A tribute to Ghost-type Pokemon

The Pokemon series is surprisingly full of creepy stuff, from itsmorbid Pokemon designsto its eerily discordantLavender Town theme. Pokemon’s disturbing side is well-represented by its Ghost-types, with dolls possessed by pure hatred, ghosts posing as balloons to drag children to the underworld, and plenty of Pokemon that will steal your soul if you look at them the wrong way.

With two immunities built in (Fighting and Normal) and a vast array of status-inflicting moves, Ghost-types are pretty badass too. Including Pokemon Black and White, there are only four evolutionary families of pure Ghost-types and only 11 families with dual-type Ghost Pokemon, making Ghost the rarest type in the series. Because of this, we can pay our respects to each and every one of them in a single tribute.

Gastly / Haunter /

Despite being dual Ghost/Poison types, Gastly, Haunter and Gengar are unquestionably the quintessential Ghost-type Pokemon. It’s amazing that Gengar and family became so popular in the first generation given that the original Red/Blue/Yellow had a mistake in it that made Psychic types immune to Ghost-type moves, when they were supposed to be super effective (this was corrected in subsequent generations).

Haunter only evolves into Gengar via trade, but did you know that it’s possible to catch wild Gengar in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum? They appear in the Old Chateau if you have any third generation game (Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald) in the GBA slot. So maybe that’s where all the Gengars that have been released from trainers’ PCs go?

Training tip: Although they’re all part Poison-type, none of these Pokemon learn any Poison moves through level up. Use TM36 – Sludge Bomb to take advantage of Gengar’s high special attack stat (base 130) and get a much needed STAB.

Misdreavus /

Pure Ghost types weren’t introduced until Gold and Silver, and Misdreavus has the honor of being the first pure Ghost-type ever, and is also one of the cutest Ghost-types in general. We had to wait two generations for her evolution, Mismagius, which is a pretty straightforward upgrade, and evolves via Dusk Stone.

Fun fact: Misdreavus feeds off of fear, which it absorbs through its red necklace. Kind of like the monsters in Monsters Inc., it wails to scare people (or sneaks up on people and pulls their hair) and then collects the terror to sustain itself.

Training tip: Mismagius’s Levitate ability means it’s immune to Ground-type attacks in addition to its Normal and Fighting immunities from its Ghost-type. Its HP and physical defense stats are quite low though, so it’s best to avoid going up against a physical attacker. TM30 – Shadow Ball is a great choice for Mismagius because it takes advantage of its higher special attack stat and also has a chance of lowering the opponent’s special defense, setting it up to take even more damage.


Pokemon with unique typing are always interesting to work with, and Shedinja is the only Bug/Ghost Pokemon in the series. Not only does Shedinja have unique typing, but its method of evolution is also unique. When Nincada evolves into Ninjask, if you have an extra space in your party and an extra Poke Ball in your bag, a Shedinja will appear in your party, created from the Nincada’s shedded exoskeleton.

Many of Shedinja’s Pokedex entries state that it will steal your spirit if you catch a glimpse of its hollow insides through the crack in its back. But don’t you have to look at its back if you use it in battle? Creepy…

Training tip: Shedinja’s rock-bottom HP (seriously, it can only have 1 HP) might make it seem like a useless Pokemon, but it’s also the only Pokemon ever to have the Wonder Guard ability – it can only be hit by super effective moves, and all other moves will have no effect. This means that out of the 17 types, Shedinja is completely immune to 12. The only five types of moves that will damage it are Fire, Flying, Dark, Ghost and Rock. Oddly, Shedinja’s best stat is physical attack, so it can make good use of X-Scissor (TM81) and even Swords Dance if you’re bold.

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