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  • Writer's pictureMacabre Emporium Pod

Episode 44 - John D. White and Japanese Bathroom Ghosts


John Douglas White

John D. White, Michigan
John Douglas White, Preacher and Murderer

Halloween is an exciting time. For kids, it’s all about getting dressed up, going door to door and getting that candy. For adults with kids, it’s about getting them ready for trick or treating and seeing the excitement and joy course through them as their bag or bucket grows fuller and fuller. They make their rounds and go home to pick through their candy - scarfing down and rightfully earning themselves sugar highs and an intense crash when all of the sugar wears off. You know the parents are tired after all is said and done, so they would turn in for the night.

Not all Halloween nights are quite so great though. This would be one of those nights.

Rebekah Jane Gay was 24 years old at the time of her disappearance. She was a newly promoted manager at her local Goodwill, where she spent most of her days working. She had plans with her 3 year old son, Conway, to go trick or treating on Halloween, which was just a day away.

Suspicion grew when she didn’t show up for her shift at Goodwill. Her employer must have gotten ahold of her mom and soon-to-be step dad and then the game of telephone began. Family called other family, and family called friends, and those friends called other mutual friends. No one had seen or heard from Rebekah since almost 7am at home on October 30th in 2012. This was finally called in to authorities, as it was not like Rebekah, or “Bekah-Boo” as her friends called her, to miss a shift at work or to not answer her phone.

The sheriff’s department got the report and put out a missing persons report. They described Rebekah as a white female that stood about 5 foot 3, 118 pounds with blue eyes and curly blonde hair just below her shoulders. Someone had even posted on her Facebook page stating that she didn’t show up to work, and also hadn’t shown up to pick up her son from school that day.

In the blink of an eye, the town of Broomfield Township, Michigan (NOT Bloomfield) was caught in a whirlwind. Pastor John Douglas White, had asked all of his parishioners from the Christ Community Fellowship church to pray for the safe return of his fiance (and parishioner), Sally Gay’s daughter, Rebekah, who had come up missing. Thankfully Pastor John lived in the same trailerpark that Rebekah did, basically next door neighbors, so if someone had come or gone, there is a chance he may have seen the person/people/vehicle, etc.

Sally was understandably torn apart, and John had nothing he could do but be there and support his fiance. He had ties to Rebekah, you know,w he was engaged to her mom, he had helped babysit Conway when needed. It would be a blow for anyone connected to Rebekah. He was a man of God, and one way he thought to help was to ask his followers to pray. Fair enough.

But could it really be that simple, to just be a supportive fiance to Sally, and the backbone of his church while everyone else ran around in panic?

Not quite. What his fiance, Sally, and his followers were unaware of at the time of Rebekah’s disappearance, was that the ever-holy John White was actually a giant piece of shit that shouldn’t have been on the streets, period. See, John had been a violent offender once or twice in his lifetime.

In 1980 when he was living in Battle Creek, MI, at 22 years old, he attacked a woman - while he was married. He had invited a 17 year old over to look at a stock race car track he had set up in his basement. And then he stabbed her 15 times before choking her. She did survive, and was able to tell police that John said “You’re going to go now. I’m really sorry you had to go like this. But what the fuck, you’re just a woman.” He was arrested and charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He was released in 1983.

But his brutality didn’t stop there.

In 1994, John was looked at as a person of interest for the murder of his mistress, Vicky Sue Wall, in Comstock County, MI. But they got his ass when they found Vicky climbing up into his truck in a Meijer parking lot the night she disappeared. They eventually found her body, but by the time they did, she was so badly decomposed that they could not make out what her cause of death was. But they know that it wasn’t natural causes, since she was found two miles down the road from the Meijer that caught them on camera, and she was only wearing a shirt and a bra as a necklace.

Police believed she pressured John about their relationship and he got mad, killed her, and dumped her body. Coincidentally - some time between leaving Meijer and Vicky’s body being found, John had checked himself into the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital. He was arrested in that same hospital a week after her body was found and identified. When a luminol test was done in John’s truck, they found evidence of blood in multiple areas, but there was limited evidence which made it hard to charge him with a harsher crime, therefore, he took a plea deal and got the charge of involuntary manslaughter with an 8-15 year prison sentence. He served a little over 12 of those years and was released in 2007.

Within a few years, he was living his best life - no prison, he had a new fiance named Sally. All was swell, at least until the fucked up fantasies came in to play. John had started thinking about having sex with dead women quite often. He was watching necrophilia porn whenever he could, further driving that fantasy into his twisted brain. But he wouldn’t act on it, right?

Anyways, back to Rebekah…

The police had started trying to find out what had happened to Rebekah Gay. So they went around asking anyone that may know her if they knew anything. They picked 55 year old John up for routine questioning. They plead with him that if he knew anything at all to please tell them. That if Rebekah was hurt, or worse, that the state of the weather at the time would make her body deteriorate quickly, and Sally wouldn’t be able to get the closure she would need.

With that, John sat for a day before he decided to open his mouth and admit to murdering 24 year old Rebekah Gay. The daughter of his fiance. The mother of 3 year old Conway. He killed her. For no particular reason at all. Except, there was a reason, it just wasn’t a good one - not there IS any good reason to kill someone, but his was just…icky.

So once John got to talking, he detailed what happened. He said he had been drinking, or rather that he had drank “four, maybe five ‘Natty Daddys’”, which for non-beer drinkers like me is a 24 ounce Natural LIght (I had to look it up). Either way, that’s a lot of beer. He told them he had been watching videos on a “psycho-thriller” website - AKA necrophilia porn, and how he got excited and wanted to act out the fantasy that he has been having. This fantasy for him now included his fiance’s daughter. He wanted to kill Rebekah, and then have sex with her dead body.

He decided at 2am that he was going to walk over to Rebekah’s trailer and let himself in through a side door. When he let himself in, he noticed her bedroom light come on, and then she looked out of the door’s window. This is when he walked up and hit her on the head numerous times with a rubber mallet until she fell unconscious. He then tied a large zip-tie around her neck and pulled tight and she ultimately stopped breathing.

He proceeded to drag her lifeless body to the kitchen and undress her. He has stated he remembers touching her inappropriately. He also said he wanted to have sex with her, but thankfully being the nasty piece of shit he is, he also had a broken dick and couldn’t get hard, so if she was spared from nothing else, she was spared from that.

John then returned home, grabbed a roll of contractor bags and went back to put Rebekah, her clothes, the bloody towels he cleaned up with, and the mallet inside before tossing them in the bed of his truck. He took a couple of routes along the way. He dumped the mallet and towels out on one road, and Rebekah’s body out on a different road.

He went back home, got in her car, and drove it to the Barn Door bar in hopes that her car being there would throw off the investigation into her disappearance, and make it seem more like she ran off with a one night stand.

He again went back to the trailer park and tossed Rebekah’s cell phone, purse and car keys in the dumpster, which John wound up giving up locations to every single piece of evidence as he told the police what happened. How saintly of him, eh?

Once Rebekah’s body, belongings, and evidence were collected from where they were thrown, investigators dug even further. They did full run-throughs of both her home and Johns to find more evidence to link him to the crime, even though they already had his admittance. They found blood in both homes, as well as his truck and on a necklace in the truck bed. They really wanted to nail this asshole, and I think it’s because of the part I’m about to tell you…

After he killed Rebekah, dumped her body and scattered the evidence, he went back to her place again - because her 3 year old son, Conway, was there. He was in the home at the same time that this piece of shit was murdering his mom. It never came out if he heard or saw anything, and for his sake, I really hope he didn’t. But this asshole went back during the day, got him dressed in his Halloween costume, and took him to a grocery store parking lot to drop him off with his dad.

And with that, they DID nail his ass. He was sentenced to 56 years in prison at the age of 55 in April of 2013. A short 4 months later, John was found hanging in his cell around 4 AM. CPR was done, but thankfully, that fucker stayed dead.

So remember kiddies…you don’t have to check your candy for hideous deadly things, you just have to check your neighbors.



Japanese Bathroom Ghosts

Toilet Ghost of Japan
Aka Manto, one of the Japanese toilet ghosts

So lately you know I kinda become a fan of a reel page named Toiley T. Paper that brings a new poop word of the day to please my inner 12 year old self. It reminded me of a toilet ghost from Japan named Aka Manto.

The origins of Aka Manto go far back as the 1930’s in the schoolyards of Japan and his popularity hasn’t faded with the rise of new toilet ghosts such as Toire and Hanako - San.

One of the more popular origins of Aka Manto is he is a reflection of student anxiety as he asks impossible questions with out a terrible outcome. Not too different from being asked a question from their teacher in front of the whole class and not knowing the answer or a difficult question or problem on a test.

The name Aka Manto comes from Aka which is red or crimson in Japanese and Manto is a style of sleeveless kimono jacket during the 1930s where as today a manto is the word for cloak or cape.

The legend of Aka Manto is described as a male spirit that haunts school bathrooms. In other variations he haunts the last stall or the 4th stall as the number four is considered unlucky in Japanese superstitions because its pronunciation of SHI during the 5 and 6th century also means death. Where as today it is pronounced yon.

Aka Manto is said to be wearing a flowing red cape or cloak while wearing a mask covering his face which sometimes has been described in some tellings of Aka Manto to be handsome and charming beneath his mask. So Ted Bundy moved on to stalking people in bathrooms maybe?

In another variation Aka Manto is still wearing the red cape or cloak but appears as a tall man with a sickly bluish-white face. In some regions Aka Manto is blammed on a yokai or ghost known as kainade, which is less violent and just likes to tickle your butt with his long hair arm from the traditional squat toilets found in older buildings in Japan.

Most of the Aka Manto stories follow the same pattern, while in the school with a desperate need for a toilet forcing them to use the closest bathroom. Which typically is older not as well kept and separated from the rest of the school and is avoided by all students and of course is rumored tro be haunted. With no time to spare to search for a different bathroom they enter. After said student is done doing their business this is where Aka Manto will appear as the student finds them self in the stall with no paper to use. Aka Manto will ask red or blue paper. Depending on which answer they give is how Aka Manto will kill them.

If they ask for red, Aka Manto will either stab or slice so violently blood is spraying everywhere like a 1980s slasher film, soaking their body making it look like as if they are wearing a bright red cloak. If they answer blue, Aka Manto will suck the blod fromt heir studen leaving them dead and blue in the face on the floor.

In some cases if you choose blue paper, instead of getting your blood drained from your body Aka Manto will strangle you until blue in the face. Along with red he will flay the skin off your back to make as if it you have a red cape. The student’s skin color will change permanently to whatever color they choose as well instead of killing them however those that do survive will fall ill and die shortly after in this version.

The questions have varied as well including red or blue vest, red or blue tongue, and sometime red white or blue. In the version of the red or white paper, red often would result in a red tongue rising up from the toilet to lick the student’s back side while white resulted in a white hand to rise up from the toilet instead to touch or tickle. A less common choice in the lore of Aka Manto is red or purple paper where choosing purple allows you to escape unharmed wheer red will cause you to be dragged down through the school’s plumbing to the netherworld never to be seen again.

As many ghost stories like this, there usually isn’t a way to escape your fate if you cross paths with Aka Manto. Some students have tried to bring extra paper with them only to discover it mysteriously disappears before they need it and have to face Aka Manto. Trying to confuse Aka Manto by choosing a different color in hopes to confuse him. Like before in the less common version if you pick purple Aka Manto will drag you to hell for trying to outsmart him. If you happen to choose yellow he will force your head into the toilet to drown you instead.

The one thing I did find common though between them all is if you tell him if you don’t have a preference to color or simply ignoring him he will go away. In some cases telling him you dont need any paper will buy you enough time to escape the bathroom while he is left confused with your choice or blocking your exit when you try to escape.

In popculture:

Akagami-Aogami appears as the monster of the week in the second episode of the 2000 anime series Ghost Stories.

The 2003 video game Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow features an enemy known as "Killer Mantle", which may have been based on the Aka Manto legend.

In the eighth episode of the first season of 2015's Scream Queens, "Ghost Stories," Niecy Nash's character Denise Hemphill explains the legend of the "Red Cloak" to the Kappa girls during a fireside storytelling session.

The 2019 video game Aka Manto, developed and published by Chilla's Art, is based on the legend.

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