An onryou (怨霊 onryou, "vengeful spirit") is a special type of ghost created under special circumstances. When a person dies, they must wait on the Sanzu River for a shinigami to ferry them across. However, if a youkai steals their body away before they cross the river, that person will become an onryou. Unlike normal ghosts, onryou are hot to the touch.
Onryou in Touhou
In Wild and Horned Hermit, Kasen Ibara describes them as criminal spirits, those that committed sins while alive. These onryou were confined to the old hell, but leaked back to the surface due to the acts of Rin Kaenbyou, who learned how to control them. The onryou are feared by humans and youkai alike throughout Gensokyo.
Recently, the Underground Geyser Center has been plagued by these onryou.
Not to be confused with normal ghosts and poltergeists. Onryou appear to only take on a non-human form, but the Zombie Fairies in Rin's offensive lineup may also be onryou. In the prologue to Subterranean Animism, they are referred to as earth spirits (地霊 chirei), but in all the dialogue, as well as the extra story, they are referred to as onryou.
Mima is described to be an Akuryou in her profile in Mystic Square, as well as been the only one known to be this type so far. Also, this type was reference once again on the first stage of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil by Reimu Hakurei and again on Chapter 25 of Curiosities of Lotus Asia by Reimu.
Characters under this Bestiary
- Wikipedia entry for Onryou