazy procedure.
8. Man with spikes
This is one of the turning points in the story where isolated incidents finally turn into a widespread epidemic. After this, the craziness is turned up to eleven and the whole town is fucked.
Anyway, just like other creepy things in Uzumaki, the spirals played with the mind first. The man in question began to slowly lose his sanity. After a while, his body also started to morphed.
Skin rashes appeared all over his body and quickly turned into lumps. The lumps harden and turn into spiky spirals. Until finally the spikes grow larger and cover up his whole body.
9. Eating the snail man
At this point in the story, the town and its people have fallen victim to the spirals’ vicious attack. Buildings and houses crumble. Just trying to survive is becoming hard enough for the people.
There’s nothing to eat and people started to get desperate. And that is when they accidentally find the snail people hiding beneath the rubbles.
What they see as something disgusting at first, suddenly changed into lumps of meat full of nutrients in their eyes. And then they decided to roast the snail people alive, break the shells, and feast on their tender and slimy meat.
10. Spiral people intertwined
After an extended exposure of the spirals, the body of the citizen of the town and other people who came to investigate the strange case started to morph into a spiral.
Their limbs began to stretch and curled up. And since most of them are stuck inside the few houses that are still left standing, they end up packed together like sardines in a can.
But since their bodies are all soft and curled up now, they wind up getting tangled and intertwined with each other. This whole situation is both bizarre and hilarious at the same time.
Junji Ito rarely makes a full-length book. His preferred format has always been short stories. That’s why you’d see tons of his short stories collection in the market, but rarely a full-length book. And that’s why Uzumaki is quite special.
But no matter whether it’s a long story with interconnected characters and chain of events or simply a short story told in one chapter, they have one thing in common, they’re all freaking horrifying. The man sure knows how to craft a bizarre concept and give nightmare-inducing illustrations on top of it.
And these ten are some of the creepiest scenes in this book. I hope this list could give you a glimpse into the world of Uzumaki. I hope you decide to read the book after reading this list.
And I hope your sleep will be filled with creepy spirals and slimy human snails for the foreseeable future.