We all love a good spooky story, and the wide world of morbid manga goes far beyond iconic titles like Tokyo Ghoul, Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, and the massive catalogue of Junji Ito. If you're looking for something new to dive into this Halloween season, check out these manga titles from @TOKYOPOP, @YenPress, @gomanga, @shonenjump, @KodanshaManga and more - and prepare to get spooked!
PHANTOM TALES OF THE NIGHT BY MATSURI
Phantom Tales of the Night is one of my most recommended manga titles, and for good reason! This harrowing story of an otherworldly being known as The Owner and his haunted inn is gripping, filled with beautiful botanical body horror, Japanese folklore, and twisted timelines. The Owner asks for a simple payment in exchange for respite at his maze-like manor - your darkest secret - and the repercussions of their truths takes readers on a journey through the darkest parts of the human psyche. Featuring some of the richest blacks, most grotesque imagery, and winding narratives you'll ever read, this long running folklore horror manga is one you won't want to miss.
Perfect for fans of Spirited Away, Hannibal, and Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun.
CAN'T STOP CURSING YOU BY NATSUKO URUMA AND KENSUKE KOBA
This haunting four volume series is one that both old school manga fans and new readers looking for something thrilling will immediately fall in love with. Coming across like a modern, Gen Z take on Death Note with its own brand of depravity and memorable cast of characters, Can't Stop Cursing You is a brutal and twisted story about humanity and the wicked things we do for fame, fortune, and control. Featuring one of the most unique anti-hero protagonists in recent memory, this gore-filled crime drama is a must.
Perfect for fans of Death Note, Danganronpa, and Persona 5.
FROM THE RED FOG BY MOSAE NOHARA
Is there anything creepier than morbid, murder-hungry Victorian children in fancy clothes going full Jack the Ripper on everyone in sight via orders from the ghastly voice of his long-dead mother? From The Red Fog is one of the most unsettling and tense manga titles out there, and the unassuming Ruwanda's twisted views on the world makes it a hard series to stomach in the best way possible. He's part Norman Bates, part Patrick Bateman, has a penchant for stabbing things, and his murder-happy imagination fills the manga with grotesque imagery that will haunt you long after you put it down.
Perfect for fans of Black Butler.
MARS RED BY BUN-O FUJISAWA AND KARAKARAKEMURI
This short but satisfying vampire story features some truly frightening monster designs and unique lore. Set in Taishō era Tokyo, this haunting historical tale is an excellent period piece that blends turn of the century technology and aesthetics with tradition and timeless legend. With an utterly human narrative at the center, Mars Red follows a group of vampires working for the military and their internal struggles with losing their humanity and the lives they once led. It's an action packed three volume series that is both gripping and touching.
Perfect for fans of FullMetal Alchemist, Seraph of the End, and Hellsing.
DANDADAN BY YUKINOBU TATSU
If you like your horror on the weird side, definitely check out this insane title from Shonen Jump. Dandadan is a wild ride and I was both unsettled and crying from laughing so hard. This series follows a girl named Momo who fully believes in the supernatural and the dare she strikes with UFO-loving classmate she nicknames Okarun, leading to the discovery of not just paranormal entities, but real life aliens! This series is a high-octane nightmare of twisted yokai, over the top extraterrestrials, and a whole lot of punchy humor. It's insane and you have to read it for yourself.
Perfect for fans of Bleach, Junji Ito, and No More Heroes!
PTSD RADIO BY MASAAKI NAKAYAMA
A title that was once only found on the dark recesses of the internet for English readers, this iconic and chilling title finally received its western release via Kodansha to the acclaim of long time fans and new readers. This haunting anthology series is spine chilling, and every panel seems to be worse than the last. The series was touted as being so intense that it forced the mangaka to stop creating it due to the odd happenings that continued to plague them, and the uncanny artwork will make you check the corners of your bedroom before you turn off the lights.
Perfect for fans of Junji Ito and the Mandela Catalogue.
FANGS BY BILLY BALIBALLY, PLATINUM BLOOD BY MOR ICHIGAYA, AND THE VAMPIRE & HIS PLEASANT COMPANIONS BY MARIMO RAGAWA
Love is in the air and it comes baring fangs! This trio of vampire-centered boys' love titles (with two of them featuring vamps named Al and, as an Al myself, I approve of this choice) is perfect for readers who want true horror-romance in their stories. Platinum Blood is a sensual one-shot that is low on the scare count but high on the spice, and features beautiful artwork and that sweet sweet religion kink (as proclaimed by TOKYOPOP themselves!). Fangs is a punk-rock, modern boy meets vampire tale that is reminiscent of The Outsiders with a splash of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, and the world building is top notch. And, my personal favorite, The Vampire And His Pleasant Companions (from Marimo Ragawa, creator of the gut wrenching New York, New York), has some of the most intense body horror and truly terrifying moments I've ever read in a BL romance. All three of these titles are great for the die-hard Twihards still living in their Team Edward phase, and the vamp-centered romance at the center of all three make for an excellent collection you'll return to again and again.
DEVILS' LINE BY RYO HANADA
A long running vampire series, Devils' Line is filled with unique lore that blends demonology and vampirism to create a new breed of monster. This crime drama series follows Anzai, a half-devil who uses his supernatural gifts to aid the human police force in their task of ridding Tokyo of devil-related crimes. When a college student named Tsukasa is rescued by Anzai during a devil attack, she is quickly thrust into a world of chaos, espionage, and romance as her bond with her demonic protector continues to grow. This series spins the classic vampire tale into a new, modern thriller narrative that is bloody, emotional, and one-of-a-kind.
Perfect for fans of Lucifer, Interview With The Vampire, and Seraph of the End.
THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO MONSTER GIRLS BY SUZU AKEKO
We all love a series that sits on that weird, uncanny line of creepy-cute, and new release The Illustrated Guide To Monster Girls nails that aesthetic with perfection. Following a class of girls with big dreams of graduating and turning into full fledged monsters, this incredibly morbid, violent, and downright adorable series follows the cute cast of monster girls from Class Z as they try to improve their grades. It harkens back to the aesthetics of classic turn-based JRPGS like Disgaea, and the folklore elements in this series are given a fresh spin with Suzu Akeko's artwork. This is a thrill ride you won't want to miss.
Perfect for fans of Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, Disgaea, and Monster High.
A Terrified Teacher At Ghoul School by Mai Tamaka, published by Yen Press - a cozy horror series about a well meaning teacher who gets transferred to a private school for monsters!
A School Frozen In Time by Naoshi Arakawa and Mizuki Tsujimura, published by Vertical Comics - after the death of a student, a class finds themselves trapped in their classroom and forced to uncover the truth of her passing.
The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service by Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki, published by Dark Horse - a group of corpse collecting Buddhist college students travel across Tokyo after hearing the calls of the deceased in an effort to help them move onto their next reincarnation.
The Summer Hikaru Died by Mokumokuren, published by Yen Press - a high school student disappears one summer only to reappear as something not quite human.
Summertime Rendering by Yasuki Tanaka, published by UDON Entertainment - a student returns to his hometown after the passing of a childhood friend, only to find himself thrust into a looping summer of horror and mystery.
What other horror manga should we check out? Let us know in the comments!
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