You’d be forgiven, dear reader, for being incredulous at something as childish as Pokémon appearing on our page. Yes, yes. Straight Outta Kanto can imagine what you’re thinking. Pokémon is for kids! It isn’t scary! Or is it? Consider this, oh noble reader:
Pokémon are in essence beasts. Beasts whose design and biological make-up are inspired by the natural world and animal kingdom at large. Many denizens of these domains have claws, fangs, venom and other forms of attack and defence. Pocket Monsters are no exception. Would you like to come across a hungry Ariados or Arbok on a dark, deserted night? And what a beautiful flower arrangement over there. Alas! Victreebel and her bone melting gastric acid claim another victim.
And what about those less…corporeal Pokémon? Beings whose creation is steeped in traditional Japanese Yokai folklore? Seemingly inanimate household objects are in fact sentient entities capable of whimsy, or worse. We all laugh at Klefki, sure. But what about Spiritomb or Banette? No one’s laughing now.
Ghosts and ghouls preying on the night, blood and dreams of unsuspecting trainers and civilians alike. Misdreavous. Shuppet. Gengar. Souls of lost children claimed by Phantump in the wayward forest. Yuki-Onna inspired Froslass. The Grim Reaper that is Dusknoir. While our non-Pokémon inhabited world can have all supernatural events explained away by science, one thing is certain in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh Unova, Kalos and Galar alike… There ARE ghosts and they ARE real.
Not even taking in to account the human horror of this world. Marowak slain for profit by Team Rocket, anyone? Feeling peckish? How about a fresh Slowpoke tail… Oiishii indeed. The least said about poor extinct Corsola and Cursola the better.
Look, don’t just take my word for it. I believe Victor and Luke have a few things to say on the matter of the the scariest and creepiest pokemon:
Originally from the Johto Region, the Coral Pokémon was known for its colourful and friendly appearance, a reflection of the beautiful and important lifeforms it was based on. However, Gen VII came and with it the Regional Forms, new variants for old Pokémon.
Corsola got this treatment with the release of Gen VIII and Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Wandering through the Giant’s Mirror, known to have been an ocean in a long lost past, this creature is now a sad looking white ghost. A reference to the phenomenon of coral bleaching, Galarian Corsola is a painful reminder of the impact of global warming and pollution on our oceans. Quite the dour statement… (Victor)
Okay, so it’s a creepy yet still cute toy. Burton fans will flock to the plushies. But wait, the Pokedex can tell us about how this Pokemon is made?
Emerald: An abandoned plush doll became this Pokémon. They are said to live in garbage dumps and wander about in search of the children that threw them away.
Okay, so maybe don’t buy the plushie. This thing is worse than in Child’s Play! At least Chucky needed an evil soul shoved in it, this toy just turned bitter and went on the hunt. But it does at least look like it may have a possible happy ending:
Ultra Moon: Resentment at being cast off made it spring into being. Some say that treating it well will satisfy it, and it will once more become a stuffed toy.
Although also maybe not if it Mega Evolves…
Ultra Sun: Extraordinary energy amplifies its cursing power to such an extent that it can’t help but curse its own Trainer.
So what if Pokemon were guest stars in the Puppet Master franchise? The answer is Banette! Just in case children didn’t already feel bad about the idea of losing a toy, now they get told that toy will turn bitter and evil before chasing you around the world to exact a vengeful grudge. Sleep well, kiddies! And try not to think of any toy you’ve ever lost or had to leave behind. Ever feel watched when the bedroom curtain is left open a little? Ever heard a scratching at that same window? Like something wants to get in… Don’t worry, it’s probably not angry, hate-filled dolls that have come to life! Sweet dreams. (Luke)
It would be a little far-fetched to call Shedinja a Pokémon, being a literal empty husk and all. It doesn’t move or breathe, can only be damaged by super effective attacks, shows up out of nowhere after Nincada evolves into Ninjask and, somehow, is still able to attack both specially and physically.
This isn’t all for the Shed Pokémon, though. It’s said that when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back. The same is true for Shedinja, an empty creature who is said to steal the souls of those who peer into the crack on the back of its shell, which is always pointed towards its trainer. (Victor)
Spiritomb’s body is formed by 108 spirits, a sacred number in religions such as Buddhism, where it represents the 108 earthly desires.
Its physical form is bound to an item known as an Odd Keystone, which keeps both its power and ability to wreak havoc in check. The one that can be found in the Sinnoh Region ia known to be sealed for 500 years. This suggests Spiritomb may not be able to use its true form. (Victor)
Okay, it’s a flying ghost that looks like a balloon. Let’s check the Pokedex!
Platinum: Because of the way it floats aimlessly, an old folktale calls it a “Signpost for Wandering Spirits.”
Okay, that’s neat I guess.
Black2/White2: These Pokémon are called the “Signpost for Wandering Spirits.” Children holding them sometimes vanish.
Wait, what was that last part again?
Sun: Stories go that it grabs the hands of small children and drags them away to the afterlife. It dislikes heavy children.
IT DOES WHAT?!
Thought you were getting a cute balloon Pokemon? Surprise! You’re getting child abduction instead. There’s a lot of ambiguous terror from reading between the lines in the Pokemon lore, but this is pretty explicit. Untended children will be dragged off into the cold and bleak reaches of the skies by a malevolent mimic. Mimics in horror and folklore freak me out anyway, but now they’re casually drifting about a children’s videogame hunting for fresh victims? (Luke)
When the new moon comes, you better lock your doors. This is the time Gourgeist chooses to wander the streets, singing its eerie song, which curses anyone who hears it. Anyone it comes across will be pinned down and wrapped in its hairlike appendages, and tortured while the creature sing joyfully.
Not only that, the many shapes and sizes Gourgeist comes in work in its favour, aiding in it’s task of triciking people and dragging them into the afterlife. Small ones pretend they’re children, big ones pretend they’re adults and supersized ones just do whatever they want. (Victor)
Hailing from the Sinnoh Region (aha!), this ghost lives in the snowy mountains up north. Local legends say it was born from the soul of a woman possessing an icicle and that it uses its impossibly cold breath to freeze handsome men and drag them back to her lair as decorations, literally objectifying them. (Victor)
Who’s a cute little tree ghost? You are! You’re a cute little tree ghost!
Sun: These Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died in the forest. Their cries sound like eerie screams.
Ultra Sun: By imitating the voice of a child, it causes people to get hopelessly lost deep in the forest. It’s trying to make friends with them.
Oh! Never mind, then.
Shield: With a voice like a human child’s, it cries out to lure adults deep into the forest, getting them lost among the trees.
Oh, hey, I think we’ve found where all those kids the Drifloons take end up. Mystery solved, they died of exposure in the woods and became creatures you can enslave and force to fight for money and fame. A lot of Pokemon are weird enough as it is, their happy cartoon facades hiding deep roots of traditional folklore, but now as you roam the world on your Pokemon adventure you may blunder into a pile of lost souls of sad children? Gamefreak give me goosebumps far too often for what’s supposedly a children’s franchise… (Luke)
Although sandcastles are supposed to be something happy, maybe even a fortress for children’s hopes and dreams, Palossand is anything but. Native to the sunny beaches of the Alola Region, this Ghost/Ground type Pokémon is known as the Beach Nightmare for its habit of pulling prey down into the sand to feed on their souls. It is also a known fact that masses of dried-up bones can be found under the castle.
It is said that its first form, Sandygast, possessed people to build it into a castle to make it stronger, each and every grain of sand in Palossand’s body has a will of its own, making it nearly impossible to fend off its urge to feed on your soul. (Victor)