[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ghost_Stories_2299.png]] ''GhostStories'' (''Gakkou no Kaidan'', lit. ''School Ghost Stories'') is an anime series created in 2000 by animation studio Pierrot and Aniplex for Fuji Television, directed by Noriyuki Abe (who would go on to helm ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''), and loosely based on a book series by Toru Tsunemitsu. It tells the story of Satsuki Miyanoshita, who moves with her family to the hometown of her deceased mother, Kayako. 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 OldSchoolBuilding adjacent to the current school complex and discover that the building is haunted.

Soon it's revealed that Satsuki's mother was responsible for sealing several ghosts who haunted not only the school but also the town, and [[SealedEvilInACan now they are being released by the urbanization taking place in the surrounding area]]. Kayako left behind a book detailing how to exorcise the ghosts once and for all. In her first confrontation, 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.

Despite being based on a popular series of light novels, the anime did poorly in the ratings and ended after only twenty episodes. Normally, that would be that... but then Creator/ADVFilms dubbed it.

Given near-total creative freedom (which is unheard of in anime localization), ADR director Steven Foster opted to rework the show into a pure GagDub, throwing out 90% of the original script and having his actors ad-lib most of the rest. Naturally, this was an ''extremely'' polarizing move. To many, the English dub is the most entertaining aspect of this series, making it SoBadItsGood. But there's no shortage of fans, then or now, who [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks complain about the changes]]. A dub that stayed truer to the original was made by Animax later.

The show was picked up by Creator/DiscotekMedia for a rerelease in 2014, specifically mentioning that the English dub would be included – though sadly, ADV's {{gag sub}}s (which contained additional jokes) were not.

[[IThoughtItMeant Don't confuse this with]] a certain Music/{{Coldplay}} album or the [[Film/{{Kwaidan}} 1964 horror film]].
----

!!''Ghost Stories'' contains the following tropes:
* AbsenteeActor: Momoko doesn't appear in episode 15 for any apparent reason.
* AdultsAreUseless: No kidding. The only adult characters that ever helped the protagonists were a bumbling teacher in episode 18, and a night watchman in episode 16, [[spoiler: who turned to be another ghost]].
* AgentMulder: Leo.
* AlienGeometries: The haunted apartment complex of episode 16 could change both its internal and external structure. Taken [[UpToEleven Up to Eleven]] when [[spoiler: the group thought they were in a residential neighborhood, when they were actually ''still inside the building''.]]
* AnimationBump: The show generally has mediocre animation, but it does have its moments.
** When the nurse in episode 12 leaves. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by [[Creator/ADVFilms ADV's]] GagDub.
-->'''Amanojaku''': Now that is some ''really'' nice animation.
** In episode 18 whenever Akane flails around. Extra care was taken to make her movements fluid to [[InvokedTrope invoke]] UncannyValley.
* AndIMustScream: The [=DaVinci=] Wannabe ghost who paints women trapping them inside paintings "FOREVER" [[spoiler:(neither the woman in the opening, nor any of the other victims are ever freed)]] though it's never specified if the victims are aware inside the paintings.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Usually whenever Leo shares an Urban Legend that ends up being the MonsterOfTheWeek, Satsuki and Hajime handwave them off calling them "fairy tales" despite the stories being little different from the crap they dealt with already.
* AskAStupidQuestion: From episode 18:
-->'''Momoko''': Devil cat, did you give us this musical instrument to help us?
-->'''Amanojaku''': No, I just gave it to you because I love the xylophone.
* AxCrazy: The Headless Biker goes in a chaotic rampage during the anniversary of his death, cutting off everything that resembles a head.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Main plot of episode 3. Also explored in episode 15.
* BewareOfHitchHikingGhosts: Both variations show up in with a ghostly taxi driver in the first instance and a vengeful ghost attacking taxi drivers in the second.
* BilingualBonus: The Hispanic nurse in the GagDub of episode 12 calls Momoko and Satsuki "cabronas", meaning "bitches".
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Yuki.]]
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler: Shinobu, after she reveals to Satsuki her (more or less) true form.]]
* BreakingTheFourthWall: The GagDub takes this and blends it together with the MediumAwareness that they're in a 2D animation.
-->'''Leo:''' I mean, have you heard about the sports festival?
-->'''Hajime:''' Yes, the sports festival... That's what this whole episode is ''about''.
-->'''Leo:''' Ok, lets stop breaking the ''third'' wall, they're thinking about cancelling the sports festival!
* BreastExpansion: The GagDub subverts this. Satsuki tries to get a wish-granting ghost to give her "huge boobs", but does it wrong so it doesn't happen.
* ButNotTooForeign: Implied with Leo, given his name and his character design, which is a collage of [[PhenotypeStereotype "Gaijin" stereotypes]].
* ButtMonkey: Leo and Sakata the schoolteacher, in both versions.
* CameBackWrong: The whole premise of episode 9. A particular ritual can bring the dead back to life, but they'll come back as [[MonsterFromBeyondTheVeil berserk monsters]]... and yet, somebody just HAD to go and [[ShmuckBait try it anyway]].
* TheCanKickedHim: Akagami-Aogami's M.O.
* CastingCouch: According to Leo in the GagDub, this is how Keita beat him out for the lead part in the school play. Which had a male director.
* CatsAreMean: Or at least when they are possessed by a cynical demon with a sadistic sense of humor.
* CatsAreSnarkers: Amanojaku is easily the most sarcastic character on the show.
* CharacterDerailment: Lampshaded and then Invoked. Amanojaku in the GagDub complains that his sudden [[spoiler: HeelFaceTurn in the last episode]] isn't faithful to his character arc, but then goes along with it in the hope of winning a Golden Globe.
* CheekyMouth: Always averted with Amanojaku. At other times, it's either a brief AnimationBump or someone (usually either Hajime or Leo) has an especially exaggerated expression.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Momoko in both versions. Some of the things she says could not have come from a sane person, she sometimes seems too oblivious to realize what is going on and in one episode she states that the sole reason she has a cell phone is [[NoSenseOfDirection she gets lost easily.]]
-->'''Satsuki:''' Something about that boy from the other day is bugging me.
-->'''Hajime:''' You mean he was pale, almost transparent with red eyes?
-->'''Satsuki:''' [=*turning to Momoko*=] What do you think?
-->'''Momoko:''' [[BrickJoke What DOES "Bootylicious" mean?]][[note]] Referring back to a conversation with Satsuki earlier in the episode.[[/note]]
* ClusterFBomb: A (sadly) bleeped-out example in Episode 15 during a summoning spell:
-->'''Shinobu:''' "F[bleep] me, Satan! F[bleep] me, Satan!! F[bleep] ME SATAN!!!"
* ConspicuousCG: Largely averted as the CG models use textures that complement the hand-drawn backgrounds but the more elaborate CG affects are still obvious due to the technological limitations that prevailed at the time it was made.
* ComedicUnderwearExposure: Hajime subjects Satsuki to some skirt flipping in the early episodes
* CreepyDoll: Merry Mary turned to 11.
* DealWithTheDevil: Episode 15 is entirely about this.
* DemBones: The ghost Da Vinci.
* DubNameChange: In the Spanish dub:
** Satsuki becomes Claire
** Hajime becomes Ned
** Momoko becomes Nicole
** Leo becomes Paul
** Keichirou becomes Ben
** Kayako becomes Karen
** Reichirou (Satsuki and Keichirou's father) becomes Richard
* EldritchAbomination: Yamime sounds to be one.
* EmotionEater: Amanojaku in the first episode. He feeds on the kids' fear to become more powerful so he can attack them.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: In episode nine. The GagDub tacks on an {{Aesop}} about [[SpaceWhaleAesop paying child support on time]].
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: ''Gakkou no Kaidan'' translates to "Ghosts in the School". The series is about... a school haunted by ghosts.
** It's also a collection of traditional Japanese school ghost stories from folklore and UrbanLegend. The traditional stories are explained in a Bonus Feature on each DVD (the ADV original at least; the Discotek rerelease lacks this).
* {{Expy}}: The dub essentially turned Amanojaku into one for [[SabrinaTheTeenageWitch Salem]].
* EyeScream: ALMOST happens with Satsuki when Mary and a squad of possessed toys decide to "play" with her.
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:This is practically what happened to Shinobu when we learn that she was once a normal girl before she was turned into the avatar of a malevolent trickster deity.]]
* FieryRedhead: Satsuki.
* FourIsDeath: Some of the earlier episodes use this idea on curses. Also was used as a solution to a problem in [[spoiler:Episode 18]].
** That episode, however, managed to somehow screw it up ''in its original language'' because Satsuki exclusively uses the ''other'' word for four ("yon" instead of "shi").
* TheFundamentalist: Momoko in the English version of the anime... Oh, so much.
* GagDub: One of the most famous official ones that isn't an AbridgedSeries.
** However, that doesn't stop some people from mistaking the dub ''for'' an AbridgedSeries, especially when encountered out-of-context in Website/{{Youtube}} clip compilations.
* GameFace: Played with some ghosts, particularly [[spoiler: Shinobu]] and [[spoiler: the girl who Leo meets in Episode 8.]]
* HairRaisingHare: Shirotabi
* HauntedHeadquarters
* HeadlessHorseman: Episode 19 features a headless biker.
* HeelRealization: [[spoiler: In Episode 5, Dattou stops his evil self from cutting off Keichirou's legs when he realizes how Keichirou reminds him of himself when he was alive.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: The watchman from episode 16, who in reality was already dead but his soul was still trapped in the building]]
** Also happens with [[spoiler: Amanojaku]] in the last episode. [[spoiler: [[ItGotBetter He gets better]] though.]]
* HongKongDub: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]. Not accounting for mouth shape, [[Creator/ADVFilms ADV's]] GagDub matches the characters' mouths perfectly. The original Japanese version, on the other hand, often had lips moving long after a character finished speaking.
* HypocriticalHumour: The GagDub has a lot of it, especially in episode 4. Like the overly religious Momoko noting that there are some crazy religious people out there when she's one herself. And Leo hates it when people lie in their online profiles, which he does as well.
** One example is when Satsuki and Momoko are watching a boy jogging [[spoiler:before they discover he's a murderous vengeful ghost.]]
--->'''Satsuki:''' Nice ass.\\
'''Momoko:''' !! Do not lust in your h—Jesus you're right.
* IllGirl: Momoko used to be ''very'' ill in the past, [[spoiler: and in fact she met Kayako right before the latter died because both of them were in the same hospital.]] Subverted later: she falls ''extremely'' sick at some point, [[spoiler: but it turns out she was hit with a curse from an angry ghost girl, "courtesy" of Leo. He pretty much has to fall to his knees and beg the ghost for forgiveness to keep her from killing poor Momoko.]]
* ImplacableMan: Some of the ghosts qualify. Special mention to Babasare and Mary the Doll, who only stopped chasing the protagonists due to sheer luck.
* InsideShoes: Unintentionally funny in episode 8: The kids are shown wearing theirs in the final scene in the computer lab, meaning they stopped to change their shoes even in a life-or-death emergency.
* IntercourseWithYou: The ending theme.
** [[EarWorm "Yurashite, yurashite, yurashite, yurashite! SEXY SEXY"]] [[note]]Shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it! SEXY SEXY[[/note]]
* InterspeciesRomance: In the GagDub, the ghost of a rabbit and one of the students. She breaks up with him not because he's a rabbit, but because [[WhereDaWhiteWomenAt he's black.]]
* IntentionalEngrishForFunny: Mostly in the later episodes of the dub. ''"NANIIIIII?"''
* InvisibleToAdults: Babasare.
* KillerRabbit: Shirotabi. Apparently any creature ressurected by that particular ritual [[CameBackWrong comes back as a berserk monster]], but this time it just HAD to be a fluffy little rabbit... though keep in mind he gradually turns into likely the most badass looking killer demon rabbit you'd ever see in a cartoon.
* LimitedWardrobe: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the GagDub when Leo tries to get Hajime to wear a scarf to prevent decapitation. Hajime refuses, pointing out he's comfortably worn the same shirt since the series started.
* LipLock: Deliberately Invoked in Episode 5 of the GagDub with this nugget.
-->'''Leo:''' ''{running at the camera in a panic}'' Oh-my-god-oh-my-god-what-the-hell-is-happening-here-these-are-the-fastest-lip-flaps-I've-ever-had-to-sync!!!
* LullDestruction: Used frequently in the GagDub to turn boring moments into successful humor. A good example is in Episode 15, where Yamime says "Wheeee!" when floating up the stairs, then casually hums a tune while removing the barricade from the bedroom door.
* [[LostInTranslation Lost in Translation]]: Both [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] and [[AvertedTrope averted]] in the GagDub when it explained the xylophone; [[spoiler: its keys play the musical notes often used to end broadcasts in Japan]]. ''Not'' averted with [[FourIsDeath Four is Death]].
-->'''Leo''': The script so far isn't making sense to anyone working on this show so here's what we got... I think.
* MamaBear: Kayako. From beyond the grave.
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler:Shinobu]] and [[spoiler:Yuki.]]
* TheMillstone: Leo is occasionally the reason why the gang keeps being chased or cursed by the ghosts. A good example happens in episode 14 [[spoiler: where he almost makes a vengeful ghost kill Momoko because he thought it would be a ''fantastic'' idea to snap photos where said ghost had died.]]
* MindControl: One of Ohma's abilities. He tries to kill Satsuki and Keichirou by making Satsuki's classmates attack them with knives.
* MindScrew: The Headless Biker freaks out one of his would-be victims so badly that the poor bastard stabs his own neck so the Headless Biker ''wouldn't try to cut his head off again''.
* ModestyShorts: Satsuki wears them one episode after she gets tired of skirt flipping by Hajime.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: Fairly obvious and ''name-checked verbatim in the GagDub''.
* MoodWhiplash: the openings of several episodes cut from a screaming victim to the jaunty opening theme song. It can be quite jarring.
* MurderousMannequin: Episode 16 features an army of quite creepy mannequins.
* MyEyesAreUpHere: Ouma to Satsuki in the GagDub.
* NamesToKnowInAnime:
** Satsuki: Creator/TomokoKawakami and Creator/HilaryHaag
** Hajime: Creator/TakakoHonda and Creator/ChrisPatton
** Momoko: Creator/KumiSakuma and Creator/MonicaRial
** Leo: Creator/GregAyres
** Keiichiro: Creator/ChristineAuten
** Amanojaku: Creator/RyuseiNakao
** Kayako: Creator/KotonoMitsuishi
* NobleDemon: Amanojaku acts as a total JerkAss in the beginning but he starts helping Satsuki more and more as the series progresses, even though he still acts like he wants to see her in despair. In one episode he states that he dislikes humans, but hates ghosts [[ForTheEvulz who harm people on purpose]] more.
* NotSoInnocentWhistle: Inserted in the dub, during [[spoiler: Shizuko's flashback to Momoko. The taxi driver does it after hitting her with the cab.]]
* OffModel:
** Done deliberately in episode 7 with the mirror people, to make them look creepier.
** Poked fun of in the GagDub whenever it's done ''un''intentionally
--> "And your father thinks it's always cute to cross his eyes in pictures—SEE!? Se-look, he did it there!"
--> "Oh, damn anime! Look what's happened to my eyes!"
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: Shirotabi's curse kind of resembles a classic werewolf curse: She only turns in her demonic form at night, and the form itself somewhat looks a werewolf.
* PantyShot: Multiple ones, played for ComedicUnderwearExposure instead of FanService (for the best considering Satsuki is about ten). Becomes a running gag until it gets subverted when Satsuki wears [[ModestyShorts gym shorts]] in the "Bloody Sports Festival" episode.
** Momoko gets one in the last episode by inverting SkirtsAndLadders, but Hajime and Leo are too embarrassed to bring it to her attention.
** Satsuki gets a final one at the end of the last episode courtesy of a DramaticWind, again played more for embarrassment than fanservice.
* ParentalIncest: The GagDub. Time travel.
-->'''Satsuki:''' "She thought I was attractive. That is so... grossing me out."
* PottyEmergency: The whole school goes through it on episode 2, partly due to the sewage system breaking down, partly due to being afraid of Hanako-san in the Toilet. Sakata, though, just casually strolls out of the class and walks to the old school's toilets. He still doesn't get his dump. [[spoiler: He gets forced into the toilet by the episode's ghost]].
* PottyFailure: Keiichirou on episode 2, due to being afraid of going to the old school to pee.
* PrecisionFStrike: Starting in episode 16 in the GagDub. There were plenty of F-bombs before this, but they were bleeped out, including a ClusterFBomb by the monster of the week just a couple of episodes earlier. Strangely, an utterance of "shit" was bleeped out earlier that same episode.
* ProductPlacement: For the Sony Playstation in episode 7. A close-up of an analogue controller while Leo's mom was playing it. The name "SONY" and "PLAYSTATION" are clearly written out, along with the Start and Select buttons, and the symbols on the pad.
* PsychoLesbian: Akane in the GagDub.
* PutOnABus: It happens with the friendlier and more harmless ghosts of the old school building.
* ReplicantSnatching: Episode 7 was about a group of evil spirits residing in a dimension beyond the mirror who tried to abduct everyone in town and impersonate them once the originals were trapped in the other dimension.
* RightOnTheTick: In episode 5, there's a ghost who is said to always kill a runner at the sports festival at 4:44. Because, as mentioned above, FourIsDeath.
* RuleOfScary: Boy, where to start...
* RunningGag: Satsuki's accidental {{Panty Shot}}s in the anime proper. The dub makes a few more out of commenting on the [[BreakingTheFourthWall quality of the script]] [[MediumAwareness and animation]], invoking [[IntentionalEngrishForFunny Engrish]] and anime trends.
** There's also a series-spanning gag about Christian Slater's career.
** In a few episodes, there's a workman getting yelled at by his boss ("Fill that hole, hole-filler!"); his response is always a muttered "jackass".
* SealedEvilInACan: All the ghosts who had been sealed away by Kayako get free after the construction sites destroy the places where they had been imprisoned.
* SelfDeprecation: Satsuki and Momoko diss Creator/GregAyres and Creator/ChrisPatton, the voice actors for Leo and Hajime, in episode 3.
* ShesAManInJapan: PlayedForLaughs in the English GagDub. Momoko's hairstylist cousin Maki was a woman in the original version, but was changed to a CampGay man in the GagDub.
* {{Shinigami}}: Death Nurse from episode 12 is implied to be one.
* ShirtlessScene: One of Hajime appears during the opening [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment for no reason]].
* SitcomArchNemesis: [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen Hadley]] to Sakata in the GagDub.
* SkirtsAndLadders: Momoko did not stop to think of this before asking Hajime and Leo to boost her into a high window, and from their expressions the boys didn't either.
* SmugSnake: [[spoiler: Shinobu Matsuda/Yamime]]
* SnarkyNonHumanSidekick: Amanojaku.
* SoulJar: Momoko, for Kayako's spirit.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Reo was changed to Leo in the GagDub. It's possible that his name was actually supposed to be Leo, considering that he writes it in katakana.
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: Episodes 14 and 18 feature one.
* SuddenlyShouting: "Oh, Satsuki, let's sing! Jesus loves me—COME ON, YOU KNOW THE WORDS!"
* TakeThat: Makes up quite a few of the jokes.
-->''They've been left behind, like a black family in [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush Bush]] America!''
* TheTaxi: Episode 10.
* TokenEvilTeammate / NominalHero: Amanojaku.
* TooDumbToLive: Lampshaded throughout the GagDub, most explicitly in episode 7.
--> Aww for god's sakes you kids are so stupid... You both deserve to die.
* TradeSnark: ADV's DVD release has a dubtitle track that does this with Keiichiro's random noises, usually rendered as "[Keiichiro Sob™]".
* TragicVillain: The Railway Ghost and [[spoiler:Yuki]].
* TricksterMentor: Amanojaku.
* TheUnintelligible: Keichiro in the GagDub is capable of talking normally, but get him emotional and he reverts to unintelligible babbling.
-->'''Keichiro''': AH...ABADABADA-
-->'''Amanojaku''': Please! SPEAK!
** The ADV DVD Release invokes this with the "Dubtitles" subtitles track, where Keiichiro's dialogue is often listed as either [[[FunWithSubtitles Gibberish]]] or [[[InelegantBlubbering Keichiro Sob]]] and after about episode 4, [Keichiro Sob [[TradeSnark ™]]].
* UncannyValley: Purposely [[InvokedTrope invoked]] with [[AnimationBump Animation Bumps]] that make unnatural movements very fluid. Best example is Akane from episode 18.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: A fair amount of the humor in the English dub comes in the form of mid-00s American pop cultural and political references. Leo's [[Creator/GregAyres voice actor]] once mentioned that if the "Drunk Creator/MelGibson Jew Rant" had occurred just two weeks earlier, they would've been able to make a joke about him in the final episode.
* UrbanLegend: The underlying source of all of the ghost stories used in the series.
* VerbalTic: Leo in the GagDub, yeah.
* WeirdnessMagnet: Satsuki, to the point that Hajime even lampshades this in episode 11 by saying that if she attracts anything than it is not human.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Satsuki and Keiichirou's grandparents. They appear in one very brief scene in episode 1, and then they aren't seen or mentioned in the further episodes. Funny enough since [[http://i30.tinypic.com/23uskye.jpg they appear in the series' intro]] along with the main characters and supporting characters like Sakata and the school principal.
** They also appear in the photo album during the flashback/letter reading in episode 12 (about the cursed nurse).
** GagDub Grandpa did say that he'd move to Vegas when the grandma died, so...
----