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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  • ELpork - October 29, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    Haunter is the best.
  • GameManiac - October 29, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    God, I love Giratina. It's a freakin' powerhouse with or without the Griseous Orb.
  • Larinah - October 29, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    I've really liked Froslass since Diamond/Pearl. Since I have a tendency to run really speedy pokemon, she is the obvious choice for me =D.
  • JayBeat - October 29, 2010 11:03 p.m.

    Great tribute :) I will always love the original trio though. Also, Gengar is the perfect shape for a pokemon branded lollipop. Just sayin.
  • 510BrotherPanda - October 29, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    @JayBeat Soul Suckers or Shadow Sweets?
  • EnragedTortoise1 - October 29, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    I have never considered trying the Pokemon series, but you guys are actually convincing me to.
  • Tobio - October 29, 2010 11:27 p.m.

    "Fan favorite Sableye shares the distinction with Spiritomb of being the only two Pokemon who have no type weaknesses." Gen V brought us the feared Pure Electric with Levitate, essentially removing it's only weakness. Shibirudon FTW!
  • Crabhand - October 29, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    <3 Froslass
  • OhMyJosh - October 29, 2010 11:38 p.m.

    Banette is the best! And how could Duskonoir be pokemon os the week? I think everyone prefers dusclops over the nothing changed and 'made to look less awesome' evolution. Well theres my rant done :P 20 000 more watts till I get my Spiritomb :D
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - October 29, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    Rotom is pretty damn cool. Jus' sayin'.
  • Doctalen - October 30, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    Gengar FTW. Seriously he is fast enough to be a real pain, and has a high enough SP. AT that it is still a pain. Give him Hypnosis, Nightmare, Dream Eater, and Shadow Ball/Sludge Bomb and it is devastating.
  • elpurplemonkey - October 30, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    Very informative!
  • ninjastovall0 - October 30, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    i said it before and ill say it again white ghost eeveelution love ghosts, especially since they got it right from the start with ghastlyhauntergengar and no real duds wish sableye was more powerful or had better moves cant wait for the new ones
  • H2A2I00 - October 30, 2010 1:22 a.m.

    out of all of them shedninja always freaks me out the most but my favourite ones are haunter and duscklops
  • CancerMan - October 30, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    There's a ghost dragon legendary? I got to pick up pokemon again!
  • P0LARCLAW - October 30, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    Haunter=Coolest Pokemon EVER
  • ThatGamerDude - October 30, 2010 3:58 a.m.

    Giratina FTW!!! It's my favorite Pokemon!
  • Schnipke - October 30, 2010 4:01 a.m.

    Misdreavus is the best in my opinion, and am I the only one who thinks Sableye is stupid? To me, he doesn't look like he should be a ghost pokemon at all and he's probably the only pokemon that I hate the design of
  • thedonut - October 30, 2010 5 a.m.

    Sableye is awesome, even though I agree with your statement about it not looking like much of a ghost type, Schnipke.
  • Moondoggie1157 - October 30, 2010 5:59 a.m.

    Aside from Porygon Z, Frosslass is easily my favourite pokemon. Speaking of which, anyone out there have a shiny Snorunt they would be willing to trade? I have been looking forever.

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