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Top 60 Best Horror Anime [Ultimate Scary Anime List]
Bijesh-Updated May 3, 2021
The word ‘horror’ summons plenty of frightful thoughts to mind. It is at once chilling and exciting, thrilling and paralyzing.
Here at Entoin, we decided to delve into the darkness and bring back 60 top horror and scary anime titles for you to be devoured by.
60. Midnight Horror School
There are only twenty-six students at this school. The creepy part is knowing that each of them has been assigned a name with one letter from the English alphabet.
They are named in order and have their own specific color. The narrative of “Midnight Horror School” anime takes viewers through all the usual school scenes – playroom, music room, library, fountain, cafeteria.
Add a skeleton playground and graveyard to the mix and you have yourself a regular horror party.
The active school staff includes three teachers doing what they do in just three classrooms. There is a lot going on in this anime that meets the eye.
59. Petshop of Horrors
A pet shop in Chinatown owned by a ‘Count D’… It sounds creepy already. He caters to potential pet owners who are in the market for something rare and difficult to obtain.
Count D’s services are satisfying enough to make these people enter into a strange contract with him.
He stipulates a set of rules to go with each contract. All those who obey said rules don’t really see anything uneventful happen.
But those who break them, either intentionally or accidentally, end up discovering that they weren’t as lucky as they assumed they were.
As unexplained deaths swell, homicide detective Leon Orcot rises to resolve the growing caseload. Before long, he connects all the victims to Count D’s pet shop.
That’s when things get truly horrifying in the “Petshop of Horrors” anime.
58. H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and Other Stories
Lovecraft is the godfather of horror. The writer has inspired countless novelists and sundry IPs based on his works.
He has also apparently made it into anime. This series takes just three of his many illustrious stories and renders them into horror-anime greatness.
The stories in question are: “The Festival”| “The Dunwich Horror”| “The Picture in the House”. The animation can get weird, which is certainly nothing to complain about given the genre.
57. Kyoufu Shinbun
This title translates into ‘Horror News’, and certainly lives up to that meaning. A first-year student at Ishido Middle School, Rei Kigata cannot remember a single instance when he believed in the paranormal.
All that changes when an enigmatic newspaper by the name of ‘Horror News’ is delivered to his room in an equally mysterious fashion.
It is midnight and the boy’s sleeping, adding to his anxiety. Curious and nerve-racked, Rei reads the paper only to discover an entry that details one of his teachers dying from a car accident.
It also mentions the boy being witness to the whole thing. The next day, events unfold precisely as the paper ‘foretold’ in the “Kyoufu Shinbun” anime.
From that day onwards, a new edition of Horror News is delivered to Rei’s room, leaving the boy in the terrifying position of knowing bad news that he cannot possibly evade or prevent.
Oh and every time Rei opens the paper, his total lifespan is reduced by a hundred days (!).
Kirie Goshima is, to all intents and purposes, a normal person residing in Kurouzu-Cho town.
She’s expecting her boyfriend (Shuuichi Saito) and goes to meet him at the train station.
Along the way, Kirie spots the boy’s father in an alley staring at a snail shell.
When she brings it up with Shuuichi, the boy informs her that his dad has indeed been acting rather strange lately.
He goes on to share that Kurouzu-Cho is ‘infected with spirals’, and he wants nothing better than to leave town with Kirie.
The spiral-shell-snail moment gradually twists the narrative in the “Uzumaki” anime. Inexplicable events unfold that seem to drive the town’s residents into a spiral of madness.
This is just the tip of the horror-berg that unravels in this show.
55. Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
The title says it well, it is a classic indeed, and one worth finding mention on this list of horror anime.
This series covers three vintage Japanese horror stories. The tale of “Yotsuya Kaidan” sees a woman betrayed by her husband, setting her on a vengeful path, and death is no deterrent to her rage.
The story “Tenshu Monogatari” portrays a forbidden love affair between a man and a goddess.
And ‘Pet Cemetery’ fans take note, the last tale in this lineup is “Bakeneko”, which features a cat-monster whore ire against a certain family goes to extreme lengths.
54. Gregory Horror Show
Season one of the “Gregory Horror Show” anime comprises 25 tales that revolve around a businessman who takes a train from work, arriving at a hotel at the end of his trip.
The owner of this hotel is quite strange. It is an old mouse who goes by the name of Gregory.
Some of the weirdest circumstances unfold as the man accepts the mouse’s invitation to stay only to end up desperately trying to escape the hotel, which has become a prison of horrors.
There are various installments under the broad banner of this anime, all of them worth watching.
Japanese supernaturalism reigns supreme in the “Another” anime. Middle-schooler Koichi Sakakibara is dragged into a horrifying series of events.
A strange girl, Mei Misaki, is responsible for pulling him into circumstances that ensure the meaningless deaths of his classmates.
Random people and students alike are connected to the dark events that unravel in this intense anime that comprises twelve episodes and an OVA.
What started out as a remarkable Japanese novel saw itself being adapted into an anime series that enjoyed twenty-two episodes and two OVAs.
The story takes place in 1994, in Sotoba village. Unexplainable deaths haunt the villagers ‘coincidentally’ around the time a new family moves into the Kanemasa mansion.
The bizarre disappearances begin with Megumi Shimizu who pays the family a visit to their hilltop home.
She is later found dead in the forest, and gruesomely so. The village’s only doctor Toshio Ozaki attributes hers, and other similar deaths, to a potential epidemic.
The truth outs and everyone soon learns that ‘Shiki’ or vampires are the source of all these murders.
Natsuno Yuuki (part of the new family who moved to Sotoba) is targeted with accusations, thus sparking the dark and sinister narrative that prevails in the “Shiki” anime.
51. Elfen Lied
Fantasy and Horror both merge beautifully in this series that features ‘Diclonius’, a new type of mutated human being.
Their dark gifts include invisible telekinetic arms called ‘Vectors’ and horns to distinguish them from normal people, with whom they share several physical similarities.
Lucy is one such mutant who manages to escape the locked-down facility where she was held and studied.
During her dash to freedom, she receives a head injury that leads to the creation of a split personality.
One part of Lucy remains a killer while the other becomes a child-like person called ‘Nyu’.
Kouta and his cousin Yuka are average people who discover Lucy and take her in.
The ‘Special Assault Team’ who think Lucy is their property, in more ways than one, attempt to reclaim her from the boys.
Other Diclonius entities are sent along with them to ensure a successful retrieval. Brutal and captivating moments soon unfold in the “Elfen Lied” anime.
50. The Promised Neverland
The popular manga version was adapted into an anime in 2018. It follows the children’s escape attempt from ‘Grace Field House’.
The second season deviates a bit from the source material but remains true to the spirit of the story.
In the “The Promised Neverland” anime, an orphan named Emma shares a home with thirty-seven other kids in a sizeable edifice turned orphanage named Grace Field House.
Their ‘mother’ Isabella sees to their education, leisure, and other needs. The children are allowed to go anywhere except outside the house’s gate/perimeter.
When one of the kids, Conny, is adopted it makes for happy news. Emma and her close friend Norman run after her to deliver a doll that Conny had apparently left behind.
The bitter truth reveals itself when Conny is found dead. Emma soon learns that all the children at the House are being raised like livestock to feed demons.
The older children, being in immediate danger, group up and plan an escape. They eventually plan to go back for the other kids and set them free as well.
Plenty of dark and demonic encounters set the pace in this scary series. The man managing these ‘Farms’, Peter Ratri, has to be stopped.
And the head of it all, Legravalima the demon-queen, needs to be eliminated.
49. Future Diary
The original manga was a bestseller, and the anime that released in 2011 was a hit.
The “Future Diary” anime follows a teenage Yukiteru Amano, a daydreamer prone to making notes of this thought using his cell phone.
He creates his own imaginary characters to keep him company when he feels lonely.
Little did Yukiteru imagine that one of those characters, namely ‘Deus Ex Machina the God of Space and Time’, would proclaim himself to be the real deal.
To prove himself, he makes Yukiteru’s phone start predicting future events. A similar state of affairs is seen in the lives of eleven other people, all of whom are now tasked with being part of a game.
Deus promises the winner godhood and, by default, to keep the world from ending. The diary owners have to eliminate one another to get there.
A plethora of captivating characters and heart-stopping narratives unfold in this rather unnerving anime.
48. Devilman Crybaby
This story gets right to the horror point when Akira Fudo is let in on a global conspiracy to keep the actual existence of demons from public knowledge.
In the “Devilman Crybaby” anime, Akira’s childhood buddy, Ryo Asuka, makes the revelation based on personal experience and exposure to dark secrets.
Before long, an underground nightclub brawl reveals to Akira that there is indeed more going on than meets the eye.
Murders, demons, and state secrets play frightful roles in this show, eventually shrouding Tokyo in demonic chaos.
Ryo has their own diabolical secret to reveal to his best friend Akira who by this time has slipped into the role of ‘Devilman’ to take on the growing demon threat.
This show is all kinds of thrilling, with plenty of grand Heaven-Hell-related themes worth watching, to say nothing of its wonderful character arcs.
A manga transformed into a super-popular anime, “Hellsing” aired in 2001 and still remains one of the most beloved horror anime series of all time.
The titular organization is an offshoot of the ‘Royal Order of Protestant Knights’. The Order was originally led by the legendary ‘Abraham Van Helsing’.
The anti-vampire plotline in this series is as bloody as it is deep, pitting the organization’s heirs, members, and allies against hordes of the undead who seek to take over yesteryear England.
Alucard, a powerful vampire, and an ally join the fight along with Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing.
The young woman has seen too much darkness to quit the melee now. Nazi Germany's machinations and plans come to the fore, twisting this brilliant plotline and adding to the vampiric perils prevalent in the show.
Betrayals, horrors, and action-driven thrills suffuse this series.
46. Parasyte: The Maxim
When the manga version was adapted into an anime in 2014, it became a genre game-changer.
The “Parasyte: The Maxim” anime follows the life of high-schooler Shinichi Izumi one of whose hands gets inhabited by a parasitic alien entity.
Other such aliens have successfully taken control of a host’s entire brain. This leaves the hand-alien “Migi” in a peculiar yet horrifying conundrum.
It has to keep its host, namely Shinichi, safe from other aliens who believe he needs to be killed before people learn of this Achilles’ Heel.
The shape-shifting human-eating aliens are out to conquer and want nothing to stand in their way.
Shinichi personally believes that the alien-parasite Migi can help him end the tyranny of the alien race that is intent on ending the human race by taking over their bodies.
The best adaptations come from the manga. The original manga source for the “Monster” anime gave fans plenty to look forward to in the series.
The anime also shines the spotlight on Dr. Kenzo Tenma and his insistence on treating all patients at Eisler Memorial Hospital without any political bias.
When fraternal twins Johan and Anna Liebert come in, following a grisly scenario, Kenzo pounces on the chance to make change happen.
He refuses to treat the injured mayor and addresses the children instead. One thing leads to another, and the good doctor finds himself in the middle of an investigation.
The children have gone missing from the hospital, leaving a trail of death behind. A decade later, the doctor finds himself once again on the trail of mystery and horror via a man named Adolf Junkers.
It leads him to the realization that the kids were part of a secret government soldier program that used psychological re-programming and bio-sciences to create ‘monsters’.
Eugenics, atrocious experimentation, and frightful conspiracies abound in this anime.
44. Deadman Wonderland
A prison used for entertainment where the ‘performers’ are the prisoners in it… So far so insane.
This manga-adapted anime is a thrill-fest for horror fans. In the “Deadman Wonderland” anime, plenty of perfectly placed backstories progress the narrative.
The character focus is on Ganta Igarashi, a student who goes with his class to see the prison only to witness the ‘Red Man’ massacring them all, except for him.
Blame is placed on the boy thanks to a red crystal that the killer placed on his chest.
Ganta is incarcerated in the same prison where he has to find a way to play the ‘games’ and survive.
Meanwhile, he also has to root out the Red Man, get his questions answered, and hopefully find a way to use the killer to prove his innocence.
Deadly challenges, a fatalistic prisoner collar, supernaturalism, gladiatorial gang wars, and bloody horrors abound in this morbidly spectacular show.
43. Tokyo Ghoul
When the anime version of this manga adaptation aired in 2014, it became an instant hit among horror anime fans.
It begins with Ken Kaneki living a normal life and seeking romance in a girl called Rize Kamishiro.
As time goes by he learns that Rize’s a ghoul, one of the thousands who have made a silent and secret home in his city.
He barely survives an encounter with the femme fatale. Worse, upon recovery Ken discovers that he has become a half-ghoul himself thanks to one of Rize’s organs being ‘donated’ to save his life.
Ken now has to learn to balance his dual life in the “Tokyo Ghoul” anime.
At a café called ‘Anteiku’, other ghouls teach him their bloody ways. Ken finds himself a poor fit not just among other ghouls but also normal people.
Guilt at keeping his new self a secret from his bestie, Hideyoshi Nagachika, tortures him.
The show also has a prequel series and a sequel, each with its own memorable characters and plotlines.
42. Ajin: Demi-Human
The anime version of this super-creepy manga aired as recently as 2016 and lives up to the original source material’s paranormal overtones.
The “Ajin: Demi-Human” anime has Nagai Kei experiencing a near-fatal accident, but one that lets him discover that he is in truth an ‘Ajin’.
Learning about his super-regenerative powers and near-immortal genes is only the tip of the horror-berg.
Nagai also discovers a dark skill, he can manifest ‘Black ghosts’.
These combat-crazed entities and other Ajin serve to enhance the show’s plotline and take it into dark storytelling depths.
Governments and normal people are ever defending against the growing Ajin threat.
Neither side is completely innocent, adding to the complex emotions and reactions that pervade this scary series.
Experimentation, ruthless abuse of Ajin, and bloody murders are just some of the things fans have come to expect from this excellent show.
41. Attack on Titan
Both the original manga and the anime that aired in 2013 need no introduction. This post-apocalyptic horror series does not skip on the gore.
It centers on Eren Yeager, who is one among several people who take shelter behind three walls in a world where creatures called ‘Titans’ have ensured the near-extinction of the human race.
Heartbreaking deaths and gruesome attacks set the tone for the “Attack on Titan” anime. Along with friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert, Eren becomes hell-bent on getting rid of the Titans once and for all.
But the road to that goal is long and fraught with horrors. An organization called ‘Survey Corps’ comes to learn of Eren’s unwitting ability to turn himself into a Titan (!).
Confusion and hope battle for supremacy in this brilliant series that has given fans more than a handful of memorable scenes.
Genocide, alternate races, colossal monsters, and deep emotions all play their roles in this superb horror series.
The show may be set in the year 2005, but the chills and creeps are still relevant today.
It uses an American airbase called Kadena on Okinawa Island to set the foundation for a series of unnerving events.
Saya Otonashi is an adopted girl. She experiences several amnesiac moments that are not beneficial to her.
When a hematophagous bat-monster, a ‘Chiropteran’, attacks her Saya soon learns that her blood has a ‘certain something’ that annihilates the creatures.
Along with Haji and her trusty katana, Saya grows into a formidable force for good in the “Blood+” anime.
While fighting Chiropterans on one side, she also harbors plans to learn of her true identity, which places her roots squarely in the mid-19th century.
The series sees Saya going to various world locations: Japan, Vietnam, Russia, France, and the United States.
You die, go into the after-life, find yourself in a strange setting, and with an even stranger black sphere sharing space with you.
The original manga was suffused with futurism, aliens, and weapons galore. Its anime adaptation is not that different.
In the “Gantz” anime, the core characters are left fighting robot monsters and green aliens in an after-death campaign to survive.
High schoolers Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato save a homeless drunk man from a potentially bloody train accident.
The two of them die in the process and are promptly ferried into an afterlife filled with spine-tingling challenges.
A character named Joichiro Nishi encounters and educates Masaru and Kei on their new state of being.
In the room they find themselves in is a large sphere called ‘Gantz’, from where the show gets its name.
One thing leads to another and the two of them are plunged into a world of points-based alien-killing game-like scenarios that are as deadly as they are mysterious.
Horrific and violent themes pervade this series, which is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Dark scenarios and even darker life concepts play their crucial roles in this amazing anime known for its supremely bold narrative.
38. Serial Experiments Lain
As ‘experimental anime’ goes, “Serial Experiments Lain” is a captivating peek into style and storytelling.
Middle-school Japanese girl Lain Iwakura is the central focus of the show. An Internet-ish platform called ‘Wired’ plays a potent and horrific role in the series going forward.
The girl has her own personal issues, but the school she’s studying at seems suddenly to have received a message from a dead student.
Chisa Yomoda seems to be stuck inside a VR game that runs on Wired tech.
Events drag Lain into this world that’s filled with equal parts enigma and fear.
It touches on several scary, and relevant, topics and themes regarding where we’re headed as a species and society in relation to our technological ambitions.
37. Ergo Proxy
Part cyberpunk futurism and part sci-fi horror, the “Ergo Proxy” anime can justifiably be called a genre-bender.
It unravels in a post-apocalyptic future quite reminiscent of the “Bladerunner” films. AutoReiv androids and people attempt to co-exist in peace, but chaos sooner or later raises its ugly head.
When a virus (not covid-19 J) lends the androids higher consciousness, they go on a murder spree.
As a result, Inspector Re-L Mayer is put on the case. He soon learns of dark and complex connections and conspiracies that do this series great credit by way of storytelling.
Classified government experiments complement themes of Gnosticism and Existentialism in this series fraught with the best elements of the horror genre, a generous helping of science fiction tropes, and some of the most diverse animation techniques used for Anime.
36. Highschool of the Dead
Another manga favorite, the “Highschool of the Dead” anime witnesses a pandemic (not the one that originated in Wuhan J) that transforms everyone (by that we mean everyone in Japan J) into zombies.
The core characters in the series often call the un-dead ‘Them’. Several high-schoolers and the school nurse attempt to survive the aftermath of the ‘Outbreak’.
Society is collapsing around them, adding to the horrors (real as well as fictional) that abound in this series.
Morality itself is tested or rather exposed for the lie it always was in human society.
The true horror in this series seems to be its pregnant sub-text, which hints that people are worse than mindless murderous zombies.
But Humanity is redeemed through the show’s main characters, who shed ample light on the power of unity and hope.
35. Blood C
Saya Kisaragi holds the lofty position of being a ‘shrine maiden’. In the “Blood C” anime, this skilled swordswoman roves about eliminating ‘Elder Bairns’ with the blessing of her father.
These Bairns are creatures unrelentingly searching for human blood, and they can ‘inhabit’ objects while they hunt people.
When nearly everyone she loves falls victim to these creatures, the narrative twists Saya’s arc into one of desperate intensity.
She learns a frightful truth about herself that further upsets her aims to rid the world of Bairns.
The creatures have their own reasons why they hunt people and are not as mindless as they seem.
A certain ‘Shrovetide Covenant’ is involved. Dark and horrific truths blend seamlessly with an unforgettable plotline in this remarkable series.
34. Ghost Hound
In the isolated mountain-town of Suiten, the real world seems to be getting a taste of its spirit counterpart.
All sorts of frightful paranormal events seep into real life from some unknown source entry in the “Ghost Hound” anime.
High-schoolers Tarō, Makoto, and Masayuki find themselves smack in the middle of all this.
The three boys have experienced enough childhood trauma to know that they have to survive this new threat and that the only way to do it is to enter the ‘Unseen World’.
At the risk of complete annihilation, the boys enter the spirit realm, somehow being granted allowance to do so.
In the new place, they discover their past traumas taking on a life of their own.
33. Paranoia Agent
There’s no end to the cute memes based on the character Lil’ Slugger.
But in the “Paranoia Agent” anime, there’s more to this entity than meets the eye, and we’re not being paranoid about it J.
Character designer Tsukiko Sagi finds herself trying to sustain her success. Attacks on her person in the dead of night are passed off as lies by detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa.
Before long, a victim is found and the killer, a boy wearing inline skates, is dubbed ‘Lil’ Slugger’.
Plenty of ups and downs, with even more confusion, is thrown into the narrative mix as the detectives try to identify and stop the murderer.
A pattern emerges that puts the killer in a distinctly supernatural light.
It comes to the fore that this Slugger is a manifestation of Tsukiko’s own imagination, the dark and anxious kind to be precise.
Fear feeds this manifestation, further adding to the grim chaos that swells as the series goes forward.
32. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
When Teiichi Niiya enrolled at the Seikyou Private Academy, little did the high-schooler bank on the fact that he was going to become part of a dark and dangerous series of events.
In the “Dusk Maiden of Amnesia” anime, the boy finds himself lost in the academy’s maze-like halls.
Before long, he encounters Yuuko Kanoe, a girl who reveals that she’s in truth a ghost who has lost her memories.
Seven peculiar mysteries at the new school makes Teiichi don the hat of investigator, all so he can help Yuuko move on from the Earth-plane.
Other ‘troubled’ characters come to the fore, adding to the subtle horror and progressive ambiance of this amazing anime series.
31. Black Butler
A popular manga made into an even more popular show, the “Black Butler” anime blends supernatural horror and same-sex romance into one neat package.
The teenage Ciel Phantomhive is indispensable to the Crown, earning him the nickname ‘Queen’s Watchdog’.
The boy hails from aristocratic family background, more than warranting his need for a butler.
However, Sebastian Michaelis is no ordinary human server, he’s a demon with whom Ciel entered into a contract.
The boy wanted power to avenge his parents’ murders, and the demon granted it to him.
When the contract expires, Ciel is doomed to become Sebastian’s property, at which point the demon has made no secret of his desire to devour the boy’s soul.
Victorian-era London culture and a blossoming romance between a demon in the guise of a butler and a teenage boy whose ambitions seem bigger than he appears…
This show packs plenty of surprises and does so elegantly.
As for the horror angle, there is a lot of that sprinkled across the twenty-something episodes that comprise this series.
It takes the form of portentous dialogues and a strong thread of macabre suspense that pervades this entire show.
A medicine salesman without any real name attributed to him in the show faces a series of supernatural perils in the “Mononoke” anime, which has held on to its repute and renown over the years.
The title refers to ‘Ayakashi’, which are spirits of the deceased living unnaturally in reality.
The medicine seller, during his travels and varied encounters with different characters, often meets such spirits that are not altogether friendly.
He promptly starts to dispose of them in his own unique way, by relying on knowledge.
He uncovers each spirit’s shape (or ‘Katachi’), its truth (or ‘Makoto’), and its reasoning (or ‘Kotowari’).
Only afterward does he go about unsheathing his sword, which he uses to exorcise each spirit?
The series provides a relatively soft yet captivating take on the horror genre.
29. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
This series begins in earnest when a virus (not the one that caused the ongoing never-ending pandemic J) transforms people into un-dead corpses or ‘Kabane’.
The “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress” anime takes viewers into a fictional ‘Industrial Revolution’ setting.
The only way for the survivors of the affliction to outlive those who didn’t is to rid their targets of an iron-layered golden heart that glows within their corpse bodies.
Even decapitation works if successfully performed. Steam-pressure guns and melee weapons seem of little use in this fight to survive.
People seek safety within fortress-cities as they sustain the supernatural battle. Fortified steam-driven locomotives are responsible for supply distribution.
Ikoma and his ‘piercing gun’ invention are soon tested when an accident pits people in one of these fortresses against a serious kabana threat.
Ikoma, though coming out a survivor, gradually becomes a kabana-human hybrid following his infection during the melee.
He is what they call a ‘Kabaneri’, and he joins forces with sundry characters to fight the mindless monsters on their own turf in this remarkable Steampunk-ish horror series.
28. Dance in the Vampire Bund
A popular manga that has enjoyed a successful anime adaptation run, the “Dance in the Vampire Bund” series revolves around Mina Țepeș.
Her name is synonymous with the infamous real-life historical figure Vlad Tepes from Central Europe who inspired the very idea for Dracula.
Ruling the vampires and safeguarded by a werewolf guardian named Akira Kaburagi Regendorf, Princess Mina strategizes a way to bring her people out of hiding, and create a safe space for them to co-exist with humans.
She is designated a district called ‘The Bund’ in exchange for paying off the Japanese government’s debts using her vast family fortune.
Tensions rise to the point where they explode, and in a rather fatalistic fashion.
27. Psychic Detective Yakumo
What started out as mystery novels were adapted into manga, which in turn inspired an anime adaptation in 2010.
Key characters like Haruka Ozawa and Yakumo Saito take center focus in the “Psychic Detective Yakumo” show, along with several other notable characters.
Born with a red-hued left eye that lets him see spirits and ghosts, the aloof Yakumo Saitou makes for an interesting character indeed.
His intentions are good, meaning Yakumo only uses his powers to help spirits find peace and move on.
Another student from the same college he attends entails Yakumo’s aid.
Haruka Ozawa and he face a demon possession scenario that inspires the two of them to seek out more such cases and incidents, and go about resolving them with due diligence.
A manga-made anime, the “Tokko” series that aired in 2006 sheds fresh perspective on the horror anime genre.
An investigative organization called ‘Tokko’ sees the character Ranmaru Shindo joining it, specifically its ‘Special Mobile Investigation Force’.
When a girl who appears often in his dreams comes into his view in real life, Ranmaru certainly wishes to know more.
He discovers that she too is part of Tokko, only she works in the ‘Special Public Safety Task Force’.
The boy’s parents were brutally murdered, a personal matter that he aims to resolve – the reason Ranmaru even joined the Tokko in the first place.
With the girl Sakura Rokujo’s help, he uncovers some dark truths that don’t sit well with his soul.
Plenty of emotional and shocking moments pervade this series, which contains a flair for horror drama like few other anime can boast.
25. Trinity Blood
The original light novels were a big hit, enough to inspire an anime adaptation in 2005.
The story in the “Trinity Blood” anime is set 900 years in a post-apocalyptic future shared by humans as well as vampires.
A cold war involving four ‘regimes’ adds to the plot drama. Fighting for identity and survival in this new world is: The Vatican | The vampiric ‘Methuselah’ government | The ‘New Human Empire’ and a version of the former human government.
Bringing a significant twist is Abel Nightroad, who is a rare sort of vampire called ‘Crusnik’, who feeds on other vamps.
His affiliation with the Vatican, of all people, makes for captivating viewing in this dark and bloody series containing themes ranging from futurism to the paranormal.
Its rich character cast adds to its appeal among fans.
What started out as a manga saw the anime spotlight shining on it in 2006.
Set in the 19th century, the “D. Gray-man” anime focuses on exorcists, particularly an organization of them called ‘Black Order’.
Their stand against the ‘Noah Family’ imparts much plot intensity. Oddly enough, this family comprises reincarnations of Noah and his twelve apostles whose every action is driven by their hatred for humanity and God.
A man who calls himself the ‘Millennium Earl’ leads them into this fray. Intelligent sacred artifacts called ‘Innocence’ play potent roles in countering the Noah threat.
A captivating system is established as to how ordinary objects can be wielded as powerful weapons.
These ‘weapons of light’ counter the Noah Family’s ‘Dark Matter’ power source. Controlling demons, accessing superpowers, and fighting to survive all play crucial roles in this amazing anime’s narrative.
23. The Garden of Sinners
Several ‘uncomfortable’ themes are given due focus in the “The Garden of Sinners” anime. Paranormal plotlines merge with familiar concepts of murder, incest, patricide, rape, and suicide in this horror series.
Psychology and Philosophy also flow into the mix, adding to the show’s diverse blend of mature themes, which includes reincarnation, alternate worlds, and the role of the main character in all of this.
The teenage Shiki Ryōgi is a girl who, together with other core characters, explores a rather unnerving side to the truths behind souls, mystic eyes, counterforce, magecraft, Akashic records, and more.
Suffice to say this series is jam-packed with supernatural splendor and is not for the faint-hearted.
22. Corpse Princess
A super-hit manga, the anime version of “Corpse Princess” aired in 2008 and followed in its originator’s successful footsteps.
Makina Hoshimura is the titular ‘Corpse Princess’. To earn her entry into heaven, this undead girl seeks out 108 other undead and hunts them down – specifically, the Shikabane (plural) called ‘Seven Stars’.
A secret sect (Kōgon Sect) of Buddhist monks (Keisei Tagami, in particular) aid her in what they consider a noble endeavor.
Makina and her family were victims of murder, adding to her motivation to get rid of the undead and save others from meeting a similar fate.
The way she wields dual MAC-11 submachine guns adds to her appeal as a character in a horror series.
A bestselling manga series, it justifiably earned its place in the realm of anime in 2007.
In the narrative that pervades the “Zombie-Loan” anime, it is not uncommon to find philosophical connections to death and un-death.
In possession of ‘Shinigami Eyes’, the main character Michiru Kita serves as a signifier for how close someone is to dying.
A color-changing ring adds to the unique animation concept that prevails in this series. When the girl sees two of her classmates – the boys Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana – defying death, she soon learns that they forged a ‘Zombie Loan’.
This obligates the boys to hunt down any undead and thus repay their debt. Plenty of action, deal-making, negotiations, and morality-counters abound in this interesting yet scary anime.
The portions that detail Akashic Records are truly captivating. Those scenes that involve the ‘Ferryman’ are frightfully fantastic.
20. Angels of Death
Also called ‘Satsuriku no Tenshi’, this popular manga-adapted anime contains key horror and paranormal tropes in its rich narrative.
When a teenage girl named Rachel wakes up not realizing where or who she is, the story picks up the pace with her trying to escape the strange building in which she finds herself.
Before long, she understands that several different people and entities are out to kill her before she can make good her escape.
She encounters one such murderous soul in Zack who at first attempts to end her life but then joins her in planning a joint escape.
Horror and Action merge beautifully in the well-paced “Angels of Death” anime.
Searching for ways to use fake paranormal sightings to enhance his video blog, a man ends up getting more than he hoped for when his crew ends up being culled by an actual monster.
In another location in the “Kagewani” anime, students find themselves besieged by a sandworm-creature in their own school.
Sousuke Banba exercises his skills as a researcher to get to the bottom of these bizarre supernatural sightings and circumstances.
The keyword ‘Kagewani’ is all he has to go on. He goes about gathering clues to find a way to end the monster menace.
Before long, Sousuke starts connecting the dots with Sarugaku, a pharmaceutical company whose inquiries into his work hint at something darker in play.
Mystery and the paranormal blend wonderfully in this series.
18. King’s Game
When Kanazawa Nobuaki is transferred to an unfamiliar far-away school, all he can think about is trying to keep the incident that happened in his previous school from getting out at his new one.
In the “King’s Game” anime, suspense and supernaturalism go hand in hand. A sports day inter-class relay event sees Kanazawa having little choice but to get closer to his classmates, and others.
Around this time, a mysterious person calling himself ‘King’ sends simultaneous text messages to everyone at the new school.
While everyone is busy assuming a prank is unfolding, only Kanazawa realizes that history is repeating itself.
He prepares to be dragged into another ‘death game’, but not before trying his best to stop it from happening at all.
Plenty of creeps and thrills in this show.
17. Jujutsu Kaisen
Incredible physical strength contained in a teenage body… That’s what Yuji Itadori has to work with.
That, and every sports club who wants him on board. However grand his popularity ratings, the boy only wants to spend time in his school’s ‘Occult Research Club’, which comprises outcasts.
When Yuji gets his hands on a strange cursed object, everything changes for him in the “Jujutsu Kaisen” anime.
The object is sealed for a reason. When he and fellow club members decide to go breaking that seal, what gets unleashed is nothing less than terror made manifest.
16. High-Rise Invasion
Originally titled ‘Tenkuu Shinpan’, this anime truly comes packing some horror-worthy elements. Yuri Honjou encounters an assailant who has just finished killing a man by cracking his head wide open using an axe.
She’s in an abandoned building when this takes place. Her attempts to escape are foiled when she realizes that every door is locked, and bizarrely so.
When the teenager finally makes it to the roof, all she sees for miles around is a lifeless world.
Terrified and surrounded by endless sights of high-rise edifices, Yuri gives in to despair. She soon learns that her brother is also entangled in this paranormal mess, and it stokes a fire of determination in her to find him.
Unfortunately, several masked killers stand against her, each one looking for ways to satisfy their appalling desires in the “High-Rise Invasion” anime.
‘Nanaki Village’ is an urban legend, but that does not stop a bunch of people from getting into a bus together to go find it.
This place is said to be a utopia, and each of the eccentric characters who have chosen to go there is desirous to claim a slice of that life.
The “Mayoiga” anime starts off along such simple lines but the narrative is soon propelled into metaphysical depths.
Talk ensues among the travelers as to why the police have failed to pin down the exact location of Nanaki Village, let alone how it doesn’t exist on any map.
Multiple mishaps later, the group arrives at the ‘enchanted’ location only to observe that it has been subjected to terrible disrepair and consequent abandonment.
Secrets come to light, and some members of the group go missing. Bloody marks in the forest made from what appears to be claw are also discovered.
The people give in to mistrust and fear as they gradually realize that Nanaki Village might be the exact opposite of what its legend promised.
14. Occultic Nine
Yuuta Gamon, a NEET teen, and his bestie, Ryouka Narusawa, have partnered on running and maintaining a blog that is anti-paranormal in every way.
Soon, the club attracts a bunch of seemingly unconnected individuals from their high school.
These characters include Miyuu Aikawa, the fortune teller | Ririka Nishizono, a doujin artist whose work predicts the future | Sarai Hashigami, the realist whose family met with a great tragedy | Touko Sumikaze, a reporter | Shun Moritsuka, a baby-ish otaku detective | Aria Kurenaino, an expert on curses and who practices magic and finally, Aria’s very own ghost friend.
Together they define the title of the show “Occultic Nine”. They experience a diverse set of mysteries and scenarios where murder and magical mayhem push them closer towards a deep and dark understanding of the supernatural.
13. Ito Junji Collection
Monsters promise a fatal death no matter if it is day or night. The reason why nobody can stop these creatures is that nobody knows anything about them.
The only thing the characters of the “Ito Junji Collection” anime can do is their best to stay alive.
The show lives up to its name and contains a collection of varied tales that expose the viewer to some truly horrific stories.
These tales include a slug that grows inside the mouth of a girl | a spirit at a mist-filled crossroads offering advice of cursed nature nightmares that span decades and take the victim quite deep | a jade carving whose curse tears holes in the bodies of its victims…
You’re probably starting to see just how insanely horror-centric this show is.
A supernatural romance novel, a manga, and finally an anime, “Kurozuka” tracks the life and times of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, aka ‘Kurou’.
This man lives in the 12th century and has recently lost a fight with Japan’s first Shogun ruler, who also happens to be his brother Minamoto no Yoritomo.
Whereas history says the man took his own life, the truth is he found a woman as mysterious as she is beautiful.
Kuromitsu resides in her mountain home and she eventually wins Kurou’s love. The woman, however, harbors a dark secret.
She has somehow made Kurou immortal, leaving him to witness more than a thousand years as Japan steadily evolves into its modern destiny.
The show is equal parts adventure, action, fantasy, and horror, and makes for fine viewing.
11. Terra Formars
Much like Elon Musk and others, the “Terra Formars” anime has 21st-century characters aiming to colonize Mars.
Strangely, though not too far-fetched, the show’s core characters sent algae and cockroaches first to see if these two tough survivor-organisms could establish themselves on the Red Planet.
The narrative gradually takes viewers into the 26th century when the roaches have long since proved their remarkable ability to survive on Mars.
Having adapted and evolved into bizarre creatures called ‘Terraformars’, the humanoid ‘new roach’ species on Mars are impressively intelligent.
Also around this time, Earth is beset with the ‘Alien Engine Virus’ (a strange artistic parallel to the covid-19 virus currently mutating like it’s being paid to do so).
The cure (for the virus in the series J), they say, is probably on Mars, where the contagion was said to have originated in the first place. ‘Annex I team’ is dispatched to the Red Planet.
The team comprises genetically enhanced (using powerful animal genes) humans. This show is a blend of fantasy, adventure, and horror and it doesn’t stop there.
10. Boogiepop Phantom
When grisly killings haunt a city, things can get justifiably panicky.
After a long time, rumors of one such event arise again, causing the people in the “Boogiepop Phantom” anime to grow fearful and distrustful.
The killer in question is Boogiepop – Meet her one dark night and you are taken, or so goes the rumor.
In the modern world, there seems to be no room for urban legends like Boogiepop.
People use her stories in jokes. But growing evidence comes to the fore that something is not right in the city, and it has all the makings of Boogiepop preternaturalism.
9. Tokyo Majin
When Tatsuma Hiyuu transfers to Magami Academy, he feels like a fish out of water.
His martial arts prowess and ‘outside’ status only land him one friend: Kyouichi Houraiji, the one delinquent in class.
Circumstances gradually bloom for Tatsuma when he befriends: wrestling club member Yuuya Daigo Student Council President | Aoi Misato | and the Girls’ Archery Club Captain Komaki Sakurai.
When the five of them encounter Hisui Kisaragi (who maintains his family’s antique store and is the young heir to the Kisaragi Clan), they learn that a great disruption took place in the ‘Ryumyaku’ (Dragon Pulse / Dragon Stream / Dragon Vein).
It awakened a supernatural force inside each of the five characters. They decide to use their newfound powers to defeat Oni (demons) that have apparently been ravaging Tokyo.
The Ryumyaku was awoken by force, meaning Dark Arts were involved in the five characters gaining their powers at all.
The main characters in the “Tokyo Majin” anime need to get to the truth of things before whoever is working from the shadows fulfills their goals.
Along the way, all five also have the ‘Stars of Fate’ to contend with, which could reveal their true destinies.
Being Japan’s top player in a popular video game and having little else to show but this has proven challenging for Ryouta Sakamoto.
The game in question is called ‘Btooom!’, a moniker shared by the anime itself. When Ryouta wakes up one day on a deserted island, a green crystal in his left hand and a world of dark horror unraveling before him, his personal life challenges only get worse.
He doesn’t recall how even got to the island, but he observes an emerging pattern.
He’s apparently in a real-life version of his favorite game, only this time the stakes are literally life or death.
All he has for weapons are a bag of bombs called BIMs. On the island with him are seven other participants, each of whom is tasked with killing the others and claiming their embedded green crystals as proof of kill.
The “Btooom!” anime has what it takes to give “Mortal Kombat” a run for its money.
Plenty of hidden truths and unforeseen horrors await Ryouta, and his newfound ally Himiko, in this show.
The series proves that the real monsters, the true horrors, are inside human beings, not fantastical creatures or demons.
7. Danganronpa The Animation
At Hope’s Peak Academy, only the cream of the crop are allowed to enroll. Based on their individual skills and talents, each student is granted their own title.
Fifteen new students have joined the alumni this year, one of whom is Makoto Naegi.
Having entered on pure chance, he is given the title ‘Super High School-Level Luck’. What starts off as excitement and gladness at being part of this reputed academy fades into sentiments of horror.
Principal Monokuma confronts the new students, traps them inside the school, and demands that they kill one of their own without anyone else knowing.
That’s the only way they will all get to escape let alone graduate. If the crime is discovered, the sloppy killer is promised a death sentence.
The idea of this macabre match is to leave just one graduate standing.
6. Requiem from the Darkness
Yamaoka Momosuke grows bored of writing riddles for kids. He decides to gather terrifying tales into an anthology worth reading.
The title for his new book is Hyakumonogatari, or ‘One Hundred Tales’. During his research, he encounters a strange trio called ‘Ongyou’.
Essentially detectives, these three individuals are busy trying to root out the truths behind various myths.
In doing so, they hope to impart justice to those in the wrong. Every time Yamaoka encounters the Ongyou, he is left fighting an inner battle where his morality is tested by the sharp blades of Truth.
He is, after all, seeing things that are apparently forbidden.
5. Jigoku Shoujo
‘Hell Correspondence’ happens to be a strange website only accessible by night, and open only to select pre-chosen individuals.
The criteria is simple: you need only harbor a grudge strong enough to grant you access.
Upon gaining entry, you merely enter the name of the person on whom you have a burning grudge, and rest assured they’ll promptly be dragged to Hell.
To Ai Enma, whoever reaches Hell in this manner may or may not be guilty of what someone thinks of them.
She doesn’t care. Hell Girl’s duty is to deliver punishment to everyone she encounters. Accompanying this enigmatic figure in her gruesome goals are three straw dolls.
One glaring caveat stands strong in the “Jigoku Shoujo” anime. Whoever typed the name that sent someone down to Hell will themselves spend an eternity in the fiery pits once they die.
It is the 22nd century and Japan has seen some loathsome changes. The ‘Sibyl System’ is in effect, designed to determine the threat level of each citizen.
It violates all privacy and ‘reads’ people’s minds to ascertain any criminal intent hidden inside them.
Everyone is given a ‘Psycho-Pass’ which records such details for those in authority to demand at any time to see.
Lethal law enforcement and subjugation occur via the ‘Inspectors’. Then there are the ‘Enforcers’, who are essentially latent criminals granted some freedom and exemptions as long as they do some dirty work for the Inspectors.
Akane Tsunemori – honest, justice-driven, and ambitious – learns the darker side of the System when she starts working under Shinya Kougami, a veteran Enforcer.
Knowing there may be no way to alter or better the Sibyl System, she starts warring with the morals and principles that she’s held in high esteem all her life.
Plenty of Orwellian horror themes rooted in foundations of realism are contained in the outstanding “Psycho-Pass” anime.
3. Ghost Hunt
Taniyama Mai and her buddies are fond of sharing ghost stories when they’re together at school.
An abandoned building inside their campus has long been the source of haunted tales and paranormal rumors.
When they start talking about the place in the “Ghost Hunt” anime, they are abruptly interrupted by a teenage boy named Shibuya Kazuya.
This boy just so happens to be the president of the ‘Shibuya Psychic Research Company’.
He was called in by the school principal himself to study and debunk the strange stories that surround the abandoned edifice.
Later, when Mai passes by the same building, she spots a camera inside and goes to investigate.
Shibuya’s assistant was busy recording footage and, in the growing confusion, the camera is broken and the assistant is injured.
Shibuya has little choice but to make Mai pay for her error in judgment by taking the assistant’s place in future studies.
She is soon dragged into a world of ghost hunts and occult truths.
Fated to be a target of demons till the day he dies, Guts is one of the most memorable characters in horror anime.
He fights against overwhelming odds to survive, going even against his own fate. Scores of supernatural creatures hound him with the single aim of being the first to finish him off.
Through sheer will and courage, Guts stands strong against them in the “Berserk” anime. One man was responsible for putting him in this fatal position.
And so, armed with the Dragonslayer blade, Guts seeks him out to exact his vengeance and hopefully end the cycle of horror and death.
It doesn’t help matters that this man in question was once Guts’ friend. During his dark journey, Guts makes allies who include: Isidro, an ambitious swordsman trainee-thief, and Puck, a tiny elf.
Together, they decide to face demonic dangers and support Guts in his quest to seek a resolute conclusion to this spectral mess.
1. Death Note
Still one of the creepiest most unnerving shows ever adapted from manga to anime, “Death Note” has stood the test of time in more ways than one.
A ‘Shinigami’, aka ‘god of death’, can kill anyone it chooses. As long as this entity can see the person’s face and has learned their name, it can almost instantly strike them down anywhere in the world.
A human being in possession of a ‘Death Note’ is given the grisly responsibility of choosing who dies.
This is how Ryuk, a death god on the verge of utter boredom, sends a Death Note to high-schooler Light Yagami.
Wanting desperately to see justice in an increasingly corrupt world, Light uses the Note to jot down the names of criminals.
He sits back, aghast yet satisfied, as he sees them perish one by one. Realizing that he is in control of devastating power, Light aims to rid the world of all criminals and eventually be worshipped as its god.
An eccentric but ingenious detective named ‘L’ is all who stands in his way. L knows that such power over life and death will only end up corrupting the one who wields it.
Polar-opposite moralities war with macabre themes and frightful reasoning in this unforgettable horror anime.