Pokémon’s Spookiest Locales. Steel yourself! We’re about to take a trip to some of the scariest locations throughout the world of Pokémon.
The many regions that make up the world of Pokémon are usually so inviting. Scenic forests, sprawling cities, vast oceans, sunny tropical islands—there are all sorts of wonderful places filled with friendly faces and amazing new Pokémon to meet. There are, however, certain areas within these regions that are best avoided. These areas might be dangerous or attract unsavory characters. Some may have tragic backstories or—in a few cases—even be genuinely haunted. In the spirit of the Halloween season, we’re checking out 13 of the spookiest Pokémon locales. Whether these sites send you fleeing in horror or simply send a chill up your spine, you won’t want to visit them without a team of Pokémon buddies by your side.
Challenging the Unown
The Ruins of Alph is an archeological site located near the center of the Johto region, just west of Violet City. Scientists have been studying the ruins in an attempt to discover the secrets that lie within. Step inside, and you’ll immediately notice the eerie music that helps set the mood for exploring the darkened catacombs. There are tricky puzzles to solve and cryptic messages written in an odd alphabet. Deeper within the ruins, you’ll discover numerous statues seemingly built in tribute to…something. Attempt to use your Pokégear radio in the ruins, and you’ll pick up some unnerving signals.
Of course, after you enter the Ruins of Alph, it won’t be long before you encounter its inhabitants, the Unown. These Psychic-type Pokémon are just as enigmatic as the ruins themselves. Resembling vague letters and punctuation marks, these Pokémon inspired the hieroglyphs within the ruins (or is it the other way around?). Just in case the Ruins of Alph weren’t spooky enough, if you enter them with a Pokémon following behind you, you’ll notice that your companion begins acting in an erratic fashion as you delve deeper into the ruins. Even Pokémon are scared of the Ruins of Alph! That’s a good clue that you shouldn’t spend too long exploring this ancient site.
The Alola region is a tropical paradise filled with sun, sand, surf, and…creepy, deserted towns? Yes, hidden away on the northern tip of Ula’ula Island lies the decidedly unwelcoming Po Town. If you’re able to slip past the giant wall that’s been built around the town, you’ll find the sad remnants of a once-bustling community. Overgrown plant life, vehicles left to rust, and constantly overcast and rainy weather make Po Town an unpleasant place to visit. About the only splashes of color to be seen are in the ample graffiti left by the members of Team Skull, who now use the shell of Po Town as their base of operations.
One of the few buildings that is still accessible in Po Town is the old Pokémon Center, but even that building is a dark mockery of its former self. The interior of the Pokémon Center is just as disheveled as the rest of the town, with no functioning PC and no Nurse on duty. A Team Skull Grunt will offer to heal your Pokémon, though (in exchange for a bit of cash). Po Town’s main attraction is the imposing Shady House. This run-down mansion now functions as Team Skull’s headquarters, and the team’s nefarious leader, Guzma, is often found lurking inside. Frankly, we’re content to hang out in Heahea City if we’re visiting the Alola region.
The alien landscape of the unnerving Distortion World is unlike anything else you’ll encounter on a Pokémon journey. In fact, this strange void may not even be part of the traditional world of Pokémon at all. The home of Giratina is said to be in a parallel universe, perhaps created by Giratina itself as a balance for the real world.
It’s hard not to find yourself bewildered exploring the perplexing layout of the Distortion World. The area is full of floating platforms and plants far larger and narrower than one would expect to see in Sinnoh, set in a strange dark abyss with what seem to be whirling clouds. The Distortion World would be weird enough to navigate even if it weren’t for the unnatural effects of gravity in this strange area—players quickly find themselves walking on the underside of floating platforms and moving down a reversed waterfall. Time is said not to flow in this world at all.
Giratina takes Cyrus to the Distortion World after he fails to control Dialga and Palkia in his attempt to remake the real world. Pokémon Generations puts this experience in an eerier light than one might have imagined while playing Pokémon Platinum Version. Perhaps this Distortion World is just as bleak and emotionless as the world Cyrus tried to create…
Near the end of a long journey, the player eventually winds up at the home of their adversary N at the far reaches of the Unova region. What stands in front of them is not the office of an evil mastermind one might have expected from the leader of a villainous team. Instead, the sight before the player is a whole different kind of spooky—the grown rival has the playroom of a child.
The player quickly learns the horrific truth about N’s past from Anthea, Concordia, and their own observations. Separated from other humans since he was very young, N was brought up in this very room with Pokémon—and not just any Pokémon. Team Plasma’s Ghetsis deliberately brought only Pokémon that were betrayed, mistreated, and hurt by bad people to N. His world view was shaped by these experiences, and he was denied the opportunity to leave the room and develop as a normal child.
The charismatic leader of Team Plasma is not what he may have seemed. N’s innocent heart was touched by the Pokémon’s plight—he was unwittingly groomed to help Ghetsis with his nefarious goals. N’s bedroom stands as a haunting reminder of the life he was never allowed.
The Hoenn region is known for its plentiful seas, and there’s no shortage of surprises to be found in their darkest depths. Foolhardy Trainers with Pokémon that have learned the technique to dive deep underwater can explore the ruins of Sea Mauville, a research facility decommissioned dozens of years ago, north of Route 108.
Time seems to have stopped amid the flotsam. What was once a cutting-edge research facility is now a relic in irrecoverable disrepair. The floor of many rooms is cracked, and in some areas, it has collapsed completely. Visitors taking careful enough steps to progress through the debris may find a strange room where it feels like they’re being watched. Look away for more than a moment, and an Odd Keystone may appear, seemingly willing itself into the visitor’s presence. Could this be the Forbidden Pokémon, Spiritomb?
Snippets of the lives of those who once made Sea Mauville their home can be uncovered as visitors progress through the wreckage. A company’s “cheerful and fun workplace” policies involved asking its employees to lay their lives on the line in safety checks. A secret Devon investigation reveals research into a suspicious new Pokémon bioenergy. New Mauville’s cancellation haunts a man who feels responsible for the workers’ lost livelihoods. A man receives letters from his young son, hoping he’ll be able to see him again someday…
Many Trainers made fond memories journeying in grassy Kanto. But even this beautiful region is hiding secrets, and no area embodies Kanto’s complicated history quite like the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island.
The Pokémon Mansion is already a shattered dream by the time the protagonist has begun their journey. One of the largest buildings in the Kanto region, the mansion spans four floors and was once host to some ambitious research—using the Mythical Pokémon Mew to create an entirely new Pokémon, Mewtwo.
These scientists would never become the Legendary Pokémon’s master. None can say exactly why Mewtwo rebelled against its creators, but the destroyed mansion is clear evidence this experiment ended in tragedy. Where the brightest minds in the Pokémon world once gathered, there now remain only a variety of Fire- and Poison-type Pokémon, Burglars, and journals describing ambition’s descent into hubris. The Pokémon Mansion is also one of the few areas in its native Kanto region where you may find the mysterious Transform Pokémon, Ditto.
Up for a bit of urban exploration? Then head to the Lost Hotel, located in the northern part of the Kalos region. This once luxurious hotel has long since fallen into decay, making it a creepy (and potentially dangerous) area to visit. In fact, the main structure of the building has crumbled away, leaving behind depressing concrete ruins and foreboding looking staircases leading to underground rooms. So dilapidated is the Lost Hotel that even sections of the underground area are blocked off by debris. There are two ways into the structure—one in Route 15 and one in Route 16. You’ll need to enter both to see all the unnerving secrets contained within the hotel.
While navigating your way through the darkened hallways and around the busted furniture and fallen bookcases that remain in the Lost Hotel, be on the lookout for any conspicuous trash cans. You’ll find that some of them will begin to shake on their own. If you’re brave enough to inspect them, you may find valuable items or even a Pokémon. Visit the hotel on Tuesdays for a chance to encounter the Electric- and Ghost-type Pokémon Rotom (or one of its many alternate forms). Just be careful—the abandoned Lost Hotel is a popular hangout for Punks. These troublesome Pokémon Trainers will not hesitate to challenge you to a Pokémon battle.
When you need to travel between Routes 15 and 16 in the Unova region, Marvelous Bridge is the way to go. This elaborate structure is an impressive feat of engineering, but it contains a mysterious secret. Occasionally while crossing, people will spot a young girl standing on the bridge. However, when approached, the girl disappears into the ether. According to local legend, there was a young girl who would play with an Abra in the location where Marvelous Bridge would eventually be built, leading some to speculate that this energetic young girl is the same spirit that haunts the bridge.
More details about this young girl’s story would eventually be discovered in the Strange House, which is located east of Lentimas Town near Reversal Mountain. The Strange House certainly looks eerie, with its busted floors, cracked walls, and furniture strewn everywhere. It is also here where the girl’s ghost appears again, spouting cryptic fragments of her old memories. She calls out to her parents and her beloved Abra but is unable to find them in her “everlasting dark dream.” We learn that in life, she wished to return the Lunar Wing to an unnamed Pokémon, but she was unable to do so. Explore the Strange House thoroughly, and you may find the Lunar Wing yourself. Return the item to Marvelous Bridge to encounter the Legendary Pokémon Cresselia.
Lavender Town in the Kanto region is home to one of the most famous spooky locations in the world of Pokémon—the Pokémon Tower. This seven-story structure is the defining landmark of the small town, and it serves as the burial ground for many deceased Pokémon. Mourners frequently visit the tower to honor their fallen friends, but they’re not the only ones hanging around. Pokémon Tower is haunted, and it is not uncommon to experience a ghostly encounter when exploring its floors. It is highly recommended that visitors to the Pokémon Tower bring a Silph Scope, which allows ghosts to be identified as Pokémon, after which they can be battled and caught.
The Pokémon Tower has also been infiltrated by Team Rocket. At one point, a Cubone’s mother has a run-in with some members of Team Rocket, and now the restless spirit of the poor Marowak haunts the premises. Perhaps if the ghostly Marowak’s soul could be calmed, it would leave the Pokémon Tower in peace. But who could be brave enough to confront this angry apparition?