On today’s FlatlineTV: Myth and Murder we explore what happens when answering the phone could cause grave consequences…

The “Answer Man” is an urban legend that’s been circulating amongst Japanese kids for over 10 years. It is sometimes known as the “Phantom of the Answer” or the “Answer Phantom”. To play the game, you need 10 people, each with a mobile phone.

Step 1: gather all 10 people in a loose circle. Each player must have the phone number of the person to their left stored in their phone. 

Step 2: on the count of three, each person calls the person to their left.

Step 3: everyone puts their phone to their ear and listens. Everyone is calling each other at the same time, so all of the phones should be busy. Nobody should receive an answer. However, one person, randomly, will find that their phone has been answered, and will hear a voice. 

This voice is supposedly the “Answer Man”. You are allowed to ask him anything. The legend says, once he answers your question, he will ask you one in return. If you answer the question incorrectly, or don’t have an answer, a large, gnarled hand is supposed to appear from the phone, and tear off a piece from your body.

According to legend, The “Answer Man” is the ghost of a child who was born severely deformed. He was born without extremities nor a torso, mostly just a head. Since his death, his ghost has been trying to become a complete human being by collecting the body parts of others. 

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