Ghost (literal)

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Ghosts (Japanese: ゆうれい ghost) are disguised Pokémon, and in one case, the soul of a deceased Pokémon, that live in Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower.

In the games

In the Generation I games and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, before getting a Silph Scope, several unidentified ghosts (in reality Gastly, Haunter and Cubone) appear in the Pokémon Tower. Another stronger ghost is revealed to be a mother Marowak, which haunts the tower as a result of her death at the hands of Team Rocket.

The identity of the ghosts can be revealed with a key item called the Silph Scope; without the device, battling the ghosts is impossible. Whenever the player orders a move against an unknown ghost, the player's Pokémon will be too scared to move. Instead of being attacked, the ghost will say:

ゆうれい『タチサレ⋯⋯タチサレ⋯⋯ (Ghost: Begone… Begone…)
GHOST: Get out Get out

Before the battle against Marowak's ghost, a similar message appears, saying:

⋯⋯ タチサレ! (Begone!)
⋯⋯ ココカラ タチサレ⋯⋯ (Leave this place...)
Be gone…

In addition, ghosts cannot be caught without being identified first. If one tries to throw a Poké Ball at a ghost, it dodges, and the message comes up:

よけられた! (It dodged!)
こいつは つかまりそうにないぞ! (There is no chance of catching this guy!)
It dodged the thrown Ball!
This Pokémon can't be caught!

Even Master Balls fail to capture the ghosts. Although most ghosts can be captured with the help of the Silph Scope, the Marowak's ghost cannot, even if it is unmasked, unless the player uses a cheating device.

During the course of the game, the player must obtain the Silph Scope and battle the undead Marowak to calm its spirit. A glitch existed in Generation I to allow players get past the mother Marowak without the Silph Scope; if the player encounters the ghost and uses a Poké Doll, they will be free to advance. After the three Team Rocket Grunts who killed the Marowak are defeated, Mr. Fuji will express his gratitude to the player.


Ghost I.png LitGhost.png
Front sprite from the Generation I games Front sprite from
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

In the anime

In The Tower of Terror, a Haunter takes Ash's and Pikachu's souls out of their bodies after they have been struck by a chandelier. Here it is shown that ghosts can fly around and remain in the form they took while living; however, living beings cannot see them.

Other ghosts appeared in The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, including the titular character. The ghost of an Orange League Champion, Captain, was featured in A Shipful of Shivers. A ghost girl was featured in Ghoul Daze!. Both of these ghosts had malicious intent, and were portrayed, in contrast to the Ghost Pokémon that Ash met in Lavender Town, as villains.

Pokédex entries

Episode Subject Source Entry
EP023 Ghost Ash's Pokédex Ghost Pokémon are in a vapor form. Their true nature is shrouded in mystery.
This concludes the entries from the original series.


  • If the Generation I games are played on a Super Game Boy (or on a Game Boy Color, in the case of the international releases of Pokémon Yellow), the ghost has the same color palette as that of the Pokémon it is hiding. This means that a ghost can be seen with two different and legitimate color palettes: that of Gastly and Haunter, and that of Cubone and Marowak. If the ghost appears due to a glitch, a third palette is used. Furthermore, players can exploit the Ghost glitch to make the ghost reveal itself by viewing the stats of any Pokémon in the player's party, and then returning to the battle. However, this glitch is only graphical as it is still impossible to battle or catch a ghost.
  • Although ghosts do not have a cry in the Generation I games, they emit the cry of the undercover Pokémon in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
  • The Pokédex in the Generation I games still records the seen data of the wild Pokémon in spite of its disguise as a ghost.
  • One of Missingno.'s forms uses the ghost's front sprite.

In other languages

Language Title
Japan Flag.png Japanese ゆうれい Yūrei
Mandarin Chinese 幽靈 / 幽灵 Yōulíng
Finland Flag.png Finnish Kummitus / Aave
Germany Flag.png German Geist
Italy Flag.png Italian Spettro
Spain Flag.png European Spanish Ghost