IMDB Ratings: 8.2/10
Networks: Sonic Nickelodeon (India)
Ghost Stories (学校の怪談 Gakkō no Kaidan?, lit. "School Ghost Stories"), also known as Ghosts at School, is a 20-episode anime series created in 2000 by animation studio Pierrot and Aniplex for Fuji Television, based on a book series by Tōru Tsunemitsu.
Storyline: Ghost Stories tells the tale of Satsuki Miyanoshita, who moves with her family to the hometown of her deceased mother. On her first day of school, Satsuki; her brother Keiichirou, a first-grader; their neighbor Hajime Aoyama; Momoko Koigakubo, an older schoolmate; and Leo Kakinoki, a classmate and friend of Hajime's with a penchant for the paranormal visit the abandoned school building adjacent the current school complex and discover that the building is haunted.
It is soon after revealed that Satsuki's mother was responsible for sealing several ghosts who haunted not only the school but also the town, and now they are released due to the urbanization taking place in the surrounding area. Satsuki's mother left behind a book detailing how to exorcise the ghosts once and for all. In her first confronation, Satsuki faces a demon called Amanojaku, but in the process Amanojaku is sealed within Satsuki's pet cat, Kaya. Although Amanojaku does not want to help Satsuki at first, the danger soon threatens to envelop the town and it is left up to Satsuki, her friends and Amanojaku to stop the ghosts. At last, with the help of Amanojaku, the friends finally are able to exorcise the ghosts.
Episode 1: Tonight the Spirits Will Be Resurrected! Amanojaku
Siblings Satsuki Miyanoshita and Keiichirō Miyanoshita move with their father Reiichirō Miyanoshita to their deceased mother Kayako's hometown. When their pet cat, Kaya, whom Keiichirō had taken to school hidden in his backpack, jumps out and runs into the old "haunted" school building, they decide to go in after him. There they meet Hajime Aoyama, Leo Kakinoki, and Momoko Koigakubo, and after running from several ghosts they meet Amanojaku. Amanojaku, a demon who feeds on children's fears, and as they become more scared, he grows larger and stronger. While trying to get away from Amonajaku, Satsuki finds an old diary which had belonged to her mother with notes on how to seal demons. The children exorcise Amonajaku, however, the camphor tree he should have been trapped inside had been chopped down, leaving him trapped inside Kaya.
Episode 2: A Hand Reaches Out of the Toilet... Akagami Aogami
The next day in school, the flushes of the new school building's restrooms start malfunctioning, prompting the teachers to instruct the children to use the old school's restrooms. There, a monster, Akagami Aogami, frightens people by asking them if they want red paper or blue paper. Both options represent different terrible ways of death, "red" meaning the victim getting his blood drained out and "blue" meaning suffocation until the victim becomes blue due to asphyxiation. Hajime tries to trick the demon by answering "yellow" and opens a vortex to the spirit world instead. Satsuki seals Akagami Aogami using a jar filled with water and marked with the symbol of a Torii, rescuing Hajime in the process.
Episode 5: The Bloody Sports Festival – Datto!!
While Keiichirō prepares for the race in the school's sports competition, he meets a young boy and befriends him. The boy is a ghost, known as Datto (だっと?), with two distinct personalities: one of which is a boy, who can run barefoot at incredible speed; the other is a diabolic hare-like scythe demon. Ever since the boy died when he was hit by a car while training to win the same race Keiichirō is now preparing for, he slashes off and gathers legs of sprint runners. The ghost decides to prey on Keiichirō as well, but when Satsuki tells him that Keiichirō believed him to be a friend, he redeems himself and even stops his evil alter-ego from slashing off Keiichirō's legs when he was about to win the race. With the fall of his evil counterpart, Datto's spirit is freed.
Episode 6: The Demon's Hand Splits the Door – Night of Tragedy
The children of the town are attacked by a spirit, which leaves them shaking in fear for days, while their parents are not home. The spirit Babasare (ババサレ?) resembles the Grim Reaper and has the power to alter reality. It haunts children that are home alone and those who believe in and fear him. However, he cannot appear to adults or brave children (like Momoko). When he comes to Satsuki's house to attack Satsuki, Hajime, Leo and Keiichirō, Satsuki tries to destroy him through spilling hot water on him. This stops him, but it is shown that this does not permanently stop him.
Episode 7: The Soul-Stealing Mirror!! Utsushimi
Another ghost is let loose in the old school building, which inhabits an old mirror (うつしみ Utsushimi?). He captures people in the mirror world and replaces them with a replica who wears glasses and has no reflection. He tries to replace everybody in the town, but is sealed away by Satsuki who puts another mirror right in front of his, thus returning everything back to normal.
Episode 8: The Circuit Connects to Hell – Demon of the Underworld
While searching for the internet website Yomi-net, which connects to the underworld, Leo nearly falls victim for the underworld demon hag (Datsue-ba). In the past, he used to take lost people to the boats of the Sanzu River and then force them to get into a boat and cross the river, which leads them to the underworld. His activities stopped with the installment of lights in the city, and thus he used the Yomi-net to achieve the same goal online. Satsuki and the others help Leo return by scanning him an o-fuda and telling him to wish to go back home.
Episode 9: The Corpse that Roams in the Night – Shirotabi
Satsuki's school pet keeper, Mio, brings a rabbit, Shirotabi, back to life through a black magic ritual. The spell works, but with a side-effect, Shirotabi gets cursed and turns into a demon every night. Although Mio tries to stop Shirotabi, she realizes Shirotabi no longer even recognizes her. Satsuki and the others to convince Mio that Shirotabi's place should be with the dead, and Mio agrees. Mio breaks the spell, and Shirotabi is released from the curse.
Episode 11: The Talking Mary Doll!! Shadow of Terror
Satsuki is stalked by a ghost called Mary (メリーさん Merīsan?) which resembles a beautiful European-looking doll, asking her if she wants to play with her. Despite her innocent behavior, she is a very dangerous deity, as stated by Amanojaku. Satsuki and the others try to get rid of her by leaving her in a doll house where the toys of deceased people remain. However, she gains the power to control the other toys and make them go after Satsuki, attacking her as though playing a game of Kagome Kagome. In the end, Satsuki is saved by Mary herself, who claims Satsuki "wasn't having fun" and decides to leave her taking a tissue that Satsuki had used to clean Mary earlier. Mary wears Satsuki's tissue as a cape and fades away forever.
Episode 13: The Picture that Swallows People – Da Vinci
Satsuki paints a picture, which coincidentally resembles her mother's painting from a long time ago, leading the ghost of an art teacher from the old school with an obsession with the Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci, to be set free. The ghost, also called Da Vinci (ダビンチ Dabinchi?), had gained the power to suck anything into his paintings when he died, making both humans and ghosts fear him. He was actually sealed by Satsuki's mother in the painting that portrayed the old school, and Satsuki manages to seal him again in the end.
Episode 15: The Devil's Spell – Rite of Darkness
Satsuki and three of her friends are taught and compelled into performing a black magic ritual that can grant their wishes, by their classmate Shinobu. However, the spells are actually a trap for the girls to have their souls stolen by the darkness, and Shinobu in reality is the avatar of an evil deity called Yamime (闇目?). In the end, Satsuki learns that Shinobu was once her mother's classmate who mysteriously disappeared. Possibly upon her death, she was forever engulfed by Yamime. Satsuki seals her by first binding her using her red lipstick and flashing her camera's light directly at her.
Episode 16: The Apartment That Eats People! Nest of Evil Spirits
While Satsuki's father falls ill with a mysterious fever, after working on a building's demolition, she and her friends are lured to an abandoned building by a woman, whom they think is about to commit suicide. Unbeknownst to them, it is a trick played by a powerful deity that haunts the building, called Soma (巣魔 Sōma?). Soma originally lived underground, but was released with the construction of the building. Since then, it attacks and curses people who dare to enter the building, and it can control minor ghosts to lure or attract its victims. Satsuki, backed by Amanojaku and the ghost of a middle-aged man, seals him away using her psychic skills.