Top 5 Best Korean Romance Dramas with Ghosts

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We celebrated Halloween a few weeks ago but I am still in the 'spooky' mood. Whenever I finish a long and emotionally tiring drama, I like taking a drama-break with something totally different and maybe a bit out of the box of the usual intense triangular romance that I prefer. As you know, there is a great variety of Korean dramas and everyone can find something that they will like. Do you want a good old family drama? No problem. Maybe some blood and investigations? There is plenty as well. But what if you want romance with a twist, let's say some ghosts or vampires? Don't worry, Korean dramas have it all. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not a horror movie fan (note: Koreans are also ' bloody' good in the horror movie genre) but after years of romance-drama watching, I do appreciate a supernatural twist here and there. These dramas probably won't give you nightmares, but will keep you entertained and hyped as they mix romance and mystery well. Without further ado, let me jump into my as usual subjective, top 5 ranking of my favorite Korean romance dramas with ghosts!

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Original pictures from "Master's Sun" a 2013 SBS drama.

Now is when you let go of a horrified scream "WHAAAAT only number 5??". Yes, 'Master's Sun' is a very popular Korean drama, beloved in Korea and among international viewers. As this is a subjective ranking, let me express an unpopular view here. I highly dislike the actress Gong Hyo Jin. Ok, now I said it. I feel like she always plays the same neurotic, old spinster that is supposed to be funny but ends up being super annoying. Unfortunately, 'Master's Sun' is no exception to this rule. The drama follows Tae Gong Shil who started seeing ghosts after an accident, but although many years have passed she is still terrified to be around them (ok, who can blame her, ghosts are scary...).

Tae Gong Shil crosses paths with Joo Joong Won, a rich and greedy CEO with a dark love-trauma. They decide to team up as our CEO needs help to chase some ghosts and make more profit, and Tae Gong Shil discovers that as long as she can touch the CEO she is temporarily safe from ghosts.

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This drama made it into my top 5 ranking, because of the great performance by actor So Ji Sub that plays a difficult to like yet so very charming rich guy. The story itself is also entertaining, as each ghost story has an interesting plot and the whole drama gravitates around a traumatic event that we uncover piece by piece.

For who? If you are looking for a drama with ghosts, and you don't want to slap Gong Hyo Jin whenever she comes on screen.


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Original pictures from 'Oh! My Ghost" a 2015 tvN drama.

'Oh! My Ghost' was a drama I originally ignored because of the unappealing plot description and the strange drama-poster. The drama follows Bong Seon, a skilled cook and food blogger, with absolutely no confidence in love and life. One day she gets possessed by a lustful virgin ghost, masterfully played by actress Kim Seul Gi, who wants to get rid of her virginity in order to ascend to heaven. As Bong Seon has a secret crush on chief cook Jo Jung Suk, who also happens to be her boss, our virgin ghost will make him her number one target. Of course, what follows is a cute comedy as the real Bong Seon sometimes regains control of her body, and finds herself in the most embarrassing situations, while gaining confidence along the way. This drama would have been your typical sweet romance comedy, if not for the mystery death of our virgin ghost and some gloomy characters that surround her. The chemistry between the main OTP was very sweet, and the director managed to strike the right balance of getting the virgin ghost to intervene without totally overshadowing the character of Bong Seon.

For who? If you are looking for a romance story with a shy girl that changes throughout the drama.


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Pictures from 'Let's Fight, Ghost" a 2016 tvN drama.

I was a bit skeptical with the pairing in this drama of actor  Ok Taec Yeon (who is 27) and my beloved teenage actress Kim So Hyun (17 !), but when I realised that Ok Taec Yeon is playing the character of a young 1st year college student I decided to give it a go. The main couple forms some kind of fighting duet, that gets rid of nasty ghosts in exchange for payment. This drama is perfect if you want to just switch off from your routine and watch something entertaining and funny with bits of half comic, half scary, ghost scenes. It probably won't leave a lasting impression, but Kim So Hyun is cute and talented as usual, and the drama is fun to watch.

The concept of this drama is a bit different, as people can actually see some ghosts - the very scary ones of course. Plus our main guy, can not only see all the ghosts but also touch and fight them. The touching possibility, as you can imagine, opens the door for a human-ghost romance story.

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I need to add a special applause for two side characters, a pair of weird seniors, that run a ghost hunting college club. They have added a bit of goofy but irresistible comedic vibe to the drama. I also liked to see actor Kwon Yool in a mysterious villain role (this is revealed quite early on in the drama - although we don't know who he really is at first).

For who? If you want to laugh a lot and occasionally be a little bit afraid.


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Pictures from 'Arang and the Magistrate' a 2012 MBC drama.

It has been a long time since I wanted to write about this drama! 'Arang and the Magistrate' is a drama that is hard to label and put into a specific category. This drama has a very original and interesting plot as it is a ghost drama set in the Joseon era. It plays with supernatural drama codes, incorporates other mythical creatures such as the grim reaper or gods while taking place in a rather conventional Joseon era setting. The story is entertaining and interesting, but the strongest part of the drama is the actors and their skillful performance. If you enjoyed the drama ' Scarlet heart: Ryeo' mainly for the masterful 4th prince, you should try watching 'Arang and the Magistrate' as actor Lee Joon Gi plays the main role. Lee Joon Gi plays the title's magistrate, a mean government official who travels the country looking for his mother who disappeared. He also happens to see ghosts, but can't be really bothered by this ability as he mainly ignores them. That is, of course, until he meets the beautiful virgin ghost called Arang, who was murdered and wants to seek revenge for her wrongful death. This drama has elements of comedy with a good amount of suspense and mystery.

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Plus as a bonus, after the huge popularity of dramas such as 'Heirs' and 'Remember - War of Son' you can't possibly miss actors Yoo Seung Ho and Im Ju Eun playing original, 'pre-acting glory' roles.

For who? If you love historical dramas, prioritise great acting and want to try a ghost story.


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Pictures from "Who are you" a 2013 tvN drama.

'Who are you' is the story of a female detective, Yang Shi On, who wakes up from a long coma and tries to reconstruct her shattered memory and regain control over her life. After waking up from a coma, she also started to see ghosts. This drama made me think of the movie 'Sixth sense' as all the ghosts try to tell her something. They want her, as a policewoman, to uncover the mystery behind their deaths or fulfil their dying wish. The whole drama also gravitates around the main plot of a handsome man that appears in front of her and seems to know her, but that she can't remember. The drama is very smartly made, there is no place for stupid side characters or unnecessary plot developments. The main girl is very mature and composed, although a bit confused at first, she doesn't run around scared of her visions, but genuinely tries to help the ghosts and also learn more about herself. There is some romance, with actor Ok Taec Yeon playing a detective (we see him again in a ghost drama! I guess he likes this genre), but this love plot is not the central piece of the drama.

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I really love this drama because it was nicely directed and, at least for me, was quite dark and romantic. The main mystery takes a long time to be uncovered, but there are plenty of smaller mysteries to resolve, so you will be entertained from the beginning to the end of the drama. Also, we get to see a lot of actor  Kim Jae Wook in heartbreaking scenes, throwing long melancholic glances. I really like this actor, I adored him in Bad Guy and Mary stayed out all night, but for some reason he is not cast a lot in main roles and we don't see a lot of him- which is such a waste (I could totally picture him as a cruel Goryeo era prince!)

For who? If you are into dark romance stories and don't mind a bit of a slow paced drama.


For more Top 5 drama recommendations, check out my KBeauty and Asian Dramas blog – Korea in Beauty

Have you seen and liked these dramas? What other ghost dramas would you recommend?

Comments (31)

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  • Reply
    Trouble-chan Nov 26, 2016 - edited

    I think that Kim Jae Wook is a truly gifted actor and he'd be good in evil roles; but, for me at least, I would LOVE to see him play the romantic lead - I think he would completely blow us away. I wouldn't mind a dark romance where he is perhaps an anti-hero type or a romantic comedy. Having seen him and his excellent comic timing in 'Antique Bakery' I think he could totally steal the show in a romantic comedy.

    • Reply
      Akudie Nov 28, 2016 - edited

      One thing is for sure - we need to see him more! :)

  • Reply
    Colinds Nov 25, 2016

    Thank you for this. I really love Master's Sun. The mini ghost mysteries they solved and the backstory of the leads are all touching for me. I like Hyo Jin, it is my first time to watch her, she did bring the strange vibe that is needed. I even watched greatest love after this to cure my hangover. The characteristics of the roles she needed to portray were quite similar partly because of the same writer.
    I have been looking for dramas with ghost with the same level of entertainment. Thank you for this list. I think I'll try Oh my ghost next.

  • Reply
    risaruart Nov 22, 2016

    Oh my ghostess and Master Sun is my two fav ghost series. But the ghost were so spooky in master's sun and let's fight ghost can't watch that at night ;_;

  • Reply
    darkn3ss Nov 22, 2016

    Seen them all and loved them all although I probably have master's Sun has my number one, then Arang, Who Are you, Let's fight ghost then Oh my Ghost.

  • Reply
    Meisxie Nov 22, 2016 - edited

    Ha. I thought I was the only person that dislikes Gong Hyo Jin. Hence the reason I did not watch Masters Sun. Loved Arang.
    Lets fight ghost - not that keen on the lead actress or the 2nd male lead for that matter. Might watch it one day in the future...

  • Reply
    Nayomira Nov 22, 2016 - edited

    I've seen them all and I would not, at all, put Who Are You or Arang above Master's in any given day... I can't understand how somebody can't like Hyo Jin, and I'm not even talking about her as a person, she's an amazing actress, but oh well... I guess opinions are opinions... I love all the dramas but not the order ahahah

    • Reply
      angelicamaullion Nov 23, 2016

      I've watched most of them except for Who Are You. And I agree with you, I wouldn't put also Arang above Master's. hahaha. I love Joon Gi and Shin Min Ah but waaah. It was boring. I dropped it I guess at ep 8, can't really remember. Well, I really can't rank Master's and Oh My G. For me, they were both flawless. :) Let's fight is just an OK drama. And I like
      Gong Hyo Jin too :D

  • Reply
    hazel321 Nov 21, 2016

    I agree that Who are you is the best. It felt very original, had a great mystery and the ghosts were more scary. I hate horror but love lighter ghost stories. These are great examples, I can't wait to find more.

  • Reply
    Rouzmary Nov 20, 2016 - edited

    Have seen Master's Sun, Bring it On, Ghost & Arang & the Magistrate, loved/liked all three of them ^^

    Thou I've come across Oh my Ghost a lot in my search for smt to watch...it never manages to pique my interest. Same now. Still not gonna watch it.

    But Who are you? Now that is something I'll definitely watch! :D

  • Reply
    Shima0810 Nov 20, 2016 - edited

    For me the numbering of the list is vise versa

    • Reply

      Exactly. I dunno about Arang & the magistrate and Who are you, but otherwise the list is a definite topsy turvy for me. Masters sun comes at top, them Oh my ghost, then brig it on ghost. These actually had quite different and good ghost scenarios.. except Oh my ghost which was a different story on it's own but Masters sun and Bring it on ghost had pretty good ghost backstories.

  • Reply
    jupiter Nov 19, 2016

    Gong Hyo Jin has so much charm I don't understand how one can not love her. Sure her characters are a bit similar but there are many actors and actresses who always play the same kind of characters (like Lee Jong Suk for example).

    I like So Ji Sub but his character in Masters Sun was to arrogant for my taste, he has played better roles. But the chemestry between GHJ and SJS and was great and one of the reason why Masters Sun is so good. SJS has said in interviews that he really loved working with GHJ and I would like them to act alongside again because I think they both would enjoy that:)

    Let's Fight Ghost wasn't that good. I mean, Kim So Hyun did a great job as usual but I don't understand why they had to use actors close to 30 to play students and after watching Kwon Yools emotionless face in 'One more happy ending' I was not sure if it was becaue of his charater this time or if he's just plain boring all the time. The plot made no sence until about at least 12 eps in. It had some funny moments tho I'll give it that.

    Oh my ghost was good, Kim Seul Gi is bae. The love story made me confused but I still liked it.

    If I where to rank these three (those are the ones I've watched) it would be: 1. Oh My Ghost 2. Masters Sun and 3. Lets Fight Ghost

    Thank you for adding Arang and the Magistrate in the list beause that reminded me that I should watch it soon. I love Shin Min Ah and Lee Joon Gi has proved that he has some great acting skills so I'm definitely picking up this drama soon:)

  • Reply
    amytotto Nov 19, 2016 - edited

    yess taecyeon must really love this genre, other than the above mentioned two, he has acted in Touching You also, a webdrama with him having some supernatural abilities. The next film he has signed up for before going to military also has some supernatural elements and mystery in it. But what I am curious is that he himself has confessed that he is really scared of ghosts, then what is his drive??? Is he fighting his fears??

  • Reply
    SATHYA Nov 19, 2016

    I've seen all the four except let's fight ghost.All the other four are really as you have rated

  • Reply
    Hanah Nov 18, 2016

    I haven't watched no. 3 yet, but I would rank them in the same order. Absolutely loved Who are You and Arang was such a breath of fresh air to me! I liked Master's Sun, but it wasn't one of my favs. My problem was the opposite of yours, actually--I thought GHJ and her character were fun, but the arrogance of SJS's guy got on my nerves. Especially when he pulled her hair.

  • Reply
    Youlie Nov 18, 2016 - edited

    I think I would've rated them in the opposite order. For me Mater's Sun and Oh My Ghost were my favorites. I liked Arang but honestly I can't recall that much of the story...

  • Reply
    SaimaTae Nov 18, 2016

    I like ghost dramas but they get really repetitive sometimes. It's interesting at first but it eventually just becomes a new ghost story one after the other and hardly any development in the actual plot. I think Oh My Ghost was the most interesting out of these.

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