A light is slowly illuminating an animated girl with pink hair and glowing red eyes.

Some of the Most Terrifying Horror Anime to Watch this Halloween

Halloween is here. The month of haunted house decorations, disturbing ghost stories, scary Halloween costumes, and, of course, lots and lots of delicious sweets. While these aren’t common characteristics of Halloween for people all around the world, the theme of scary Halloween movies definitely is. However, if you’re an otaku (anime fan), you’d probably like something a bit more animated. Here’s a list of intense horror anime you can watch this October if you haven’t seen them already.

Why is horror anime so good?

If you’re new to the horror genre of anime, or just anime in general, allow me to explain why it’s so enjoyable.

Anime, in its basic form, is Japanese animation. But don’t let this fool you. People of all ages can enjoy this type of animation. And most of the time, it’s not for children, as a result of its R-rated content. This especially applies to horror anime.

Horror anime can be filled to the brim with blood and gore. Sometimes, they even leave you questioning your sanity. It’s intense and thrilling. The voice actors and smooth animation make sure of this as well. It’s a truly exciting experience.

Corpse Party

animated eyes and mouth from an anime emerging from the dark with blood dripping down the eyeballs and teeth
Corpse Party. Photo credit: episode.ninja

Plot

Corpse Party follows the story of an ordinary group of students on a rainy night at their school. There, they perform a “Sachiko Ever After” charm which is meant to unite them forever as friends. However, the ritual causes an earthquake instead, which transports them to an elementary school that once existed on the very land their school is built. The elementary school is legendary for ghost stories due to its mysterious past. Separated and trapped in this ghost-infested plane, the friends must find each other and find a way to escape without being killed by the vengeful spirits among them.

Why should you watch it?

Corpse Party may be classified as your classic horror anime as it possesses all the necessary elements. Evil entity? Check. Mystery? Check. Gruesome deaths? Check. Blood and gore? Mega check. Lastly, is it worth the watch? Absolutely!

If you’re looking for a graphic and terrifyingly intense horror anime to watch, this is it. Moreover, the anime only consists of four episodes. While the anime itself is short, its longing impression definitely is not.

Another

Misaki Mei and Koichi Sakibara from Another stand under a sunset sky with birds flying overhead and feathers lightly falling
Another. Photo credit: jonspencerreviews

Plot

Another is the story of a boy named Koichi Sakakibara who transfers into a mysterious middle school, or more specifically, its mysterious Class 3-3. His classmates all seemed to be hiding something from him. Furthermore, they ignore an ominous girl who sits at the back of the class at an old and worn desk as if the girl does not exist at all – as if he’s the only one conscious of her. The mysterious events only drive him to be more curious. As he does the things he was told not to, strange and incredulous deaths begin to occur.

Why should you watch it?

The anime is packed with terror, blood, grief, and tragedy. Not to mention a creeping despair and existential dread. This mystery and horror-themed anime will leave you wanting more with every episode.

Shiki

Girl with pink hair, pale skin and glowing red eyes smiling, from the anime Shiki.
Shiki. Photo credit: otakukart.com

Plot

Shiki follows the gripping tale of a small rural town in Japan, where bizarre deaths occur when the mysterious Kirishiki family move into a castle on the outskirts of town. The dean of the town’s only hospital begins to investigate the deaths and discovers something supernatural at work – vampires live among them.

Why should you watch it?

Fans believe that Shiki may be one of the best vampire horror anime to ever exist. This is because the story and characters go a lot deeper than one would expect. Like humans, vampires only kill so they can survive. This anime makes you question which actions should be morally acceptable when threatened with imminent death and misery. It also provides you with disturbing imagery along the way and a beautifully haunting soundtrack that makes the experience all the more unforgettable. Throughout the anime, you’ll be left wondering whether it is really the humans or vampires that are the real monsters.

Higurashi: When They Cry

Shion, from the anime Higurashi, is laughing maniacally with blood on her face.
Higurashi. Photo credit: recommendmeanime.com

Plot

This anime follows the story of a boy who moves to a seemingly normal village and befriends four girls there. At first glance, the anime can be mistaken for a normal slice-of-life anime. However, this is not the case. As the village prepares for its annual festival, the boy discovers there have been several murders and disappearances following the festival in recent years. When the boy seeks answers from his friends, they are suspiciously silent and vague. He begins to realise that there is more to this quiet village, and he can’t trust anyone.

Why should you watch it?

While the plot and characters in this anime are incredible, the abrupt shift in tone is what keeps the viewers on edge. The psychological horror anime produces disturbing graphics and scenes. In addition, the soundtrack allows eerie scenes to induce an even more chilling atmosphere. Enough to make the audience paranoid even during a harmless moment. Ultimately, it may just be one of the best horror anime to exist.

Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

Yuno, from Mirai Nikki, is bleeding and laughing maniacally while talking on the phone.
Mirai Nikki. Photo credit: Pinterest

Plot

Yukiteru, a lonesome recluse, is a middle school boy with little goals in life. He does, however, find comfort in writing in his diary every day as he observes the world around him. One day he notices his diary is filled with diary entries for the next 90 days. He slowly realizes that everything in the diary is coming true. A god called Deus Ex Machina then informs Yukiteru that he is one of twelve contestants in a survival game. To win, the contestants must use their diaries to eliminate one another until there is only one left standing. The winner of this game will be Deus’ successor as the new god of time and space. The boy teams up with another diary holder so that he may survive.

Why should you watch it?

Mirai Nikki is more on the darker side, classified as a psychological horror. The plot includes constant twists, along with themes of action, thriller, suspense and even romance. As a result, the overall mood of the anime is dark, containing lots of blood. The best part is the anime’s character development and thought-provoking plot. It definitely proves to be more than just a gory anime.

Elfen Lied

A scene from Elfen Lied of Lucy, a pink-haired girl, is standing in the middle of a room, its walls, ceiling and floor splattered with blood.
Elfen Lied. Photo credit: pixelatedgeek.com

Plot

Two university students take a Diclonius girl named Lucy into their care when they find her naked and lost on a beach. However, the two are unaware that the girl is actually a wanted fugitive with a split personality, and it is only time before the murderer in her awakens.

Why should you watch it?

This anime has a great plot and characters you can connect with. It also often makes you question who the real monsters are. You’ll find yourself sympathizing with Lucy a lot, who was a victim of inhumane scientific experimentation carried out by the government. Even while she is the cause of lots of gore and stomach-churning violence. And I do mean lots. So, if you love an unprecedented amount of blood and gore, like Corpse Party, this one’s for you. Only this anime, like I previously mentioned, makes you sympathize a lot more with its characters through its powerful emotional story. Lastly, be warned that the anime does contain an unnecessary amount of nudity. Nonetheless, the anime is definitely worth a watch.

Inuyashiki: Last Hero

A split screen representation of an old man, Ichiro, and a teenager, Hiro, both with glowing red eyes from the anime, Inuyashiki.
Inuyashiki. Photo credit: steemit.com

Plot

This anime follows the story of a 58-year-old man named Ichiro, who lives a miserable life. The people in his workplace hardly notice his efforts at all, his family constantly ignores and disrespects him, and he has just recently gotten diagnosed with cancer. A handsome and popular teenage boy, named Hiro, contrasts him. He is loved by many but hates humanity. One day, these two are caught in an explosion caused by aliens. When the two become conscious again, they find their bodies are completely intact. However, their bodies are really just mechanised weapons with the skin of their former selves. Soon, they discover they have supernatural powers. Ichiro uses his power to save humanity while Hiro uses his to cleanse it, torturing and murdering innocents.

Why should you watch it?

What’s incredible about this anime is the fact that its main character is a middle-aged man, instead of the generic teenager. The choice of art style is also really good. It uses a distinct palette of cool hues to reflect its slightly depressing tone which dominates the show. The best part is that the viewers get to see life through the eyes of both the protagonist and the antagonist. Both believe what they are doing is right, as they both feel more alive and themselves when using their power in the way they see fit. Ultimately, the anime makes us question our existence, values, society, and humanity in general. If you’re the philosophical type, this one’s for you.

Yakusoku no Neverland (Promised Neverland)

The orphans of Promised Neverland reached out their hands with determined faces.
Promised Neverland. Photo credit: twinfinite.net

Plot

This anime presents the story of a group of 11-year-old children in a seemingly normal orphanage. The children are treated well, eat great food, and have lots of fun. However, when children leave, they never seem to write back to the orphanage. Of course, it could be normal. Or something sinister is taking place – a truth far darker than you would believe.

Why should you watch it?

The truly incredible perk of this anime is that it doesn’t rely on bloody and gruesome imagery, but rather a deeply emotional story that builds dread in an already creepy atmosphere. This horror anime has a way of instilling terror in the viewers, especially with its disturbing imagery along the way. Although season 2 isn’t much enjoyed by anime fans, the first season is definitely worth a watch. It’s up to you whether you’d like to check out the second season too.

Gantz

A man who is bleeding from his eyes and nose.
Gantz. Photo credit: Thrillist

Plot

Gantz is about a typical high school student living in a selfish world. He only cares about himself. However, one day, by chance, he helps his childhood friend, and it ends up getting the two of them killed… Or so they thought. At that exact moment, a strange force teleports them to an enclosed apartment with others who have recently died. A mysterious black ball inside the apartment – called Gantz – now controls their lives, forcing them to participate in a game of unprecedented danger and horror.

Why should you watch it?

The ultimate premise of this anime is for the main character to kill criminal aliens disguised as humans on Earth, so it can be pretty action-packed. For this reason, there are some gruesome scenes as well, which give it its title as a horror anime. Before watching it, it’s best to know this anime is not for the faint-hearted. The anime includes scenes of rape, as well as gore and violence. Portrayals of greed, violence and all other ugliness society wields today are present in this psychological horror as well.

Satsuriku no Tenshi (Angels of Death)

A boy covered in bandages is smiling with glowing red eyes and a smudge of blood on his face.
Satsuriku no Tenshi. Photo credit: imdb.com

Plot

The plot surrounds a 13-year-old girl with dead and lifeless eyes named Rachel who awakens to find herself completely trapped in the basement of an abandoned building. She has no memories and doesn’t know where she is as she searches for a way out. In her search, she comes across a scythe-wielding serial killer, Zack, covered in bandages from head-to-toe. At first, he tries to kill her, but the two form a strange bond strengthened by a bizarre promise. These two work together desperately to escape the underground facility they are trapped in.

Why should you watch it?

If you’re not into too much gore and blood, Angels of Death might be for you. Although the anime is labelled as a horror, it seems more like a psychological thriller. Nonetheless, the anime is still quite interesting. Every episode leaves you with more questions, urging you to watch more. The main characters also have traumatic pasts which cause them to go through an emotional journey alongside the external adventure. Both are forced to face their past and deal with the trauma they have to achieve their goals. Finally, its setting is what gives the anime its creepy atmosphere, as it is usually dark and grim.

Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!)

A frightened pink-haired girl covered in blood stares at a zombie in fear as it approaches her.
Gakkou Gurashi. Photo credit: youtube.com

Plot

Gakkou Gurashi follows the story of a cheerful girl named Yuki who is part of a school club with three other girls and an adorable dog. These club members live at the school, sleeping in the club room at night and growing their own food on the school roof. Strangely, only Yuki attends classes and no one ever has the urge to go home. In reality, the four girls are the sole survivors of their school after a zombie outbreak overruns the city and the other three girls work to keep Yuki safe.

Why should you watch it?

The anime is a rather underrated one, but amazing, nonetheless. Its animation is bright, vibrant and pleasing to the eye. The cover picture and theme song purposefully contrast the dark theme of the anime. While the cover is cute and the theme song is uplifting, the actual anime is rather dark as the main character creates an alternate reality for herself to mask the chaotic events surrounding her.

Conclusion

Some of these anime may not be as scary as others, depending on your horror-tolerance. Nonetheless, all are reasonably interesting with unique storylines. If you’d like to explore more thrilling and scary anime to watch this Halloween, click here. I hope you can enjoy them to the fullest during this spooky season.

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