This started as me trying to find wiki sources for some of the persistent scraps of info that keep circulating fandom without anyone seeming to know where they come from, and I figured I'd share what I find (or don't, in many cases), and we can all pool our wisdom and google-fu.
Credit to Chelsea for her amazing translations, without which we'd all still be in the dark! Also for drawing attention to a lot of this stuff in the first place, because I probably would have kept repeating it without a second thought otherwise.
If you've found a source for any of these rumours, please say so and I'll add it! Also, feel free to use this thread to ask if there's any info you've seen around and wondered where it came from, whether on the forums or the wiki or elsewhere.
- There is a real Himuro Mansion.
The US version of Fatal Frame famously claims that it was "Based on a true story". Several years ago, an article was published on a paranormal website claiming to have found information about the "real" Himuro Mansion haunting. As you can see from the comments, there are plenty of people willing to claim that they've heard about it, or even been there themselves, but there's very little concrete information.
This is one of those things that's really difficult to get to the bottom of, because it's been repeated and reposted all over the place, and a lot of discussion about it was lost when the old forums were deleted. What is certain is that the Japanese and European marketing did not include the "Based on a true story" tagline. I haven't managed to find a source for the Makoto Shibata quote in the article linked above - anyone know where that's from?
I find the "Himikyru Mansion" legend extremely dubious for one very simple reason: Himikyru is not a Japanese word and can't even be written in Japanese. Personally, before I accept any "real Himuro Mansion" story, I'm going to want a bit more than a made-up word, a possible location covering a very large area, and a few photos showing examples of common Japanese architecture and interior design. A Japanese shrine in a wood at the top of a long staircase is about as singular as a small village church with a graveyard and a steeple in rural England - it's not even unique within the series.
However, until someone goes to Japan and gives us a certain answer one way or the other, I will grudgingly admit that it's difficult to say for sure that this is false.
- There was supposed to be a subplot about Dr. Asou in Fatal Frame, but it was removed during development.
I'm not sure where this one came from. It's been around a lot longer than I've been in the fandom. I've seen it attributed to "interviews", but I've never seen anything more specific than that.
I really never questioned this until I went looking for a citation to add to the wiki and couldn't find one. It's entirely possible I missed something. I hasten to add, this is not an implausible rumour and nothing contradicts it - Tamashizume, Seijiro Makabe's book in the Zero Akai Chou Complete Official Capture Book definitely mentions that Dr. Asou disappeared after going to investigate Himuro Mansion, and his camera had to have arrived there somehow. I can quite believe that the FF1 subplot rumour is true, but until a more definite source turns up, I have to categorise it as unconfirmed.
Fatal Frame II
- The Tsuchihara family had their power stripped from them by the Kurosawa Family.
This is another one that predates my arrival in fandom, so I'm just guessing at its source. It was commonly believed that this information was included in the fanbook, but I know Chelsea's been combing it for any mention of the Tsuchiharas for ages and hasn't found anything yet.
The only information given about the Tsuchiharas, aside from the one or two bits we get in-game, comes from Tamashizume in the Zero Akai Chou Complete Official Capture Book again. They're mentioned in connection with the Storehouse in the House of the Secret Festival chapter, but there's nothing about a fall from grace in there. Like the Asou subplot rumour, until someone can dig up a definite source, this has to be considered an unconfirmed bit of fanon.
- Chitose starved to death.
This is an oddly persistent idea, but I'm not sure where it came from. The best I can find is a really old Chitose fansite which posits a theory that she managed to escape the Repentance by hiding, but then couldn't get out of the closet and starved to death. However, the author never claims it's anything more than a theory.
The game never says exactly how Chitose died. There's no way to be sure that she didn't starve to death, but I don't think there's really any reason to think she did, either.
- Twin Shrine Maidens undergoing purification before the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual took the name "Futago".
This was always linked to the Zero Shisei no Koe Comic Anthology, specifically the Crimson Dream chapter, but the chapter doesn't actually use any different vocabulary from Fatal Frame II. The confusion arises because in Japanese, the word 家 (house) can refer to both the literal building and the household, the family living inside it. (The same is true of the word "house" in English, if you think about it!)
Both Fatal Frame II and Crimson Dream refer to twins moving into the Twin (Futago) Houses before the ritual. Neither say anything about a Futago family.
Fatal Frame III
- Ruri is Miku's cat, and was given to her by her parents.
Conflicting information / False.
It's obvious enough where the idea of Ruri as Miku's cat came from - Ruri spends so much time hanging out in Miku's room, and there's even a picture of Ruri in Rei's notebook entry about Miku. So that's an understandable assumption to make.
As for the second part, though, about Ruri being a gift from Miku's parents, I haven't a clue where that started. I know it's been on the wiki since early in 2008, but I've never seen a source for it, not even a vague one like the oft-repeated "Tsuchiharas in the Fanbook" legend.
From what I can find out, Ruri is Rei's cat, who was named by Miku. (Source, Translation.) A second page on the website also identifies her specifically as Rei's cat. (Source, Translation.)
ETA: Okay, the FF3 Complete Official Capture Book actually does say on page 5 that Ruri is Miku's cat. So there is definitely conflicting information about who Ruri belongs to, and I think Ruri, being a cat, would probably want to belong to the person who feeds her. Still haven't tracked down the claim about Miku's parents, though.
- Spirit Camera's Japanese name is "Shinrei Shashin".
I was here for this one, and I know exactly where it started! Way back in August 2011, before the official Spirit Camera announcement, there was an article about it in Famitsu, and the blog that brought it to everyone's attention mistakenly gave the name as "Shinrei Shashin" (the original seems to be gone now, but here's another blog post linking to it), and pretty soon it was everywhere. The mistake is understandable, since "shinrei shashin" is an established phrase referring to spirit photography.
Spirit Camera is "Shinrei Camera" in Japanese.
Deep Crimson Butterfly
- DCB's theme song is called "Kurenaru".
This one seems to have died a death now, fortunately, but I decided to include it just in case. This is a simple misreading of the rare character ゐ, wi, as the much more common る, ru. Tsuki Amano even talks in interviews about why she chose to use that particular kana in the title (one such interview can be found on pages 54-57 of the DCB guidebook, Translated here), and it's easy to check official material to see which spelling she uses.
DCB's theme song is "Kurenai", which means "Crimson".
Those are the ones I could think of, but I'm sure there are more. Like I say, please feel free to contribute sources, argue with my conclusions, etc. And if there's anything you've seen that you'd like a source for, post here and we'll try to help!