Creepy life-sized dolls outnumber residents of remote island village 10 to one

The village of Nagoro on the extremely remote island of Shikoku in Japan was almost left abandoned until a local devised a plan.

Tsunami Ayono decided to make creepy life-sized dolls to plant around the village and trick visitors into thinking the area is bustling. The dolls are meant to look like humans and give the illusion that the area is busy.

The dolls have appeared all around Nagoro including in schools, waiting at bus stops, inside coffee shops, and even at building sites.

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While people are flocking to spend some time in Nagoro, they still say it's a tad creepy.

Google reviewer Gareth Morris said: "Equal parts fascinating, touching and creepy, the scarecrow village is an homage to the former residents of this now-near-deserted mountain village. The mountain roads make it more than a little hair-raising to get to, though the trip was definitely worth the trouble."

Antonio Ezio Frascarelli added: "This village is… I don't know. A concept between scary, weird, peaceful… You'll see dozens of scarecrows on the way to the 'village center'. Placed where normally humans do stuff. An entire room has been filled with 'not-people' reading, sleeping or talking among each other. The most weird part is the school. Everything is clean, and well kept by the locals, but seeing the building, with shadows at the windows watching outside, and no other sound than the river and the cicadas is unsettling."

Nagoro was on the brink of becoming a ghost town, with just a few dozen people living in the village. It's now entirely made up of elderly locals, and a baby reportedly hasn't been born in the area for more than 20 years.

Tsunami's dolls started as something small, but have since gained a life of their own, and outnumber locals by 10 to one.

She told ABC: "I've always made dolls as a hobby. I never thought that my hobby would turn out like this.

"Now that the number of dolls has increased, people from all over the country and even from abroad have come to see them. This town has become very lively."

In the village, tourists can find dolls sat at school desks inside the local primary school. A German TV journalist doll is also spotted waiting for a bus, after documenting the village's quirky characteristics some years ago.

It was never meant for the dolls to outnumber actual humans, but as the village became busier with tourists, the dolls became more common.

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