Horror movies are great, but most horror anime have between 11 and 24 episodes to really worm their way under your skin. Below, we’ve listed some truly chilling anime that will stay with you long after the final episode. Lock your doors, turn the lights off, and push the volume up. After all, these stories aren’t real, so you’ll be alright… probably.
What if one of your classmates was dead all along? In Another, a curse ensures one member of a particular class dies each month until the dead student is identified. This show has an almost Final Destination vibe, but places real emphasis on the inevitability of death while making us question what it even means to be alive.
You can stream Another on Hulu.
A deadly epidemic sweeps through an isolated country village, and it’s unclear why. Surely the people living in a castle just outside of town aren’t responsible? One thing is clear: there is no help coming.
If you’ve read Salem’s Lot, you’ll find a lot to like here – it’s just as creepy, and a real slow burn. Interestingly, there aren’t really any villains in Shiki, since everyone is just trying to survive.
Serial Experiments Lain
What would you do if you received an email from a dead person? Serial Experiments Lain is a classic that takes us back to the early days of the internet, where anonymous message boards and urban myths reigned supreme. This show has it all – a pervading sense of dread, suicide, depression, and men in black who watch your every move.
Serial Experiments Lain is available on Crunchyroll.
A mysterious figure is roaming the city, attacking people with a baseball bat. He only targets those experiencing crisis in their lives, however. As the series progresses, the attacks become more and more surreal – no surprise, given this show was created by Satoshi Kon, the man behind Paprika and Perfect Blue.
Unfortunately, Paranoia Agent isn’t on any streaming services, so you’ll have to pick it up on DVD. However, it’s a classic and absolutely worth the investment.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
When an otherwise normal town experiences a series of brutal murders, it’s up to a group of students to find the perpetrator. Don’t be fooled by Higurashi’s moe stylings – it’s a white-knuckle joyride that twists and turns on a dime. We highly recommend watching this show late at night, and if you’re feeling especially brave, take the chain off of your door.
Higurashi can be streamed on Hulu.