Guess what time of the year it is! It’s almost Halloween, about a month from now, and that means all manner of witches, vampires, and the undead will be roaming around your neighborhood. No one is safe. So stay indoors, lock your doors, and pick out the perfect anime for this spooky season.
Three years ago, I had this really strange craving to watch a horror anime. It was a stormy weekend oddly enough and that’s when I stumbled upon Shiki. Two rainy days later and I had completed this show. And I had nightmares for days. It’s a very atmospheric show. They don’t go for jump scares, they go for suspense and that eerie feeling that just nags at you and bothers you. It helps that the show is well written and the pacing, while slow at times, nails all the right notes. The bad case of anime hair syndrome only adds to that creepy factor. The soundtrack further heightens the feelings of this show and the art drives it home.
2) Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
I knew about the games, but had never played them. Then I chanced upon this show, a short 4-episode series. It was over in a heartbeat, but it left me cowering in my seat. It is just absolutely gruesome, the atmosphere chokes you, and the sound effects are just disgusting. Ever wanted to know what cutting a tongue out with a pair of scissors sounds like? I didn’t, really didn’t, but now I do, and it haunts me to this day. I cannot stress it enough that this series is probably the best of the best when it comes to anime horror.
3) Ghost Hunt
Ghost Hunt is a bit different than the two series I previously recommended. It’s focus isn’t on the horror, it’s on the mystery surrounding paranormal activities. The horror happens organically as the various story arcs progress. The tension continuously ratches up as more and more odd things happen and the atmosphere that is so common in Japanese horror begins to thicken, creating some very intense moments.
4) Highschool of the Dead
Is it pervy? Yes, to the extreme. Is it filled with insane action sequences? Definitely. But trust me when I say that this show still has plenty of moments where the undead filled world makes your skin crawl. This series probably has one of the best depictions of zombies in an anime. Most of the time they’re just cannon fodder, but this show constantly has moments where they are a force to be feared. Not to mention that this show constantly asks the question: How low will humans sink when pushed to the brink of sanity and death? There will be moments in this show that make you uncomfortable because what they depict is an all too real outcome for a world gone mad.
5) Psychic Detective Yakumo
For once, on this list, I’m going to assume you’ve never heard of this show. It seems like one of those shows that was buried under the bigger shows that aired at the time and many people sort of forgot that it existed. I’m glad that I dug it out though because its actually pretty decent. It’s not quite a horror show, though it does have its moments so I highly recommend checking it out. Good luck finding a place to watch it though, you’ll likely have to go digging to find a site that’s streaming it.
6) Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
I wanted to give you a trailer for this one too, but none exist for the original series, just the sequels and other assorted spin-offs. Couldn’t even find a decent fan trailer, so you’ll have to settle for a still image. A lot of people swear by Higurashi as the scariest anime out there, but I personally disagree. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t think it’s scary. The first five episodes alone were enough to give me nightmares because of just how good they were at their job. No Halloween anime list would be complete with Higurashi, that’s just a fact.
A lot of people were torn on this show, while I for one loved it. It isn’t top tier horror, but it definitely knows how to get a reaction out of its audience. Deaths are gruesome, the music is creepy, there are creepy puppets, all sorts of stuff to keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense and at times fear.
8) Parasyte - The Maxim
Parasyte earns its place on this list because I know two people would just could not watch this show because of all the body deformations. It was too much for them to handle and it freaked them out so bad. I also had a few moments where I looked for a nearby trash can. It helps that Parasyte is just a really great show.
- The Blood Series
- Hellsing Ultimate
- Paranoia Agent
- Requiem from the Darkness
- Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
- Descendants of Darkness
- Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories