Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water’s Edge Lore

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Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water’s Edge Lore

SAVANNAH WOODHAM

Savannah Woodham was born and raised in the historic city of Savannah, Georgia. She had a close relationship with her father and spent her childhood assisting him in the renovation and exploration of spooky old houses. What began as fear gradually transformed into a fascination with the supernatural.

Savannah shares a childhood memory of her father during a stormy night. In this memory, she remembers being frightened by the storm, with tree branches scratching at the windows and lightning turning them into terrifying monsters. Despite her fear, she would call out to her father, who would come into her room and reassure her that it was just the trees and lightning. This experience instilled in Savannah a lifelong yearning for the unknown and the magic that can be found in it.

Savannah’s early experiences sparked her interest in the paranormal, eventually guiding her towards a career where she explored and investigated haunted places. Savannah achieved fame as a paranormal expert and ghost hunter, gaining recognition for her book “Unveiling Ghosts: Paranormal Investigations From Around the World.” This book chronicled her extensive travels to haunted locations and shared her experiences and findings. Savannah approaches paranormal investigations with an open but critical mindset, acknowledging the possibility of hoaxes while also recognizing the existence of unexplained phenomena. She strikes a balance between skepticism and an openness to authentic supernatural experiences.

One notable location she visited was the Ryokan Hiei in Kyoto, Japan. Savannah’s account of the eerie and unsettling atmosphere at the ryokan suggested that it was genuinely haunted. During her stay, Savannah encountered a ghostly figure with long black hair, which left her thoroughly frightened.

Eventually, Savannah transitioned to reporting for the technology industry, leaving her ghost hunting career behind. While she doesn’t explicitly state her reasons for this change, it’s hinted that the unsettling and traumatic incidents she experienced during her ghost hunting career led her to change her focus.

KASUMI SHIMIZU

Kasumi Shimizu, aged 42, tragically passed away due to drowning in the indoor ryokan bath. Her daughter, Yumi, who was 15 years old at the time, discovered her mother unconscious in the bath. Despite the swift response of emergency services, their attempts to resuscitate her proved unsuccessful. Initially, the police treated her death as a potential crime, but no charges were ultimately filed.

Described as a strong-willed and independent individual, Kasumi was admired for her strong sense of justice. She was known for her stubbornness and her unwavering stance against injustice. Her preference was for people who thought for themselves, and she deeply valued such individuals.

Prior to her death, Kasumi Shimizu served as the manager of the Ryokan Hiei. She was Takae’s daughter and the mother of Yumi and Miwako. Her closest childhood friend, Maryanne, was both her best friend and pen pal.

Kasumi’s relationship with her mother, Takae, was marked by ongoing tension stemming from differences in their perspectives and values. They frequently found themselves at odds, particularly when it came to matters concerning the ryokan’s management and the future of Kasumi’s daughters. Kasumi displayed a more progressive mindset, advocating for her daughters’ freedom to chart their own life paths.

In a series of letters addressed to Maryanne, Kasumi shared updates about her life. She recounted the difficulties associated with overseeing the ryokan and the tense dynamics within her family, especially in relation to her daughter Yumi. Kasumi eagerly anticipated Maryanne’s upcoming winter visit, an occasion when her family enjoyed a rare harmonious evening. In her final letter, Kasumi expressed deep gratitude to Maryanne for their enduring friendship but revealed a growing sense of detachment from her own life and a feeling of not fitting in.

On the day of her death, Kasumi was excited to go into the city to meet with Maryanne. Takae, however, had concerns about Kasumi’s bond with Maryanne, as she believed it was prompting Kasumi to consider leaving the ryokan. In an attempt to prevent the meeting, Takae feigned illness and convinced Kasumi to take over her bath-related responsibilities. Tragically, that evening, while tending to the baths, Kasumi slipped on the wet ledge and tragically lost her life.

Kasumi left behind a poignant note for her daughters, which hinted at a possible premonition of her impending demise. In this heartfelt message, she stressed the significance of their sisterly connection and implored them to collaborate in making life choices. She urged them to look out for one another and emphasized that they should never feel compelled to carry on with the operation of the ryokan.

RENTARO AIHARA

Rentaro Aihara works as a handyman at the Ryokan Hiei. As the handyman, he is responsible for various tasks, such as repairs and maintenance.

At the age of seven, Rentaro and his father moved into the house next door to the ryokan. It wasn’t long before he developed a close friendship with sisters Miwako, who was five, and Yumi, who was also seven. Rentaro would frequently follow them around, shadowing their every move. Yumi affectionately refers to Rentaro as her “fake little brother.”

Rentaro and Miwako have been in a romantic relationship for more than four years. Rentaro is deeply in love with Miwako and dreams of moving to the city with her. However, Miwako seems hesitant to leave the ryokan. Despite their connection, there are underlying tensions, primarily stemming from Miwako’s reluctance to part ways with the ryokan.

Rentaro has a strong desire to relocate to Kyoto and pursue a career in the technology sector. He views the city as a hub of opportunity and innovation, feeling that it aligns perfectly with his goals. Rentaro has a strong interest in machinery and technology, currently engrossed in the construction of a robotic dog. This aptitude for technology also manifests in his fondness for solving intricate puzzles such as nonograms, sudoku, and renograms.

In addition to his technical acumen, Rentaro exudes a friendly and playful demeanor. He enjoys good-naturedly teasing Nancy on various subjects, and his conversations are often livened by his sense of humor, as he frequently shares light-hearted jokes and playful remarks.

Despite working in a ryokan with a reputation for being haunted, Rentaro holds no belief in ghosts and views paranormal activities as mere superstitions. He exhibits skepticism toward the paranormal investigators and ghost hunters who frequent the ryokan, finding their actions obnoxious. He suggests that ghosts are a product of guilty imaginations and that they always seek revenge, indicating that he views paranormal beliefs with a degree of cynicism. While he dismisses the notion of ghosts seeking revenge, Rentaro acknowledges the potential impact of such beliefs on people’s minds.

It is revealed that Rentaro has been intentionally scaring people away from the ryokan because he wants it to close down. His underlying motive is to move to Kyoto with Miwako, believing she will only leave if the ryokan permanently shuts down. Rentaro justifies his actions by saying that people want to believe in ghosts and that he is merely giving them the ghostly experiences they want. He also mentions that he had initially asked Miwako to leave and even left himself but came back because he can’t bear to leave her alone.

[NOTE] The final outcome for Rentaro depends on whether or not you send the recording of his scheme to Miwako. Regardless of your choice, Rentaro’s romantic involvement with Miwako comes to an end.

Here is a list of a few of the eerie encounters Rentaro was responsible for:

  • Projected spooky shadows onto shoji screens all around the ryokan
  • Used a trick mirror to create a ghostly apparition
  • Set up the doors to slam shut unexpectedly
  • Generated the sound of dripping water throughout the ryokan
  • Left watery footprints in Nancy’s room, leading to a wall
  • Wrote “I know your secret, Yumi. See you soon.” on Yumi’s apartment window
  • Crafted a lifelike robot / puppet resembling Kasumi
  • Rewrote Nancy’s name in red ink (considered bad luck)
  • Changed Nancy’s room number to 4 (also considered bad luck)

MIWAKO SHIMIZU

Miwako Shimizu works at the Ryokan Hiei, a traditional Japanese inn that has been been in her family for generations. She is involved in the operations of the ryokan, handling tasks such as welcoming guests, providing them with information and assistance, and addressing their needs during their stay.

The ryokan is traditionally passed down from mother to oldest daughter. Miwako is the younger daughter, and her older sister Yumi is expected to take over the responsibility of managing the ryokan in accordance with this tradition. For Miwako, this situation can be a cause of frustration and disappointment. She may have had a desire to inherit and run the ryokan herself, but she is bound by the family tradition, which dictates otherwise. Miwako seems frustrated that her hard work at the ryokan often goes unrecognized.

The ryokan has a haunted reputation, attracting guests interested in the paranormal. Miwako, however, remains skeptical about ghosts and anything paranormal. Frequently, she encounters disgruntled guests who voice complaints or claim to have experienced supernatural occurrences or disturbances at the ryokan. In response, Miwako takes a protective stance and strives diligently to minimize these concerns, safeguarding the ryokan’s image.

The death of Miwako’s mother cast a profound and enduring shadow over their family, particularly affecting Miwako. She bears a burden of remorse for her inability to assist her mother during her final moments. Miwako is fiercely protective of her family’s history and secrets, especially those related to her mother’s death.

Miwako and her older sister, Yumi, have a strained and conflicted relationship marked by frequent arguments and disagreements. Miwako perceives Yumi as selfish and uninvolved in managing the ryokan. Despite being sisters, their connection is distant and adversarial. Yumi’s absence from the ryokan, along with infrequent visits, has further distanced them. Miwako openly expresses her frustration and disappointment concerning Yumi’s actions and decisions.

Miwako is in a long-term romantic relationship with Rentaro. Their relationship has its ups and downs, with Miwako mentioning that sometimes Rentaro can be sweet, while at other times, he can be insistent and selfish, especially when pressuring her to leave the ryokan.

Miwako adores her robotic cat, Suki, and is grateful to Rentaro for gifting it to her. Having yearned for a pet cat for quite some time, Miwako now cares for Suki with great enthusiasm and considers her a beloved companion, despite Suki being a robotic cat rather than a real one.

In the end, Miwako’s relationship with Rentaro concluded. Upon learning Kasumi’s true wishes, Miwako and Yumi came to an agreement that Miwako should take charge of the ryokan. She wholeheartedly accepted this responsibility and, as the proprietor, has grown to truly value her work, a transformation that is apparent to everyone. With Yumi’s continuous encouragement, Miwako eventually agreed to spend time in the city, and from all outward signs, she had an absolutely wonderful experience.

YUMI SHIMIZU

Yumi Shimizu operates a bento stand situated within the Kyoto Exposition Center, where she is actively engaged in both the preparation and sale of authentic Japanese lunch boxes.

Yumi, as the oldest daughter in her family, is expected to assume the role of managing her family’s ryokan. This duty is traditionally passed down from mother to oldest daughter. However, Yumi strongly desires an independent and non-traditional lifestyle. As soon as she could sign a lease, she moved out of the ryokan and into her own apartment, valuing her freedom and avoiding the responsibilities of managing the traditional family business. Yumi is explicit about her disinterest in the ryokan business and routines, finding them tedious and unappealing. She doesn’t understand the appeal of tradition and prefers a more modern lifestyle and the excitement of city life. This lack of interest is a key factor in her reluctance to assume the role of manager.

Yumi takes matters into her own hands when it comes to fashion by designing her own clothes. She explains that she grew impatient waiting for boutiques to align with her unique style, prompting her to embark on crafting her own clothing creations. Her distinct and unconventional style distinguishes her from the crowd, underscoring her identity as a creative individual. Yumi comes across as confident, direct, self-sufficient, and a bit unconventional. She has a teasing and playful sense of humor, often making light-hearted comments. She playfully jokes about seeing aliens in the ryokan’s garden.

Yumi holds strong doubts regarding the existence of the supernatural, such as ghosts and hauntings. She firmly rejects the notion that the ryokan might be haunted, attributing it solely to her grandmother’s beliefs. Even when confronted with peculiar events, she remains steadfast in her dismissal of the ryokan being haunted. Nevertheless, Yumi becomes genuinely concerned and fearful when Nancy mentions a threatening message written on her apartment window.

Yumi avoids discussing her mother’s death and responds with deflection when Nancy inquires about it, preferring to change the subject. It’s evident that this topic is painful for her, as she becomes upset when Nancy mentions the article about her mother’s death. She may not want to dwell on it or share her feelings.

Upon learning Kasumi’s true wishes, Miwako and Yumi came to an agreement that Miwako should take charge of the ryokan. With the absence of any obligation to assume control of the family business, Yumi has been dedicating more of her time to the inn. She even agreed to extend her services to cater to the ryokan.

TAKAE NAGAI

Takae Nagai is the proprietor of a traditional Japanese ryokan. She is a polite and hospitable hostess, demonstrating her commitment to the well-being and comfort of her guests. Takae is also a teacher, offering lessons in traditional arts, such as katakana, origami, and the tea ceremony, to her guests. She is dedicated to preserving Japanese culture and tradition. She emphasizes patience and personal connection in her teaching.

Takae, who was born and raised at the ryokan, demonstrates a profound connection to the place, with a special affection for the gardens that she tends to herself. For her, the ryokan represents stability and constancy in a changing world. Takae firmly believes that upholding tradition is essential for preserving one’s identity and self-awareness. She stresses that tradition provides a sense of belonging. Takae is dedicated to ensuring that the ryokan remains a bastion of tradition, where customs are not only preserved but also transmitted to the next generation. She is concerned about the inn’s future and hopes her granddaughters will carry on its legacy.

Takae was once married and describes her husband as someone who loved questions and was impressed by curiosity. However, there is no information provided about her husband’s name, occupation, or when he passed away.

Takae is a mother to two daughters. The older daughter, named Kasumi, met a tragic fate when she drowned in the baths of the ryokan. The younger daughter, whose name is not mentioned, fell in love with someone from a foreign country and has not come back to Japan, explaining that the distance makes it challenging. She wishes Takae would come to visit her, but Takae is unwilling to leave Japan. Kasumi tragically drowned in the baths of the ryokan. Sadly, the younger daughter did not return home even for Kasumi’s funeral.

Kasumi’s death deeply impacted Takae, leaving her burdened with overwhelming guilt. She blames herself for preventing Kasumi from going out to visit a friend on that fateful night, feeling that she should have been the one responsible for the bath duties and that Kasumi’s tragic drowning should have been her own fate. Takae’s remorse and sorrow are intensified by the regret of not allowing Kasumi to pursue her interests outside of the ryokan. Takae strongly believes in the supernatural and claims that the ryokan is haunted by the spirit of Kasumi. She feels that Kasumi’s spirit is trapped and harbors a deep-seated anger, which is the reason it has persisted in some manner within the ryokan.

In the end, with her concerns about losing the ryokan behind her, Takae discovers herself busier than previously anticipated. Her appointments for traditional arts classes are fully booked several months in advance.