×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Creepiest Things Ever Found In Pokemon Games

The world of the "Pokémon" games is a bright and colorful place full of delightful creatures who grow stronger through the power of friendship. Also, as you already know if you've played through the games, it's the home of an endless string of soul-searing horrors that make it a wonder that anyone living there has ever slept soundly at night. There are massive criminal organizations dedicated to taking over the world by enslaving sentient creatures, ten-year-old children walking around with omnipotent creator gods in their pockets, and three-foot bees — and that's before you get into the stuff that's really creepy.

From restless spirits to cryptic trainers and all the way to the pocket monsters who literally drag your soul to Hell, the Pokémon games have given us plenty of nightmare fuel over the years. Here are the creepiest things we've ever found on our journey to become the very best, like no one ever was.

Actual, literal ghosts

The fact that there's an entire category of Ghost-type Pokémon made up of creatures that canonically feast on the fading life force of dying humans or are themselves human souls cursed to weep at their own fate is creepy enough, especially since they're so common in the Pokémon world that everyone just acts like they're no different from dogs or cats. When you wander into Lavender Town in the original Gen 1 games, however, the ghosts aren't just a new set of pets for you to collect. They're the straight up spirits of the restless dead bound to roam the land by the horrors of their past.

Not only does Lavender Town feature a legendarily creepy, discordant soundtrack and a towering mausoleum that forces you to contemplate your Pokémon's eventual death, the top floor is haunted by actual ghosts, and the first time you encounter them, they're so terrifying that your Pokémon won't even fight. Eventually, of course, you can use an item to reveal them as the usual Ghost-type Pokémon that you've seen before ... except for the last one.

In a twist worthy of a horror movie, the final ghost is revealed to be just that: the spirit of a Marowak who was murdered by Team Rocket while trying to protect her child. The only way to put this tortured soul to rest is by defeating her in a battle, but really, hasn't she already suffered enough?

Sableye's real-world inspiration

With its swaying movements, featureless face, and blank gemstone eyes, Sableye is one of the creepiest-looking Pokémon in the history of the franchise, but there's a reason for that. Unlike the pocket monsters that were inspired by, say, ice cream cones or turnips, the inspiration for Sableye likely came from a real-life paranormal encounter: the Hopkinsville Goblin.

In 1955, a family reported to the police station in Hopkinsville, Kentucky claiming that they'd spent their night being menaced by "little grey men" with giant eyes who kept appearing at their doors and windows. According to the family, they'd held them off with gunfire until the morning, but when police investigated, they couldn't find any evidence of anything beyond the bulletholes left by the family themselves. Nevertheless, the incident became one of the most well-known UFO sightings and had a massive influence on pop culture.

That said, most skeptics these days believe that the farmers probably encountered a bunch of owls, but the description of the Hopkinsville Goblin clearly provided the inspiration for Sableye. And hey, if that's not creepy enough, just consider that Sableye is one of the few Pokémon that canonically eats others, devouring the rock-like Carbink and using them to make its eyes.

Mimikyu's unknowable horror

There's a baseline of creepiness that runs through most Ghost-type Pokémon, but in most cases, it's standard horror movie stuff. Mimikyu, however, goes for full-on existential dread.

Introduced in "Pokémon Sun" and "Moon," Mimikyu was immediately one of the generation's most popular new monsters, for the simple fact that it apparently wants to be loved. To that end, its true form is hidden from the player, with the questionably lovable creature instead disguised in a makeshift Pikachu costume. At first glance, it's an adorable attempt at fitting in from something that just wants to be as popular as the franchise's irresistibly cute mascot, but the longer you think about it, and the longer you wonder what's underneath that handmade (or possibly pseudopod-made) costume, the more disturbing it gets.

For starters, our only glimpse of Mimikyu's true form comes in the form of shining eyes and shadowy tentacles that emerge from underneath its crudely painted rag, but the horror doesn't stop there. In addition to its regular appearance, Mimikyu boasts a "busted form" where the head of its costume lolls lifelessly on a broken neck, with Pokédex entries that detail how it's "crying inside" from its hard work being destroyed, and how it will "mercilessly seek revenge on any opponent that breaks its neck." Oh, and just in case that wasn't enough, its most powerful move is a bit of devastating violence called "Let's Snuggle Forever." That's one elevator full of blood away from just being "The Shining."

Phoebe's ghost

While obvious jump-scares and disturbing Pokédex entries can give you a moment of fright, there's nothing quite as unsettling as the feeling that something's out of place. It's that feeling of being watched, of knowing that there's something — or someone — where they shouldn't be. That's exactly what you get when you encounter Phoebe of the Elite Four in "Alpha Sapphire"/"Omega Ruby."

Phoebe specializes in Ghost-Type Pokémon, so of course, her section of the game has all the requisite spooky stuff, including lanterns that seem to light themselves with spirits, all balanced out by the fact that Phoebe herself is a cheerful young lady who looks like she's decked out for an island vacation. When you talk to her before the battle, however, the creep factor is ramped up to the extreme. Right as the screen fades out at the start of the cutscene, a figure of a little girl suddenly appears in an otherwise empty chair for an instant, and then stands next to you — almost entirely obscured by the player — during the conversation that follows. She's easy to miss and never acknowledged by the game.

Phoebe mentions studying with her grandmother at Mt. Pyre — which contains a cemetery. When you find her there, sans Grandma, she mentions that the player made quite an impression on her, despite the fact that you never met. She was the one watching you battle ... from beyond the grave.

The Lumiose City Hex Maniac

With 20 years of video games, an animated series with over a thousand episodes, 21 movies, and multiple comics, there aren't a lot of things about the "Pokémon" franchise that haven't been explored in exhausting detail. There is, however, one truly bizarre and disturbing mystery that has spread across multiple games, and never gets any less creepy: the Lumiose City Hex Maniac.

The Hex Maniac is a type of enemy trainer that appears throughout the series as a generally spooky goth girl with spiral eyes and a focus on Ghost and Psychic-types. In "Pokémon X" and "Y," however, you encounter one that never asks for a battle. In Lumiose City's fighting dojo, the first time you take the elevator to the second floor, the game freezes and a Hex Maniac appears behind you. She moves across the screen without her sprite actually moving, like she's floating (or glitched), says "No, you're not the one ..." and then vanishes. This is never addressed or explained at all in the game.

To make matters weirder, another Hex Maniac appears a year later in "Pokémon Alpha Sapphire"/"Omega Ruby" at Mt. Pyre — you know, the massive cemetery — and says the same thing, albeit without the creepy movements and disappearance. The incidents are clearly related, but who — or what — "the one" that they're waiting for is has never been revealed. The only thing we know is that it's not us.

The Ghost Girl of the Marvelous Bridge

In "Pokémon Black" and "White," a trip across the Marvelous Bridge occasionally includes a girl who vanishes the moment you get close to her, much to the surprise of some of the other characters, leaving behind item appearing on the bridge a few seconds later. On the other side, you get the rest of the story: it's the spirit of a girl who died near the site of that bridge while playing with an Abra. In the sequel games, you can encounter her spirit once again at the "Strange House," described on the in-game map as being "known for a sad incident that is said to keep people away," where she'll lament the loss of her mother, father, and Pokémon.

It's all pretty scary stuff, but if you're up for some conjecture, there's something that makes it even more harrowing. We know what happened to the girl, but not her Abra, and with its ability to teleport, it could've easily led her to fall to her death while they were "playing." Admittedly, there's nothing in the games that says that happened, but if they're willing to have the soul of a dead child hand out plot-relevant items, who's to say?

Shedinja, the uninvited spirit

Regardless of how disturbing their Pokédex descriptions might be, every Pokémon is in your party because you want it to be there, either by picking a Starter at the beginning of the game, trading for it, or battling and catching them in the wild. Every Pokémon except one, that is. Shedinja just ... shows up.

It's actually one of the coolest mechanics in the entire franchise. When the cicada-like Nincada evolves into Ninjask, it bursts out of its carapace and emerges in a new form with wings. If you happen to have an empty spot in your party and a spare Pokéball in your inventory when that happens, however, you get two for the price of one. That discarded shell reanimates as Shedinja, which floats (and fights) without ever moving or breathing. Seriously, it specifically says in the games that it doesn't breathe.

Here's where it gets extra creepy: in addition to highlighting its lack of respiration, the 'Dex entry also informs you that there's always room for one more spirit inside Nincada's hollowed-out dead body, and that your new friend "will steal the spirit of anyone peering into its hollow body from its back." That wouldn't be so bad if that empty soul-snatching portal to Hell wasn't pointed directly at the trainer — i.e., you — whenever Shedinja was used in a battle, and knowing that you're not supposed to look into it makes it awfully difficult to avoid doing just that.

The mysteries of Alola's Trainer School

Almost every Pokémon game has a school early on to teach you the basics of being a Pokémon Trainer, but in "Pokémon Ultra Sun" and "Ultra Moon," there's something a lot weirder going down at Alola's Trainer School.

If you go there at night, you'll notice the music has changed, and there's a little girl standing outside with a Drifloon. Talk to her, and she'll tell you about seven mysteries plaguing the school, and ask you to solve six of them. The first few have perfectly mundane explanations: ghostly sobbing turns out to be a girl burning her love letters after having her heart broken, a cryptic message on the PA is a guy who got locked in the teachers' lounge after Slowpoke fell asleep in front of the door, that sort of thing. Even the last few, which involve Ghost-types and other weird Pokémon, aren't that out of the ordinary.

It's that seventh mystery that really does it. After you finish those six, the girl and her Drifloon vanish, which leaves you with a few equally creepy possibilities. Maybe she just wandered back to her dorms, but since Drifloon is known (per the Pokedex) for abducting children, it's entirely possible that the girl became a buffet for the Ghost-type. Either that, or the real seventh mystery is exactly this moment, and whether or not the girl was ever real at all. Sleep tight!

The Lovecraftian horror of Guzzlord

The original Pokémon games were built around a plot where scientists were cloning Mew and wound up making a superintelligent, psychokinetic mastermind capable of destroying them, so it probably shouldn't be surprising that 20 years later, the Gen 7 games had taken their approach to mad science a whole lot further — thousands of light-years further, in fact.

In those games, the plot revolves around the Ultra Beasts, gigantic, super-powerful Pokémon from an interdimensional space called the Ultra Realm, which can only be accessed through wormholes created by a shape-shifting Pokémon named Cosmog. If that sounds complicated, well, trust us: it's actually the short version. At one point, you're asked to travel through a wormhole to encounter Guzzlord on a distant world, where it's endlessly devouring a ruined city, shoving pieces of a broken planet into its gaping, insatiable maw.

That's not Lovecraftian. That's literally just Lovecraft, right down to the tentacles. Forget about ghosts and haunted houses, "Pokémon Ultra Sun" is a game that asks you to contemplate your own insignificance in the face of seemingly endless cosmic power ... and then gives you the option to carry it around in your pocket.

Mr. Mime

Ah, Mr. Mime. This creepy little homunculus has reigned supreme as the single most upsetting thing about Pokémon for over 20 years. While most of the original 151 are just simple combinations of animals and forms of energy — a horse on fire, a rat made of electricity, a turtle with giant water cannons on its back — whoever designed Mr. Mime had the bright idea of giving kids exactly what they'd love the most: a circus clown who resides squarely in the uncanny valley! Maybe it's the fact that he has full-on human hands, but Mr. Mime is just too human to be a pocket monster, and too monstrous to be human. Whatever the source of its endless creepiness, it definitely shouldn't be living with Ash's mom.

Look, we'll take the balloon that kidnaps children and the unknowable horror that wants to wear Pikachu's skin like a coat any day of the week. Just keep this thing away from us.

Recommended