I think I had this experience until around the time I was in elementary school.
My parents' house is right on the bend of a long, open country road. Often I would wake inside my futon in the middle of the night, and there would be hundreds of "presences" coming down the road. In hushed, whispering voices they would say things that I couldn't catch, slowly walking along, filling the width of the road.
Along the long road was a small shrine. It seemed as though the "presences" were coming from there. Once they reached turned the curve in front of our house, they would always vanish.
Perhaps because I had gradually become accustomed to it since I was young, rather than being afraid I just thought that it was strange, and listened to their voices. I instinctively knew, however, that i mustn't look at the procession. I had a youthful superstition that if I did, the "presences" would change direction and start coming towards me.
The first thing I thought when I received a half-broken camera from my father was, "What would happen if I used this to take a photo of the procession without looking directly at it?" Even if I didn't look myself, the moment I took the photo, would those "presences" flood towards me? In my mind, I pictured the scene of the camera being left behind in my room after I had been taken away, containing only a single photograph...
In the end I never enacted the plan and the camera, treated roughly like a toy, soon broke.
But if I had taken a photo, what would have appeared in it? I don't hear the voices anymore, but I still sometimes wonder what those "presences" were.
...Their whispers. The feeling like they were going to take me away somewhere.
I wanted to try to replicate the "presence" that those impossible things gave off back then in the game. My attempts to reproduce the feeling included not only how things felt on-screen, but also the presentiment sounds the ghosts produce, noise on the screen, vibrations, and so forth, and I think to some extent we succeeded.
Since we were doing this, we recorded my imitation of the voices I heard from the "presences" when I was young, and this was used in the game. I hope it helped to lend a sense of authenticity to the game.
Makoto Shibata (director)