Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and its sequel (Kai) are the best horror themed anything (anime, real life, whatever) that I’ve ever seen. They do the creepiness, the gore, the horror all very well, but what I think makes it stand out from everything else, is how they develop their characters and make you feel like you’re part of their crowd. When they suffer, you suffer with them. When they vainly try to break out from the horror they’re in, you’re pulling for them as if you’re in the same nightmare. When you get past the guro fanboys cries for bloodlust (and actually its reputation for gore is exaggerated, as it’s not a bloodfest by any means. Rather, Higurashi’s terror is created by what it chooses to not show), Higurashi’s greatness comes from how it treats its characters. This is illustrated perfectly in the OP for the Kai, the second season (or the answer arc).