Sometimes they make us laugh. Sometimes they make us cry. And sometimes, they make us downright scared. Manhwa and webtoons are quite well known for being the reason for many people’s lack of sleep. They are just that exciting.
Manhwa originates from Korea, while webtoons boast a big array of origins. They have been gaining more popularity in recent times, and rightfully so. Like manga, they have every genre under the sun, so it is not hard to find something for everyone.
Although romance and action are two of the more popular genre among these mediums, we will be taking a look at the darker side of the genre, including mind-bending thrillers and bone-chilling horrors.
So, here’s a list of the top 20 Best Dark Webtoons/Manhwa To Read in 2023. Hopefully, something will trigger your curiosity so that we can throw more love at this well-deserved genre.
Table of Contents
Top 20 Best Dark Webtoon/Manhwa
20. Dear X
The beautiful, award-winning, popular actress Ajin Baek seemingly has everything. She is at the top of her game, and everyone loves her.
However, on the night of her award ceremony, lies are brought to light, and a news channel exposes her. Just how far has she gone and is still willing to go to reach where she is?
It is interesting to see a story from a sociopath‘s point of view for once. The build-up may be slow, but the story does a good job of establishing Ajin and the characters around her. Completed with only 63 chapters, there is no reason not to give this one a try.
19. Secret Alliance
Many people have annoying exes. But Eun Sian’s last breakup was MESSY. So messy, in fact, that it left her with an irrational fear of men. She is really popular among the girls at school because of her androgynous look.
Yuri, one of the prettiest girls at her college, suddenly confessed her feelings to Sian. Even after turning her down, Yuri is really persistent, which would have been fine, but her actions start bordering on stalkerish and crazy. And it seems that Yuri is connected to the very man who left her with androphobia.
Secret Alliance may not be a horror in terms of having bloodthirsty demons, but sometimes it takes a human to be the worst demon. The story is not without its flaws, but the 45 chapters psychological thriller is nothing if not disturbing and dark.
Another relatively short Manhwa series made by Seok Cho, author of Moon You and The Sound of Your Heart. On the surface, it may seem to be vastly different from the author’s earlier series, but fans of his old work will know that he is no stranger to writing disturbing scenarios.
Although his earlier stories were packaged as being more light-hearted, Epilogue is filled with twists and horror at every turn.
Haesu Choi goes through job listings every day in the newspaper “Rotary N” and stumbles across a mystery story called “Epilogue”. At first, it seems like a typical story.
However, he soon finds out that the victims in the story are turning out to be suspiciously similar to real-life victims. What would you do if you discovered that the third-rate story in your free daily newspaper was actually an account of someone’s murder?
17. Tales of the Unusual
This series is the definition of creepy and weird. Seongdae Oh is no stranger to horror stories, but you can feel that he let all his imagination fly in this collection of horror stories.
From beauty water which can mould human skin to a murderer who stitches moles, there are twists and turns in every single story.
With its almost 9-year run, you will not run out of unpredictable, thrilling stories to read anytime soon. So grab your phone and start scrolling but make sure you don’t let fear take over in the dark.
16. Escape Room
Escape rooms are fun only when they don’t have grave consequences. Unfortunately for Sean Baek, he wakes up in an unfamiliar reply place with no memory of how he got there.
He soon finds out that the place is a collection of, you guessed it, escape rooms. However, not the fun kind. Here, one wrong move, and you will lose everything.
Escape room is a classic escape-to-survive story. Sean himself is an unpredictable character due to his sociopathic tendencies, but it is his intelligence and those very tendencies that help him to survive.
What surprises will he find in this eerie place, and who put him in such a place in the first place? You have to read to find out!
Uriah is a disturbing horror thriller about a boy who wakes up on an unfamiliar mysterious island with amnesia. If only he could remember who he was.
So starts a terrifying voyage into the unknown, where the only way to survive is to unravel a twisted world of mysteries.
Uriah is hugely graphic, and the author doesn’t shy away from their depictions of blood, abuse, and dead human bodies.
It may not be the faint of heart, but if you like the genre, it’s a well-written and underrated webtoon with plenty of twists.
14. It’s Mine
Dajeong Lee has a stalker. A boy her age named Yohan Do who notes every second of her moments. But he doesn’t do anything to harm her.
On the contrary, he beats up her bullies and does everything in his power to protect her. But why does he go far? How is Dajeong connected to Yohan’s past? Is there more than meets the eye?
It’s Mine is one of the top suspense, dark thriller mysteries. Both Dajeong and Yohan are interesting characters with hidden pasts.
The author has given incredible depth to their characters, and it is good to see Yohan as more than just a stalker. The twists in this series will definitely leave you thinking for days.
13. See No Evil
Bonggang Choi lives quietly as a college student. He seems ordinary, except he can read minds. Mind Reading may sound like an interesting ability to have, and for the most part, it is.
At the very least, he is never bored. But when he reads the mind of Hun Jo, one of the most popular guy at his college, and find that he may be a killer, he gets tangled in all kinds of problem and realizes that he can’t close his eyes to evil forever.
This webtoon is for you if you are looking for something short and complete but intense. The violence is not as bad as in some of the other series, with the story being just as interesting.
Remi Do has everything — she is beautiful, is a famous social media influencer and loves the attention.
Everyone showers her with compliments and she is living her best life. Except for the fact that she also has a serial killer stalker following her every move.
The art of the series may appear rather cute at first, but the tone quickly shifts, and the artist does a good job of creating a dark atmosphere. It complements the dark twists in the series.
It is a good read if you want to read an easy-to-follow dark series which keeps you on your toes at every turn.
Carnby Kim is a popular name in the manhwa world. Rightfully so, since he has created several masterpieces right from the start of his career with Team Getname and afterwards as a solo author.
Sweet Home and Bastard are two of his more popular series, which we will be talking about later, but Pigpen is no less of a crazy, scary, dark thriller manhwa and deserves to be read by more people.
A young man wakes up on an unfamiliar island with amnesia. try as he might, he can’t piece everything together. Lucky for him, he finds a family living on the otherwise deserted island, but unluckily, they are not what they seem.
Through twists and turns, the young man finds himself in the middle of an unbelievable plot and starts doubting if what he is seeing is even real in the first place.
Stagtown is one of the most chilling webtoons on the platform. Something is very wrong with the town Frankie grew up in. Her neighbor is overly paranoid and keeps telling her conspiracy theories, and strange things keep happening all around.
And then, one day, Jeremy dies in the most bizarre way in front of her. Frankie soon finds herself fighting for her life, unraveling the mystery of the small hidden town in the process.
Stagtown is a masterpiece with one of the best, most-fitting art styles. The whole atmosphere of the story will pull you in from the very beginning and keep you guessing until the very end.
Give this a read if you are in the mood to read a mind-bending, reality-shattering story.
One of the best short horror thriller Manhwa on the list, Grasp, is about Sojin Yeon, an office worker who gets caught in the middle of a murder while vlogging her daily life.
Her viewer ratings are escalating, and her past, which she has forgotten till now, is catching up to her. What is in store for her, and will she ever break free?
The black-and-white art style of this series, along with the creepy expressions and chilling atmosphere, makes this one of the most underrated dark Manhwa out there.
We highly recommend this series if you want to read something dark with a unique concept, crazy plot twists, and a well-rounded ending.
8. Sweet Home
Sweet Home is one of the most popular names in the genre. And no one who reads it can deny how good it is. The story follows a reclusive boy, Cha Hyun, who moves into an old apartment after the death of his family in a car accident.
He barely has time to process his grief and soon finds himself in the middle of a crashing world where humans are turning into terrifying monsters.
No matter how we describe it, it is difficult to do this series justice. Sweet Home makes you scared, thrilled, and sad all at once. It will keep you on the edge of your seat AND gets you to shed tears uncontrollably. So really, do yourself a favour and read this masterpiece if you haven’t already.
7. Dr. Hound
Suryeom is an ordinary veterinarian, apart from the fact that his body houses a mysterious being known as The Hound. He can see more than what meets the eye, and he uses his powers to help in police investigations.
But who exactly is Hound? And who is the entity named Argos, whose signs keep popping up on murder scenes and who seems to have a past with the Hound?
Dr Hound has a unique concept, dark twists, and interesting characters. It is certainly worth the read if you are a fan of the genre.
6. Never-Ending Darling
The creation of cloning technology has almost eradicated human suffering. Ha-im is a young woman on the hunt for a job. Her boyfriend is the CEO of Biox and the creator of the very technology. Their relationship has its ups and downs, but they make it work.
Or so she believes until she finds her own dead body in his apartment. The next day she wakes up with no recollection of the event but a hidden note which says, “Ha-im, if you’re reading this, you’re a clone.”
Never-Ending Darling has one of the most noteworthy and unique concepts which keeps you at the edge every turn of the way.
The series is underrated and definitely deserves more love as the author perfectly depicts the emotions felt by Ha-im and how she overcomes her cruel fate.
Rayne wakes up with no recollection of the apocalypse. Samael is simply a delinquent who happened to come by Rayne on a rooftop.
They both had to make a contract in order to survive in a world full of cannibalistic beasts.
The art style is one of the most unique for this genre. The colour palette is bright and colourful, but it weirdly adds to the eerie atmosphere of the series.
Couple this with interesting characters and a riveting storyline, and we have got ourselves one of the best dark webtoons to read in 2023.
4. Horang’s Nightmare
Coming from the master of horror themself is this collection of chilling horror stories. Those who know Horang know them as the creator of many famous horror stories, including Bongcheon-Dong Ghost, the largely infamous horror story which has now become something akin to an urban legend.
This collection also features terrifying animated stories. With both new and old stories refashioned with fresh new art making an appearance, this series is bound to keep you awake at night.
3. Surviving Romance
If you read manhwa and webtoons regularly, you may be familiar with the very popular reincarnation-in-a-novel genre. It is usually more upbeat, often filled with the main character trying to save their original fate in the story.
But what if the romance novel turns into a living nightmare? This is true for Chaerin Eun, who witnesses the characters from her favorite romance novel turn into infected zombies.
What’s more? The fact that she can only see the face of the original male lead is now proving to be an obstacle in her path. If only she could find the “unknown extra.”
Lee Yone is quite a master at turning cliche stories into something different and amazing. The story is a masterpiece with a huge cast of colorful characters, unsuspecting twists, and friendships prevailing out of tragedy.
2. Ghost Teller
Ghost Teller depicts ghosts telling stories of how disgusting humans can be… Because who needs ghosts to be scared of when we have humans?
The story takes a deep dive into human nature and how sinful humans can be. LiCO is known for their beloved fascinating stories, and Ghost Teller is no exception.
It is one of the best psychological human dramas and doesn’t hesitate to show the depths of human darkness.
Top of the list is, to no one’s surprise, Bastard. Carnby Kim is truly one of a kind author, and with Youngchan Hwang‘s illustrations, this series is bound to get you obsessed with the genre.
Jin Seon is the son of a serial killer, and helps him with his crimes. He doesn’t have much say in the matter due to how terrifying his father is.
Things change when he befriends Kyun Yoon and realizes that his father has set his eyes on her next. Can Jin do anything to stop his father’s reign of terror without becoming the next victim?
This story can only be described as an experience. It is considered by many as the best Carnby Kim series, and that is high praise considering how all of his series are nothing short of masterpieces.
Really, if you haven’t read it yet, don’t deprive yourself of this beautiful story. Oh, but do keep a box of tissues by your side for the tears that will eventually flow out.
This concludes our list of Top 20 Best Dark Webtoon/Manhwa To Read in 2023. Hopefully, you found something interesting for yourself. Until next time!
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