A tribute to Ghost-type Pokemon

The Pokemon series is surprisingly full of creepy stuff, from its morbid Pokemon designs to its eerily discordant Lavender 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 / Gengar

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 / Mismagius

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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  • psycho ninja 4 - November 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.

    Great article. But I swear I read this (or something like this) in another halloweek article way back.
  • jenovalife1 - October 27, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    awesome article carolyn! i can't wait for the next pokemon monday. and thanks for teaching us that several b/w mon's were made by westerners. the vanillite line is my favorite unova evolution chain!!
  • Overlord153 - October 25, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    Great article but i'm getting a weird glitch that says some of the comments were posted 12 months ago.
  • 510BrotherPanda - October 25, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    HEY! CAROLYN! Just so you know, the TM "Boiling Water" is called "Scald" in the US B/W versions... Also, wasn't there a Ghost Pokemon article like this last year during Halloweek?
  • SunniDee - October 25, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    Great article! Nice that gr had a little Pokemon coverage which is always a good thing. Btw tm 55 is scald not boiling water which is the Japanese translation of it before they gave its official name.
  • GamesRadarCarolynGudmundson - October 25, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    Haha, I must have played too much of my import version.
  • emeraldphoenix7 - October 25, 2011 5:12 p.m.

    I love ghost types. They're easy pickings for my prized Scrafty.
  • WTeen8 - October 25, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    nice article, and I also learned that a Western developer made the ice cream it makes sense.... Despite that I use Vanilluxe on my team.... And Sableye is beast looking.
  • P0LARCLAW - October 25, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    Haunter's been my favorite pokemon since forever. <3 ghost pokemon
  • efreed52 - October 25, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    Great article. just one thing Carolyn, Eelektross, in addition to Spiritomb and Sabeleye, has no weaknesses.
  • GamesRadarCarolynGudmundson - October 25, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    Ah, thanks. I wrote that part before B/W came out =D. Updated!
  • Personamanxx - October 25, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Argh! I hate Ghost Pokemon. They're such a Pain in the Ass. I'll admit that using a Gastly with Curse was the only reason I did not rage quit Platinum though. Curse is one of my favourite moves.
  • iluvpkmnmonday - October 25, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    I have such a love/hate relationship with Shedinja. He's super cool but I hate facing them in the Battle Tower. Particularly if I'm on my last pokemon and don't have anything that can hit him. Another great Pokemon article on GR.
  • codystovall - October 25, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    The next game better have either a grass or ghost champion and there better be a ghost eevee. (thats white with red eyes) Haunter still coolest looking though.
  • codystovall - October 25, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    Forgot, the scariest ghost of all is cubones mom.
  • TheKey - October 25, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    The only way this could have been better is if you somehow got the Lavender Town music to play, and there was no way to stop it. You know, to freak everyone out.
  • GR HollanderCooper - October 25, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    GENGAR YOU GUYS! ITS GENGAR! #teamgengar #occupygengar #gengarleiber
  • gopikmin - October 31, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    I thought togekiss was evolved from togetic with dawn stone. Other than that this article is really good. Sabeleye looks very creepy in the console pokemon games which eliminates my doubt on why its a ghost type
  • GamesRadarCarolynGudmundson - October 25, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Togetic evolves via shiny stone =D
  • Wildstyle31 - October 31, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    Ghost type pokemon are usually the coolest to look at but they are also probably amongst the weakest ones out there as well. In the spirit of Halloween though this is a cool segment!!