Anime Entertainment

Best Horror Anime Movies That Will Haunt Your Dreams

Best Horror Anime Movies

Published on July 17th, 2023

Discovering the best horror anime is a chilling journey that reveals Japan’s mastery in crafting some of the most terrifying works ever made.

Over the past two decades, audiences outside of Japan have come to realize that the country takes its horror seriously.

This collection of horror anime delves deep into the rich tapestry of the genre, showcasing a wealth of options that can rival any horror offering from around the world.

Every step into the realm of Japanese horror anime serves as a stark reminder of the country’s unparalleled expertise in evoking fear and suspense.

Brace yourself as we explore the best of the best, where each selection reaffirms Japan’s unparalleled legacy in the realm of horror anime.

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Here is a list of the 35 Best Horror Anime Movies.

35. Highschool Of The Dead

Get ready for a chilling ride with Highschool of the Dead, a must-have for any horror enthusiast.

When a zombie outbreak engulfs their school, a group of high school students embarks on a perilous journey to reunite with their loved ones.

Highschool Of The Dead

The well-crafted characters clash amidst a constant sense of unease, ensuring an immersive experience. While the series delivers on the gore and horror fronts, it’s important to note its explicit nature.

While stopping short of explicit nudity or sex, Highschool of the Dead carries a significant level of raunchiness. Consider this factor when deciding where to watch this thrilling anime.

34. Demon City Shinjuku

Released in 1988 as an OAV and adapted from Hideyuki Kikuchi’s novel, Demon City Shinjuku remains a visually stunning display of monstrous creatures, exquisitely animated fight sequences, and an eerie atmosphere that hints at cosmic enormity.

Demon City Shinjuku

While it bears the hallmarks of its time, particularly in its English dub, this 80-minute film excels in delivering both unsettling moments and unrelenting violence.

Notably intense, even by late ’80s anime standards, Demon City Shinjuku features memorable characters, a captivating world of human-demon conflict, and genuine stakes.

Despite its rough edges, this enduring cult classic remains among the finest in horror anime.

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33. Castlevania

Castlevania, a Netflix anime series spanning four seasons, cleverly leverages the rich horror game legacy from Konami.

Centered around Trevor Belmont, the last survivor of a disgraced family of monster hunters, the show delves deep into the lore of the revered game franchise.


With Count Dracula seeking revenge by unleashing demons upon the world, Trevor assembles an unconventional team to combat the impending threat.

Boasting impressive voice acting, intense fight sequences, and a consistently satisfying storyline throughout its 32 remarkable episodes, Castlevania proves that video game adaptations can excel on screen.

32. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul initially delves into a dark and twisted narrative, immersing viewers in a world where survival depends on consuming human flesh.

Ken Kaneki’s transformation into a half-ghoul after a disastrous encounter introduces chilling terror.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Tokyo Ghoul

While the later seasons transition into a more action-oriented shōnen anime, the first two seasons retain a truly horrifying atmosphere.

Horror enthusiasts may find it prudent to conclude their journey here, as subsequent seasons undergo significant tonal shifts and become increasingly convoluted.

31. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories

If you’re a fan of ghost stories, Japanese history, and folklore, then Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is a perfect fit for you.

With over 130 episodes, each just a few minutes long, this anthology series is a masterclass in effective storytelling.

Best Horror Anime Movies - Yamishibai

Whether you’re a seasoned horror enthusiast or new to the genre, almost every episode is guaranteed to leave an impact, with some genuinely shocking moments.

Running for several years, Yamishibai continues to captivate viewers with its endless creativity.

The best part is that you can jump in anywhere, picking and choosing episodes that intrigue you.

These bite-sized shockers might just become your new addiction, showcasing Japan’s prowess in crafting captivating urban legends.

30. Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland follows the harrowing journey of Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary 9th grader whose life takes a horrifying turn when his entire class is brutally slaughtered before his eyes.

Deadman Wonderland

Falsely accused and lacking evidence, Ganta is swiftly convicted of the massacre and sentenced to the eerie confines of Deadman Wonderland—a twisted prison disguised as a theme park.

As Ganta fights for survival amidst this nightmarish reality, he becomes determined to uncover the truth behind the heinous crime he’s been accused of.

29. Elfen Lied

Prepare yourself for a hidden gem that might catch you off guard with its old-timey art style and animation, but don’t let that deter you, because “Elfen Lied” is a haunting, bloody, and emotionally gripping masterpiece.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Elfen Lied

The story revolves around Lucy, a Diclonius endowed with invisible, powerful arms. Escaping from a torturous facility, Lucy finds refuge with Kouta and his cousin Yuka. However, relentless pursuers from the facility are hot on her trail.

Amidst the pursuit, Lucy must also grapple with a split personality that transforms her into a timid and innocent girl.

With its raw and explicit brutality, “Elfen Lied” delves into the darkest aspects of humanity, leaving you disgusted and disturbed, amplified by its old-fashioned visuals.

28. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion defies traditional horror anime categorization but offers chilling elements that leave a lasting impact.

Centered around teenage mecha pilot Shinji Ikari, the franchise explores the aftermath of his recruitment by a cruel and enigmatic father to battle otherworldly entities called Angels.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Across a 26-episode TV series, two concluding films, and the Rebuild of Evangelion reboot, this delirious blend of existential horror delivers spine-chilling moments through striking visuals and intense emotions.

While the original series and movies are recommended for a deep dive, the faster-paced Rebuild series may be more enticing to those seeking an exhilarating experience.

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27. Shiki

Vampires and horror blend seamlessly in the captivating series Shiki. Set in the town of Sotoba, a string of mysterious deaths unveils a sinister presence.

Initially dismissed as a disease, the astute doctor Toshio Ozaki senses foul play and delves deeper into the enigma.


Collaborating with local teenagers, they unearth the truth—vampiric creatures known as shiki are responsible for the killings. With the entire town at stake, they must confront this perilous menace.

Shiki excels with its uncomplicated yet masterfully executed plot, demonstrating that a good horror anime thrives on the balance of simplicity and brilliance.

26. Hell Girl

In the eerie world of Hell Girl, an infamous website known as Hell Correspondence grants people’s dark desires.

Users can submit a request to send their enemies straight to hell, but with a chilling twist—they themselves will suffer the same fate in the afterlife.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Hell Girl

Unlike Death Note, Hell Girl doesn’t have a singular protagonist; instead, the narrative shifts focus among various characters.

This captivating approach allows us to delve into the ever-changing perspectives and witness how each individual copes with the terrifying power of the Hell Correspondence.

25. Boogiepop Phantom

If catchy titles were a measure of greatness, Boogiepop Phantom would claim the top spot in the realm of horror anime.

Its name alone captivates the imagination, beckoning viewers into its dark and twisted world.

Boogiepop Phantom

Based on Kouhei Kadono’s chilling light novels, this series embraces its grim premise, immersing a group of high school students in bizarre and perilous circumstances.

As a string of brutal murders unfolds, suspicions arise, pointing towards the enigmatic figure known only as Boogiepop.

Boogiepop Phantom defies conventions, introducing significant characters fleetingly, adding to the disquieting atmosphere.

Its narrative structure almost resembles an anthology, delivering an unsettling sense of uncertainty.

24. Another

Another is a chilling horror anime centered around the ill-fated class 3-3 of Yomiyama North Middle School. Since the untimely demise of a student named Misaki in 1972, the class has been plagued by a series of horrifying incidents.


Kouichi Sakakibara, a new student in class 3-3, stumbles upon the harrowing truth and endeavors to put an end to the cycle of tragedy.

Along his journey, he becomes acquainted with a enigmatic girl named Misaki.

With twelve gripping episodes, Another captivates viewers with its relentless suspense and unpredictable plot twists, leaving them on the edge of their seats.

23. Higurashi: When They Cry

Higurashi: When They Cry, originally released in 2006 and later remade in 2020, is a twisted and sadistic viewing experience.

It combines intricate mysteries, gruesome slasher-style kills, alternate realities, time loops, government interference, and mass death.

Higurashi: When They Cry

Watching it requires constant attention and can leave you feeling slightly overwhelmed.

If you can make it through Higurashi without losing sleep, you’ll be able to handle any other top horror anime shows or movies.

The series also has a prequel, several OAVs, and live-action adaptations that may pose a challenge to find. Brace yourself for a complex and unsettling journey.

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22. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan, a blockbuster anime series, captivated the anime community with its perfect blend of action and horror.

Humanity’s struggle against colossal flesh-eating beings, known as Titans, takes place within massive protective walls.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Attack on Titan

When these walls crumble, chaos, bloodshed, and heart-wrenching tragedy ensue. The intense battles between the brave heroes and the Titans will thrill action anime enthusiasts.

However, Attack on Titan doesn’t hold back on delivering bone-chilling and shocking moments that leave a lasting impact.

Despite its widespread acclaim, including lackluster live-action adaptations, this 2013 series continues to live up to its monumental reputation within just a decade.

21. Hellsing

If you’re craving intense action with vampire hunters, look no further than Hellsing. Unlike Shiki, this anime delves deep into the concept.

The story revolves around Alucard, the Hellsing Organization’s top agent and the most powerful vampire alive.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Hellsing

So, why does he assist the very group that hunts his kind? After being defeated by the Organization’s founder a century ago, Alucard pledged his loyalty.

Hellsing offers a thrilling blend of horror and action, packed with gory moments that will satisfy any fan of the genre.

20. Death Note

In the realm of horror anime, Death Note stands as a notable title, reminiscent of the infamous Hell Girl.

This gripping series revolves around Light Yagami, who discovers a sinister notebook known as the Death Note.

Death Note

With the power to end lives by inscribing names, Light wields his newfound authority at will.

While Death Note is widely acclaimed, its multi-dimensional narrative extends beyond horror, explaining its placement in this list.

While horror contributes to the story, the show’s brilliance lies in the intricate mental battles between characters, making it a profoundly influential and highly sought-after series, continually fueling anticipation for a potential second season.

19. Parasyte

In the tranquil night of Hiroshima, Japan, an unimaginable calamity unfolded as extraterrestrial parasites descended from the heavens.

Unlike the historical backdrop of World War II, these insidious beings sought hosts by infiltrating their brains.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Parasyte

However, fate intervened for Shinichi Izumi when a parasite mistakenly latched onto his arm instead.

Though saved from control, Shinichi now grapples with coexisting with the alien entity while evading other infected humans bent on their destruction.

Parasyte ventures into grotesque realms of body horror, where limbs contort and faces contort into abominable shapes, defying natural order.

Fans of Dead Space will relish this anime’s chilling and visceral experience.

18. From The New World

Step into a dystopian future in the gripping anime series “From the New World.” Set 1,000 years ahead, humanity possesses psychic abilities, but tranquility belies a sinister reality.

Saki Watanabe, a student at Sage Academy, unravels the hidden truths plaguing their seemingly peaceful society.

From The New World

Psychic-inflicted harm and unexplained disappearances expose a web of secrets and conspiracies. With each twist, “From the New World” keeps viewers on edge, constantly questioning the true nature of their world.

17. Paranoia Agent

Satoshi Kon’s career was diverse, but his 2004 series Paranoia Agent showcases why he is revered for his contributions to horror.

Unlike other horror anime, Paranoia Agent delves deep into the psychological realm, revolving around a crime spree orchestrated by Bat Boy.

Paranoia Agent

As the city falls into tension, two determined detectives embark on a desperate search for answers.

The gripping premise alone is captivating, heightened by Satoshi Kon’s masterful storytelling. What truly sets Paranoia Agent apart is how it affects the world in which these terrifying attacks take place.

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16. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Experience the captivating world of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, an animated horror masterpiece that stands on its own, separate from its 1985 predecessor.

Set in a post-apocalyptic realm reminiscent of Hammer Studios’ gothic horror, the film follows D, a formidable vampire hunter.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

With Yoshitaka Amano’s remarkable character designs and artistic vision, the film’s allure lies in its compelling cast, particularly the enigmatic D and his alliance with Leila, a young woman.

The film’s exquisite hand-drawn visuals evoke a rare beauty, making Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust a standout choice in the realm of anime horror.

15. Akira

Set in an alternate-reality Tokyo recovering from the ravages of World War III, the story revolves around two friends, Shoutarou Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima, navigating the gang-infested streets.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Akira

When a mishap grants Tetsuo psychic abilities reminiscent of the catastrophe that devastated their city, Akira delves into themes of nuclear symbolism, resonating with both the past and present.

This 1988 release serves as a haunting cautionary tale, revealing the harrowing consequences that arise when immense power falls into the wrong hands, making it an essential entry point for anime enthusiasts.

14. Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby revitalizes a 50-year-old franchise with a fresh and stunning insanity. Originally a manga and TV series in 1972, this 2018 Netflix release updates the classic Devilman storyline.

Devilman Crybaby

Following best friends Akira and Ryo, the series delves into a war between angels and demons, offering apocalyptic chaos that horror enthusiasts crave.

While it explores religious themes, those open to theology will find themselves both entertained and horrified.

The plot unfolds with shocking intensity, showcasing the boundary-pushing storytelling of acclaimed author and artist Go Nagi. Devilman Crybaby stands as a must-watch for fans of new and exceptional horror anime.

13. Berserk

Berserk follows Guts, a skilled mercenary wielding a massive sword, who takes on contracts for the highest bidder. During a battle with the Band of the Falcon, led by Griffith, Guts is defeated.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Berserk

After recovering, Griffith challenges Guts again, offering him a place in the band if he loses. As they embark on their journey, a sinister presence looms ahead.

While many fans believe the 2016 continuation of Berserk tarnished the franchise, the original 1997 series garnered immense acclaim for its compelling and gritty narrative.

12. Mononoke

In the mysterious world of Mononoke, a enigmatic figure known as the Medicine Seller embarks on a haunting journey across Japan, seeking out malevolent spirits known as mononoke and banishing them from existence.


However, his approach is far from ordinary. Before engaging in combat, he meticulously investigates each mononoke, unraveling their Form, Truth, and Reason using his extensive knowledge of the occult.

This unique narrative structure unfolds through 2-3 episode chapters, where the Medicine Seller confronts the mononoke and executes the exorcism.

Mononoke, with its cult following, captivates audiences without relying on excessive gore, making it a standout in the horror anime genre.

11. Perfect Blue

In Perfect Blue, Mima Kirigoe leaves her successful J-pop group to become an actress, only to be stalked by a disturbed fan who disapproves of her career change. As she finds a website detailing her every move, Mima’s sanity begins to unravel.

Perfect Blue

Reality and fantasy blur, and the pressure of her new job intensifies her mental decline. What sets Perfect Blue apart from other horror anime is its grounded and believable nature, devoid of supernatural elements. T

his gripping tale showcases a vulnerable girl plagued by a potential maniac, struggling to maintain her sanity in a harrowing, real-world scenario.

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10. Mi Yu Xing Zhe

A group of individuals awaken on an isolated island, plagued by diseases and hostile tribes. This isn’t BTOOM, as explosives are absent. The protagonist suffers from amnesia, further distinguishing it from BTOOM.

Mi Yu Xing Zhe

They must unravel the enigma behind their presence and navigate the perils to survive. While the island survival concept isn’t novel, the mystery surrounding it amplifies the intensity.

With an R-rating, expect more than mere spectacle. Adding to the horror, the series is in Chinese, catering to anime purists seeking an unsettling experience.

9. Memories

Memories is a unique entry in the anime realm, consisting of three distinct movies, each with its own story and genre.

However, what remains constant across all three films is an unsettling and suspenseful atmosphere, firmly placing it within the psychological horror category.


Among the trio, Magnetic Rose stands out as the most captivating, employing a visually striking color palette that complements its sci-fi backdrop.

While this collection may not elicit jump scares, it succeeds in keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, enveloped in an escalating sense of paranoia.

8. Mirai Nikki

Yuno, the epitome of terror, stands out for one chilling reason. While yandere characters may already be unhinged, Yuno surpasses them all with her horrifying past, present, and her unnerving proclamation of being your future.

Best Horror Anime Movies- Mirai Nikki

Alongside the devilish girl, a battle royale unfolds where the sole objective is to eliminate everyone, trust no one, aid only the pitiful, and avoid checking closets.

As the series reaches its climax, all your assumptions are shattered, leaving you bewildered and questioning everything you thought you understood. Yuno’s presence alone makes this experience truly terrifying.

7. Bio Hunter

In a world plagued by a virus, transforming victims into emotionless, flesh-craving demons, two doctors become the last hope for a cure. However, fate deals them a cruel hand when one of the doctors contracts the infection.

Bio Hunter

Though spared an immediate transformation, he races against time, balancing research and the impending loss of control.

The haunting reminder of his impending hunger hangs heavy, threatening to consume not only his sanity but also those he holds dear.

As the clock ticks mercilessly, he must find a way to save humanity and himself before succumbing to the monstrous fate that awaits.

6. Seoul Station

This narrative delves deep into the heart of the zombie genre, presenting a world where threats loom from all directions, society crumbles, and the haunting uncertainty of loved ones’ humanity persists.

Seoul Station

Notably, Seoul Station excels in its visual portrayal of the undead, with inventive and chilling designs that may induce subtle yet terrifying nightmares.

Get ready for a thrilling ride as this movie fearlessly explores the depths of horror and leaves an indelible mark.

5. King of Thorn

Awakening to a nightmarish reality, they encounter a world entangled in thorns and inhabited by hostile creatures. “Thorns of Desolation” is a gripping thril

King of Thorn

The survivors must confront the constant threat of attack as soon as they stir. Amidst the bleakness, the story’s heart beats with tension, delivering a gripping narrative that leaves no room for respite.

This captivating tale is an absolute must-see, offering a haunting exploration of survival against terrifying odds.

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4. The Junji Ito Collection

However, if you haven’t read the manga, watching it should be a breeze. It encompasses a range of chilling tales, each varying in intensity, covering all aspects of fear.

The Junji Ito Collection

Prepare for relentless nightmares, lethal curses, and even the growth of slugs in unsuspecting mouths—your typical horror fare. Think of it as a scarier version of the Twilight Zone.

And if it doesn’t give you the chills, it might just elicit some unexpected laughter. Trust me on that one.

3. Mushi-shi

Mushi-shi weaves a mesmerizing tale where ignorance becomes a haunting refuge. In this intricate universe, elusive Mushi spirits roam, invisible to most eyes. These are not the whimsical entities of Spirited Away, but rather the eerie whispers that coax self-destruction.


Ginko, the lone seer, shoulders the burden of banishing these ethereal beings. The true horror lies in the chilling notion that our world might harbor similar secrets.

It conjures a disquieting reflection on the potential parallel between Mushi and the elusive struggles within our own minds. One cannot help but wonder if the elixir of anti-depressants merely masks a Mushi-like poison.

2. The Promised Neverland

This relentless tale keeps you on edge, threatening to burst a blood vessel with its intensity. Brace yourself before delving into the gripping world of Promised Neverland, for spoilers lie ahead.

The Promised Neverland

At first glance, these seemingly ordinary orphaned youngsters appear mischievous, just like any others. But beneath their façade lies a group of prodigies trapped on a horrifying farm, where monstrous creatures eagerly anticipate devouring their very minds.

In an unyielding battle of wits, the children engage in an unending cerebral struggle against the woman responsible for their captivity, ensuring none of their kind becomes missing merchandise.

1. Paprika

In a world where dreams were once considered safe havens, an unsettling twist occurs when dream-accessing technology falls into the wrong hands. Now, individuals find themselves terrorized within their own dreamscapes, an unimaginable invasion of their sanctuary.


“Paprika,” a visually stunning masterpiece, delves into the eerie realm of dreams, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. With its spine-chilling portrayal of overlapping dreamscapes and a haunting concept, the movie leaves viewers on edge.

Combined with profound themes, a horrifying premise, and an exceptional original soundtrack, “Paprika” is an absolute must-watch for aficionados of anime horror, delivering an unforgettable experience.