Ghost-type Pokemon have been around since the very first installment of the Pokemon series: Red and Blue. While the existence of ghost Pokemon is an accepted part of the Pokemon universe, they're not the only ghosts present in Pokemon games. Developer Game Freak has also been putting human ghosts into the games for as long as the series has existed.
While the appearance of these ghosts is rarely explained, they add a spooky side to an otherwise kid-friendly game series. We've taken a look at the entire series and come up with five of the creepiest encounters with human ghosts in the Pokemon games.
Lavender Town Haunting
Lavender Town is the original spooky place of the Pokemon series, first appearing in Pokemon Red and Blue. The town is teeming with ghost Pokemon galore, and just as many Pokemon graves. However, the strange moment in this town is when a girl asks if you believe in ghosts. If the player character replies that they don't, she laughs, and reassures the player not to worry about the white hand on their shoulder, because it isn't real.
Of course, the player can't see anything there, and whether this girl is simply pulling a prank or not is unknown. But it is worth noting that she mentions a hand, not a paw or a wing; presumably, pointing towards the presence of a human ghost, as only a select few Pokemon have hands.
The Ghosts of the Old Chateau
In Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the citizens of Eterna City tell the player character that the Old Chateau is legendary for its haunted status. As it turns out, the legends are true, and two ghosts make an appearance as the player explores the abandoned chateau.
Very little is known about these two, except that one appears to be an elderly butler, and the other a little girl. The little girl is only seen from an overhead view while entering a bedroom. She's actually in the next room over, where the player character presumably doesn't see her. The man is briefly seen when entering the dining room, but he leaves when the player approaches.
Interestingly enough, the little girl has a walking animation, while the old man simply glides across the floor. Why these two lingering souls are still hanging around the chateau is a mystery.
Phoebe's Ghostly Companion
After making it all the way through the gyms and up to the Elite Four, Pokemon players would expect all of the strange mysteries of the game to be done and passed. But not so in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, where the ghostly apparition appears just for a moment before you take on Phoebe of the Elite Four.
This cheerful member of the Elite Four is a force to be reckoned with, due to the arsenal of ghost Pokemon at her disposal. But what's alarming about this encounter is that a ghostly human figure can be seen in the chair directly behind her, just for a split second before the battle sequence starts. While it's hard to tell, the ghost appears to be of a little girl. And if that weren't enough, the ghost girl is alluded to after the battle, as well.
While Phoebe talks with the player character, the camera gradually zooms in on the two, moving awkwardly at a low angle as though it's being seen from the ghost's perspective. Finally, a small part of the ghost girl's face can be seen over the player trainer's shoulder in the final conversation with Phoebe. This ghost's identity and whether Phoebe, who claims to be able to communicate with ghost Pokemon, is aware of her presence at all is unknown.
The next ghost, initially found in Pokemon Black & White on the Marvelous Bridge, gives one poor NPC the fright of his life. The spirit of a little girl can be seen standing next to a man on the Marvelous Bridge, looking into the distance. However, as the player character approaches, she vanishes right before their eyes. The man isn't too happy about it, either, and seems rather alarmed at the girl simply disappearing into thin air.
Unlike the other ghosts in this list, the Marvelous Bridge ghost has the most substantial backstory. When the player character asks an old woman about her on the east end of the bridge, she explains that a young girl used to play in that area with a pet Abra before the bridge was built. While that left a lot of questions up in the air, Game Freak apparently decided it was worth explaining, as Pokemon Black and White 2 revisits the character.
The ghost of the little girl can be found again in the Strange House, near the base of Reversal Mountain. She only seems to be faintly aware of the player character, but does talk, indicating that she's trying to find her father, mother, and her pet Abra. She also gives the player character the Lunar Wing, asking them to return it to the Pokemon Cresselia on the same bridge her ghost was originally spotted on. After that, she disappears, and hasn't been seen in the series since.
No, You're Not The One
The spookiest ghost apparition of all is also the most mysterious. In Pokemon X and Y, this apparition sometimes appears when exiting an elevator in Lumiose City on the second floor. The player character steps out of the elevator, the screen flashes to black, and then the ghost, who resembles the Hex Maniac trainers, is standing directly behind them. She's obviously not a normal human, as she simply glides across the ground without moving her feet or legs. Sliding past the player character, she utters "No, you're not the one," then vanishes.
Interestingly enough, a Hex Maniac can be found elsewhere in Lumiose City that appears to either be the same ghost, or is somehow connected to her. This Hex Maniac is standing in a hotel room, awkwardly facing a wall. When the player character tries to speak to her, she replies, "Don't talk to me... If you do, I won't... hear the elevator..." While she's not in the same building as the first ghost, the identical character model and her acknowledgment of waiting for someone or something to come out of the elevator seems to signify that this is the same character.
Finally, another Hex Maniac can be found in the game's prequel, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, on the first floor of Mt. Pyre. She also says "No, you're not the one... Ah." but appears to be a normal human. This Hex Maniac is presumed to be the same one found in Pokemon X & Y, but what she's hunting for and how she came to be an apparition between the two games is unknown.
There's no telling if Game Freak or Nintendo will ever make an effort to explain the existence of human ghosts in Pokemon, or whether the recurring ghost characters will continue to appear in further installments. In the meantime, they add a spooky and mysterious layer to a game that's considered appropriate for all ages.
What do you think about the ghostly humans in Pokemon games? Have you ever encountered any that didn't make our list? Let us know in the comments!