Ready to have nightmares? We have selected for you some of the most ghoulish and interesting anime that every Horror Anime fan needs to see!
Attention: the titles that appear in the list are not ordered in order of best or worst. They are just our suggestions on what we consider to be the best anime within the genre. 😉
Top Best Horror Anime To Watch :
30. Yakusoku No Neverland (2019)
Despite having a disastrous second season, The Promised Neverland is an excellent example of what is known as suspense and horror. The first season is masterful in its genre, using visual and musical elements to create a terrifying atmosphere without much effort.
We follow a trio of orphans at the Grace Field Orphanage, where they live safely and securely in the care of their «mother», Isabella. But all the children at Grace Field know that one day they will have to be adopted, and Emma, one of the oldest, suffers greatly to see them go. Especially since he never receives a letter from the children who have left.
The day when one of her little favorites leaves is very hard for her, and when she discovers that she has forgotten her stuffed bunny, she asks her best friend Norman to accompany her to deliver it to her before she leaves.
But what Norman and Emma discover is that the orphanage is not what it seems, and its caretaker is not what it claims to be.
29. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu (2015)
This series is full of body horror , and much of its terror depends on visual resources. With a story of alien invasion and a very endearing protagonist, Parasyte is a favorite title for many fans.
One day, they just came. Humanity was crowded with alien series with parasite qualities that could develop within any human being. Now, they could all be enemies hidden behind a normal appearance.
The young Shinichi Izumi falls victim to one of the parasites, but when he fails to take over his brain, it ends up staying in his right hand. They are both in danger, Izumi learns quickly, and they will have to work together if they are to survive in this world where absolutely everyone is a predator.
28. Deadman Wonderland (2011)
In Deadman Wonderland , the atmosphere very well serves its purpose of confusing the viewer and generating suspense. We are in a Japan devastated by an earthquake that sank 70% of Tokyo. But our protagonist did not have to live the disaster, and only wants to have a normal life.
Ganta lives in Nagano prefecture, where the famous Deadman Wonderland prison is housed, a place where inmates perform presentations for visitors as part of an entertainment system. One day, the young man is scheduled to visit that prison, until the mysterious red man appears in his life.
After massacring his entire class and embedding a mysterious crystal in his chest, the man leaves, leaving Ganta deeply traumatized. But as if that were not enough, now they accuse him of having killed all his companions, and he ends up entering the prison that they were going to visit that day.
27. Devilman: Crybaby (2018)
This Netflix original ONA takes another take on the classic hyper-violent story of Go Nagai, one of the most important mangaka in history. In the 1970s, Go Nagai attempted to tell an extremely human story by focusing on the friendship of two young men, Ryou Asuka and Akira Fudou. The original series is from the year 72, with 39 chapters in total.
However, this new story from another point of view belongs to Masaaki Yuasa, who maintained the psychological terror and visual horror by using a macabre color explosion in all the catastrophic scenes. Yuasa’s version of Akira as Devilman is a walking contradiction, and his reasons for fighting and maintaining his humanity are very easy to sink deep into the audience. Furthermore, Ryou’s role as co-star and master manipulator behind the scenes is also very interesting.
26. Hellsing Ultimate (2006)
The reason we mention Hellsing Ultimate instead of the original Hellsing anime , is that Ultimate takes the element of horror a bit further. It is a ten-episode OVA and is the favorite of manga fans, as it sticks much more closely to its story.
In a world where nocturnal creatures devour humans, there is an organization in charge of ending them. Hellsing is run by Integra Fairbrook, a woman who has an army powerful enough to keep these dangerous creatures in check.
But in addition, Integra has a weapon much more powerful than that army: the vampire Alucard, the exterminator of his own species. Together with his servant, Victoria Seras, Alucard must fight against monsters and all those who oppose Hellsing.
25. Perfect Blue (1998)
From the master of suspense, Satoshi Kon, comes Perfect Blue, one of the anime that has inspired multiple American feature films due to its daring premise and dark atmosphere. In the story we follow the group CHAM !, a J-pop girl band that has spent two years entertaining their fans, but everything has an ending, and CHAM! will have to say goodbye to one of its members soon.
Mima Kirigoe, the girl who wants to retire from the world of idols, dreams of becoming an actress. But that decision generates an ambivalent reaction from the public, and by adding a stalker who wants to drive her crazy, that the group is doing better without her, and that her acting debut has not turned out as expected, Mima begins to feel that her world It is collapsing around you. This coupled with a web page that insists on impersonating it in minute detail, and the poor woman begins to lose her grip on reality.
This movie inspired Black Swan by director Darren Aronofsky.
24. Kenpuu Denki Berserk (1997)
Yes, we are aware that Berserk has multiple adaptations. But let’s pretend that that thing they did in 2016 and called Berserk doesn’t exist. Just for the sake of our eyes. The best version of this story is logically the manga, but the second best version is the adaptation of 97, which had 25 episodes.
Guts is a young mercenary who lost his mother at birth, and has been raised and shaped by a fight for survival. Earn enough to survive, from one massacre to the next. But her life changes when she meets Griffith, the charismatic leader of the Falcon Squad. Guts proves his worth as he rises through the ranks, but gradually he will realize that the world is full of nuances and that it is not as black and white as he originally thought.
In Berserk we will see good terror, with strong and action-packed scenes, psychological terror and more.
23. Paprika (2006)
Another suspenseful masterpiece from the incredible Satoshi Kon, Paprika is another one of his works that has inspired many American filmmakers. In this story, we see how the world of dreams is confused with reality.
In a relatively futuristic world, a company has been developing a technology specialized in dreams. The DC Mini allows the user to enter the dreams of the patient, since it will be used for the study of important psychological disorders.
But this access to a person’s deepest psyche comes with great responsibility, and this artifact can wreak havoc if not used properly. It could even be used as a terrorist weapon. And this nightmare comes true when technology is stolen, and people start to act very strange around it.
Many of the film’s scenes inspired Christopher Nolan’s Inception .
22. Gantz (2004)
Gantz is the fever dream of any fan of visual horror and gore in the 2000s. The series took the world by storm with its very adult and risque content for something televised (which brought censorship in several countries ) and the premise of it also brought with it a concept taken from your worst nightmares.
At Gantz , death is not the end. It is just the beginning of a desperate fight for survival. The protagonist, Kei Kurono, is a good-for-nothing young man who, the first time he decides to sacrifice himself for someone else, ends up dead. Well, what is your surprise when you wake up in a room with a lot of strangers and a black ball that gives you weapons and a special suit …
There he discovers that he has to fight for the opportunity to return to his normal life. But his objective is not just anything, but rather they are violent aliens that increase in difficulty the longer he remains in the «game». Gantz is definitely not for everyone, as it is one of the toughest series on the list. But we can’t help but recommend it.
21. Pupa (2014)
Unfortunately, Pupa suffered a series of production delays, which led to a budget cut and short episodes that completely eliminated the atmosphere of horror. In fact, we highly recommend that if you are fans of horror, you can read the manga, as the story is very interesting and shows a dependent relationship between siblings who need each other to survive.
As we mentioned above, Pupa is about a pair of brothers, Utsutsu and Yume. They both only depend on each other as they were abandoned by their parents, which was actually a blessing as they were so abusive towards them. The problem begins when a mysterious virus called Pupa begins to affect the city.
Utsutsu and Yume are infected by the virus, but the young man creates a kind of resistance and regeneration ability, while Yume succumbs more and more to the hunger for human flesh that transforms her into a monster. Thanks to his new powers, the young man will have to watch how he feeds her, while she becomes increasingly savage and hungry.
It is an extremely interesting premise and far removed from the «brother complex» that Japanese media tend to have, but unfortunately the anime adaptation does not do it justice.
20. Umineko no Naku Koro ni (2009)
If you are one of those who are looking for an anime with deep characters and a plot without «loose ends», then you better move on to the next title on our list … But if you are passionate about VERY strange death scenes and a mystery behind on the other, Umineko no Naku Koro is not the anime that you cannot miss.
The story takes place on an island where the characters are trapped and, one by one, begin to die in terrible ways. Bathler Ushiromiya is the protagonist of the plot and will have to discover if the murders are the work of human beings or … of something else. Originally, Umineko no Naku Koro ni was based on one of the chapters of the game series When They Cry , developed by the 07th Expansion group , as well as another title also known to anime fans : Higurashi no Naku Koro ni .
19. Kagewani (2015 – 2016)
Kagewani ( «Shadow Crocodile» ) is an anime series of shorts of just eight minutes each, created exclusively for television.
The anime tells the story of Sousuke Banba, a renowned scientist who travels the world investigating monstrous creatures (known as «UMA» – Unknown Mysterious Animal) that emerged recently and are destroying humanity.
18. Ghost Hunt (2006 – 2007)
This is probably one of the most popular horror genre titles among anime fans. And no wonder, Ghost Hunt does justice to its fame and manages to cause many scares with its well-constructed script and chilling scenes.
As its name suggests, Ghost Hunt presents us with the stories of a team of paranormal investigators who are hired to solve bizarre and lurid cases.
We can expect various typical elements of the horror / horror genre in this anime, from ghoulish ghosts, demonic possessions, undead, vengeful spirits, etc.
The anime is based on the Japanese light novel of the same name created by Fuyumi Ono in 1989.
Just one last warning: watching Ghost Hunter before bed means having many ballots to have not very pleasant dreams … It runs at your own risk.
17. School Days (2007)
Well, at first we can’t define School Days as a horror anime , I know … But, as the story unfolds, as a seemingly innocent slice of life , the plot begins to take such an unexpected and bizarre that will leave you in shock when you get to the end!
School Days shows the darker side of human beings, the distortion of values and the loss of moral principles.
We advise you not to judge this anime by its first episodes. Despite its initial appearance, it goes much deeper and contains several important lessons that can lead to your next existential crisis.
16. Pet Shop of Horrors (1999)
This anime tells the story of a pet store run by the mysterious Count D. Obviously, it is not an ordinary store, but is specialized in the sale of «special animals». At the time of taking the pet home, the client must sign a contract with three conditions. If any of the rules is violated … Well, the new owner of the animal will have to bear all the consequences.
Each episode presents a different story, showing the reasons that lead the characters to search for this «special» pet shop.
Unsurprisingly, when several strange and inexplicable deaths begin to occur, all indications point to a common ground: Count D’s pet shop. At that moment, homicide detective Leon Orcot enters the scene, who takes over the investigation. about this mysterious place.
Originally, the anime was based on the manga by Matsuri Akino, published between 1995 and 1998.
15. Mirai Nikki (2011 –2012)
Mirai Nikki revolves around Yukiteru Amano, a rather quirky student who has trouble making friends. Since he has no one to talk to, the boy decides to create a diary on his mobile phone, recording everything that happens in his day-to-day life.
In one of his moments of introspection, the «dominating god of time and space» invades Yukiteru’s thoughts and challenges him to play a game. The divinity gives the student the gift of foreseeing the future through his mobile phone, but only on what is around him, that is, that his own destiny will remain a mystery to him.
Like Yukiteru, 11 other people also receive «special diaries», each having a different ability. The challenge that the «god of time and space» proposes is that all face themselves to the death and, whoever survives, will take the place of divinity. Fun, huh?
As if that «little game» wasn’t weird enough in itself, Gasai Yuno’s character particularly contributes to the anime’s disturbing and weird tone . She is one of the carriers of the «special diaries» and is literally CRAZY with passion for Yukiteru.
The young woman is the creepiest stalker you can find. We mean it very seriously: Yuno is capable of absolutely EVERYTHING because of his platonic love. EVERYTHING!
Mirai Nikki is based on the eponymous manga created by Sakae Esuno, originally published between 2006 and 2010.
14. Chaos;Head (2008)
The series introduces us to the young Takumi Nishijou, a student who suffers from paranoia and constant delusions. The boy doesn’t have many friends and spends most of his time at home, playing video games and watching anime .
However, his life is radically altered when he becomes an eyewitness to horrific crimes. In addition, the young man also discovers the existence of people with «special gifts» that allow them to project lurid delusions on others.
The anime is packed with a lot of graphic and psychological violence, not making it suitable for those who are more sensitive to some issues related to the human psyche.
The anime was released based on the game and the manga developed by Nitroplus and 5pb.
13. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2006 –2007)
The story of this anime takes place in the fictional village of Hinamizawa, focusing on the life of Maebara Keiichi, a young man who recently moved there and who, apparently, is beginning to have a happy life.
But everything changes when the mysterious annual Watanagashi festival arrives, a celebration of gratitude to the god Oyashiro, the protector of the town.
Keiichi discovers that each year one person turns up dead and another disappears during the festival. From then on, the young man is dedicated to investigating the lurid and strange cases involving Watanagashi and the god Oyashiro.
Like Umineko no Naku Koro ni , this anime is also based on the When They Cry game series , developed by 7th Expansion.
Note: The series currently has multiple seasons, with the most recent coming out in 2020 and continuing the story, focusing on the character of Rika Furude.
12. Blood-C (2011)
This is a perfect anime for fans of gore horror! Blood-C is so much blood, probably animators used to make the red ink all existing series in Japan!
Exaggerations aside, by watching the series you understand why blood plays a crucial role in the plot of this anime .
The story revolves around Saya Kisaragi, a seemingly normal student who has a special mission: to fight and defeat the «Elders», horrible creatures who only think of killing humans to extract their blood.
The character design is done by the CLAMP group (which needs no introduction for fans of the genre) and the terrible «Elders» are inspired by the creatures described in the stories of HP Lovecraft, such as, for example, the Myth of Cthulhu. Of course, the traditional monsters of Japanese mythology, which also appear in the series, could not be left out either.
Unlike other titles on this list, Blood-C was adapted into the manga only after the release of the anime.
And, for the clueless on duty, this series is part of the Blood franchise , with Blood-C being the successor to the acclaimed Blood + (2005-2006).
11. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls (2013)
A visually very strong and disturbing anime. By the way, this series is known for its horrible death scenes that will resonate in your memory for a long time …
The story takes place in an elementary school that was demolished after being the scene of terrible murders. In the place the Kisaragi Academy was built, a high school college where the characters of the plot study.
The whole nightmare begins when a group of friends stay at school telling horror stories and, before leaving, they decide to make a friendship pact ( sachiko-san onegai shimasu ). Suddenly, a violent earthquake begins that transports everyone to a dimension where the old haunted school still exists. From there, prepare to close your eyes, because what follows is a succession of deaths each more terrible.
The series is based on the game franchise launched in 1996 by the Team GrisGris group. Later, Corpse Party was adapted to the manga, had OVAs, a live-action and even became an attraction in a theme park.
10. Another (2012)
Perhaps this is one of the anime with the most hype on this list, managing to win over fans due to its plot and well-constructed characters.
The story is about a cursed class at the Yomiyama North School (class 3-3), a place where 26 years ago the young Misaki Yomiyama studied, an exemplary student and adored by all. However, Misaki dies unexpectedly and his classmates continue to behave as if the boy is still alive, even talking to the chair where the young man used to sit in class (and which had been left empty).
Well, things get really tense when Misaki’s spirit appears in the class’s graduation photo. At that moment the chills begin …. Since then, Mikasi’s chair was never occupied by another person, and in case the opposite happened, the students and teachers had to prepare to deal with the «consequences».
The protagonist of the plot is Sakakibara Kouichi, a young man recently arrived in the city who goes to study Yomiyama. Guess where? Exactly, in class 3-3. After a series of macabre events, Kouichi and some friends go on to try to unravel the mysteries that surround the class.
Of course, we cannot forget Misaki Mei, a mysterious student who wears an eyepatch and who, apparently, can only be seen by Kouichi.
9. Elfen Lied (2004)
We advise you to be for the psychological trauma that this anime is going to cause you. Elfen Lied will talk about the diclonius, a kind of horned human mutation, and their conflictive and violent relationship with other human beings.
This is definitely not an anime for minors. Elfen Lied is full of gore scenes, nudity and a lot of physical and psychological violence. Not suitable for sensitive stomachs …
However, the anime presents in the background interesting topics to be discussed, mainly social issues, such as prejudices and preconceptions, for example.
Elfen Lied is based on the popular manga series created by Lynn Okamoto, published between 2002 and 2005.
8. Tokyo Ghoul (2014 – 2015)
In Tokyo Ghoul , humans are no longer at the top of the food chain. In this anime we are introduced to the terrible ghouls, creatures similar to human beings, but that feed exclusively on fresh meat. In this way, humans become the favorite dish of these «butchers».
The story revolves around Ken Kaneki who, after being attacked by a ghoul and struggling between life and death, discovers that he has become a half-ghoul. Therefore, like cannibal hunters, Kaneki needs to consume human flesh if he wants to stay alive.
This anime develops a high quality plot that has been praised by various critics. The characters are also well constructed and the scenes are going to leave you undoubtedly disturbed, mainly due to the brutality of the dystopian reality lived in this terrifying Tokyo.
Tokyo Ghoul is based on Sui Ishida’s manga, published since 2011. In 2017, the live-action adaptation directed by Kentaro Hagiwara was released.
7. Ghost Hound (2007 – 2008)
Ghost Hound (not to be confused with Ghost Hunt ) is produced by the same creator of the acclaimed Ghost in the Shell, Masamuse Shirow.
The plot shows the small town of Suiten being invaded by ghoulish supernatural events and ghosts. Three boys, who share horrible childhood traumas (the protagonists of the story), are «responsible» for investigating the horrible events that plague the region.
Otherwise, at first glance the characters can be a bit cliché, but as the story unfolds we can understand the depth and complexity of all of them.
After the release of the anime , Ghost Hound also won a manga adaptation, under the name Shinreigari ANOTHER SIDE (2007 – 2008).
6. Boogiepop Phantom (2000)
This series is considered by fans an example of «gloomy anime». Boogiepop Phantom is also often described as a complex anime, being compared to another Japanese cyberpunk production from the 1990s, Serial Experiments Lain .
It is necessary to be very attentive to the plot, since it is much more complex than usual. The story is told covering a period of time of five years and at all times we are led to witness events of the past and present, which occur without a linear order.
A large beam of light appears and causes some people to gain special powers. At the same time, some young people began to mysteriously disappear, these disappearances being attributed to Boogiepop, a creature from a local urban legend.
If you don’t have the patience to mess around with plots that lead nowhere, Boogiepop Phantom is an excellent choice. The story goes straight to the point and no nonsense, constantly keeping the climate tense.
5. Jigoku Shoujo (2005 –2009)
What would you do if you had the power to send your enemies immediately to the confines of hell? In Jigoku Shoujo we can witness what the consequences of such actions would be …
The anime revolves around Ai Enma, a mysterious girl who is responsible for fulfilling the requests for revenge that are made through the Jigoku Tsuushin website (which can be translated as «Correspondence from Hell»).
This website of darkness is available every day, but only during midnight sharp. In this period, the user can write the full name of the person he wants to take revenge on, sending him straight to hell. But, not only that … If the person decides to send the cause of his disaffection to hell, this will also be marked by Ai Enma and, when he dies, he will also be taken to the underworld of darkness.
Jigoki Shoujo has three seasons, of 26 episodes each, and in each chapter we witness a different revenge story. The series does not avoid addressing various controversial topics, such as bullying, adultery, sexual violence, etc.
The anime is based on the Miyuki Etoo manga, originally published between 2005 and 2008.
4. Ayakashi – Samurai Horror Tales (2006)
For those who are fans of horror stories based on folklore, Ayakashi is the perfect anime!
This anime is inspired by three traditional (and terrifying) legends of Japanese folklore, and they serve to divide the animation into three parts: Yotsuya Kaidan (episodes 1 to 4), Tenshu Monogatari (episodes 5 to 8) and Bake Neko (episodes 9 to 11).
The series already begins with a dark tone that does justice to the horror genre in Yotsuya Kaidan, which is based on a classic ghost story written in the 18th century.
The second part – Tenshu Monogatari – focuses on the «forbidden love» between a human being and a goddess, while the third – Bake Neko – surprises us with the story of a cat-shaped monster seeking revenge.
Ayakashi is an anthological series in which all the parts have a beginning, a middle and an end, although each one in a different way.
For those who do not know, Ayakashi are the evil creatures and spirits that permeate the traditional stories of Japanese folklore. Among the best known Ayakashi are Oni, Kappa and Tengu, for example.
3. Shiki (2010)
The series takes place in a quiet village called Sotoba, a place that is the scene of several strange and mysterious deaths. The villagers are constantly dying and the local doctor, Toshio Ozaki, no longer knows what to do to save the population.
Entire families slowly disappear and no one is able to figure out why … Until Dr. Ozaki finally faces reality. Trust us, the worst of the Black Pests would be better than the horror that grips Sotoba.
We could easily be defined as gore to Shiki (as well as several other titles in this list), mainly due to raw scenes of violence and the huge amount of blood.
The heavy and gloomy tone does not leave the plot throughout the entire series, but Shiki also does not fail to amaze viewers with many script twists that promise to leave us entertained from beginning to end.
Shiki is based on the manga and light novel written by Fuyumi Ono (creator of Ghost Hunt) and illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki. The novel was originally published between 1998 and 2002, and the manga between 2007 and 2011.
2. Mononoke (2007)
This series is actually a spin-off of another anime that we have already talked about: Ayakashi – Samurai Horror Tales , more precisely from its last part, titled Bake neko.
The story is about Kusuriuri, a street drug vendor who investigates supernatural cases and performs exorcisms.
The plot is all divided into different arcs, each presenting a different type of mononoke that must be exorcised by the protagonist. But for that, Kusuriuri needs to first investigate several facts about the situation that surrounds the spirit.
The animation contains very well done scenes, with a strong color palette that guarantees the macabre tone of the series. The representation of the mononokes also deserves to be highlighted, as they manage to be at the same time exaggerated and abstract, possessing a truly disturbing air.
If you are looking for a serious and free anime with free fanservice , be sure to watch Mononoke .
1. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (2013 – 2017)
A wonderful anime! Either because of its stories that refer to classic Japanese urban tales and legends or because of its peculiar aesthetic, Yamishibai is a masterpiece of horror animation!
The animation in Yamishibai is made to imitate the style of Kamishibai («paper theater»), a traditional Japanese method of telling stories through figures made of paper. On the other hand, the expression Yamishibai literally means «theater of darkness».
This anime has an anthological character, that is, each episode presents a different story, usually addressing classic myths and legends that are part of the oriental fantasy imaginary.
Yamishibai is best enjoyed served in small doses, but just the right amount to send a chill down your spine. One suggestion: to have a better experience with this anime , we recommend watching it at night and with headphones, as its soundtrack is as chilling as its scenes.