With the spooky holiday season well underway, you might be tempted to curl up and be a little terrified of your favorite horror movie or television show. But did you know you could get the same experience from anime as well?
Anime has provided some of the most bone chilling, weird, and bloody experiences and some of the best ones can be found on various streaming services.
The Horror anime selections on the list explore ultra bloody and violent stories, psychological thrillers, death games, apocalyptic religious explorations, extraterrestrial threats, paranormal mysteries, the paranoia of monsters living among us, the power of death in the wrong hands, and even a kooky fun action series with a lot of heart.
Read on to see the best horror anime you can stream for the Halloween holiday, and let us know your favorites in the comments! We couldn't get them all, so there's sure to be one we missed!
One of the biggest horror anime also happens to be the one that updated most recently. Spearheaded by Adi Shankar (the visionary behind Dredd and the gritty Power/Rangers fan film), directed by Sam Deats, and written by Warren Ellis, this series adapts Konami's famous Castlevania video game franchise into a bloody fun experience.
Spanning twelve episodes across two seasons, this series follows Trevor Belmont, the latest in a long line of hunters fighting against Dracula and various other creatures of the night. The series has been met with much fan acclaim for its blend of gory visuals, great character writing, and fantastically animated fight sequences.
You can currently find Castlevania streaming on Netflix, but fans squeamish to blood and violence should take note for a few of its episodes.
Netflix began 2018 with an intent to expand its anime library, and it came out of the gate strong with Devilman Crybaby. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Night is Short, Walk On Girl), this series is an updated take on Go Nagai's Devilman series from 1972.
The series follows Akira Fudo, a young over achieving student without a violent bone in his body. When demons begin crossing over into the human realm, Akira fuses with the Devil Amon and becomes Devilman. But soon he finds that not only does he have to contend with demons, but humanity as well.
The series spans 12 episode and is currently streaming on Netflix. It was a huge hit for its gory content, exploration of sexuality, and philosophical musings, but there's a hearty content warning for it as well. It's not really a series you can watch in the living room with family, but should be watched nonetheless.
Another is a horror anime that just kind of sneaks up on you. Based on a novel by Yukito Ayatsuji and directed by Tsutomu Mizushima, this series follows a boy named Koichi who transfers to a new school and finds that his classmates all ignore the meek Mei, a mysterious girl with an eyepatch.
But in trying to get to know her better, Koichi discovers there's an even greater calamity facing his class as his fellow students begin dying off in sudden, unexplained accidents. Think Final Destination, where Devon Sawa's Alex tries to "cheat" death by figuring out its pattern. It's kind of the same concept, but the core mystery is rooted in far weirder supernatural places.
Another runs for a tight 12 episodes, and can currently be found streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll. Though fans adverse to blood should be wary of this series as well.
If you want a more action-tinged, gory horror experience, then look no further than Parasyte -the maxim-. Originally created by Hitoshi Iwaaki and adapted into an anime by Madhouse, the series is set in a world suddenly invaded by alien spores that burrow into whatever body they posses. Once a body is successfully taken over, the parasite remains to feed on humans.
The series follows Shinichi, who is nearly body snatched by one of these aliens until he confines it into his right hand. Shinichi works with the parasite to fight against other parasites, and the resulting series blends action together with the very real threat of a gruesome death. Couple this with the disgusting transformations of hosts, and fans are in for a great horror experience.
Parasyte -the maxim- runs for 24 episodes and can currently be found streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.
Along the same lines as Parasyte -the maxim-, Tokyo Ghoul is a more action oriented series tinged with horrific imagery and creepy situations. Originally created by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul is set in a world full of Ghouls, beings who eat humans and have been living among them in secret.
A student named Ken Kaneki has a chance encounter with one of these ghouls, and a resulting accident leaves him implanted with the organs from the ghoul who attacked him. In order to live a somewhat normal life, Kaneki needs to eat human flesh to survive. Thus he's brought into the underground, action filled world of the ghouls as the series ponders who the "real" monster is.
Tokyo Ghoul has three full seasons under its belt and a fourth currently airing. Content warning for those adverse to large amounts of gore, naturally, but you can find it streaming on FunimationNOW and on Hulu.
If you want a lighter, but still enthralling paranormal experience full of mysteries to solve every episode, you might be interested in Ghost Hunt. Originally created by Fuyumi Ono, the series follows a young student named Mai with latent psychic abilities.
In order to pay for an accidentally broken camera, she joins the Shibuya Psychic Research Center as an assistant to the manager Kazuya. Mai and the rest of the SPR then work to solve several paranormal cases (and cool exorcisms) with the use of their psychic abilities, but at the same time, Mai is trying to figure out the odd nature of her dreams in this horror laden world.
Ghost Hunt runs for 25 episodes, and can be found streaming on FunimationNow.
If you want a creepy anime experience free of a ton of gore, but still retaining a horror narrative and visual style, then Death Note is what you are looking for. Originally created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows the high school student Light Yagami, who finds a notebook that causes the death of anyone whose name is written in it.
Summoning the help of the Death God Ryuk, Light decides to use this newfound power to right the world of its wrongs and kill criminals. The series then becomes a detective cat and mouse story as Light becomes a tainted symbol of peace while avoiding capture by police.
Death Note runs for 37 episodes and can be found streaming on Netflix and Hulu. There's a live-action film produced by Netflix as well if you want a more condensed, slightly more hollow version of the series' story to fit into your Halloween evening.
If you are looking for a fun action anime with Halloween inspired character designs that you can watch at any time, then Soul Eater is your jam. Originally created by Atsushi Okubo, this series is set in the special Death Weapon Meister Academy where teams of two have to hunt down 99 souls and one witch in order to create a weapon strong enough for the academy's headmaster, Death.
The core team is a girl named Maka and her partner weapon, the scythe Soul Eater, and the series follows their antics in visually imaginative action. With cute character designs, cool battles, and fun shenanigans, it's the perfect palate cleanser for someone who wants to enjoy the creepy vibe of the Halloween holiday without any of the scares.
Soul Eater runs for 51 episodes and can currently be found streaming on Netflix and Hulu.