Korean horror webtoons have been around for a while. However, these scary Korean webtoons didn’t go viral until a short Korean horror webtoon created by Horang called Bongcheon-dong Ghost came out in 2011. It was an urban ghost story that uses animation as jump scares. It had 3D effects such as a ghost’s hand appearing to jump off your screen. Once this webtoon was translated into English it quickly went viral all around the world. This led to the rise in the horror genre and it was after this point that you will find some of the scariest Korean webtoons of all time. Horror webtoons in Korea spent the following decade going mainstream to the point that Netflix has adapted them into horror series on their streaming platform. As a visual medium, webtoons are perfect for the horror genre with their vertical scroll-down reading style.
The truly chilling stories in the webtoons listed below will have you up well past your bedtime. We all know that finding something scary is truly subjective, as ghosts might scare some but not all readers. However, there is no denying that each of these webtoons has enough nightmare fuel to warrant its place on this list. Moreover, you will be able to find most of these horror webtoons available in English on Naver Webtoons. If you have any other recommendations, please let us know and we will take a look.
Tales of the Unusual
Tales of the Unusual is written by Seongdae Oh. It is our choice for #1 on the list of the scariest Korean webtoons. It is an extensive collection of weird horrific short stories where each could be its own webtoon. The best of the stories being Beauty Water (pictured above), My Wife’s Memories, Scene Box, Human Door, Friends, The Painting, and Murderous Rage. All the short stories do a great job of showing the evil side of people. Topics range from greed and envy to jealousy and rage. Many of the characters are some of the most unlikeable characters in all of Manwha. Seongdae Oh has become the Stephen King of Webtoons. The series is updated every week.
Sweet Home is written by Youngchan Hwang and illustrated by Carnby Kim. It is one of the few Korean horror webtoons picked up by Netflix. It is about a high school student that is forced to leave his home and ends up fighting monsters that are looking to kill the human race. He has to band together with a small group of survivors who can become monsters themselves at any moment. It has a small similarity to The Walking Dead. The webtoon is just as gruesome and dark and has many mind-blowing plot twists. It is the best end of the world Korean webtoon you are going to read.
Bastard is written by Youngchan Hwang and illustrated by Carnby Kim. It is a story about a boy who is trying to protect a girl he likes from his serial killer father. Each episode brings something new and is filled with action. Similar to many of the webtoons on this list, it is filled with plot twists. However, unlike some of the others, you will not see many of these plot twists coming. That shows just how good the writing is. What makes this story so intense is that the father is seen as a very kind man, which makes his true intentions that much more shocking. It has one of the best endings on this list.
Killstagram is written by Ryoung and is a story about a pretty girl who is a social media influencer that is stalked by a serial killer. It really does a great job of showing the dangers of social media. This includes doxing, stalking, and overall harassment. The art style is fantastic and has plenty of jump scares that ultimately lead to false alarms. There are a bit too many plot twists but a few are really mind-bending and really do a great job of keeping you hooked. It contains strong language and graphic violence so be prepared.
Friday: Forbidden Tales
Friday: Forbidden Tales is written by Jinsoo Bae. Similar to Tales of the Unusual it is a collection of stories. However, think of it more like The Twilight Zone. Most of the stories involve some kind of terrifying twist that is both thought-provoking and creepy. The simple artwork really does a great job of showcasing the creepy characters. Some of our top recommended stories on Friday: Forbidden Tales include The Room, Mama’s Boy, The Outcast, and The Trading Center.
Ghost Teller is written by QTT and is a collection of stories told by 5 ghosts and one grim ripper. Each takes turns telling their stories about the evils of humanity. So basically this is not a “ghost story” but a “human story” told by ghosts. Many of their stories are more heartbreaking than scary and will leave you angry to be human. The illustrations are really what makes each of these stories stand out. The artwork does a great job of keeping the stories compelling and hard to predict.
Hive is written by Kyusam Kim. It is a story about an office worker whose life changes in a dramatic way when his city is invaded by giant insects that turn humans into insect zombies. Those that like military-style fighting and strategy will love this Korean webtoon. It is one of the best invasion stories out there and reminds us of the blockbuster film A Quiet Place. It has a great story and while it does not offer the traditional jump scares as some of the others on this list, it is still creepy and has its share of plot twists.
Dead Days is written by Dey. If you are a fan of zombie apocalypse storylines, this is the webtoon for you. However, this webtoon goes a bit deeper and the whole webtoon is filled with messages and critical commentary about the world we live in today. The main character is not easy to root for however as the story goes on you understand why he behaves the way he does. Won’t spoil the twist but it really makes you think that this storyline could happen someday.
Horang’s Nightmare is written by Horang and is one of the shorter horror webtoons on this list. It has 10 chapters and each chapter has a different story. The 3D artwork in each story is amazing and it has some of the most intense “jump stares” you will find in a webtoon. As you scroll down the webtoon the 3D animation goes into effect. Some of these stories come with audio to intensify your reading experience. This could be the future of horror webtoons for years to come. Too bad there are only 10 stories or else this would be higher in the rankings. Some of our favorite chapters include 4 and 9.
The Red Book
The Red Book is written by Rangddo and might be the most underrated horror webtoon on this list of the scariest Korean webtoons. The stories are represented more through the graphics than through text. It is a collection of short tales that are very strange yet creepy. However, it is able to bring some humor which makes it quite unique. Many of the stories a left open-ended and it is up to the reader to determine what will happen to the characters.