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Lavender Town Syndrome

Lavender Town as seen in Red and Green.

The Lavender Town Syndrome (also known as "Lavender Town Tone" or the "Lavender Town Suicides") was a peak in suicides and illnesses of children between the ages of 7-12 in Japan back in February 27th, 1996. The phenomenon occurred shortly after the release of the first Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Green.

Rumors say that these suicides and illnesses only occurred after children playing the game reached Lavender Town. The location's theme music had extremely high frequencies that studies have shown only children and young teens can hear, because their ears are more sensitive.

Due to this effect, at least two hundred children supposedly committed suicide, and many more developed conditions and afflictions. The children who killed themselves usually did so by hanging or jumping from heights. Those who did not often acted irrationally and complained of severe headaches after listening to the theme.

This mass hysteria was caused by the first released version of the game. After the incidents, the programmers fixed the location's music to be at a lower frequency. Lavender Town now sounds differently depending on which Pokémon you're playing, but since that change, children are no longer affected by the song.

One video appeared in 2010 using "special software" to analyze the audiowaves of Lavender Town's music. When played, the software created images of the Unown near the end of the audio. This created controversy, since the Unown don't appear in the series until the Generation 2 games: Silver, Gold, and Crystal. The arrangement of the Unown appears to translate to "LEAVE NOW".

The original Lavender Town theme can be listened to below. Viewer discretion is advised.


Lavender Town (Original Japanese Version from Pokemon Red and Green)

Original author unknown

Originally uploaded on April 28th, 2011