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Around the world today, many people are focused on Halloween, and while we’re happy to join in on tricks and treats, there’s a different date that all of us are focusing on right now: November 18th, the day that
Pokémon Sun and Moon are finally released. With eighteen days left to go, the Gamnesia team got together and decided to celebrate the impending release with eighteen days of Pokémon—namely, a Top Ten list every day counting down our favorite Pokémon of each Type. And of course, since today is Halloween, we figured it would be all too fitting to start off with the mysterious and terrifying Ghost-Type.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at our choices for the best of the Ghost-Type Pokémon!
“In total darkness, where nothing is visible, Haunter lurks, silently stalking its next victim.”
— Pokémon Gold Version
One of the original trio of Ghost-Type Pokémon from way back in the days of
Red and Blue, the Gas Pokémon Haunter certainly lives up to its name. Its appearance is perhaps the definitive Ghost, with malicious eyes and crooked fangs complimented perfectly by its two disembodied claws, and it can easily pass through walls and hide itself in the darkness. As if that wasn’t spooky enough, its tongue saps a person’s life force and is said to cause “shaking that won’t stop until the victim’s demise.” Definitely not the kind of Pokémon you want to encounter, and yet it also filled a key role for many trainers in those first few games, being the best Ghost-Type you could get in Red and Blue if you lacked a trading buddy.
“A Pokémon that was formed by 108 spirits. It is bound to a fissure in an Odd Keystone.”
— Pokémon Diamond Version
Spiritomb exists as the conglomeration of 108 mischievous spirits that were punished for their misdeeds 500 years in the past by being bound within a mysterious rock known as an Odd Keystone. Its appearance alone is creepy, with that spectral haze portraying a jagged mouth and evil eyes, and the idea of over one hundred spirits (and all their resentments and rage) being trapped within a single stone would surely make this creature the center of many ghost stories in the Pokémon world.
“It has been said that they swallow those who get too close and turn them into mummies.”
— Pokémon Black Version
Coffins have long been tied to ghouls and mummies, and the ornately designed Cofagrigus lives up to all our expectations for such a box. With an eerie appearance obviously inspired by an Egyptian sarcophagus, the Coffin Pokémon is our list’s first pure Ghost-Type, and it certainly earns its typing—possessing a coffin and waiting around for grave robbers so it can “teach lessons” to them sure seems like something that only a specter would do.
“A cursed energy permeated the stuffing of a discarded and forgotten plush doll, giving it new life as Banette. The Pokémon’s energy would escape if it were to ever open its mouth.”
— Pokémon Sapphire Version
How many of you have ever thrown out a doll or stuffed animal, never to see it again? That’s the entire premise behind Banette—it was abandoned and left to rot, and the doll’s anger and resentment have brought it to life. Multiple Pokédex entries throughout the course of the games make note of how Banette’s hatred fuels its search for the child that discarded it, and we can only imagine what it would do if Banette ever found them. And if all that isn’t evil enough for you, there’s always the powered-up Mega Banette just waiting to be awoken (you poor, power-hungry fool you).
“Misdreavus frightens people with a creepy, sobbing cry. The Pokémon apparently uses its red spheres to absorb the fearful feelings of foes and turn them into nutrition.”
— Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire Versions
Times were tough for Ghost-loving gamers in the second generation; while many types got plenty of new creatures, Ghosts remained as neglected as in Gen I. For these players, Misdreavus was
Gold and Silver‘s salvation—even if it could only be found at night in Mt. Silver—serving as Gen II’s only new Ghost-Type. As the name implies, this Screech Pokémon is a mischievous creature that loves playing pranks, but it doesn’t do so just for fun. Goodness no; it yanks on people’s hair and shrieks at them to create its favorite meal: pure fear.
“The pumpkin body is inhabited by a spirit trapped in this world. As the sun sets, it becomes restless and active.”
— Pokémon X
Pumpkins have long been a staple of the holiday we’re celebrating today, and in Gen VI they finally inspired a creature of their own. Pumpkaboo, the Pumpkin Pokémon, is actually a rarity among Ghost-Types for not being obviously malicious or violent—in fact, the Pokédex in the
Pokémon anime states that they often light the way for travelers using the light from their glowing eyes, while their Y entry says that they help guide other spirits to the afterlife. Being a Ghost-Type doesn’t mean you have to be an evil, eldritch horror, and we thank adorable little Pumpkaboo for reminding us of that.
“It can control trees at will. It will trap people who harm the forest, so they can never leave.”
— Pokémon X
Right, enough adorableness—back to the horrific side of Ghost-Types. Trevenant obviously takes inspiration from tales of travelers who lose their way in a dark forest and become hopelessly lost, as it can manipulate the trees to cut off pathways and lead such wanderers into an endless maze. At least its wrath can be avoided if you leave the forest alone, but even with that caveat, Trevenant’s design is excellent for a Ghost- and Grass-Type, featuring a black figure covered in bark and leaves—exactly the kind of beast you’d be terrified to find when you’re alone and lost in the woods late at night.
“The spirits burned up in its ominous flame lose their way and wander this world forever.”
— Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Versions
Chandeliers are common fixtures in the kind of old, abandoned mansions that ghost stories love, so it’s no surprise to see one used as the inspiration for a Ghost-Type Pokémon. It’s got the look down perfectly, even having spectral fires burning on each of its arms. This blaze doesn’t burn its opponents physically, however; rather, the Luring Pokémon’s flames serve to hypnotize foes, after which they burn and consume its victim’s very soul.
Its excellent design, creepy lore, and powerful Ghost/Fire typing aren’t the only reasons we’ve come to love Chandelure, though; it’s also appeared in several games outside of the main
Pokémon series, serving as an enemy in Smash for 3DS‘s Smash Run mode and as a playable character in Pokkén Tournament. Chandelure’s inclusion in Pokkén caught plenty of people off guard, but for us, it just makes it that much more apparent that Chandelure is a standout Ghost-Type Pokémon.
“This Pokémon is said to live in a world on the reverse side of ours, where common knowledge is distorted and strange.”
— Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions
The fourth generation of games introduced us to the first Ghost-Type legendary Pokémon, the mighty Renegade Pokémon Giratina. Given control of antimatter by Arceus back when the universe was created, Giratina’s violent misdeeds eventually led its creator to banish it to another dimension, the Distortion World, where it watched the Pokémon world through reflections as it sought a way to return.
It’s certainly creepy to think about such a beast watching us every second of the day, but as a Ghost/Dragon-type, it’s also a fierce opponent with a number of resistances and immunities. Plus, again, it’s a legendary, which already denotes that it would be a powerhouse even without such an advantageous and awesome typing—and that’s all without going into its Origin Forme, which grants it an extra immunity to Ground attacks via the Levitate ability.
Giratina is pretty awesome, is what we’re trying to say, both in lore and in combat. What Pokémon could possibly top it? Well, there’s only one Ghost-Type we could give that honor to…
“The leer that floats in darkness belongs to a Gengar delighting in casting curses on people.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version
And thus we’ve come full circle; while Haunter may have started out this list, its final evolution takes the top. Gengar, the Shadow Pokémon, may not be a legendary creature, but it is still probably the most iconic of all Ghost-Types—not merely due to its excellent design or innate power as a final evolution, but also because it is one of the first Pokémon many older fans ever laid eyes on. Both in the anime and the original
Red and Blue games, the opening moments of the experience show a battle between Gengar and Nidorino, forever cementing these two in the minds and memories of countless wannabe Pokémon masters.
Of course, its appearance and power are nothing to sneeze at either. Gengar’s devilish grin and blood-red eyes would surely serve as the stuff of nightmares if you happened to spy one in a dark corner, and its already strong battle stats are further complimented by the Mega Evolution it gained in Gen VI. No doubt this Pokémon has been a staple on many trainers’ teams over the years, and who could blame them? Gengar definitely deserves its place as our #1 favorite Ghost-Type.
So there you have it: our top ten Ghost-Type Pokémon! Is it the same as your own list, or would you have switched out some along the way? Make sure to share your own lists with us in the comments below, and stay tuned to Gamnesia for the rest of the days leading up to
Sun and Moon‘s launch—we’ll be bringing you another Top Ten list for a different Pokémon Type every day, so please do check back tomorrow!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Top Ten Type Pokémon lists: