''Ghost Stories'' (''Gakkou no Kaidan'', lit. "Ghosts in the School") 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's bland script and below-average production values caused the show to completely bomb, and it ended after only twenty episodes. Facing bankruptcy and desperate for money, the animation company sold the rights to Creator/ADVFilms for dubbing in 2005.

When asked what restrictions they had, the dubbing team was told to do whatever they wanted with it, as long as they bought the license. As such, director Steven Foster opted to rework the show into a pure GagDub, throwing out nearly all of the original script and keeping only the names and how the ghosts were defeated - nearly everything else was improvised to fit with the flaps and needed things. When the actors were called in to record scenes, whoever got there first got to set the tone and subject for the scene, and the rest of them had to follow in those set footsteps. This produced a dub that is full of random characterization, fourth-wall-breaking jokes, as much silliness as the [=VAs=] could manage, and is ''utterly hilarious''.

Naturally, this was an ''extremely'' polarizing move, and when it was released, the dub was not very well received by much of the anime community, despite the original quality of the show. Time and changing standards in anime dubbing have lead to a shift in opinion, with many finding the gag dub to be the best part of the series. The odds of something like this happening again are extremely low, and so Ghost Stories is seen as a unique product of a strange time.

A dub that stayed truer to the original was later released by Animax.

The show was picked up by Creator/DiscotekMedia for a rerelease in 2014, specifically mentioning that ADV's English dub would be included – though, sadly, their {{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]].

* TheAbridgedSeries: Arguably, the dub is [[UrExample the first example]] [[TropeMaker to ever exist]].
* AbsenteeActor: Momoko doesn't appear in episode 15 for any apparent reason (which is especially ironic, since a demonic possession story would have been perfect for Miss Born-Again Betty).
* 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.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Yuki.]]
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler: Shinobu, after she reveals to Satsuki her (more or less) true form.]]
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: In one episode, Amanojaku stops Satsuki from erasing herself from existence under the impression that the ritual would free her from a curse. After hearing that someone put her up to it, Amanojaku suspects that whoever did "Is either a ghost or a bitch." Later on when the ghost, Yumime, shows her true form, Amanojaku finally decides "She's a ghost AND a bitch!"
* 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.
* 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]]
* 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: Episode 9 has this. 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).
* 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").
* GameFace: Played with some ghosts, particularly [[spoiler:Shinobu]] and [[spoiler:the girl who Leo meets in Episode 8.]]
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Kayako is made a lesbian/bisexual in the GagDub. This is made even weirder in episode 13 when after Satsuki goes back in time and meets her, she writes in her ghost diary that [[ParentalIncest found her attractive.]]
* 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 [[DeadAllAlong 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.]]
* 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]]
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* {{Shinigami}}: Death Nurse from episode 12 is implied to be one.
* ShirtlessScene: One of Hajime appears during the opening [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment for no reason]].
* 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.
* StringyHairedGhostGirl: Episodes 14 and 18 feature one.
* TheTaxi: Episode 10.
* TokenEvilTeammate / NominalHero: Amanojaku.
* TragicVillain: The Railway Ghost and [[spoiler:Yuki]].
* TricksterMentor: Amanojaku.
* UncannyValley: Purposely [[InvokedTrope invoked]] with [[AnimationBump Animation Bumps]] that make unnatural movements very fluid. Best example is Akane from episode 18.
* UrbanLegend: The underlying source of all of the ghost stories used in the series.
* 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...

!!Tropes unique to ADV's GagDub:
* ACupAngst: Satsuki has this in the dub, despite being all of ten. It's mentioned a few times throughout the series but is most notable in Episode 3.
* BilingualBonus: The Hispanic nurse in Episode 12 calls Momoko and Satsuki "cabronas", meaning "bitches".
* BreakingTheFourthWall: So many times. The below instance from Episode 5 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 dub subverts this. In Episode 3, Satsuki tries to get a wish-granting ghost to give her "huge boobs", but does it wrong so she's "still in a training bra".
** Becomes hilariously ironic if you've ever seen Hilary Haag. She's… well, let's just say that if she ever made a similar wish on cursed stairs, it worked.
* CastingCouch: Specifically name-checked. According to Leo, this is how Keita beat him out for the lead part in the school play. Which had a male director.
* 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!!!"
** This gets even more annoying when you watch the ''very next episode'' on DVD and learn that ''that's'' the point where they stopped censoring "fuck". F(bleep)ing ass(bleep)s.
* {{Expy}}: The dub essentially turned Amanojaku into one for [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch Salem]].
* TheFundamentalist: Momoko, oh so much.
** Though in Episode 5, even she breaks her God-Is-Good persona for moment, upon noticing how attractive a ghost track runner is.
-->'''Satsuki:''' Nice ass.\\
'''Momoko:''' "''*gasp!*'' Do not lust in your hea—Jesus, you're ''right''."
* GagDub: As if the rest of this page didn't tip you off already. One of the most famous 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. People unfamiliar with the dub are always shocked to find out it's official.
* HongKongDub: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]. Not accounting for mouth shape, ADV's dub matches the characters' mouths perfectly. The original Japanese version, on the other hand, often had lips moving long after a character finished speaking.
* HypocriticalHumour: Tons of it throughout the series. For example, Episode 4. Also, 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.
* InterspeciesRomance: Episode 9, 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?"''
* LipLock: Deliberately Invoked in Episode 5 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 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: Both [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] and [[AvertedTrope averted]] 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."
* MonsterOfTheWeek: Fairly obvious and ''name-checked verbatim in the dub''.
* MyEyesAreUpHere: Ouma to Satsuki.
* NotSoInnocentWhistle: Inserted in the dub, during [[spoiler:Shizuko's flashback to Momoko. The taxi driver does it after hitting her with the cab.]]
* ParentalIncest: Episode 13.
-->'''Satsuki:''' "She thought I was attractive. That is so… grossing me out."
* PrecisionFStrike: Starting in episode 16. There were plenty of F-bombs before this, but they were bleeped out, including a ClusterFBomb by the MonsterOfTheWeek in the previous episode (mentioned above). Strangely, an utterance of "shit" was bleeped out literally two minutes before Satsuki's F-bomb wasn't.
* PsychoLesbian: Akane.
* SelfDeprecation: Satsuki and Momoko diss Creator/GregAyres and Creator/ChrisPatton, the voice actors for Leo and Hajime, in episode 3.
* In episode 12, Keiichirou complains that Satsuki "snores like Rob Mungle," the voice of Amanojaku.
* ShesAManInJapan: PlayedForLaughs. Momoko's hairstylist cousin Maki was a woman in the original version of Episode 19, but was changed to a CampGay man in the English.
* SitcomArchNemesis: [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen Hadley]] to Sakata.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Reo was changed to Leo. It's possible that his name was actually supposed to be Leo, considering that it's written in katakana.
* SuddenlyShouting: "Oh, Satsuki, let's sing! Jesus loves me—COME ON, YOU KNOW THE WORDS!"
* TakeThat: Quite a few of the jokes, to the point it would clutter up the page too much to list them all. This dub doesn't pull its punches.
-->''They've been left behind, forgotten… like a Black family in [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush Bush]] America!''
* TheUnintelligible: Keiichiro is capable of talking normally, but get him emotional and he reverts to unintelligible babbling.
-->'''Keichiro''': AH...ABADABADA-\\
'''Amanojaku''': Please! SPEAK!
** ADV's 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 ™]]].
* TooDumbToLive: Lampshaded several times, most explicitly in episode 7.
-->"Aww for god's sakes you kids are so stupid... You both deserve to die."
** And again later on…
--->'''Satsuki:''' ''Why'' did we run into the old schoolhouse again?\\
'''Leo:''' Because we're young and terminally stupid.
* TradeSnark: ADV's DVD release has a dubtitle track that does this with Keiichiro's random noises, usually rendered as "[Keiichiro Sob™]".
* VerbalTic: Leo, yeah.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Lampshaded in Episode 13.
-->'''Da Vinci:''' "Hmm, let's see… Purple, for your hair. [-''*heh*''-] Can't tell ''this'' is a goddamn anime."