Korean Dramas are well known for their wide variety of subject matter. Within such broad genres such as romance, procedural, or sageuk you will find multiple themes. Many of these deal with the supernatural, alternate universes, time travel, or science fiction such as humanoid robots or aliens.
Since it is October, the month that many associate with Halloween, ghosts and things that go bump in the night I thought I would focus of Kdramas with ghosts starting off with Hotel Del Luna.
Hotel Del Luna, written by the Hong sisters, aired summer 2019 and had a lot of hype surrounding it before it even began. Set mostly in a hotel for ghosts with unresolved issues which delay their journey to the afterlife it covers the stories of some of the guests as well as those of the staff and 2 main leads.
IU acts as Jang Man Wol the CEO of the hotel who is not a ghost nor quite human. Yeo Gin Goo is Koo Chan Sung the new hotel manager who deals with the human world on behalf of the hotel as well managing the staff and helping guests.
The story lines are interesting, the acting good and the sets and special effects sumptuous. There’s even a couple of famous cameo appearances. If you haven’t seen it yet it is well worth your time.
The Ghost Detective from 2018 is a darker drama with some fairly intense scenes and an interesting story line. A detective teams up with a new assistant whose sister died under strange circumstances. Written off as a suicide by the police, Park Eun Bin who plays Jung Yeo Wool is determined to find the truth.
Choi Daniel plays Detective Lee Da Il who takes the case and allows Jung Yeo Wool to assist. The storyline kept my attention and I really didn’t quite know where the story was going until most of the way through. Good cast of supporting actors. No spoilers but a good drama for those who want a bit of a scare and mystery at this time of year.
Chicago Typewriter was on air in the Spring of 2017 and was one of my favorite dramas from that year. There was some controversy over Yoo Ah In and the drama took a hit with Korean audiences. The debate was, if he was well enough to film a drama he should be well enough to serve in the military. However he had a bone tumor and failed the military health inspection 5 times.
This drama has a lot going on as it involves reincarnation with two storylines involving the main characters. It takes place in the present and in the 1930’s when Japan occupied Korea. Although a little complex, the drama ties the two stories of the past one together with the present smoothly as well as keeping us guessing on the ultimate outcome.
The story revolves around a frustrated writer, the writer’s fan, and a ghostwriter. There is humor, romance, intrigue, danger, and incredible acting. I whole heartedly recommend this one.
From 2016 Let’s Fight Ghost was an entertaining story. Staring Ok Taec Yeon from idol group 2PM and Korea’s sweetheart Kim So Hyun, plus a great ensemble cast. It was a fun watch. Yes there was a bit of mystery and scary bits but it was about a ghost hunter so you could expect that. Nothing too intense though.
It is the story of a young man who can see ghosts who meets a wandering spirit trying to find out what happened to make her one. With some initial hesitation the two become partners who banish bad ghosts. Hidden from them is an evil spirit who watches them and wishes them harm.
Oh My Ghost aired in 2015. In this drama a virgin ghost takes over the body of a shy assistant and tries to seduce an arrogant chef. Park Bo Young stars as the assistant while Jo Jung Suk plays the chef. Kim Seul Gi plays the part of the lustful ghost.
The Master’s Sun. Led by Gong Hyo Jin and So Ji Sub two very popular actors and written by the Hong Sisters there was little doubt that this would be a good drama. It was one of my favorites from 2013. Seo In Guk added a little extra eye candy.
A mix of comedy, romance, mystery and a touch of fright this drama has it all along with some fine acting and special effects. A young woman learns she can see ghosts and lives in constant fear as they constantly seem drawn to her. Finding out by accident that touching the CEO of a huge shopping mall makes them invisible to her she does everything she can to stay close beside him. He has his own past mystery to solve. Can they help each other out?
And lastly for today Arang And The Magistrate. A Sageuk, or period drama, it aired in 2012 and is probably the drama that made me a fan of Lee Joon Gi. He is absolutely stunning in his traditional clothes. And of course Shin Min Ah is a wonderful actress.
Although a similar story to some other dramas, the ghost wants to know the circumstances of her death, the lead is the only one who can see her etc it is still a surprisingly good story with some interesting and unusual side characters. I liked the grim reaper and the two gods in particular as they added an extra level to the tale. Of course there is mystery and romance along with beautiful people in beautiful clothes. One of my favorites.
There are of course other ‘ghost’ dramas, if you have a favorite or one to recommend please leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Have a great day everyone.
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You may also enjoy Korean Ghosts, Is It The Kdrama Actor, and Easy On The Eyes: Korean Models turned Actors.