Halloween isn’t the only time to invest in some spooky series. How about you try some new shows in the new year and check out some of the scariest anime out there to keep yourself occupied.
Whether you’re a fan of the gory stuff or prefer a more psychological take on the genre, there is an anime out there for you.
Today I’ll be talking about 22 different horror anime, which range throughout the genre so that maybe you can find your new favorite series.
- Best Horror Anime
- 22. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
- 21. Parasyte
- 20. Psycho-Pass
- 19. Dangan-Ronpa
- 18. Deadman Wonderland
- 17. TerraFormars
- 16. Tokyo Ghoul
- 15. Highschool of the Dead
- 14. Shiki
- 13. Death Parade
- 12. Ajin
- 11. ElfenLied
- 10. Another
- 9. Zombie Loan
- 8. Mirai Nikki
- 7. Gantz
- 6. Castlevania
- 5. Gleipnir
- 4. When they Cry
- 3. Berserk
- 2. School-Live
- 1. Paprika
Best Horror Anime
22. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Don’t let the fact that it is only a four-episode OVA put you off, four episodes is all this show needs.
In that short time, Corpse Party tells a compelling story of friendships, rituals, haunted schools, and it certainly doesn’t shy away from the gory aspects of horror.
Based on a video game, Corpse Party is a great show for if you want a big fright but only have a little time.
The main protagonist is Seiko, and on her last day of school, she decides to join her friends in a ritual that will keep them connected.
But as the ritual goes wrong and they discover the school has many hidden secrets, things begin to spiral out of control very quickly.
Parasyte is one of the most popular horror anime series out there, not to be confused with the critically acclaimed Korean film.
Despite the manga being over 20 years old, the animated adaptation brought in a whole new crowd of fans, and with good reason!
This show gets bloody and will have you questioning if everyone you know might just be a parasite.
Parasites have begun landing on earth, Izumi is a target for one such parasite, but it fails to take over his whole body.
This leaves him to defend himself from the people destroying parasites and the other parasites that want the rest of him.
Technology that measures psychosis levels sounds great, right? You can put criminals away before they commit crimes and who even needs to lock their doors? Wrong.
Psycho-Pass delves into this technology’s problems and the horrifying crimes that can still occur in this futuristic age.
Regardless of their technology, keep your doors locked when watching this show.
Akane is a new recruit in the justice system, but her confidence that she can help fades quickly. As criminals find easy ways around their justice system, she starts to question if the system itself is corrupt.
Is it scarier to be locked away from the outside world, to be trapped with a killer, or to be put on trial for suspicion that you ARE that killer? Combine all three, and you get Dangan-Ronpa!
There are several series of this psychological, murder-happy anime, and they are all based on successful games by the same name.
The tv adaptation may not have been as popular, but it was just severely underrated, in my opinion.
Naegi is in Hope’s Peak Academy with his classmates, the catch, you can only graduate if you murder one of your peers without being found.
And their school president, Monokuma, certainly doesn’t help things along.
18. Deadman Wonderland
If you’ve ever questioned the ethical aspects of prison, this show might have some bad answers for you.
This prison-based anime shows the lifestyles of convicts who have to compete in deadly games for the entertainment of the ‘innocent’ public.
But what happens when an innocent person gets arrested and has to fight the same games as the guilty ones?
Ganta is the only student to survive a massacre in his class conducted by a person in red. He is soon found guilty and sent to a prison full of psychotic trials and inmates.
As well as protecting himself, he tries to protect the seemingly innocent Shiro.
Heading to mars may sound like a dream, but this anime just reminds you that space can be full of nightmares.
Join the crew of this fleet in battling horrifying mutated cockroaches that currently occupy the planet of mars.
If you want a show that tackles sci-fi monsters and the psychological horror of being out in space, this is the one for you.
Follow Annex Team I, a team of 100 men and women tasked with finding the cure for these mutilated cockroaches.
They won’t just be fighting to colonize Mars; they’ll be fighting for their lives.
16. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul is not only one of the most popular horror anime of all time, but it is one of the most popular anime series full stop.
Enter into a world of gory ghouls and characters who have to deal with their craving for human flesh.
If you’ve thought that zombies with intelligence and feelings would be your worst nightmare, then you might just find it’s a ghoul from Tokyo Ghoul.
Kaneki is a nerdy student who thinks he’s caught a break when he meets a cute fellow reader called Rize. However, their encounter changes Kaneki’s life and throws him into a dangerous new world of ghouls in the depths of the city.
15. Highschool of the Dead
If you ever thought that zombies and erotica were two categories that needed combining, then Highschool of the Dead has your back.
The series centers around a group of school students and teachers who have to learn to fight back against the dead’s awakening hoards.
It tackles both the gory horror of the undead and the psychological trauma of an apocalyptic world.
Takashi certainly wasn’t expecting to go to school, have an immediate zombie uprising and kill his best friend, who was turned into the undead.
But that’s what happened. With masses of students and teachers being killed or turned into zombies, this ragtag group has to work together if they have any hope of surviving.
Whether you admit it or not, we’ve all had a vampire franchise we’ve obsessed over.
For me, it was Shiki. Shiki gives you a series of creepy murders and vampires in a simple, quiet town, a beautiful art style, and a story that keeps you in suspense. It will keep you wanting to leave but unable to stop watching.
Sotoba is a quaint town experiencing a scorching summer, and along with the heat comes a series of confusing deaths.
However, they are not simple murders, and the townspeople are suspecting that there is a disease spreading among its citizens. Little do they know; it is a vampiric one.
13. Death Parade
You might be scared of the idea of hell, but in Death Parade, purgatory is worse.
Each episode centers on new arrivals in purgatory. Dying at the same time means that only one can go on to experience reincarnation, and a game is how it is decided.
With eccentric recurring characters, a unique setting, and a series of games that make you squirm, Death Parade will make you pray that you don’t have to play.
Decim is a waiter at the bar of the afterlife. In his job, he meets some peculiar people and has to force them to play some peculiar games.
But as people come and go from the bar, he starts to question the system and the rules he follows.
How do you control an immortal threat? That is what happened in this world, where Ajin, immortal beings, have been arrested for years to prevent them from using their abilities for evil.
So, finding out that you yourself may be an Ajin would be a terrifying thing and one that our main protagonist, Kei, has to deal with.
Elfen Lied has probably elevated itself to a classic cult anime. When it was first released, viewers were shocked by the levels of maturity and violence that this show contained.
The first scene showed a naked lady tearing off limbs so, its status as an essential, classic horror anime was established very quickly.
Lucy is a special kind of human and one who is desperate to break out of her confines. In doing so, she receives a head injury causing her to develop split personality disorder.
But this injured woman is saved by two innocent college students who don’t realize their lives will never be the same.
Another is named appropriately as it is another essential for fans of horror anime.
Follow the main protagonist as he transfers schools and joins a class that appears to be under some kind of curse.
You’ll be asking yourself the same questions that our protagonists asks.But as they say, curiosity kills the cat.
9. Zombie Loan
Imagine having to see the time of death of every person you pass. Michiru Kita doesn’t have to imagine.
But when she comes across two boys who are already dead, things only get weirder. Explore a new take on zombies with elements of embedded romance.
8. Mirai Nikki
Mirai Nikki, also known as Future Diary, follows a young boy who obsessively writes in his journals. After finding out, he can use his journal to predict the future and prevent his death.
Of course, it doesn’t go as simple as that, and he soon finds himself in a battle royale to become a god. Mirrai Nikki is a unique psychological horror that you won’t soon get out of your mind.
Dying in a train accident sounds like a bad enough day, but it only gets worse for Gantz’s characters when they are brought back to play a game.
The game, to hunt down and kill aliens. Gantz is incredibly popular and is renowned for its graphic violence and sex scenes.
Kei does not only have to deal with the peril of death and aliens that stand before him, but he also has to deal with his morals. However, simply not listening to the rules of a god is not so simply done.
Castlevania is a very successful Netflix animation. Whilst you may not classify this as scary, the horror and suspense of this show are undeniable.
Become immersed in this dark medieval fantasy as the last surviving Belmont clan member tries to save humanity from the hordes of Dracula’s vampires.
Want an anime that makes you think of Five Nights of Freddy’s, look no further. Whilst this show is not based on the video game, it utilises similar themes of bodily horror and creepy mechanical creatures.
Watch Gleipnir for a dark and sexy adventure, which you certainly shan’t soon forget.
Kagaya has a monster secret, he himself can turn into one. Trying to do the right thing, he uses his transformation to rescue a girl from a burning building.
But when she confronts him about his identity, they are thrown into a world of secrets, and they aren’t the only ones searching for them.
4. When they Cry
Based on the visual novel Higurashi When they Cry, this anime adaptation follows the story of friends who take it upon themselves to solve murders occurring in their small town for several years.
The continuing cliff-hangers and twists in this story will keep you on the edge of your seat until you’ve found the secrets of the small-town murders.
Rika is an unfortunate soul who has witnessed her town’s true horrors day in and day out. Not only does she have to witness these horrors, but she has to try and find the culprit before more tragedies occur.
Berserk is not a show for the faint-hearted. This gruesome tale follows a swordsman called Guts, who is simply trying to survive with the help of a new blade called Dragonslayer.
His desire to survive is seconded by only one thing, his desire for vengeance. Of course, surviving is a lot harder when you are marked for death and continue to be hunted down by demons. But it does make for a great anime.
If you have seen any art from this show, you wouldn’t think it would be classified as horror in any form. But this show centers on a group of friends surviving the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.
Not only do they have to deal with the undead, but they also have to pretend that everything is fine whilst staying inside the school. And school is scary enough as it is.
This movie has an animation style that can only be described as beautifully horrifying. If you’ve ever had nightmares, you know that they can be scarier than any movie.
But the idea of someone being able to manipulate your dreams and nightmares, is even scarier and portrayed in its true horror in this film.
The DC Mini is a device that allows the viewing of others dreams. However, people begin to act differently and experience strange phenomenon when this technology is stolen and finds itself in the wrong hands.
Atsuko and Kosaku now have to deal with the consequences of their inventions and try to find a way to stop the one terrorizing people’s minds.
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