- On a meta level, the whole series is this. No matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, you could run into some horrible thing. And while you might be lucky and get away with nothing worse than the scare of your life, you might not be so lucky. You might lose an ear or an eye, have your finger broken, or just straight-up die.
- "Calling". A boy is watching TV when someone knocks at the door. Disinterested, he says his mother's not home. The knocks come louder. Annoyed, he yells that his father isn't home either. Then the knocks come really loud. Fed up at this point, he yells that there's nobody home. And then he turns to the camera, to a voice who points out he's home. Terrified, he flees the house, only for the voice to knowingly whisper: "It's no use running..."
- "The Rear Guard's Decision". A young boy never looks at his reflection when leaving the gym, because, for some reason, it's distorted into a horrible, blank, staring face.
- "The Ear-Slashing Monk." A little girl having her ear cut off from a distance by a ghost is bad enough, but two little things really ratchet up the horror:
- He doesn't just cut the ear off in one quick snip. He slooooowly tightens the shears as the girl screams in pain. He's enjoying this.
- He doesn't take the ear after cutting it off. He just vanishes. Is he just cutting random girls' ears off For the Evulz? Does he have some reason that only he understands? We don't know. We'll never know. And it just makes the whole thing even creepier.
- "Ascent". A boy is staring out of his window when he notices the lightning strikes seem to be taking people up with them. It's not clear whether someone (or something) is responsible for the lightning abducting people or not, which arguably makes it worse.
- The infamous "Tacit Agreement", pictured above. The nurses at an unnamed hospital have an unwritten rule... if you see a "baby" when walking from the delivery room to the maternity ward, never acknowledge it, never talk about it to anyone, and for the love of God, don't hug it."...the scariest part is that no one at the hospital will talk about it. Which implies that everyone has seen this thing at some point, and (understandably) been scared shitless by it, but they can't discuss it openly. Imagine having that kind of experience, and having no one you can talk about it with—not even to check to make sure other people have seen it too, and you're not just going crazy. That damn thing would be hiding behind every pleasant sentence spoken between any coworkers in that place, undermining every positive emotion, making any smiles false, turning everyone into a liar, each person wondering, "Did they see it too? Are they thinking about it right now? How come no one else will talk about it? Am I the only one?"
- The titular prediction in "Prediction" isn't really scary, but the ghost delivering it, whose face consists of three giant eyeballs? Terrifying.
- The whole manga is a textbook way to induce fear in those who have Ommatophiobia (phobia of eyes [especially unnatural eyes]) and Social Anxiety Disorder, as one symptom of SAD is the fear of being watched. It is taken Up to Eleven and then some.
- The author tells a rather creepy story about a childhood experience that he believes is his only real supernatural encounter. He was part of the swimming club in his home town and in order to allow the children to practice more for an upcoming summer competition, the coach takes them all to this small dormitory middle school outside the town. The pool was outdoors with a plastic tent covering it, and there were no lights. Regardless, they practice in the pool until late in the evening when their coach arrived and told them that they're done for the day. The author and a friend go the bathroom for a bit, only to come back to the pool and see their coach and the rest of the team standing outside looking into the tent. They all look dumbstruck and frightened, and when the author's friend took a peek, all emotion drained from her face. Their coach proceeds to count the students, finding that they're all with him, before locking the tent. The author didn't see anything, and constantly asked his friends what they saw, only for them to stay quiet about it. That is until the trip back to the city, where his friend asked if he at least was able to see what was in the far left corner of the pool... the half-submerged, corpse-like body of a child, just staring at them with dead eyes. The author can't say if he actually did.
- "Night of the Blackout". A young woman is flicking a flashlight on and off in her darkened apartment, laughing at how her family seems to be moving in stop-motion... when she sees a zombie standing behind them.
- The "Closet"/"Whispers in the Dark"/"Reconstruction" trilogy.
- In "Closet", a girl can hear a young boy whispering to her from her closet at night, even though her closet is full and she can't find anyone in there, but she ignores it. When she decides to answer him, she can hear him scribbling away on something. He keeps trying to talk to her, but she never answers... so he responds "It's OK. I understand. I'll put an end to this." And he doesn't sound like a little boy any more...
- Then in "Reconstruction", set 40 years later, construction workers are disassembling the house, and find a sketchbook... the diary of the boy from "Closet". Was he an ordinary boy Buried Alive? Was he a ghost? What happened to the girl living in the house? We never find out, but the construction workers were probably right to not build there.
- "Leaf Warbler" features a twenty-something girl who starts having memory issues, to the point she can't even remember which elementary school she attended. However, she does remember she kept a series of diaries then. She makes it a point to collect them next time she visits her mother... only to return and complain that she just gave her a bunch of blank notebooks. However, among the empty notebooks, she does find one of her diaries. The problem is that for some reason, the diary starts in the middle of the notebook. As she sits to read, quietly, the kanji begin to fade from the page, leaving only a few, that read "within five years, I will find you, wherever you are". Trembling in horror, she quietly asks her mother what she was like when she was a child... only for it to turn out she can't remember the girl either.
- The notes at the end detailing year and location of the incidents. It's scary enough for people who might recognize or even live near some of those places, but then things like "All Stores Nationwide", "Unidentified Underpass" pop up. But scariest of all, there's "Location Withheld".
- Fittingly enough, the series ends with Nightmare Fuel. The final story, "Epilogue", features Masaaki Nakayama telling a story about how he's a "natural-born coward", and one of the things that scared him as a kid was a picture book. It featured cute animals covering their faces, and one the next page, revealing them with a cry of "Byah!" The last page featured a human boy... but his face was a Nightmare Face. It scared Nakayama so badly that he taped the pages shut. Ten years later, he found the book again in a bookstore... but the boy's face was cute and normal. "Maybe I was hallucinating because of fear?" he wonders, as we cut back to his studio. Then he hears something say "Byah!" behind him. The final panel◊ is the NightmareFaced boy staring at him from the hallway.
Nightmare Fuel / Fuan no Tane
Fuan no Tane features some of the creepiest ghosts and monsters in all of manga.