10 Disturbing Junji Ito Horror Short Stories That Will Give You Nightmares

When it comes to horror in Western culture, Stephen King is the first name that comes to mind. He is a master of story-telling and creating scenarios that haunt people in their nightmares.

But when it comes to visualizing horror, Junji Ito is the undisputed king of horror in the world. He has introduced his fans to unique horror, making him unique in the manga industry.

Junji Ito has written many short stories, and the question is which of these short stories is the spookiest and scariest. We shall answer that question: Here are our Top 10 Best Junji Ito Horror Short Stories, which are just nightmares fuels!

Top 10 Best Junji Ito Horror Short Stories That Shall Give You Nightmares
  • As mentioned in the title, this article will only consist of short stories that Junji Ito wrote. So, names like Uzumaki, Remina & others won’t be mentioned here, as they comprise a single story throughout the manga!
  • All short stories selected for this list were from different official collection editions of Junji Ito to keep the results as unbiased as possible.

10. Weeping Woman Way

Top 10 Junji Ito Short Stories that will give you nightmares!
Source of Short StoryThe Liminal Zone- Volume 1
Chapter no.1

“The Weeping Woman Way” explores the story of a young couple who visit the countryside for a change of pace. While exploring, they reach a home where a funeral is taking place, and at this funeral is a weeping woman, a lady that people hire for funerals.

But after watching this weeping woman, the girl in the couple also starts to cry, and she develops a disorder-like condition where she cannot stop crying. To look for a remedy, the couple travels across Japan to look for something until they reach the Weeping Woman Way, and things start to unfold.

The source of this story, “The Liminal Zone,” could be considered one of the weakest works of Junji Ito as it focuses more on the story instead of the art style.

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9. The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls

Top 10 Junji Ito Short Stories that will give you nightmares!
Source of Short StoryFrankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection
Chapter no.7

“The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls” tells us a story involving a multi-dimensional twist. Toru is a boy living in his family’s mansion alone as his family goes abroad for a business trip. But strange things happen here as Toru always hears and sees strange phenomena.

A slight earthquake hits his house one day, and a corpse pops out of a broken wall. Upon further investigation, Toru realized that there was a dimensional wormhole in his house that allowed people to time travel and come to his house. But what if your past self comes out of it?

“The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls” takes a very innovative and exciting concept of multi-dimensional traveling to make an exciting plot. But what makes it unappealing is its slow pacing and the fact that it is hard to get invested in the story.

8. Deserter

7. The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls Source of Short StoryFrankenstein: Junji Ito Story CollectionChapter no.7
Source of Short StoryDeserter: Junji Ito Story Collection
Chapter no.12

“Deserter,” tells us a revenge story in which Kikuyo’s family is holding a man named Saburo Furukawa hostage and telling him that World War II, which ended eight years ago, is still underway. Kikuyo’s family is doing so because Furukawa was the cause of the death of his sister, Kimie.

One day, the family tries to trick Furukawa into thinking that the Americans are raiding their place, as it is festival time, and they use fireworks as a disguise for bombs. But when they enter Furukawa’s room, they see an old corpse hanging there, confirming that they had been in contact with Furukawa’s ghost this whole time!

The synopsis sounds appealing, but this short story does not live up to its hype. The art style is refined, just as in every Junji Ito book, but the story is poorly executed.

The character development of the characters is pretty much weak, as not much can be built in a single chapter. But in the top stories, you will see how character development becomes a part of a great short story!

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7. The Mansion of Phantom Pain

7. The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls Source of Short StoryFrankenstein: Junji Ito Story CollectionChapter no.7
Source of Short StoryLovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection
Chapter no.8

“The Mansion of Phantom Pain,” tells the story of a little boy suffering from Phantom Pain Syndrome (feeling pain in an amputated body part), but none of his body parts have been amputated, and the source of his pain is the mansion he lives in, besides his parents.

The boy’s parents hire people who get rid of his pain by venturing through the mansion and tending to spots that make him hurt. But how long can a sane person continue doing such a crazy thing without believing in it?

The writing of this story was pretty good, considering how Junji Ito took a vague concept of Phantom Pain Syndrome and converted it into a horror story.

The art style of this short story wasn’t that demanding because it only consisted of creating scenery, a feeling for the reader that he can feel scared from. Indeed, something only Junji Ito can do!

6. The Whispering Woman

Top 10 Junji Ito Short Stories that will give you nightmares!
Source of Short StoryFragments of Horror
Chapter no.8

“The Whispering Woman,” tells the story of Mayumi, a young girl who cannot make the slightest decisions alone. Out of pity, her father appoints people to help her, but all of them get mad within the first few years until her father appoints Mitsu Uchida, an old lady.

But Mitsu gets pale with the passing day, and upon further investigation, Mayumi’s father learns that Mitsu has a husband who does not work and beats her. One day, Mitsu is found dead, but Mayumi still thinks Mitsu is guiding her in her everyday life. What will these events lead to in the future?

“The Whispering Woman” is one of the most innovative ideas of Junji Ito as he took a simple concept of a helping maid and turned it into a creepy story that can haunt anyone.

This can haunt people because everyone has someone who helps them in their everyday life, but what if one day you lose them? Will you be able to see their shadow in things they taught you, or will you carry on doing things yourself? Or will you even be able to do those things without their guidance?

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5. Old and Ugly

7. The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls Source of Short StoryFrankenstein: Junji Ito Story CollectionChapter no.7
Source of Short StoryTomie: Deluxe Edition
Chapter no.20

“Old and Ugly” tells the story of Yasuko Nakamura and her sister Ayaka, also known as Tomie, who reside in a town where killers constantly attack. They attempt to elude their pursuit with the assistance of a mysterious black guy named Ryo. Yasuko suffers as Ayaka ages and becomes more attractive while she stays plain.

The man encourages them but cautions Ayaka’s lovers out of concern that they will murder her. Ayaka is eventually apprehended and cast in concrete. Yasuko wonders if Tomie managed to escape from her imprisonment decades later.

“Old and Ugly” comes from Junji Ito’s most prized work, “Tomie,” which took him twenty-four years to complete. Needless to say, every story in this book is a masterpiece by itself, but “Old and Ugly” struck me as a work that must be included in the top five of Junji Ito’s best short stories.

The character development of Tomie started in Chapter 1 when she was introduced as an arrogant and lavish girl, which continued till the end. This short story, “Old and Ugly,” proved there is “No Use Escaping Tomie,” as she will always return for more!

4. The Human Chair |Original by Edogawa Ranpo|

Top 10 Junji Ito Short Stories that will give you nightmares!
Source of Short StoryVenus in The Blind Spot: Junji Ito Selected Stories
Chapter no.2

“The Human Chair” follows the story of a female writer looking for a new chair and, in her pursuit, reaches a furniture shop. The shop owner tells her the specs of a very comfortable chair, but the talk leads into the discussion of the dark past of the chair.

This chair was once sold to a rich person, who named this chair after her wife. But she started feeling strange and later realized someone lived in this chair. Will the writer still buy this chair after knowing its strange background?

“The Human Chair” is part of the best collectible book of Junji Ito, which features his best short stories, out of which is this Chair story. It might not come as a horror story from the synopsis, but this short story might make you chair-phobic to oversized chairs!

The concept of someone living in your chair is pretty creepy, but when it is paired with the ending of this short story, it becomes a masterpiece like none other!

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3. Library Vision

7. The Strange Tale of Oshikiri: The Walls Source of Short StoryFrankenstein: Junji Ito Story CollectionChapter no.7
Source of Short StorySmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection
Chapter no.11

“Library Vision,” tells the story of Goro, Koko’s spouse, who has a sizable library at their mansion. Goro has a solid attachment to the library and diligently maintains it out of concern for its safety. The loss of Goro’s favorite books causes him to become highly stressed.

Goro claims to have run across the personifications of both a spooky horror story and a loving love romance. By narrating the ghostly being’s tale, Goro vanquishes it. Koko sets fire to the mansion to break the curse, but Goro won’t leave and perishes in the flames.

“Library Vision” is a pretty enigmatic story, which first makes you think that books have personalities and then makes this thought pretty realistic as the climax approaches, which makes this short story worth every manga panel.

It is part of the “Smashed” horror collection, which will receive live-action in Hollywood. So far, only the first chapter has been announced as a live-action, and the second part of the live-action will most likely be “Library Vision.”

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2. The Enigma of Amigara Fault

Source of Short StoryGyo 2-in-1 Deluxe Edition
Chapter no.21

“The Enigma of Amigara Fault” explores a story in which numerous human-shaped holes are discovered on Amigara Mountain due to an earthquake in Japan. There, Owaki and Yoshida cross paths and learn that many think the holes were constructed for them.

Yoshida discovers her human-shaped hole as Nakagaki vanishes into one. They both sleep in the same tent, and Owaki has a frightening dream about being imprisoned in a torture chamber. Yoshida opens the door to her hole and enters. Owaki does as he is obliged to do by his hole.

“The Enigma of Amigara Fault” is considered by most fans “The Best Work of Junji Ito.” It explores the spontaneous nature of humans, i.e., their curiosity. As social animals, humans are always in pursuit of learning about new things, and in this chapter, it is the human-shaped holes.

The concept of a hole, which makes you feel obliged to enter itself, is pretty messed up. This short story is not meant for claustrophobic people, as this even makes ordinary people uncomfortable. This short story is Junji Ito’s unmatched masterpiece in the manga industry.

1. The Long Dream

Top 10 Junji Ito Short Stories that will give you nightmares!
Source of Short StoryShiver: Junji Ito Story Collection
Chapter no.7

“The Long Dream” follows the story of Mami, who is in the hospital after brain surgery and thinks death has visited her. She is labeled as insane by Dr. Kuroda. Another patient, Mukoda, has nightmares that make him age quickly. After countless years of fantasizing, he now thinks Mami is his wife.

Kuroda realizes that Mukoda’s dreams are impacted by what he observes in reality. After Mukoda’s last dream, which was the longest, his body reached its limit and converted into dust. To attain perpetual dreaming, Kuroda administers Mami’s remains.

“The Long Dream” is a different story when you pay attention to it. It is more of a creepy story than a horror story, which I prefer more. This short story sometimes haunts me at night if whether I will be able to wake up tomorrow in a dream or the real world.

This is why Junji Ito is one of the most innovative manga artists of all time, as concepts like these are not popular among manga fans, which makes Junji Ito fans unique.

There you have it: Top 10 Best Junji Ito Horror Short Stories. What are your thoughts on this? Did we miss any of your favorite short stories from Junji Ito’s stories? Let us know in the comments down below.

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