Nearly 18 years ago today, my brother and I set out to be the very best, like no one ever was. Catching Pocket Monsters was our first real test, but to train them, aye, that was our cause. Pokémon had hit the shelves not a week prior, and our parents graciously gifted both versions of the Game Boy classic to us. My brother received Pokémon Blue, and became a great trainer of water-types, with a stately Blastoise at the helm of his troop. I was given Pokémon Red, but I did not find my true calling in this game until I ventured into the tower at Lavender Town. It was at this resting place for fallen Pokémon that I would catch my first Gastly, which cemented my destiny as a ghost-type trainer.
With each new journey into the world of Pokémon, Nintendo would increase the number of ghost-types to catch and raise. As a young trainer, I delighted with each new phantom that became available; marveling over the new designs and attacks. But once I grew older, I started to notice that my beloved ghost-types harbored a much darker nature. With just a quick glance through my trusty Pokédex, I found stories of hauntings and torment; tales of restless spirits that prey on the souls of the living. Just take a look at some of these examples below!
Haunter: Its tongue is made of gas. If licked, its victim starts shaking constantly until death eventually comes. In total darkness, where nothing is visible, Haunter lurks, silently stalking its next victim.
Gengar: To steal the life of its target, it slips into the prey’s shadow and silently waits for an opportunity. The leer that floats in darkness belongs to a Gengar delighting in casting curses on people.
Misdreavus: A Misdreavus frightens people with a creepy, sobbing cry. It apparently uses its red spheres to absorb the fear of foes as its nutrition. It likes playing mischievous tricks such as screaming and wailing to startle people at night.
Litwick: Litwick shines a light that absorbs the life energy of people and Pokémon, which becomes the fuel that it burns. While shining a light and pretending to be a guide, it leeches off the life force of any who follow it.
Banette: A doll that became a Pokémon over its grudge from being junked. It seeks the child that disowned it. Banette generates energy for laying strong curses by sticking pins into its own body. This Pokémon was originally a pitiful plush doll that was thrown away.
Duskull: Duskull wanders lost among the deep darkness of midnight. There is an oft-told admonishment given to misbehaving children that this Pokémon will spirit away bad children who earn scoldings from their mothers. It loves the crying of children. It startles bad kids by passing through walls and making them cry. Once this Pokémon chooses a target, it will pursue the intended victim until the break of dawn.
Mimikyu: This Pokémon lives its life completely covered by its cloth and is always hidden. People believe that anybody who sees its true form beneath the cloth will be stricken with a mysterious illness. This Pokémon is dreadfully lonely, and it thought it would be able to make friends with humans, if only it looked like Pikachu.
*Brrrr* That is some creepy stuff! Little did I know that the most tragic and gruesome tale of all would lie with a normal-type Pokémon. I am speaking of none other than Cubone, the sad little creature who wears the skull of its dead mother. When it thinks of its mother, it cries, making the skull it wears rattle with a hollow sound. Now, when you first look at this little monster, you may feel sorry for it and want to take it home to be your friend. But put that situation in human terms, and the mood completely changes. After all, would you be friends with someone who wears their mom’s skull as a hat? I didn’t think so.