Chilling Tales Illustrated by Junji Ito

Read a free excerpt from Stitches, a collection of terrifying and true unsolved mysteries.

By VIZ Media March 08, 2024

Horror heavy hitters Junji Ito and Hirokatsu Kihara team up once again to give you new terrors in the illustrated story collection Stitches. Hirokatsu Kihara pens true unsolved mysteries with Junji Ito inking terrifying companion art in this collection of nine bone-chilling stories, plus a bonus manga story for those seeking an extra thrill.

Enjoy this eerie excerpt from Chapter 4 of Stitches:

Festival of the Dead

This happened when M was in elementary school.

On the eve of the summer Obon holiday, the traditional festival of the dead, M had gathered with her family outside their house to light the mukaebi fire and welcome the spirits of their ancestors back for a visit from the world beyond.

As she stared absently into the flames, she felt a hand on her back, as though someone was passing by immediately behind her. She looked over her shoulder to find an old man in a kimono walking toward the neighbor’s house.

That family of five—grandmother, father, mother, and two children—was also out front, lighting their own mukaebi fire. The old man walked past them and in through the gate to the house.

Huh? M frowned, confused.

He had marched right past the neighbors and gone into their house, but for some reason, they hadn’t so much as looked up. As M puzzled over this, she realized that she’d seen the man before.

It’s their grandpa. But he died three years ago…

M turned to her mother. “The grandpa from next door just walked by.”

“Did he now?” her mother said, with a smile. “I guess he came home for Obon.” She stood up to go get the bucket of water to put the fire out.

Huh. So he came to visit because it’s Obon.

The old man next door had always been extra nice to her when she was small, so she felt a pang of regret that she hadn’t been able to thank him or even offer him a brief hello.

Two or three years passed. One winter day, when M was in junior high school, she was riding her bike home after practice when she spotted someone in a kimono up ahead who she had a vague memory of.

Is it maybe the grandpa from next door?

She was sure there was no way. She began to pedal faster to catch up with him and make sure.

Order your copy of Stitches here.