The 10 Best Anime Series About Ghosts and Spirits, Ranked

In anime, ghosts aren't always scary—they can be friendly, insightful, and even funny. These ghost anime series are worth watching!
The 10 Best Anime Series About Ghosts and Spirits, Ranked

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In most media, ghosts are there to scare, frighten, and terrify. Whether it's a vengeful spirit out for blood or a haunted house that drives a family to madness, ghosts play on our fears of the unknown.

But not every ghost is scary, especially in anime. There are plenty of friendly spirits who have helped guide young heroes on their journeys. The main character themself may even be a ghost sometimes.

From spooky to uplifting, here are the best anime about ghosts and spirits and other beings from the afterlife.

10. Ghost Stories

Horror, Mystery, Supernatural

Originally aired 2000 to 2001

20 episodes (1 season)

7.74 on MAL

Ghost Stories feels like an anime version of Scooby Doo. It follows a group of kids and their demon-possessed talking cat as they try to exorcise the ghosts and spirits that haunt their small town.

The mood varies between lighthearted and spooky in nearly every episode, so the series can feel a bit uneven at times. Even so, Ghost Stories is an iconic show that's worth checking out.

9. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

Horror, Mystery, Supernatural

Originally aired 2013

4 episodes (1 season)

6.44 on MAL

As you can probably guess from the title, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is much darker than your average anime.

It's based on the horror adventure game Corpse Party and it's only four episodes long, but it packs a big punch despite its short runtime.

The story centers on a group of schoolmates who perform an occult ritual that ends up transporting them to a twisted and cursed version of their school, from which they need to escape.

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls isn't afraid to kill off its characters, and it often does so in the most gruesome and horrific ways. Watch this only if you've got a strong stomach and an appetite for the macabre.

8. Yu Yu Hakusho

Action, Fantasy

Originally aired 1992 to 1994

112 episodes (4 seasons)

8.46 on MAL

Only a bold writer would kill off the main character in episode one, but Yusuke Urameshi's death is just the start of his troubles.

In Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke spends the first arc as a ghost who's trying to convince his loved ones to help him return to life. After that, the rest of the show is about him cleaning up the messes caused by various ghosts and demons of the Spirit World.

Yu Yu Hakusho is a fantastic shonen anime with memorable characters and one of the best English dubs of its time.

7. Bleach

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Originally aired 2004 to 2012

366 episodes (16 seasons)

7.92 on MAL

It can be easy to forget between all the scheming and sword-fighting, but the Soul Reapers in Bleach actually serve a purpose: to help deceased people pass on to the next life.

In Bleach, every Hollow that the Soul Reapers run into is a dearly departed human who couldn't pass on. More than that, every Soul Reaper (aside from Ichigo) is actually a ghost themselves.

You probably don't think of Bleach as a ghost anime, but it's actually one of the best anime about ghosts when you think about it.

6. Death Parade

Drama, Supernatural, Suspense

Originally aired 2015

12 episodes (1 season)

8.15 on MAL

In Death Parade, everyone you see is the ghost of someone who has recently died, matched up against someone else who also happened to meet their own end at the same moment.

These ghosts must now compete against each other in the Death Games, with the winner winning the opportunity to be reincarnated while the loser gets cast into the void forever.

Not only is the concept of Death Parade fascinating to watch, the opening theme song is an absolute jam.

5. Ghost Hound

Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense

Originally aired 2007 to 2008

22 episodes (1 season)

7.41 on MAL

Ghost Hound is another anime series about a group of young kids who investigate the supernatural occurrences in their small town.

As they attempt to find out why the barrier between their world and the Unseen World is weakening, they also explore the roots of the different traumas they all experienced as children.

There are some spooky moments here, but the focus of Ghost Hound is firmly on how the boys deal with their trauma and how it relates to this strange new world they must explore.

4. Psychic Detective Yakumo

Horror, Mystery, Supernatural

Originally aired 2010

13 episodes (1 season)

7.31 on MAL

Psychic Detective Yakumo is, at its heart, a detective noir story. It just happens that the detective in question can see ghosts with his left eye and sets out to help them pass on to the next life if they're willing.

This anime about ghosts centers on the tragic ends that all of these spirits have met, along with the pain that they've left behind on their loved ones as a result of their passing.

As it turns out, protagonist Yakumo usually feels a closer kinship with the ghosts he encounters than any of the humans in his life.

3. Mob Psycho 100

Action, Comedy, Supernatural

Originally aired 2016 to 2022

37 episodes (3 seasons)

8.49 on MAL

You wouldn't know it just by looking at him, but mild-mannered Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama is one of the most powerful psychics on the planet.

It's a talent that he's been trying to contain his entire life, only putting it to use for important things—like exorcising spirits and impressing girls.

He encounters many different spirits in his world, and they usually underestimate him because of his calm exterior. However, that often ends up being a mistake that leads to their undoing.

Despite being an anime about ghosts, Mob Psycho 100 sometimes feels like a superhero anime, what with his psychic ability.

2. Mononoke

Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural

Originally aired 2007

12 episodes (1 season)

8.43 on MAL

In Mononoke, a nameless character who's only referred to as "Medicine Seller" wanders around feudal Japan, hunting and destroying ghosts.

Each episode of Mononoke feels a bit like a detective story, as the Medicine Seller must first learn the spirit's shape, truth, and reasoning before he can successfully exorcise them.

The animation is stellar and there are plenty of tense, terrifying moments mixed in. Horror fans will find plenty to enjoy in Mononoke.

1. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Horror, Mystery, Romance, School, Supernatural

Originally aired 2012

12 episodes (1 season)

7.83 on MAL

Death can be a sad, lonely existence. In Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Yuuko has spent 60 years wandering the halls of her school, unable to remember her life or interact with anyone.

That is, until she meets Teiichi. Together, they work together to unravel the mystery behind Yuuko's death and figure out why she's unable to pass on to the next life.

This anime ghost story has horror elements to it, but the focus is firmly on the oddly sweet relationship between the living boy and the dead girl. It's one of the best ghost anime series we've seen.