On Sunday, Paul posted a video in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, a forest at the base of Mount Fuji known as the “suicide forest” for its popularity with people who want to end their lives. Aokigahara is so notorious, it was the subject of the film, The Forest, about an American woman who goes to Japan to find her missing sister.
Paul had been on a tour of Japan, where he had been criticized for mocking the country’s culture during his daily 15-minute videos.
“Literally this place is content gold,” he said at the end of one of his first few videos there.
Paul had decided to visit Aokigahara and highlight its “haunted” aspect. In fact, he wrote on Twitter the day before he posted the video of the forest – “tomorrow’s vlog will be the craziest and most real video I’ve ever uploaded.”
Paul and his cohorts were filming in the forest when they came upon a body hanging from the trees. Paul called to him and asked someone to call the police. Then, however, he began to make light of the situation.
“This is a first for me. This literally probably just happened,” he said of the person, whose face is blurred in the video.
Off camera, one of his cohorts says: “I don’t feel good.”
“What, you never stand next to a dead guy?” Paul replies.
“No,” his friend replies.
At this point, Paul bursts into laughter.
Then, he says, “It was gonna be a joke. This was all a joke. Why did it become so real? Depression and mental illnesses is not a joke. We came here with the intent to focus on the haunted aspect of the forest. This just became very real.”