As a fantasy adventure game, the Zelda series draws a ton of inspiration from a variety of fairy tales and folklore, and the Toilet Ghost is no different. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the creator of the series, Shigeru Miyamoto, explained that the inclusion of the Toilet Ghost came straight from these creepy stories he heard about a similar ghost in Japan. “There are some ghost stories in Japan where — when you are sitting in the bathroom in the traditional style of the Japanese toilet — a hand is actually starting to grab you from beneath,” he said.
A deeper dive into this legend will lead you to the tale of “Hanako of the Toilet,” the ghost of a young girl who resides in toilets. Similar to the urban legend of Bloody Mary, summoning Hanako is mostly a dare among children who are looking to scare each other. According to the story, Hanako may be summonded if you go to the girls’ bathroom, approach the third stall, knock three times, and then ask, “Hanako, are you there?”
If you hear a reply and choose to meet Hanako, you’ll encounter a bloody hand trying to grab you next time you sit on the toilet.