Due to some outside circumstances that occurred last week and primarily due to recent reveals in Pokémon Sun & Moon alongside the most recent (and frankly utterly terrifying/disconcerting) episode of Pokémon Generations… I shall review the one type of Pokémon that is possibly the most disconcerting of them all and raises far too many questions towards one’s sanity.
For this admittedly long winded review, I shall be focusing only on the various PokéDex entrys and gauge the… difficulty of training such a Pokémon from one being a most benign spiritual entity to five, an outright phantasmal Lovecraftian horror that no sensible trainer would approach let alone capture and attempt to train. While numerical order might be more sensible, I feel it best to begin by degree of typing and so let us start out with the first of the pure Ghost-type Pokémon…
Save for Spiritomb as I’ve said more than enough on that particular Pokémon…
Misdreavus & Mismasgius
Misdreavus, the Screech Pokémon, is notorious for being a prankster by way of such mischievous tricks such as screaming, appearing suddenly in front of one’s face, and biting/yanking people’s hair from behind. It plays these tricks primarily in the middle of the night in order to gather human fear into its crimson spheres where it utilizes these energies as nutrition.
Its evolved form via a Dusk Stone is Mismagius the Magical Pokémon has a distinction cry that sounds more like magical incantations that it primarily utilizes as a means of self-defense by tormenting its foes with headaches and hallucinations. However, it is also said that a Mismagius can also alter its distinctive vocalizations to be imbued with a happiness-giving power.
From the start, I’d say that Misdreavus ranks at a one pushing slightly at a two. For all those whom don’t care for the jump scare, save perhaps those that care too much about a measly paycheck for five nights at a local and downright disheartening pizzeria, Misdreavus only enact such frights in order to feed itself. This means of gaining nutrition is easily one of the most benign of any Ghost-type Pokémon and its evolved form Mismagius does not appear to require the same source of sustenance and can, in point of fact, bestow happiness upon its trainers and close allies.
Shuppet & Banette
The Puppet Pokémon, Shuppet is lured by vengeful emotions such as feelings of vindictiveness and jealousy and grows in power by feeding on them. In homes where such strong feelings are in wicked abundance, whole swarms of these Pokémon will line up beneath the eaves of that person’s home.
The Marionette Pokémon, Banette is said to be born from a Shuppet that houses itself in an abandoned doll, thus evolving into this Pokémon. It generates vile energies to lay strong curses upon its foes and victims alike by sticking pins into its own body. Contrary to its pre-evolution which are said to dwell in the eaves of people’s homes or in nearby forests, Banette originate from garbage dumps and are active wanderers seeking out the child that had thrown them away. It is said that this cursed energy would escape from its body should it ever open its zipped up mouth though whether this would weaken or destroy this Pokémon is mere conjecture at this point. Given the appearance of its Mega Form, it is likely the former rather than the latter.
Admittedly, there is probably more than a few urban legends piled up on Banette, especially considering that it differentiates so much from its pre-evolved form. Still, I’d put this Pokémon at a solid two, perhaps even a three, as the main concern is as much for the individual as it is for the Pokémon itself. Shuppets and Banettes both are attracted by vengeful emotions and, in the case of Shuppets, feed on those emotions to grow stronger. Either one of these Pokémon are likely to abandon their trainer to find individuals who radiate these emotions and if its trainer happens to have such feelings already… Well, I worry for any trainer that finds themselves facing such a person.
Duskull, Dusclops, & Dusknoir
No matter how thick the walls may be, Duskull the Requiem Pokémon can pass through it in search of its chosen prey with only the break of dawn being any source of reprieve from its pursuit. In the deep darkness of the midnight hour, this Pokémon is said to make off with misbehaving children who have earned more than their fair share of scorn from their mothers. However, this has account is likely of a similar style to that of the Bogeyman or Krampus insomuch that while such tales are oft told to such children, Duskull only startles and frightens such children in order to make them cry, a sound which is like music to their nonexistent ears.
Dusclops the Beckon Pokémon is said to be a living black hole as its body is actually completely hollow with absolutely nothing inside and people are warned not to try and look within lest their spirit is absorbed into the abyss within Dusclop’s wrappings. It can absorb anything no matter how large the object may be and seems to particularly enjoy finding and devouring will-o’-the-wisps. By waving its hands in a decidedly macabre manner and bringing its gleaming red eye to the fore, it can hypnotize its foe to do its bidding.
The rather oddly categorized Gripper Pokémon, Dusknoir is theorized to receive transmissions from the afterlife that bid it to seek out and find any lost or wandering souls and take those souls into itself and guide them home. In order for a Dusclops to evolve into this Pokémon, it must be traded whilst carrying a Reaper Cloth.
Though a Duskull may sound as mischievous as a Misdreavus, much like that Pokémon I’d call it and all of its evolutions a truly benign, if not outright helpful, Ghost-type Pokémon. True, a Duskull may pursue its foes endlessly in the dark but that’s actually rather appropriate for any trainer attempting to chase a Pokémon, like the Legendary Beasts of Johto, down and it only ever terrorizes children who deserve such punishments in the first place. As for Dusclops it eats spirits that are, contrary to popular Disney belief, notorious for leading people astray and, oftentimes, to their doom whereas Dusknoir finds lost souls and returns them to their proper place in the afterlife. A truly helpful ghost if ever there was one.
Yamask & Cofagrigus
The Spirit Pokémon Yamask is one of the few Ghost-type Pokémon to be confirmed as having been previously human due, in thanks, to the mask it carries which bears the semblance of its former face, which it sometimes gazes upon and breaks down crying as a result as it remembers the life it once had with perfect clarity. What makes this Pokémon even more saddening to behold is the fact that there are arisen from those interred in the grave from past ages upwards of hundreds, if not several thousand, years ago.
The aptly categorized Coffin Pokémon, Cofagrigus has the richest diet of any Pokémon as it literally dines on gold nuggets, which in turn makes up most of its coffin-like form. It is a particularly touchy Pokémon who do not care for any close contact with people and will swallow them up and spit them out as mummies, particularly grave robbers who mistake them for real coffins.
As it has been proven that some species of Pokémon are as intelligent, or even more intelligent, than most humans the matter of sentiency can’t be argued but the fact that both of these Pokémon were once human… There are so many ethical questions that arise from capturing either of these Pokémon never mind using them for battle. It’s that very disturbing thought that puts Yamask in the mid-tier because of the many numerous ethical questions that arise from such a Pokémon whilst its evolved form Cofagrgius is bumped to a four since its mummifications can be avoided by staying well out of touching range. Funding its diet is another matter entirely though.
Gastly, Haunter, & Gengar
The Gas Pokémon Gastly is almost invisible under even the best of lightning but considering that 95% of its body is made up of a thin, gas-like substance it’s not that surprising. Gastly attack their foes by enshrouding them with their bodies and puts them to sleep without ever noticing the presence of this gaseous Pokémon. A Gastly’s gases are powerful enough to topple an Indian elephant in two seconds. Thankfully, Gastly are inherently weak to strong gusts of wind, which causes its body to dwindle away. Much like Shuppet, Gastly will seek refuge under the eaves of houses to seek refuge from winds but does not discriminate as to which homes it’ll use though they are noted to nest in decrepit, deserted buildings.
Haunter, another Gas Pokémon, is notorious as one of the most dangerous of Ghost-type Pokémon and with good reason too. Its tongue, made up entirely of gas, can cause anyone that is licked by it to start shaking uncontrollably before eventually succumbing to death, thus feeding a Haunter with the fading energies of life. Even a Haunter’s touch is dangerous as it also induces endless shuddering but does not result in the victim’s death. Strangely, a Haunter’s favorite form of hunting prey is to actually beckon them towards it a method heavily warned in most regions that are haunted by Haunter.
The Shadow Pokémon Gengar are the result of trading a Haunter with another trainer and are quite contrary to their pre-evolved forms in that whereas Gastly and Haunter are made up most of gas, Gengar are said to be living shadows. Its preferred form of hunting is hiding in people’s shadows and absorbing their heat. They are especially active under the light of a full moon, moving shadows and laughing at people’s fright. Strangely, the only known people that are threatened by a Gengar are those lost in the mountains, and are “attacked” by a Gengar who delightfully casts curses whilst leering in the shadows.
No doubt both Gastly and Haunter are exceedingly dangerous Pokémon, ranking a solid four entirely to their poisonous and deadly nature. Behaviorally speaking, neither Gastly nor Haunter are outright malicious, seemingly delighting more in the scare than the actual death of their victims but that does not lessen the threat either of these Pokémon possess to the inexperienced or unprepared. Contrarily, Gengar appear to have little to no poisonous attributes and the only danger they bring to others, particularly their trainers, is the sudden chill that results in a Gengar dining on heat.
Drifloon & Drifblim
Drifloon the Balloon Pokémon is said to result in the culmination of human and Pokémon spirits and is thought to be a “Signpost for Wandering Spirits” because of the way it drifts about aimlessly though they seem to favor regions that are abundant in damp, humid seasons. A popular old wives tale about this Pokémon is that if a child who mistakes Drifloon for an ordinary balloon will be stolen away and indeed children who catch ahold of a Drifloon do end up missing. For a time anyway because try as it might to escape their clutches, a Drifloon is always the one being pulled about by the child rather than the other way around.
The Blimp Pokémon Drifblim is a nocturnally active Ghost-type Pokémon that are quite drowsy in the daylight but will fly off in massive groups once the sun has set though they’ll turn invisible should they be spotted by anyone on the ground. It is strong enough to carry people and Pokémon when it flies but since it is carried aloft on the winds, Drifblim, and its passengers, can end up anywhere.
A solid one, pushing close to zero, both of these balloon-like Pokémon are so benign it’s almost a shame to consider them spectral entities at all. Drifloon may receive something of a bad reputation via that old wives tale but really the only danger this Pokémon possesses towards children is distracting them with all the fun and antics that can be had with a balloon.
The aptly categorized Renegade Pokémon, Giratina is said to live a world on the reverse side of reality, a realm that has since been named the Distortion World. It was banished there by Arceus the Alpha Pokémon for its violent behavior and has remained there for countless millennia, silently watching… Silently waiting…
Contrary to its Creation siblings Palkia and Dialga, Giratina possesses two distinctive formes. Its “Origin Forme,” which is likely its original body and appears to be quite agile whence compared to its “Altered Forme,” which appears to be quite cumbersome but far more powerful physically. As this Pokémon represents the concept of “the Void” or anti-matter, Giratina technically breaks the ranking as far as how dangerous it is to people and the world. Its behavior, which was violent enough to incur divine retribution, is only icing on the cake with this dead god.
Litwick, Lampent, & Chandelure
Litwick the Candle Pokémon uses the life energy of people and Pokémon for fuel to burn for the ethereal flame atop its head. A Litwick is a true Pokémon equivalent to the will-o’-the-wisp in that it pretends to guide people to where they want to go while all the while leeching the life force of any who dare to follow its path.
Whereas Haunter is feared in the eastern regions, in the far west of Unova, it is the Lamp Pokémon Lampent that holds such esteem and rightfully so. It wanders through the streets of cities, searching for the freshly deceased in order to steal the spirit from the body to use as fuel for its baleful fire. They are especially known to frequent hospitals, patiently waiting for that moment of death…
Via a Dusk Stone, a Lampent will evolve into a Chandelure the Luring Pokémon, which is several times more dangerous than any Lampent. A Chandelure utilizes the flames on its arms to put its prey into a hypnotic trance, thus allowing it to feed on the spirits of the living for fuel until only a soulless body is left behind. Such a soul, when fully burned up, is forever lost and doomed to wander the world forever unless such Pokémon like Dusknoir happen to find it and guide it home.
Without a doubt, these candlelit Pokémon are a solid five even at their most “benign.” Whereas a Litwick can only feed on those that follow it, and Lampent on the freshly departed, a Chandelure can and will actively feed on any living soul within range and save for the inherent weaknesses of their typing, there is no means of protecting one’s soul from these ghastly Pokémon.
Phantump & Trevenant
Phantump the Stump Pokémon are created when spirits happen upon and possess rotten tree stumps and as such prefer to live in abandoned forests far from people. According to legend the spirits that make up these Pokémon are… children who died while lost in the woods?!
Ah… Okay… then uh… Trevenant the Elder Tree Pokémon evolve from a traded Phantump and uses its roots like a human nervous system to control trees at will. While it is quite kind to those Pokémon that reside within its branches, it will trap anyone, human or Pokémon, who dare to harm its forest.
I… did not think that there would be a Ghost-type with an origin worse than Yamask but Phantump proves me wrong… While it is speculated as mere legend and Trevenant’s behavior doesn’t quite point to any human origination, the very idea that Phantump are born from the souls of dead children… Hopefully that is merely legend and not actual fact since both of these possessed trees are a solid one on the good side of the spectral scale provided one is good to the trees.
Pumpkaboo & Gourgeist
The Pumpkin Pokémon, Pumpkaboo is, quite literally, a pumpkin inhabited by a spirit trapped in the living world and are said that they are to find and carry wandering spirits to the place where they belong. While they appear as an ordinary pumpkin at first glance, their true nature comes to fruition when the sun starts to set and they grow increasingly restless and active.
Gourgeist, another Pumpkin Pokémon, is the result of trading a Pumpkaboo. They ensnare their prey in long, hairlike arms and have been observed as singing quite joyfully while it watches its prey suffer. They are known for wandering town streets on the night of a new moon, singing in an eerie chorus. Anyone who hears the song of a Gourgeist is cursed.
While Pumkaboo is quite benign, a solid one, Gourgeist is arguably a three if only because the type of curse is never fully explored. As seen in most fictions, and facts, curses very from the annoying to the outright murderous. Heck, one of the most deadly of curses sounds very much like a blessing.
The Disguise(d) Pokémon, Mimikyu is a Pokémon whose true form is, as of yet, to be fully seen as it forever hides itself beneath its cloth. It is a popular old wives tale in the Alola region that looking underneath Mimikyu’s disguise will plague one with a mysterious illness. Whether this is true fact or popular myth, it does not matter as the true reason that Mimikyu covers itself is twofold. First and foremost, its health falls under the rays of the sun. The second, and more obvious, reasoning is that Mimikyu had taken notice of the rising popular of Pikachu-themed merchandise and so styled their disguise to appear like this Electric-type Pokémon to appeal to people. Mimikyu are dreadfully lonely Pokémon and so seek the love and affections of others by hiding itself beneath a cute disguise.
… Welp, never thought I’d hear tale of a ghost that would tug at my heartstrings but there you have it. The one and only truly negative number on the spectral scale of threatening, at least at the time of this post. After all, we have not seen for certain that there is more to Mimikyu and for all that we know, it may in fact evolve into something well and truly terrifying…
Sandygast & Palossand
The Sand Mound Pokémon, Sandygast emerge when the grudges of living creatures, particularly Pokémon, soak into the sand after they fall in battle. While it is a living pile of sand, it cannot increase its own size without aid and so uses its power to manipulate children into gathering sand by way of its shovel, which puts people under Sandygast’s control. The tunnel-like mouth of a Sandygast suck the vitality out of living creatures and it’s a popular, if not slightly stupid, test of courage in the Alola region to put one’s hand in a Sandygast’s gaping maw.
Contrary to a Sandygast, the Sand Castle Pokémon Palossand can control adults and bid them to form its massive, castle shaped body, which it can restore on its own even without other sand present. The shovel atop Palossand’s head revolves and acts as some form of radar for hunting prey. It particularly enjoys the vitality of small Pokémon and will drag them down into a sandy vortex to their doom.
It is a popular belief that when you enter the ocean, you enter the food chain. The same can now be said of any beach anywhere in the world apparently. While a Sandygast is relatively easy to deal with and vanquish, a Palossand is far more difficult and seeing as it is rumored the Sandygast arise from cast off pieces of a Palossand… It should also be known that these category four Ghost-type Pokémon are the likely cause of the Raichu variation of becoming a Psychic subtype.
Primary Type: Bug
The Shed(ed) Pokémon, Shedinja is a Pokémon that mysteriously appears in an extra Poké Ball when a Nincada evolves into a Ninjask. By all accounts, Shedinja is a hollowed bug shell that has mysteriously come to life as its hard body doesn’t move nor give any indication of life such as breathing or a heartbeat. It is believed that looking into the hollow hole at this Pokémon’s back will allow this Pokémon to steal one’s spirit.
However, given that most trainers tend to stand behind this Pokémon during battle, this is more than likely another tall tale, putting this Pokémon as another benign spectral example. Honestly, save for the sheer creepiness of this Pokémon being a floating yet completely immobile bug shell and its sudden, and admittedly rather bizarre, appearance in an empty Poké Ball… Okay, it’s a whole new level of creepy but still, aside from that it’s a bug, and a rather harmless one at that as far as Ghost-types are concerned.
Primary Type: Dark
The Darkness Pokémon, Sableye live quiet lives deep inside caverns but are unjustly feared by people due to the belief that they steal human souls when their jewel-like eyes glow in the darkness. Its diet however consists entirely of raw gems, which it digs up in the ground and devours with relish. These gems eventually crystalize and rise up along the surface of this Pokémon’s body, particularly the back.
Aside from a rather expensive diet of gemstones, Sableye are quiet nice as far as ghostly Pokémon go and are pretty versatile Pokémon due to their, somewhat, unique mixed typing. Really, of the secondary Ghost-types, Sableye is more akin to an actual living creature than any manner of spectral entity. One that I can’t imagine would be easy to look after in concerns to one’s wallet but still…
Primary Type: Ice
The Snow Land Pokémon that bears a striking resemblance to the yuki-onna of Japanese lore, Froslass are a female-only species of Ghost-type Pokémon and as such are commonly believed to be the spirit of a woman lost on an icy mountain reborn. Its icy breath reaches nearly -60 degrees Fahrenheit and its body is actually hollow.
Aside from an otherwise possibly eerie origin, Froslass is another example of an otherwise harmless ghost. Admittedly, it is not a Pokémon I’d recommend for one that prefers warmer climates but for those that wouldn’t mind a cool gust of air every now and again? Froslass is your girl.
Primary Type: Electric
Secondary Sub-Type: Variable
Aptly categorized as the Plasma Pokémon, a Rotom’s body is composed entirely of plasma and as such allows it to infiltrate electronic devices and unleash some major havoc. Research is continuing on this particular Pokémon as being a possible power source to a unique motor system, most notably the latest version of Professor Oak’s PokéDex.
On its own, a Rotom is a solid one, despite its electric-like body. In the presence of certain machinery however, and in the “wild” as it were, this Pokémon can cause all kinds of chaos with the slightest of ease thanks in part to its ability to change its sub-type based on whatever machinery it bases its form on and even gains a corresponding attack of that type as a result. Still, at best, this Pokémon ranks at a two, maybe a low three, as its actions are the result of playing mischief and are otherwise not intended to be malicious.
Frillish & Jellicent
Primary Type: Water
The Floating Pokémon Frillish paralyze their prey with poison before they drag them down to their lairs, which are located at a minimum depth of five miles below the ocean surface.
Jellicent, another Floating Pokémon, propel themselves by expelling seawater that it absorbs into its body and feed off life energy of others. Any ship that wanders into its territory are said to be sunken and the crew lost to the waves.
Frillish is… quite frankly a overpower jellyfish if nothing else whereas its evolved form of Jellicent possesses a true spectral quality in its preferred diet but is, otherwise, no different than any other “here be dragons” type of sea creature. Aside from their apparent ability to float above the water and their preference for several miles
Golett & Golurk
Primary Type: Ground
The Automaton Pokémon, Golett are presumed to have been created by the science of an ancient and mysterious civilization as the energy it burns for locomotion has yet to be identified. Though the composition of its body resembles clay, this Pokémon can remain active for thousands of years.
Though not much has been discovered about Golurk, it is a strong speculation that this Pokémon was ordered to protect the lives of people and Pokémon alike by the same ancients who made their pre-evolved form. Though primarily a Ground-type, Golurk are capable of flying across the sky at Mach speeds. The only way to truly destroy a Golurk, or at least render it inactive, is to destroy the seal on its chest, which causes its internal energy to go haywire.
Another negative numbered Ghost-type Pokémon, both of these Automaton Pokémon are not only beneficial towards humans and fellow Pokémon but actively go out of their way to protect them whenever and however they can, even from threats far beyond their capability of matching or defeating.
Honedge, Doublade, & Aegislash
Primary Type: Steel
Honedge the Sword Pokémon, and never before has there been a more aptly categorized Pokémon, is said to be born from a departed soul inhabits a sword. If someone were to try and grab its hilt, it will wrap its blue cloth around that person’s arm and drain them of their life energy.
Upon evolution, a Honedge separates into the paired Doublade who communicate with each other via telepathy and coordinate their attacks to turn their enemies to ribbons. A Doublade’s coordination and attack patterns are so complex that even swords masters, both human and Pokémon, find defeating one all impossible.
Through use of a Dusk Stone, a Doublade will evolve into the Royal Sword Pokémon, Aegislash. An Aegislash can detect the innate qualities of leadership in an individual and, according to legend, those whom it recognizes are destined to become king. Generations of royalty were attended by Aegislash, which used their powers to manipulate and control people and Pokémon alike.
While a Honedge’s spectral origins are mere conjecture at this point, their lethality is without doubt and yet not fully defined either. The specific wording goes if one were to grab a Honedge’s hilt that it would drain them of their life. However, it says nothing if one were to be granted said hilt by the Pokémon itself. As for Doublade, it can serve as a great teacher in the art of sword combats and fighting on two fronts as well. Aegislash however… While it is humbling to know that they recognize the qualities of good royalty in people it is a bit disconcerting that they can, and will gladly, utilize mental control to manipulate sentient beings to the whim of their anointed royal.
Primary Type: Psychic
Secondaru Sub-Type: Dark
Known as both the Mischief and Djinn Pokémon depending on whether it is in its Confined or Unbound forms, this rapscallion is infamous for sending anything and everything in its sights to faraway places via its rings which can warp the very fabrics of space and time to its bidding. It especially likes to do this for things that it likes and will store them away to a secret place that only Hoopa knows. In its true form, Hoopa loses its spectral energies and becomes a Dark sub-Type, possessing enough power and avarice that it once carried off an entire castle to gain the treasures hidden within, or so it is said.
Hoopa is… unique even amongst most Legendary Pokémon, never mind those now sub-categorized as being Mythical. It is one of the few Pokémon to change its Type upon altering its form and, supposedly mind you, drastically alters its mannerisms. A Confined Hoopa, while still quite mischievous, is little more than an exceedingly crafty thief on par with the likes of Carmen Sandiego. Unbound… it is this in order of several magnitudes and without any sense of humor.
Primary Type: Grass
Newly revealed for the upcoming Pokémon Sun & Moon, Decidueye is the evolved form of Rowlet and is incredibly adept at the art of archery. In a tenth of a second it can pluck an arrow quill from its wing and send it hurtling towards its target from over half a mile away. A skilled Decidueye can even boast acrobatic curved shots that should be outright impossible to achieve such as loosing a veritable storm of arrows that come crashing down from the sky like heavenly wrath.
Even less of a Ghost in appearance than Frillish & Jellicent, Decidueye is similar to them in that it is very much a living, breathing Pokémon and not one that is in any manner a spectral entity. However, it boasts abilities that are otherwise spiritual in nature, specifically in its signature move: Spirit Shackle. This move utilizes one of Decidueye’s quill arrows which does not pierce the opponent but the opponent’s shadow, making them unable to flee or be returned to their Poké Ball.
Frankly, that attack alone makes Decidueye worth several hundred times its weight in gold nuggets.