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EP022 : Abra and the Psychic Showdown
Original series
EP024 : Haunter versus Kadabra
The Tower of Terror
Capture at the Pokémon Tower!
First broadcast
Japan September 2, 1997
United States October 7, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
Storyboard 岡崎幸男 Yukio Okazaki
Assistant director 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

The Tower of Terror (Japanese: ポケモンタワーでゲットだぜ! Capture at the Pokémon Tower!) is the 23rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 2, 1997, and in the United States on October 7, 1998.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Ash realizes that he must battle and collect a ghost Pokémon in order to defeat the young girl's psychic Pokémon. In search of a ghost Pokémon, he heads immediately for a tower in Lavender Town where they are said to dwell. Jessie, James and Meowth from Team Rocket are already at the tower, but as they lay in wait for our heroes, they are attacked by Gastly, Haunter and Gangar. In the process of trying to defeat the ghost Pokémon, Ash learns a lesson or two about the mystical spirit world. Can Ash capture a ghost Pokémon and if so, will it be enough to defeat the psychic Gym Leader of Saffron City?


After the events of the previous episode, Ash and his friends head to Lavender Town so Ash can catch a Ghost-type Pokémon to use against Sabrina. As they are hiking, the fog intensifies and Brock suggests that everyone should hold hands. Ash and Misty link up but Brock cannot find them. Brock reaches towards Ash's hand, but mistakenly grabs Pikachu's tail and is shocked with Thunder Shock. Ash attempts to alleviate everyone's fears, but his skull mask only angers everyone, and Pikachu intentionally shocks him.

The group arrives in Lavender Town and reaches the Pokémon Tower by dark. Misty and Brock, scared by the tower, want Ash to go in alone. Pikachu decides to take a quick nap; Ash follows suit and gets his sleeping bag, but Misty wakes them up by smacking a gong. Meanwhile, Team Rocket watches them through one of the tower's windows. James runs off, but falls through a hole in the floor. Meowth then notices a closet door open nearby, revealing a Gastly, which scares him. Meowth points at Gastly, but it disappears before Jessie sees it. Gastly reappears over Jessie's face, mimicking Jessie's speech, and Meowth scratches Jessie. Jessie retaliates, angrily knocking Meowth into the hole with James. Jessie soon joins James and Meowth after looking at herself in a mirror and screaming at the sight of Gastly. Ash and his friends hear the screams from outside as Team Rocket falls through several floors. Team Rocket gets back up, but Gastly scares them again, knocking them out.

As Ash and his friends enter the tower, the door closes on its own, putting them in darkness. Ash sends out Charmander to light the room with a Flamethrower, though the Pokémon quickly tires out. Brock finds a candle and Charmander uses Flamethrower to light the candle, accidentally burning Brock in the process. Ash and his friends find a hole in the floor and hear strange noises echoing as they explore. In another portion of the tower, a Haunter and Gengar are watching TV, laughing at a comedy show broadcast. Gastly comes into the room and they all laugh.

After Ash and his friends enter a larger room, the lights suddenly turn on, revealing a dining room with a fully-set table. Ash's attention turns to a dangling rope, with an instructional note attached. He quickly runs up and pulls it, which releases confetti and a welcome sign. Suddenly, the glassware and chairs begin to levitate. Brock gets thrown around in a chair while Pikachu and Charmander find themselves on platters. Ash and Misty run out of the room, and Brock and the other Pokémon soon follow. The tableware and chairs reset, and the Ghost Pokémon reappear, laughing at their mischief.

Outside, Misty and Brock refuse to reenter the tower. As a result, Ash goes back in with only his Pokémon. Stopping in front of the hole Team Rocket created earlier, Ash checks his Pokédex for more details, and it reveals that Ghost Pokémon are still shrouded in mystery. Ash hears commotion from the floor beneath them and thinks the Pokémon are down there. He orders Pikachu and Charmander to attack, but this causes a fire. Ash throws a Poké Ball, but it hits Jessie in the face. Jessie gets angry as her hair catches fire. She runs around, creating a fireball from Ash's view, but it soon disappears, much to his disappointment.

Suddenly, Pikachu spots Haunter behind Ash and freaks out, but Ash misses it. Haunter then appears in front of him and spooks him. Curious, Ash checks his Pokedex, though it has no data on Haunter. Ash sends Charmander, but the Pokémon disappears and reappears behind Ash, tapping his shoulder and causing him to freak out. Ash has Charmander use Leer. They both pull off fierce looks, but Charmander suddenly makes a funny face, making Haunter laugh. Ash scolds Charmander, though as it is distracted, Haunter Licks him and the Fire Pokémon, paralyzed by the effects of the Lick, begins to shake. As a result, Ash recalls Charmander. Much to Ash's surprise, a Gengar materializes through the floor before smacking Ash with a fan. Ash checks his Pokédex again, but there is still no information. The two resort to a comedy routine, which Ash dismisses. Saddened by their failure to entertain Ash, the two Ghost-types sink into the floor and disappear.

Ash and Pikachu jump after them, but miss and the duo crashes into the wooden floor. The impacts cause a chandelier to drop on top of them, knocking them out. Pikachu's electricity lights the chandelier, and the Ghost Pokémon applaud the performance. Gengar taps them as Haunter approaches and pulls Ash and Pikachu's spirits out of their bodies. They wake up and are shocked at seeing their bodies on the ground. The Ghost Pokémon take Ash and Pikachu to the top of the tower. Outside, they admire the view of Lavender Town.

Ash sees Misty and Brock waiting and listens as Misty discusses her concern for Ash. Ash speaks as Misty looks behind her, hearing his voice. He then lifts her into the air before dropping her, though Brock catches her. Misty gets up and runs into the tower, with Brock behind her, while Ash and Pikachu fly with the Ghost Pokémon. Haunter gets in front of Ash as he goes through Haunter's mouth. When the Pokémon show Ash and Pikachu their toy room, Ash understands that the Ghost Pokémon just wanted new playmates. He then declines their offer to play in order to continue his quest, upsetting the Ghosts. Meanwhile, Misty and Brock find Ash and Pikachu's bodies, pulling them out from under the chandelier and trying to wake them up. Ash and Pikachu promptly return to their bodies and wake up, much to the relief of both Misty and Brock.

The group leaves the tower the next day, with Ash deciding not to catch the Ghost Pokémon. Brock questions this, and Ash responds that he may have to use humor instead. Pikachu points out something, causing Misty and Brock to look behind them. Haunter pulls a face and scares Misty and Brock away. After enjoying their company, Haunter decides to join Ash and Pikachu. Meanwhile, Gengar and Gastly smile and clap as they watch Team Rocket, who are tied onto the spinning carousel.

Major events

Haunter coming along with Ash
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Gengar

Temporary banning

The episode was temporarily banned from re-airing on Kids' WB! after the September 11 attacks most likely (but never mentioned why) due to the title. It was later put back into circulation.


Gastly's "hands"


Misty missing her suspenders
  • In one scene at the beginning of the episode, Misty's right arm is colored purple instead of skin-color.
  • When Misty asks if Brock knows how scared it makes her feel when he yells, the strap on her bag turns the same color as her shirt.
  • When the camera shows Ash and his friends when a Ghost Pokémon laughs, Pikachu's tail turns completely yellow.
  • When Team Rocket is on the merry-go-round, Gengar's eyes are white instead of red.
  • When Ash uses his Pokédex to check out the ghost Pokémon (which turn out to be Team Rocket), it says, "Ghost Pokémon are shrouded in mystery." When the real ghost Pokémon actually appear, the Pokédex has no trouble recognizing them. This could just be because there were no ghost Pokémon present the first time.
  • After Haunter scares off Misty and Brock, and Ash starts to laugh, Pikachu speaks with a closed mouth. This also happens with Meowth after Jessie hits him with a frying pan and into the hole with James.
  • When Ash throws a Poké Ball at Jessie, the ring around the Poké Ball is white instead of black.
  • When Ash, Misty, Pikachu. and Brock hear the screams from inside the Pokémon Tower for the first and second times, Ash has no shoes on.
  • When Ash yells at Pikachu and Charmander, Pikachu's tail has more zigzags than it should have and is less brown.
  • In the original airing, during the scene where Misty bangs the gong, her suspenders are missing. This error was fixed in later airings.
  • In the English dub:
    • When Pikachu shocks Ash in the beginning, Ash's Japanese voice can be heard.
    • When Jessie runs around while her hair is on fire, her Japanese voice can be heard.

Dub edits

  • Kanto Pokérap: Day 3
  • Brock mentions that the voices sound like they are coming from a torture chamber in the dub, but he was actually referring to Hell in the Japanese version.
  • When Misty asks Ash to listen to her, her original dialogue was "You can't die on us."
  • When Team Rocket falls down the hole for the second time, some katakana can briefly be seen: ニャ nya (meow), which is part of Meowth's Japanese name.
  • In the original, Ash says that Haunter's Lick paralyzed Charmander.
  • When Haunter pokes Ash's shoulder from behind, Ash thinks Charmander is the one poking him in the original version. In the dub, he tells Pikachu to "cut it out" instead.
  • In the dub, when Jessie falls onto James and Meowth, James tells her that the place is dangerous. In the original Japanese version, James instead remarks that Jessie is heavy.

In other languages

EP022 : Abra and the Psychic Showdown
Original series
EP024 : Haunter versus Kadabra
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.