See ,right now I'm playing Fatal frame 2: Crimson butterfly DIRECTORS CUT on in the Xbox 360, (expect a review, as always, when I'm done with the game) so anyway I'm online looking for a good crimson butterfly wallpaper thats suitably creepy and i look on the wikipedia were i learn that the original was indeed toted as a true story.
I remember hearing something about this a long time ago. Naturally i dismissed it but it turns out it has been doing the rounds on the net since 2002. Feeding off the fanfare from import of remakes of the time like ring there was tons of websites, not only claiming to be the true mythology of the Himuro Mansion, but also some saying, and heres an example of the worst, that someone was AT the mansion surrounded by ghosts , being forced to try and shoot themselves.
Problems with that story was the spelling and grammar was worse than my own, and i'm pretty sure guns are illegal in tokyo.
Point is that people really thought this was real, this: http://www.geocities.com/kazamaceo/researchpaper2.html was toted as pictures of the real deal, even when it says at the top, and i quote, it is "absolute crap".
But people continue to believe for the very reason survival horror is popular, because people want to believe its true, and people want to be scared. Since the release of the first game the creator has stated that Fatal Frame was actually based on two stories, an urban legend about a murdered family, and a ghost story about a hanged woman.
This isn't a stand alone case, there have been a few games in the survival horror genre being sold as a true story. Another example being these two examples for the video game forbidden siren, http://www.occultland.com/e/top.html and http://www.shibito.com/e/top_hp.html
Thee are listed on wikipedia AS hoax sites but i've still found examples in forums and on sites like yahoo answers about people who are genuinely asking if its a true story about red rain turning people into monsters. Granted there are some who TRY to give it a more feasible narrative, like a chemical accident that caused psychosis in a secluded community or something, not unlike the plot of George A Romero's "The Crazies". The story was totally false but again people WANTED to believe them, these horrifying situations were willed to be by these people fascinated with the possibility of such events being possible.
I think its because people love to be scared, its why the genre is so popular, and why people like me have sites like this. This comes to a head in these japanese games were there isolated culture cultivated such a rich and unique folklore thats so foreign and intriguing to western folks, its in japan so its far away, it cant reach you, your safe even if it is real.
Thats what people want, just an inkling of terror to be scared, but not real "this coudl kill you at any time terror".
Because if that was true war games would be the greatest survival horror.