10 Must-Watch Anime About Ghosts And Spirits

The supernatural occupies a popular spot in pop culture. Audiences love to explore the world of the occult, whether to get some good, old-fashioned scares or out of genuine interest. Whatever the reason, ghosts and spirits are never far away from the entertainment industry.

Some of the most iconic anime in history deal with the supernatural. Stories like Death Note and Tokyo Ghoul take audiences into the dangerous world of the supernatural. Sometimes the ghosts are friendly allies in the protagonist's battle; other times, they are the cruelest of villains, but that's what makes them fascinating.

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10 Death Note

Ryuk smiling in the Death Note anime.

Death Note is one of the most well-known anime in history. It follows Light Yagami, a teenager who discovers the mysterious "Death Note," previously owned by the demon Ryuk, and gains the power to kill anyone whose name is written on the notebook's pages.

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The anime features themes of justice, limits, and escalation against a background of increasingly blurry moral boundaries. Light is one of the most complicated and fascinating protagonists in anime, balancing his newfound responsibility with his connection to the worlds of humans and the supernatural.

9 Tokyo Ghoul

Ken Kaneki smiles in Tokyo Ghoul

One of the all-time best horror anime, the now-iconic Tokyo Ghoul is an institution in the world of terror. The plot concerns a young and bookish student who becomes a ghoul, a human-like creature who needs to eat human flesh to survive.

Tokyo Ghoul features several supernatural elements, making it one of the best examples in the still underrated dark fantasy genre. The animation doesn't shy away from showing the ghouls' activities, displaying a remarkable penchant for gore that few other anime possess.

8 Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

A young girl and two ghosts in the Corpse Party Tortured Souls anime

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls lives up to its creepy title. The plot follows a group of students who, after performing a seemingly harmless friendship charm, get transported to an alternate dimension haunted by vengeful ghosts out to get them.

Gruesome barely begins to describe Corpse Party: Tortured Souls. The series takes gore to the next level, exploiting the advantages of animation to create terrifying scenes that could haunt anyone's dreams for life. Horror fans should come out of the four-episode series satisfied, as the graphic content and eerie setting make for a genuinely horrific experience.

7 Mob Psycho 100

Mob with many colorful ghosts behind him in the Mob Psycho 100 anime.

Esper abilities are a favorite of the supernatural genre, but few shows use it as effectively as Mob Psycho 100. It centers on Mob, a powerful esper struggling to live a normal life while surrounded by con men and dangerous spirits out to get him.

As one of the anime with a unique and eye-catching visual style, Mob Psycho 100 is unforgettable from the get-go. The premise successfully balances themes of the supernatural and the occult with an otherwise conventional story of self-discovery. Mob Psycho 100 is among the best anime of the past decades and one of the few completely committed to presenting its themes in the most unadulterated and honest way possible.

6 Death Parade

Decim presents items in the bar in Death Parade

Featuring one of the most singular premises of any anime, Death Parade is truly one-of-a-kind. The show follows Decim, a bartender working at the Quindecim bar, where people who died simultaneously arrive. In this middle stage of the afterlife, the deceased compete in the Death Games, determining whether they'll reincarnate or have their souls sent to the void.

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Death Parade is a unique take on the ghost genre. It features a clever version of the afterlife that allows it to explore themes of repentance and metaphysical ideas like reincarnation and immortality. The animation is top-notch, adding a somber vibe to an already gloomy storyline.

5 Another

Two characters against a sunset sky in the anime Another.

The plot for the Another anime concerns Koichi Sakakibara, a new student who becomes involved with a mystery upon arriving at his new school. Drawn to a silent girl, Mei Misaki, and sensing a dangerous vibe, Koichi soon learns of a string of gruesome murders around the school.

Like the best murder mysteries of all time, Another takes its time with the story. The show's unnerving vibe dominates every episode, introducing an ever-present sense of fear. It features the right balance between horror, gore, and tension, delivering a show that will keep audiences at the edge of their seats.

4 Hell Girl

Hell Girl

Fans of unsettling anime stories will hit the jackpot with Hell Girl. The show centers on a mysterious website that people can only access at midnight. Entering the name of a particular person will cause the titular Hell Girl and her associates to torture and kill that person, sending them to hell. In exchange, the person who requests the action will also go to hell at the end of their life.

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Juggling themes of revenge and repentance, Hell Girl is genuinely creepy. The visuals, accompanied by the eerie atmosphere, succeed in creating a series that carries a terrifying punch. Horror fans will take great satisfaction in watching Hell Girl.

3 Mononoke

Mononoke's Medicine Seller

Mononoke is one of the highest-rated horror anime in history, and it's easy to understand why. The plot concerns the "Medicine Seller," a mysterious man who travels around Feudal Japan hunting dangerous spirits known as "Mononoke," who are responsible for violent deaths.

Combining traits of the crime procedural with the intriguing lore of Japanese mythos, Mononoke is the perfect horror anime. It delves deep into each Mononoke's backstory while maintaining its distinctive avant-garde animation, crafting a unique series that is as visually striking as it's enthralling.

2 Ghost Hound

Makoto and Taro from Ghost Hound standing side by side

The spirit world takes center stage in Ghost Hound. The plot follows three boys with severe childhood traumas living in a small, spirit-plagued town in a remote mountain region. The boys enter the spirit realm, the Unseen World, discovering more about their pasts and the spirits' mysterious appearances.

Ghost Hound works as both a dramatic character study and a great horror story. It also serves as a coming-of-age story, using the protagonists' traumas to explore deeper ideas about the balance between the spiritual and the material worlds.

1 Ghost Stories

The entire cast of Ghost Stories Anime

Possibly the most iconic ghost anime in history, Ghost Stories remains popular today. The plot concerns a group of schoolchildren who, with the help of a demon trapped inside a cat, encounter numerous ghosts throughout their town and use a book to exorcise them.

Ghost Stories works as a familiar child adventure and a subtle commentary on urbanization and the disregard for traditions. The anime became successful after its original release, with fans and critics praising its dark humor and animation. Today, many consider Ghost Stories a cult classic and one of the best examples of ghosts in anime.

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2022-09-12T03:59:11.000Z

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