The 10 most disturbing Pokémon of all time
These are the creepy Pokédex entries that prove this game is definitely not just for kids.
Despite what the Pokémon Company and Nintendo might have you believe, not all of those pesky pocket monsters are cute and cuddly critters you want perched on your shoulder. In fact, many of them are downright murderous and in no scenario ever should a 10-year-old child (as Ash is in the cartoon) be left in charge of them.
From a Pokémon that snatches up children to some that used to be actual humans, we've done the hard work and scanned the Pokédex through the generations to find out which ones have a creepy factor that's off the scale, and which disturbing 'mon you might want to leave out of your squad for moral reasons.
Watch out for these critters, and think twice next time you release one from your Pokéballs into the wild – these are the Pokémon that will no doubt terrify trainers across the world.
Gengar – Generation I
Gengar's no doubt a familiar face to long-time Pokéfans, with the ghost-type 'mon's huge, monstrous visage being one of the first you see in the title screen in Red and Blue, but what you might not realise is that Gengar actually used to be a human being.
In the Pokédex entry for Pokémon Moon it says, "It apparently wishes for a traveling companion. Since it was once human itself, it tries to create one by taking the lives of other humans."
While at first glance that might seem sweet, as all Gengar wants is a bit of company, break it down and it's ethically horrifying. It used to be a human. It tries to take the lives of other humans. Now you keep it in bondage inside a tiny plastic ball for most of the day, and force it to compete in animal baiting. So much for manumission; in Kanto, human chattel are still very much a thing, it seems.
Kadabra – Generation I
Much like Gengar, Kadabra has been around since the very first Pokémon games, and the psychic Pokémon is easily recognisable thanks to its fondness for spoons. But where did it get its attachment to cutlery?
The Pokédex entry for Pokémon Sun might clue us into that, as it presents a dark theory that there's more to Kadabra than meets the eye: "A theory exists that this Pokémon was a young boy who couldn't control his psychic powers and ended up transformed into this Pokémon."
That's quite terrifying if so. That means every single Kadabra you come across used to be a human being. Both Emerald and Fire Red have similar entries in their respective Pokédexes, which read, "It is rumored that a boy with psychic abilities suddenly transformed into Kadabra while he was assisting research into extrasensory powers."
Along with Gengar and some other Pokémon, a whole bunch of 'mon could have been humans before settling into their current forms, making us reevaluate the franchise as a whole. Where are social services in all of this?
Houndoom – Generation II
Pokémon Gold and Silver ushered in a second generation of Pokémon, with 100 new critters and a new region to explore – and a few of these new 'mon will keep you up at night.
Houndoom, the evolved form of the dark-fire-type pup Houndour, sounds like it'd be a terrifying Pokémon to keep around, as its elemental power is going to hurt. For eternity. Gold gives us this frightening entry, "If you are burned by the flames it shoots from its mouth, the pain will never go away."
We're not sure about how you feel, but we'd rather not have a burn that hurts for the rest of our lives. Next!
Spoink – Generation III
If you thought 251 Pokémon was enough, Generation III's Ruby and Sapphire spoiled you with even more critters to stuff into balls. Some of them suffer a truly tragic plight.
Spoink, a grey, pig-like Pokémon with a pink jewel in its head, looks like quite an ordinary Pokémon, one you'd happily have for company on your adventure, but its ‘dex entry from Ruby tells a different story. “Spoink bounces around on its tail. The shock of its bouncing makes its heart pump. As a result, this Pokémon cannot afford to stop bouncing – if it stops, its heart will stop."
Extend the logic of that and it stands to reason that making a Spoink faint in battle is effectively murdering it – we hope Nurse Joy has a cure for death.
Drifloon – Generation IV
Let's not sugarcoat this one: Drifloon, the innocent-looking balloon-shaped Pokémon with what looks like ice cream on its head, steals children. But it's okay, it doesn't abduct every child it comes across – this Pokémon has standards. Sun tells us, "Stories go that it grabs the hands of small children and drags them away to the afterlife. It dislikes heavy children."
Death awaits you if you're a child of average weight, in other words, which judging by practically all of the characters in the Pokémon TV show, suggests that every trainer you've ever played as has eventually been ferried across the Styx by an inflatable.
Stories go that Drifloon grabs the hands of small children and drags them away to the afterlife. It dislikes heavy children
Yamask – Generation V
What is it with ghost types? And more importantly, why do Professor Oak and his community of academics continue to classify these human spirits as Pokémon?
Yamask, introduced in Pokémon Black and White, is a shadowy 'mon that carries a mask around with it, which seems as reasonable as being able to breath fire or shoot lightning from your cheeks. It's when you read its Pokédex entry from Black that things take a turn, however. “Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry."
What has happened to these dead humans to cause them to become Yamasks instead of Gengars? Were they all flayed? Just how many human beings died this way for Yamask to become a recognised species of Pokémon? Scratch that – we don't want to know.
Phantump – Generation VI
Phantump looks like a pretty whimsical Pokémon, a cute-looking ghostly tree stump that was introduced in X and Y, but after you've read its Pokédex entry, you might look at it in a different light. Sun's Pokédex tells us, "These Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died in the forest. Their cries sound like eerie screams."
That's our childhood destroyed then, as well as those of these poor Phantumps.
Mimikyu – Generation VII
The latest games in the series, Sun and Moon, gave us the Hawaiian-inspired world of Alola to explore, which packed in plenty of new 'mon and unique Alolan forms for older monsters, and of course, a few new creepy critters to gawp at.
One of the more infamous new pocket monsters is Mimikyu, a ghost-type that (badly) mimics the appearance of Pikachu in a bid to make friends – but it's the Pokédex entry that really breaks our hearts. "Its actual appearance is unknown. A scholar who saw what was under its rag was overwhelmed by terror and died from the shock."
We love Mimikyu – it even has its own song, as seen below – but we're honestly a little bit scared too.
Komala – Generation VII
For whatever reason, Pokémon Sun and Moon seem to have the most depressing Pokédex entries to date, and Komala is no exception: it's simply never awake, Sun tells us. "It is born asleep, and it dies asleep. All its movements are apparently no more than the results of it tossing and turning in its dreams."
How utterly heartbreaking. According to Pokémon lore, no one has ever seen a Komala awake, making it one of the saddest monsters we've heard about. It also makes you wonder whether you should really force a Pokémon that doesn't really know what’s going on in to battle. But hey, maybe Komala's neverending dream is a better place than the world of Pokémon and its many reanimated humans being enslaved and forced to fight for the entertainment of those lucky enough to still be alive.
Guzzlord – Generation VII
As one of the new mysterious Ultra Beasts introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon, there's not a lot known about Guzzlord and what makes it tick – all we know so far is that, like its name suggests, it likes to chow down. Moon tells us, "A dangerous Ultra Beast, it appears to be eating constantly, but for some reason its droppings have never been found."
Clearly, the writers were getting a bit bored of offing humans by this point and decided to mix things up with what is clearly the most improbable Pokémon of all time. The entry in Sun tells us that Guzzlord is capable of eating mountains and buildings whole, which we can just about grasp, but weirdly, Guzzlord never excretes.
You might think that something that can chomp through skyscrapers might run out of space in its stomach at some point, but apparently not. Can Guzzlord turn whatever it eats into energy? Shouldn't we be dissecting it in a bid to harness the power of unlimited clean energy if so? As brutal as that sounds, it would still be far less unpleasant than whatever is happening in Unova for all those Yamasks to be floating around.