Korea may be the only country in the world that believes the urban legend where you can die in your room if you sleep with the electric fan on and the door closed at night. Numerous deaths from infants to seniors have been blamed on a humble electric fan. Instead of providing relief from the oppressive heat, it’s been claimed to have pressed your last breath.
However, it turns out that ‘fan death’ actually may be a more sinister excuse or coverup for murders or other deaths people did not want to deal with. Similarly Korea’s #1 suicide rate in the OECD may actually not be that high. Our super low homicide rate may be due to many murders and other deaths being lumped into the ‘suicide’ category. ‘Fan Death’ is actually not that funny. Many unmentionable tales may have taken hold in the middle of the night that become the fault of an electric fan once it’s daylight.
And the public, eager to let the living keep on living in peace, have perpetuated the fan death theory as an old wives tale by letting the rest of the world believe a lie to save ourselves.
Note: I dish it all out while doing a taste test of the latest mint chocolate flavored snacks sweeping Korea at the moment.
Bonus: Update on the Kian 84 bullying controversy on the MBC show “I Live Alone” or 나 혼자 산다.
Encyclopedia of Urban Legends
Urban Legends: Bizarre Tales You Won’t Believe
Korean Myths and Folk Legends