According to the legends, Okiku was a maid of a japanese samurai named Tessan Aoyama. Okiku was very beautiful. The japanese samurai always made advances towards Okiku but she always declined his offers. For Aoyama’s last attempt, he tricked Okiku, he hid one of their ten expensive plates. Okiku soon realized one was missing. She kept counting them but one is still missing. She was horrified because it was a crime that was punishable by death. She went to her master and confessed. He told Okiku that he will not take it publicly only if she agrees to be his mistress. Okiku refused and Aoyama was enraged. He had beaten Okiku to death and dropped her body down a well.

Okiku came back as a yurei and haunts the castle grounds every night. Okiku comes out of the well every night and starts counting from one to nine and breaks out into an ear piercing scream, howling and sobbing. Aoyama went insane by the unending haunting every night.

There were versions that Aoyama hired a priest to exorcise Okiku. They waited for Okiku to come out from the well. When she counted from one to nine, before she lets out her scream, the priest shouted “TEN” and the ghost of Okiku was never seen again.