40 Best Anime Horror Movies & Shows To Watch In 2023

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horror anime worth watching
Another, B:The Beginning, Blood-C, Meiruko-Chan (From Left to Right)

In recent years, the horror and psychological thriller genres have grown in popularity. In 2020, these two subgenres contributed a significant portion of streaming platforms’ profits. The result is intensely amazing when the thrilling experience of the horror genre is combined with the unique storyline of anime.

In horror anime, the storytelling and illustrations are designed to elicit fear and dread in the viewers. It often explores themes such as fear, death, and the unknown. The use of murk, creepy sounds, and disturbing imagery creates an atmosphere of suspense that keeps the viewers on edge.

The characters in horror anime are frequently thrust into intimidating situations beyond their control, where their survival is uncertain. It is full of alien attacks, zombie outbreaks, serial killers, massacres, ghosts, demons, and creepy crawling creatures that will keep haunting you. These mutant creatures’ graphical representation and animation are enough to give you nightmares.

If you’re a fan of horror and looking for a new way to experience the genre, horror anime is definitely worth checking out. So here we have the 40 best horror anime that will give you goosebumps.

1. Boogiepop Phantom, 2000

The urban legends go like this Boogiepop – Meet her one night, and you are taken. In this modern world, where people are joking about urban legends- the city is terrorized by the sudden murder of people.

In this anime, every single character has their own narration of events and the murder spree that occurred five years ago. All versions of their different stories are slowly tied to get one conclusion- Boogiepop !!!

Boogiepop Phantom
Boogiepop in Boogiepop Phantom (Credits: Crunchyroll)

2. Mieruko-Chan, 2021

Just imagine getting the ability to see souls and ghosts all around you. Fascinating? Well, it may not be for Mieruko Chan. This new-released anime revolves around a schoolgirl who is cursed with the ability to see walking ghosts among humans. However, she tries her best to ignore them and live a normal life. However, the ghosts are also persistent in not leaving and make her life more horrible. 

Meiruko-Chan (Credits: Crunchyroll)

3. GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack, 2012

This psychological sci-fi anime movie is adapted from the manga series of the same title. The plot revolves around three friends who go on vacation to Okinawa to celebrate their graduation. However, a horrific ‘menace’ emerges from the depth of the ocean. The world is under the attack of horrifying and brutal fishes with metal legs.

Amidst this carnage, Kaori, the protagonist, sets on an adventurous journey of death to save her boyfriend. What unfolds through her journey is a hell of a thriller ride for all horror and anime lovers! 

GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack (Credits: Netflix)

4. Perfect Blue,1997 

This animated psychological thriller is one of the most popular in this genre of movies. Mima, the retired pop star and now-turned-actress, starts losing her sense of reality as she is stalked by one of her fans.

Even her past life doesn’t leave her as she keeps imagining (or in reality) that she is still a pop star. The plot ascends as Mima vigorously struggles to escape this illusion and come back into the real world.

5. Another, 2012

The folklore of haunted schools is next on our list. The plot creeples around class 3-3, where sinister rumors about the tragedic death of a former student revolve. A transfer student Kouichi Sakakibara befriends a rather reserved girl  Mei Misaki, whose presence is not acknowledged by any other classmates.

Kouichi Sakakibara and Mei Misaki in Another (Credits: Netflix)

Soon, Kouichi ventures to find out the truth behind the connection behind them. As the plot progress, we go deeper into the sinister backstory. The whole show could be violent at times and keep getting creepy till the end. It is one of the best horror anime and is a must-watch.

6. Paprika, 2006

Paprika is a Japanese animated wisdom fabrication film. The story follows Dr. Atsuko Chiba, an exploration psychologist who has developed a device called the DC Mini, which allows her to enter and explore people’s dreams.

She adopts an alter pride named Paprika in her dream world, where she helps her overcome internal traumas. When the DC Mini is stolen, it poses trouble to the boundary between dreams and reality.

7. Hell girl, 2005

It is one of the best anthological horror series which will run your blood cold. At midnight, the sinister website becomes accessible. Anyone can put the name of the person against whom they hold the grudge to send them to hell.

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However, the dark plot is that you need to pay the price for seeking revenge! Yes, the requester’s Soul is also sent to hell after they die! Each episode focuses on the story of one person who wants to seek revenge by sending their tormenter to hell. It’s quite ‘chilling’ to watch the psychology of the person who can go this far in order to seek revenge from other people.

hell Girl
Hell Girl (Credits: Crunchyroll)

8. Corpse Party: Tortured Soul, 2013

The tragic ritual transports nine friends to another dimension in a haunted school. They need to escape the ghosts of vengeful students who were murdered brutally. Will they manage to escape their most horrifying nightmare or get stuck in this alternate dimension? It is quite thrilling and adventurous to watch as they all try to escape the bloodied past.

Corpse Part: Tortured Soul
Corpse Party: Tortured Soul (Credits: Crunchyroll)

9. Yami Shibai, 2013

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is an anime series that tells a different scary story in each episode. The stories are short, lasting five to ten minutes, but are often incredibly effective at creating a sense of dread and unease.

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (Credits: Amazon Prime)

 The stories are inspired by Japanese folklore and urban legends. At the same time, some episodes are stronger than others. Overall, Yami Shibai is a scary and entertaining series for fans of Japanese horror and culture.

10. Seoul Station: Horror Zombies, 2016

Seoul Station is the animated version of Train to Busan. It is also an action-packed horror tale of zombies plunging into a train in South Korea. For the audience, it would be enthralling to know that the Seoul Station is actually a prequel to Train to Bushan. The story starts a few hours before the zombie apocalypse starts. 

11. Tokyo Ghoul, 2014

Tokyo Ghoul is a popular Japanese manga and anime series that has gained a large following over time. The series tells the story of Ken Kaneki, a council pupil who becomes a half-cacodemon after a traumatic hassle with a cacodemon, a mortal- suchlike critter that feeds on mortal meat.

The story is well-drafted and filled with suspense, horror, and action. The characters are well-developed, each with their own unique personalities and backstories.

Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul (Credit: Hulu)

12. Death Note, 2006

The live-action Japanese film adaption of Death Note is a decent attempt at bringing the story to the big screen. While some of the characterizations are out, and the pacing can be uneven, the Film is still a pleasurable watch for suckers of the manga and anime series. 

Death Note
Light Yagami in Death Note (Credits: Netflix)

The anime’s story follows the protagonist Light Yagami, who finds a supernatural notebook called “Death Note.” The notebook gives the ability to kill anyone when you write their name on its pages. Eventually, the plot takes us when Yagami starts using it to carry out the murder of individuals who he deemed to feel are cruel and not fit for a peaceful society. 

13. Happy Sugar Life, 2018

The title of this anime must not be scaring you! It can be true that you may not find it that scary at first. However, as the plot continues-you will know what I’m talking about. It isn’t late enough when all flowery things will go away, and real darkness creeps into the story. Well, it’s quite interesting to watch the extent people go in order to save their loved ones. 

Satou Matsuzaka is a high-schooler who happens to meet with Shio Koube by chance. However, this encounter makes Satou fall in love with Shio. It is when we see how someone’s obsession with love leads them to push their limits. Satou, with her innocent face, has dark secrets of her own. And she can do anything to keep intact her “Happy Sugar Life” with Shio.

14. Kurozuka, 2008

The vitality in Kurozuka is visually striking, with an emphasis on dark and temperamental colors that reflect the story’s dimmed tone. The story follows Kuro, an important and immortal swordsman who lives in Japan’s feudal period.

He falls in love with a beautiful woman named Kuromitsu, but their relationship is hovered by an evil association that seeks to capture Kuromitsu for her blood, which has the power to grant eternity.

Kuromitsu in Kurozuka (Credit: Amazon Prime)

15. Memories, 1995

Memories is a 1995 anime film comprised of three distinct short flicks, each with a unique story and style. The three flicks are Glamorous Rose, Stink Bomb, and Cannon Fodder. Glamorous Rose is a sci-fi suspense that follows a group of space explorers who are allured into a mysterious space station.

Memories (Credit: Amazon Prime)

Stink Bomb is a dark comedy about an unhappy scientist who accidentally ingests a natural armament and becomes a walking, deadly gas lemon. Cannon Fodder is a study-provoking and visually stunning Film that explores the futility of war.

16. Deadman Wonderland, 2010

Do you want to visit an amusement park to hang out with your friends? Well, Deadman Wonderland is, of course, an amusement park you won’t want to visit. Well, the protagonist of this horror anime Ganta Igarashi gets framed for a massacre of his own classmates during the trip to Deadman Wonderland. 

From here, the survival game of Ganta begins when he is thrown into this very amusement park. His life is turned upside down as now he needs to perform deadly stunts for the audience in order to survive. 

Deadman Wonderland
Deadman Wonderland (Credits: Crunchyroll)

17. High School of the Dead, 2010

Are you ready for “High school” and “Dead” things? The story follows the survival game for students of high school as the zombie apocalypse gets started in their high school.

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Takashi, the protagonist, with other students, soon sets out into the outer world, only to find the whole of Japan is thrown under the attack of zombies. The survival game and saving their loved ones from the zombie attack soon begins. 

High School of the dead
High School of the Dead (Credits: Hulu)

18. Midori, 1992

It is one of the most controversial horror-themed anime ever. Though it does not have any supernatural element to it, more realistic horrifying elements are added to it. The story starts with a 12-year-old girl named Midori, who becomes the victim of physical and mental abuse. Her life becomes hell as she tries to escape the violence. 

Midori (Credits: Tubi-free movies and Tv)

19. Blood-C, 2011

Saya Kisgari, an untroubled teenager, is living a dual life. She’s a very quiet and calm schoolgirl by day and becomes a monster slayer at night. These monster creatures are thirsty for human blood. However, it is soon revealed that they are not as brainless as they seem to be.

So, what is the reason they hunt people? And how desperate Saya can become to protect her village and her loved ones from these monsters? You definitely need to watch the series to answer them.

Saya Kisgari in Blood-C (Credits: Hulu)

20. Devilman Crybaby, 2018

This classic horror anime series is all about the battle between the Devilman and the human Akira Fudo. In order to become powerful and defeat the devil, he incorporates himself with another devil, Amon. Soon, Akira becomes a human host with the supernatural powers of a devil, but his Soul is that of a human.

Devil-man Crybaby
Akira Fudo and Amon in Devilman Crybaby (Credits: Netflix)

21. Pet, 2020

Pet follows the story of Hiroki and Tsukasa, who have the capability to insinuate people’s minds and manipulate their recollections. They work for a mysterious association that carries out spying and assassination operations. This complex psychological thriller delves into themes of memory, identity, and power. 

22. Belladonna Of Sadness, 1973

The Film is approximately grounded on the French literal tale “La Sorcière” and tells the story of a youthful woman named Jeanne who’s ravished by the lord of her vill and latterly makes a deal with a demon to gain power and seek vengeance.

The Film also includes some sexually unequivocal and disturbing imagery, making it infelicitous for the youngish cult. It is definitely one of the best classic old horror anime ever made.

Belladonna Of Sadness
Belladonna Of Sadness (Credits: Amazon Prime)

23. Wicked City, 1987

This 1987 dark dystopia horror anime sets up the background in the 20th century, where the human race co-exists with the demonic world. There’s a secret agency known as the “Black Guard,” which is responsible for protecting the boundaries between these two worlds. 

The Film follows two agents, Taki and Makie. They are assigned to guard mortal diplomats from the “Black World, a resemblant dimension inhabited by demons with supernatural powers. 

Wicked City
Wicked City (Credits: Amazon Prime)

24. Garden Of Sinners: Overlooking View, 2007

The Garden of Sinners– Overlooking View is a 2007 anime film and the first in a series of seven flicks that acclimatize the light new series of the same name by Kinoko Nasu.

The Film follows Shiki Ryougi, a youthful woman with the capability to see “lines of death” on objects and people, as she investigates a series of crazy self-murders in her city. Can there be any relation between Shiki and the mysterious deaths in the city? Well, everything’s connected!

Garden Of Sinners: Overlooking View
Shiki Ryougi in Garden of Sinners: Overlooking View (Credits: Amazon Prime)

25. Vampire Hunter D, 2000

Vampire Hunter D is an anime film that tells the story of D, a dhampir, a half-human, half-shark mongrel, who’s hired to cover a youthful woman named Doris from an important shark named Count Magnus Lee. The Film has a dark and temperamental atmosphere, with stunning vitality that captures the gothic and horror rudiments of the story. 

Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D (Credits: Netflix)

26. Gantz, 2004

The story is about a group of people who are revivified by a strange black sphere called Gantz, and they’re transferred on a charge to master overrunning aliens that have taken over the Earth.

The main character, Masaru Kato and Kei Kurono, are high school pupils who died while trying to save a homeless man from being hit by a train. Soon, they find themselves and other deceased people being forced to hunt down the aliens. 

Gantz (Credits: Amazon Prime)

27. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows

Yomawari Midnight shadows is a Japanese survival horror game developed by Nippon Ichi Software. It follows two girls, Yui and Haru, who come separated on their way home from a fireworks jubilee. They find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous city filled with supernatural brutes. They must navigate through it and find each other before it’s too late.

Yomawari: Midnight Shadows
Yomawari: Midnight Shadows (Credits: Nippon Ichi Software)

28. Shiki, 2010

If you are someone who is intrigued by murder mysteries, then this show is definitely for you. The background of this anime lies in a very idyllic and small town. However, with the tragic death of a young girl due to an unnamed illness, more unexplained deaths start to follow in the town.

What do you think is the reason behind these deaths? This is a must-watch as Toshio, the local doctor, sets out to find the dark secrets behind these deaths. 

Shiki (Credits: Crunchyroll)

29. Darker than Black: The Black Contractor, 2010

Darker than Black Film is a 2010 anime movie that serves as an effect to the popular anime series Darker than Black. This science fiction thriller is full of supernatural elements. 

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The story sets 10 years after two gates magically appeared in two extents of the Earth. One of them is Heaven’s Gate which emerged in South America, and the other is Hell’s gate in Japan. These gates lead to the emergence of “contractors,” who are the people giving up their humanity for supernatural powers.

Darker than Black: The Black Contractor
Hei (a contractor) in Darker than Black (Credits: Amazon Prime)

30. Attack on Titan, 2013

The Attack on Titan live-action movie is a two-part Japanese film adaption of the popular manga and anime series of the same name, directed by Shinji Higuchi.

The story takes place in a world where humanity lives in fear of giant creatural brutes, Titans who devour humans without reason. It follows the vengeance story of Eren Yeager, who takes an oath to destroy Titans for killing his mother and destroying his hometown.

Attack On Titan
Eren Yeager in Attack On Titan (Credits: Netflix)

31. Danganronpa, 2013

Danganronpa is a 2016 live-action Japanese film adaption of the popular visual new game and anime series of the same name. The movie tells the story of a group of high academy scholars who are trapped in an academy and forced to be participants in a deadly game.

The plot centers around a group of scholars who are brought to the elite Hope’s Peak Academy, only to find themselves locked outside with no way out. The scholars are also forced to share in a crooked game, where they must kill one of their classmates and get down with it in order to “graduate” and escape the school. However, they will be executed by the satanic robotic bear Monokuma if they fail to do so.

32. Princess Mononoke, 1997

This 1997 spirited movie follows the story of an immature warrior named Ashitaka who becomes embroiled in a discordance between the mortal inhabitants of a remote village and the spirits of the timber.

Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke (Credits: Netflix)

When he meets San, an immature girl expressed by wolves who are fighting against the humans’ desolation of the timber, he is tattered between his dedication to his people and his letch to cover the natural world. 

33. Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek, 2005

Another urban legend goes that if you happen to play hide and seek near the deserted ruins of the city. It is believed that those children who play this game wearing a fox mask disappear. As the legend goes, they are taken by the demon’s spirit.

Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek
Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek (Credits: Netflix)

The protagonist Hikora starts playing this game with seven of his friends in the hope of finding his missing sister. It’s intriguing to know what fate lies for them. One by one, everyone is taken by the devil – the last surviving kid becomes “IT.”

34. Ninja Scroll, 1993

This 1993 action-horror-packed anime movie is a timeless classic. It follows the story of a noble swordsman who becomes enemies with a group of demon humans. He is hired by a government spy to investigate the mysterious massacre of the whole village. The more he digs deeper into the truth, the more he gets himself into the fatal war with demons. 

Ninja Scroll
Jubei in Ninja Scroll (Credits: Crunchyroll)

The vitality in” Ninja Scroll” is fantastic, with detailed character designs and beautifully rendered action scenes that make great use of fluid stir and creative camera angles. The violence is graphic and violent, but it’s also a vital aspect of the story.

35. Ito Junji Collection, 2018

This collection of horror tales is definitely not for anyone with a faint heart. Ito Junji Collection is a Japanese horror anime series grounded on the workshop of the popular horror manga artist Ito Junji. It does a great job of landing the unsettling and crazy atmosphere present in Ito Junji’s manga.

The stories range from cerebral horror to supernatural horror and frequently feature crazy, crooked brutes that are both fascinating and disturbing. While some of the stories are more effective than others, they all maintain the same tone and style that Ito Junji is known for.

Ito Junji Collection
Ito Junji Collection (Credits: Crunchyroll)

36. Berserk, 2016

The movie is a faithful adaption of the manga and captures the gritty and violent nature of the story. The vitality is well done, with detailed character designs and fluid action scenes. The movie features some truly grand and violent battle scenes that are both thrilling and brutal.

This Japanese anime focuses on the character of Guts, a professed mercenary who joins the Band of the Hawk, led by the attractive and ambitious Griffith. The character development is also well done, particularly with Guts and Griffith, who both suffer significant changes throughout the story. The movie explores themes of fidelity, ambition, and the consequences of seeking power.

37. B: The Beginning, 2018

B: The Beginning is a crime suspense, and it follows a youthful operative named Keith Film. He investigates a string of mysterious murders that have taken place in the megacity. Along the way, he crosses paths with a felonious architect known only as” Killer B,” and a series of supernatural events begin to unfold.

The action scenes are well choreographed and instigative to watch, and the supernatural rudiments add an interesting conspiracy to the story.

B: The Beginning
B: The Beginning ( Credits: Netflix)

38. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, 2012

The series follows a high academy pupil named Teiichi Niiya, who joins the Paranormal Investigation Club in a hunt for the truth behind the academy’s haunted history. He’s joined by a ghost girl named Yuuko Kanoe, who died years ago and has not been able to go to the afterlife.

The series manages to balance its supernatural elements with a touching and emotional plot, exploring themes of love, loss, and acceptance.

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Teiichi Niiya and Yuuko Kanoe in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (Credits: Amazon Prime)

39. Parasyte: The Maxim, 2014

The human-eating parasites are unstoppable and want to conquer the human race. Shinichi Izumi, a schoolboy, is also infected by a parasite name itself “Migi.” Soon, an unlikely friendship develops between the parasite and its host. However, they both find themselves between the conflict of parasites and humans.  

Parasyte: The Maxim
Shinichi Izumi and Migi (Credits: Netflix)

40. Trese, 2021

We know this fantasy horror series doesn’t come under the category of anime! But Netflix has already categorized it as anime-inspired, so why not? Anyways, the story revolves around detective Alexandra Trese who accompanied by her two mates, tries to solve cases that local policemen fail to do. Trese is a blend of Philippine horror mythology with a dark storytelling style. 

Alexandra Trese in Trese (Credits: Netflix)

Horror and fantasy genres are new favorites for anime fans! The supernatural elements, a sudden twist in plots, detailed animation, and sound effects make horror anime worth the watch. With this, I bet you all will have a captivating viewing experience with these horror animes. 

Also Read: Best Horror Anime Series To Watch

By Sakshi Suman

Hi... This is Sakshi. Currently, I'm pursuing my grad in LL.B. I love binge-watching movies, web series, and anime. I'm from Delhi, India. You can reach me through email at sakshisuman0711@gmail.com

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