Welcome to the eerie month of October, boys and ghouls! It is the season of witches, goblins and diabetes, and the perfect time to look into the more sinister side of our favorite franchises. Pokemon may appear to be saccharine sweet on the surface, but it has the occasional dalliance with the macabre.
Primarily, this is in the form of Pokedex entries intended to give you the creeps, but sometimes, it’s far less subtle. Pour one out for Cubone’s mom, who was straight up murdered by Team Rocket.
But of course, some are more wicked than others, and in this list, we shall endeavor to introduce you to ten of the most horrifying. Hopefully you’re wearing your brown pants today.
Top 10 Creepiest & Scariest Pokemon Around
We start with an obvious one. Drifloon constantly haunts our memories for its gratuitous HP stat and somewhat uninspired design, but its greatest infamy comes from its Pokedex entries.
It is described as “a Pokemon formed by the spirits of people and Pokemon,” and that it “tugs on the hands of children to steal them away”.
Just let that sink in for a moment there. Child abduction is a trepidatious topic for games intended for mature audiences, but in Pokemon, it comes to you in the form of an adorable balloon.
HeartGold and SoulSilver made it even more explicit, stating that “it is whispered that any child who mistakes Drifloon for a balloon and holds on to it could wind up missing.” Not only does this confirm our worst suspicions (the ambiguity of the original entry could have actually meant that it steals them away for a dance, after all), but the phrasing really sticks out.
It is whispered? Whispered?? Who is whispering such dreadful things, and why are they whispering them to me, dammit?
In gen 7, they decided to take things up a notch, detailing that those unfortunate children are dragged away to the afterlife, and that if it were to pop, its soul spills out with a screaming sound. It all sounds like a Stephen King manuscript that didn’t get past the first draft. Or perhaps a really early interpretation of Christine.
Its evolution, Drifblim, was tame by comparison, with its hell-ferrying kidnappings not confirmed until later on, at which point they decided to throw in the fun fact that it is fueled by souls. It’s practically an inflatable Shang Tsung.
Another typical culprit of the freaky files, Shedinja holds a few distinctions that make it truly unique. Not only is its origin unlike any other (it appears in your party when you evolve your Nincada into Ninjask, effectively making it little more than a yucky carapace), but its Wonder Guard ability makes it immune to all but super effective damage.
This would be incredibly useful, had it not been for the fact that it is weak to five different elements, most of which would be present in any team’s arsenal. Oh, and it only has 1 HP. Which means that a strong sneeze would be enough to kill it.
Beyond that, it also has a tendency to snatch souls, the cheeky minx. Legend has it that it will “steal the spirit of anyone peering into its hollow body from the back”, which is particularly troubling when you consider that every time you sent it into battle, you would be putting yourself in terrible danger.
To top it all off, some hackers have managed to generate Shedinja with the Sturdy ability, rendering them into immortal harbingers of doom. They can’t be bargained with, they can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. Or until you rage quit, at least.
Finally, we get off the predictability wagon by offering a Pokemon you weren’t quite expecting. In this particular evolutionary line, most people would point to Yamask as being the obvious choice for ultimate spookiness. This makes sense, as they “carry a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.”
It’s definitely an unnerving concept, but it’s ultimately more tragic, than anything else. After all, the aforementioned Cubone is famous for brandishing its mother’s skull as a helmet. Comparatively, your own visage bringing you to tears is fairly tame, unless you’re especially hideous to look at.
No, we’re opting for its beefed-up form, Cofagrigus, which is incidentally a really hard name to type, in case you were interested. It appears exactly as you’d expect, as a haunted sarcophagus with lots of touchy-feely arms, but moving in for a better look is bound to end poorly.
They have a tendency to “swallow those who get too close and turn them into mummies,” and have a particular hunger for grave robbers. Getting gobbled up and wrapped tightly with bandages may not sound so bad — might even be a bit of fun if you’re especially kinky.
But let’s talk about what mummification actually is, shall we? It’s a process intended to preserve the flesh of a corpse from rotting, and in ancient Egypt, involved removing one’s brain through their nose, and then harvesting all of their organs and placing them in small jars.
Something to keep in mind if you were keen on displaying a Cofagrigus in your rumpus room.
Glalie might not jump out at you as one of the scariest Pokemon at first, but rest assured, if it were ever to literally jump out at you, you’d best run as fast as your little legs can carry you.
As is often the case, your interpretation of Glalie would vary wildly, depending on which version you opted for. In Ruby, it was proclaimed to have “the ability to freeze moisture in the atmosphere into any shape it desires,” and that seems as if it would be an excellent trick to showcase at parties. Pull out your Glalie (oh gosh that sounds vulgar) and fashion an icicle sculpture in no time!
Alas, those who played Sapphire knew that the only thing Glalie wanted to make was you dead. Awkward sentence structure notwithstanding, check this out: “Glalie has the ability to freely control ice. For example, it can instantly freeze its foe solid. After immobilizing its foe in ice, this Pokemon enjoys eating it in leisurely fashion”.
Yep, Glalie turns you into a living popsicle, then proceeds to devour you. And leisurely, at that. That one word makes the whole thing that much more horrible, really, and worse still, it shares this trait with the electric spider Galvantula, who does so while its prey is paralyzed.
When my psychiatrist next asks me why I’m afraid of the world, I’ll be sure to explain that a great deal of it has to do with the plethora of Pokemon that want to eat me, leisurely.
One of the new kids on the block, Mimikyu is equal parts adorable and terrifying.
We all know the schtick by now: it wears a Pikachu outfit to mask its true form. Landing an attack on it will wreck the costume, turning it into Busted Form, and it actually has its own separate Pokedex entries for this alternative look, with Ultra Sun’s being the most poignant: “It stands in front of a mirror, trying to fix its broken neck as if its life depended on it. It has a hard time getting it right, so it’s crying inside.”
You think about that next time you dare ruin Mimikyu’s cosplay, you cruel being.
Worse than messing up its disguise, however, is trying to sneak a peek underneath at the real Mimikyu, because according to Ultra Moon: “a gust of wind revealed what hides under this Pokemon’s rag to a passing Trainer, who went home and died painfully that very night.”
It’s the Pokemon equivalent to those chain emails that threatened you with doom if you didn’t forward it, and we’d prefer to keep its mysteries unsolved. Also, Mimikyu kinda looks like it has nipples, and that’s scary in its own right.
Top 10 Creepiest & Scariest Pokemon Around
You’ll have to pardon the preponderance of Ghost-Type Pokemon on this list, but it’s hard to deny that they really suit the theme particularly well. They have a tendency to take on the most innocuous of forms, from candles to swords and everything in between, though we’re still anxiously awaiting the debut of Hatori.
Palossand comes to be when its pre-evolved form, Sandygast, is able to possess enough people to build up its form, from a mere mound of sand into a grand castle. Once this task is complete, it will set about eating small Pokemon as it “siphons away their vital essence while they’re still alive.” Put quite simply, don’t take your Rockruff to the beach unless you’re ready for an upsetting conversation with the kids when you get back home.
As one final morbid detail, Moon adds that “buried beneath the castle are masses of dried-up bones from those whose vitality it has drained.” This conjures up all kinds of distressing imagery, like for example what happens when Palossand is lifted into the air by a Pokemon using Sky Drop. Do the bones just come raining down? Or does it land painfully on them with a sickening crunch?
We do like the seashells adorning its face, however. That’s a festive touch.
Just one look at Sableye and you know that something is not quite right. It has the feel of an obscure extra from the Dark Crystal, and it’s always hunched over like it’s carrying a naughty little secret with it.
Most of its Pokedex entries describe its affinity for eating precious gems, which frankly sounds quite wasteful and is frightening to begin with. But of course, it does have the familiar tendency to collect a few souls as well, should the opportunity arise.
Ruby warns that “they are feared, however, because these Pokemon are thought to steal the spirits of people when their eyes burn with a sinister glow in the darkness.” Nearly all of us had a fear of eyes glowing in the dark as kids, and lo and behold, Sableye also happens to moonlight as a Dementor.
Once it Mega Evolves into Mega Sableye, it looks just that little bit creepier, its crystalline eyes now a searing red as it peers out at you from behind its enormous gemstone. In this form, it boosts its defenses in exchange for suffering an abysmal speed statistic of 20. Its slow, methodical approach, eyes beaming brightly, could be the last thing you ever see.
Though not outright scary in the “swallow your soul like a Deadite” sense as so many of the Pokemon we’ve seen, Parasect is its own little horror show that is worthy of a mention.
Its previous form, Paras, is a cute little squirt, infected by a parasitic mushroom that saps most of the nutrients from its food. Once it evolves, considered to be the highlight for most Pokemon, the mushroom grows to an enormous size and takes over the host’s brain, leaving the creature below in a zombified state.
Over the years, we have learned that the bug itself is “mostly dead,” and that “if the mushroom comes off, the bug stops moving.” If you think that this suggests that there is some sort of longterm symbiotic relationship that benefits Parasect’s lower half, think again, because “when nothing’s left to extract from the bug, the mushrooms on its back leave spores on the bug’s egg”.
That’s right, as soon as the egg is laid, the next generation is just as doomed to eternal servitude as the one that preceded it. There’s no happiness for Parasect, and there’s no glory. There is only Spore. On the plus side, though, that happens to be the best Sleep-inducing move in the metagame, so that’s a definite plus.
As the old man laid there, dying, he requested only three things. For his beloved daughter to hold his hand, for his pipe, which he loved to clutch between his teeth as he read his books, and for his trusty companion, Lampent, to stay by his side until he passed.
He would not live to regret that last one.
We’ve talked extensively about how fragile souls are in the Pokemon world, and in the case of Lampent, not even the sweet escape of your demise can save you from its clutches. In fact, that’s when it’s at its most potent, as it “arrives near the moment of death and steals spirit from the body,” and it “hangs around hospitals waiting for people to pass on.”
Effectively, this makes Lampent the Pokemon world’s answer to Death itself, but whereas the latter is simply guiding you towards the next life, Lampent has far more dire intentions. As is noted, “the spirits it absorbs fuel its baleful fire,” so your last gasp of humanity is doomed to be burned within the wicked clutches of a sentient lamp.
There’s sure to be some symbolism of the fires of hell wrapped up in that little nugget.
As part of the OG trio of Ghosts, Haunter is remembered fondly as being the lovable specter that taught Sabrina how to laugh again in the Pokemon anime. If you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find that there’s more to this story than fun and giggles, and Haunter will very happily escort you into the afterlife should you let it.
There are tidbits of sinister goings on as early as Gastly, as it can purportedly “envelop an opponent of any size and cause suffocation,” and 5% of its body is made up of — you guessed it — souls. Meanwhile, getting licked by a Haunter will cause violent convulsions that will eventually result in death.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire go so far as to warn you that “Haunter is a dangerous Pokemon. If one beckons you while floating in darkness, you must never approach it”.
It sounds like the boogeyman for crying out loud, and to extrapolate matters, it lurks within the walls as it stalks its prey. Why, there could be one skulking behind you right now, for all you know.
Good luck with that!