The Most Disturbing Pokemon Fan Theories

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Pokemon is a massive gaming franchise and a long-running anime series, so it stands to reason that the fandom would come up with some wild ideas over the decades. Some are incredibly far-fetched, from Mr. Mime being Ash’s dad to the legendary Ho-oh granting him eternal youth, but there are others that will burrow into your mind and stay there whenever you see anything related to the franchise. This list is the latter, and it’s going to get weird.

5. Humans Are Pokemon

This theory makes sense, but the implications are terrifying. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl includes the Canalave Library as one of the locations, and it’s filled with ancient texts that shine a light on the history of the world. One such text reads, “There once were Pokémon that married people,” the translation explains. “This was a normal thing long ago. People and Pokémon were the same.”

Ghost Pokemon frequently have disturbing Pokedex entries explaining they are the trapped spirits of dead humans, from Drifloon being a collection of lost souls to Frosslass, the spirit of a woman who died along an icy mountain. If people can become Pokemon, does that mean Pokemon are unevolved humans, or are humans unevolved Pokemon? And can you trap someone in a Pokeball if you try hard enough?

4. Haunter Killed Misty

Early on in the anime, Episode 24 Haunter vs. Kadabra, Misty is licked by Ash’s Haunter. This is notable, again, because of a Pokedex entry, the one from Pokemon Yellow states, “By licking, it saps the victim’s life. It causes shaking that won’t stop until the victim’s demise.” Once Misty is licked, she convulses and drops to the ground, but she lives. Or does she?

Sure, there’s evidence that Misty lived because she interacts with other people besides Ash, and Charmander was licked but also lived. But we must admit, if Misty did die and it was really Ash or Brock who took her place in fights out of grief for their fallen friend, that’s a delightful M. Night Shyamalan-style twist.

3. Phantumps Are The Ghosts Of Lost Kids

The second most disturbing Ghost-type fan theory isn’t a theory at all. It’s true: Phantumps are the ghosts of children that wandered into the woods, got lost, and presumably died (that’s usually part of becoming a ghost.) Again, a Pokedex entry has the evidence, stating “These Pokemon are spirits of children who have gotten lost in the forest.”

Later entries beyond Gen VIII, replace the mention of children in the Pokedex, but the implication is still there. This type of “correction” done by Game Freak is actually quite common, especially for the more horrifying Pokemon, and as dark and disturbing as the Phantumps are, there’s one more ghost-related theory that’s somehow even worse.

2. Lavender Town Syndrome

One of the internet’s original Creepypasta centers on the music of Lavender Town from Pokemon Red and Blue. As the story goes, the original music for the town included notes that were so high-pitched only children could hear them, which ended up causing an uptick in children’s suicides. Allegedly, 200 of them occurred following the game’s release in Japan.

This is, of course, not true, but…GameFreak did go back and change the music for later visits to Lavender Town, making it much more cheery and upbeat. That only added to the legend of Lavender Town. More theories about the area have popped up, including how putting the music in a visualizer creates the image of a Unown, which is only creepy as the Pokemon didn’t debut until years later as part of Gen II.

Oh, and it translates to “LEAVE NOW,” which is admittedly a little creepy.

1. Ash Is Dead

Ash never ages during the entire run of Pokemon, and this theory states it’s because he’s dead. When he died is up for debate; some say it was when a Haunter pulled his spirit out of his body, while others think in the very first episode, he fell into a coma. Regardless of when it happened, the belief is that no one else ages because that’s how Ash remembers them in his dying mind (or afterlife), and he keeps wandering and hunting Pokemon because of the regret he has over never accomplishing it in life.

Going further, a few fans believe everything is a symbol of his emotions or fears made manifest in the dream world his soul is forced to wander for eternity. Normally, we’d laugh at a theory like this, but then again, we remember how St. Elsewhere ended…so there could be something here.