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Nightmare Fuel / Pokémon

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"What is this pressure I feel...? Something... is enraged?"

We all know Pokémon, don't we? As happy as the eponymous monsters and the world they live in may seem on the surface, there's just as much beneath it that can give you nightmares.

The following works have their own page:

Specific types of Nightmare Fuel from the franchise are listed on their own subpages.

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    Other Horrors 
Anything else that doesn't fit in other categories.

  • In Generation II, leftover coding for Pokémon Gold and Silver showed there was meant to be a side-quest at Burned Tower dealing with people going there and vanishing.
  • Attempting to capture Kyogre in Pokémon Sapphire is surprisingly scary enough, but the analogous bonus stage in the Ruby/Sapphire Pokémon Pinball game is much worse. The stage is nearly as dark as the ocean floor would be in real life, and the player initially only sees Kyogre's eyes, leading to the feeling of being menaced by an invisible predator. The minimalist eerie music aggravates the uneasiness.
    • The first pinball game's Ghost Pokémon stage takes place in a cemetery, where Gastly appear intermittently among the gravestones. Clear them, and Haunter show up in a similar manner. If you clear them, a giant Gengar appears as the gravestones disappear, the music becomes frantic, and it slowly stomps towards you.
  • The look in Entei's eyes when he puts a spell on Ash's mom in Spell of the Unown.
  • The eighth movie gives us a scene in which the Tree of Beginning's antibodies consume both members of Team Rocket. Jessie's slowly pulled into an antibody's maw, screaming like mad and begging James to help her.
    • Also in this movie, we have the bizarre, machine like noises made by the Legendary Titans. Especially Regice's odd, high pitched cries that occasionally slow down massively or even pitch bend. It sounds incredibly unnatural. Pokémon Speak has never sounded so terrifying
  • Pokémon Snap:
    • You can take a photo of anything in-game, including jewels: when their photos are developed, you get Spooky Photographs as a reward. Also, Charmander can get pretty screwed up.
    • The Heartbeat Soundtrack when you encounter Mew; it gets faster the closer you get to breaking it out of its bubble.
  • In the Gen II games, the aptly-named Dark Cave can be accessed before getting Flash. It wouldn't be wise to do so, because it's easy to get stuck without knowing the way out. As a workaround, Generation 3 has a cave like this as well, where players actually can see, but only a small circle around them.
  • The church in Hearthome City lacks any BGM, and is the only place in the city labeled as "Foreign Building". The people inside it and their Navel-Gazing come off as really creepy.
  • Giratina's grand entrance in Platinum, pictured above. It becomes even more nightmarish when Giratina turns its wings into giant claws and does a honest-to-goodness Jump Scare at the screen. Even worse? It's been officially animated.
  • The Nurse Joys in the Pokémon Centers, whose "Hope to see you again soon" message, coupled with the reason you're in a Pokémon Center in the first place, comes off as creepy. Probably, this is why the line has been changed to "come back anytime" in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, but it was changed back to "We hope to see you again" in both sets of Gen V games.
    • Its implications became much less creepy when Pokémon Centers were expanded to include the PokéMarts and, in Generation VII, making them more akin to a place to rest and relax than to a hospital.
    • The anime explicitly expands the role of Nurse Joys as friendly NPCs and, even before the game merger between Pokémarts and Pokémon Centers, a place where trainers get free calls, a form of free lodging and the ability to meet and greet other trainers.
      • Also, in the earliest generation the Link Trade had to be initiated in the Pokémon Center: thus, there's no generation where the Pokémon Center are only Trauma Inn-like places, but a sort of franchise of services akin to real life game and comic shops.
  • Pokémon Crystal introduced moving Pokémon sprites. It was a neat idea, but can be creepy in the Silver and Gold remakes. For example, when Noctowl is sent into battle, it turns its head around. But not to look at its look at the player.
  • Encountering the Legendary Beasts in Crystal and HGSS can be creepy: walking along in the tall grass, maybe to level grind, maybe to try and catch a few wild Pokémon, who knows, nothing out of the ordinary for a while, and then... another Random Encounter, but the music is different. And then an enormous beast appears instead of a local Pokémon and disappears as quickly as it arrives.
  • The "bus driver" ad that played in Western countries is downright horrifying. It's really hard to believe that The Pokémon Company and Nintendo would sign off on such a meanspirited commercial, especially with some of the most beloved characters of all time. Well, okay, just how malevolent that guy is can be hilarious, and we can see Pikachu smiling in the Game Boy, but considering how buses are a regular part of many schoolchildren's lives...
    Hey, little buddy. Wanna ride?
  • In the manga, being possessed by the Red or Blue Orbs for too long can turn your body to dust. While this is creepy in itself, here's the catch; in HeartGold and SoulSilver, they're key items. They're key items in Ruby and Sapphire as well, though the one you get calms the version mascot rather than awakening it.
  • Trying to print something in Yellow/Gold/Silver/Crystal with no Game Boy Printer attached results in an error screen and start playing a strange, haunting and slightly depressing little melody.
  • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, if you bring a certain event Arceus to the Sinjoh Ruins, it will make a newborn Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina for you. After you choose one, you get a trippy cutscene with heavy bass drums and loud, blaring, dissonant music over a slideshow of real-life images in a sprite-based game, showing stars, galaxies, nebulas, locations in nature including a forest, a cave, a rainbow over a field, a blue sky, signs of human industry like cities, metal gears, highways and telephone towers, various natural phenomena like volcanoes, whirlpools and thunderstorms, a microscope view of organic cells, the sun, blood cells, a nebula, a black hole, and the Earth before the egg finally appears. It's all so bizarre and Mind Screwy it feels more like a creepypasta than anything from a Pokémon game.
  • In Black & White, there is a post-game town known as Lacunosa Town. The people there say that thousands of years ago, a meteorite crashed in the Giant Chasm. In it, it contained a monster (Kyurem). The monster (Kyurem) was said to have eaten both Pokémon and people.
  • The Thundarus/Tornadus event in Pokémon Black & White, where a route attendant says that there's a huge storm going on at Route 7. For those unsettled by storms in the first place, just how huge they are is unpleasant. Then, players have to actually chase the storms, and when the legendary Pokémon is met, they're rewarded with this battle music.
  • In the anime, the character J is a bounty hunter who turns Pokémon into stone to sell to her clients for a high price. One of the episodes she appeared in, Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! (Part 2) shows that a Riolu she'd captured was still able to reveal its location to Ash using their aura connection. This means that when J turns Pokémon into stone, they can still think and are fully aware of it. One of the targets she petrified wasn't even a Pokémon at all, but Pyramid King Brandon. J also tried to murder Ash. Most villains in the anime would try to push him to the side to continue their plans, but J, on the other hand, tries to kill him. It seems that in every episode she appears in she tries to murder Ash, if he messes in her plans. She's almost like the anime version of Sideshow Bob, but with LESS sympathetic qualities.
  • Almia Castle in the second Pokémon Ranger game. An abandoned castle up north that's literally frozen. And it's kinda easy to get lost. Additionally, its kitchen is messy.
    • The Chroma Ruins, which are filled with ghost type Pokémon. The fields around it are constantly covered in dark mist, which is made by a Murkrow that's been hypnotized and forced into it.
  • At one point in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, you have to save the Cargo Ship from sinking with you, Barlow, and all the Pokémon on board. If you fail the Timed Mission, all you get a single chilling line of text over a black screen. That's right; you can die in a Pokémon game.
    The ship slid beneath the waves...
  • The final mission in Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs is to save Blue Eyes...who is in the deepest part of the Undersea Cavern in the Eastern Sea, stuck under a rock and with less than half oxygen in her tanks. Oh, and that part is completely dark with no speck of light. Now, on the player's part... Since you're underwater, there's no music except for a sound that reminds of a submarine radar and the occasional cry of certain Pokémon (the only times there's music is when you encounter Pokémon Pinchers former grunts). Diving even more underwater will result in the area getting less and less lighted, as said above, and unless you have Chinchou or Laturn you won't see much...except the red lights that mean there's a Tentacruel in that point. And when the player rescue Blue Eyes, they have to return to the ship with very little oxygen...while Lugia is chasing them. Summing up, it's a literal rescue mission that could result in the death of both the player and Blue Eyes, all in a very unsettling underwater area. It's probably one of the darkest and most disturbing moments in a Pokémon game.
  • Black 2 and White 2 take the very idea of Stockholm Syndrome and abusive Trainers and chillingly twist it just a little bit. In PokéStar Studios, the movie series Timegate Traveler introduces this concept. Particularly with an evil Ledian of the Future, who explains that in this future, Pokémon catch humans (no, this isn't Soviet Russia). They're forced into Human Balls and made to do whatever their Human Trainers tell them. Sound disturbingly similar? Yep, the plot to the game, just twisted into a movie N could probably appreciate. It's made worse by the fact that Ledian is a jerkass, threatening to kill its Human if it doesn't obey orders, the fact that the Human can STILL TALK AND REASON, but has no choice but to obey, and, if the player character loses the battle, they're forced to run from Ledian and other Pokémon that may try to capture them, thus living exactly like the Wild Pokémon do, and in constant fear. Another installment features a possible ending where the player character is captured and, much like a captured Pokémon, becomes perfectly obedient...
  • Speaking of Timegate Traveler, how about the bad ending of the first movie? If the Temporal Transport knocks out your Solosis (which will most likely happen if you pick either of the bad dialogue options), the Temporal Transport explodes, leaving your experiment a failure, and then you find out that you've merged with your Solosis, thus marking the end of your research for good. Another bad ending turns out that once the character does manage to get back to his own timeline. He unknowingly takes a stone back with him, which Ledian had already purposely slipped into his pocket. Having already expositioned that the stone was what caused the Pokémon to evolve and overthrow the humans. In other words, Ledian and yourself just created a paradox dooming the future.
  • The animated trailer for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 confirms that the villains aim for the trainers when attacking. Makes the battles against them more serious, sure, but there's one time where it unambiguously happens in-game. When you happen on Ghetsis and Kyurem in the Giant Chasm, you're not challenged to a battle. No. He uses Kyurem to attempt to freeze you solid where you stand, not even allowing you to let any of your own Pokémon out to defend yourself. Yes, Ghetsis forces Kyurem to murder you in cold blood with Kyurem's deadly signature move "Glaciate" while you just stand there, helpless to do anything. You're gonna die, and you can't do a thing about it... you just stand there, likely crying, paralyzed with fear, awaiting your inevitable death. Oh and that's not all. Ghetsis even states that he will freeze you first, likely to the point of near-death, but not quite since he's a butt, and while you're permanently frozen, you get to watch everyone and everything else freeze as well. He only freezes you first just so you can watch everybody suffer and die while you are frozen forever, unable to scream, unable to cry, and unable to do anything about it. Unable to save your friends, family, anybody from Kyurem's icy wrath. Not to mention that you've worked so hard to defeat Ghetsis and he's about to kill you. Not defeat, using a Legendary Pokémon to actually end your life. That is the most sick, twisted, evil, demented, and all-around CRUEL AS HELL action that any villain in Pokémon has ever done to somebody. It takes nothing short of a Big Damn Heroes moment from N to thwart the attack. The worst part is that according to N and Hugh, Kyurem sounded sad and was forced to do this against its own will.
  • The scene where Reshiram/Zekrom fuse with Kyurem is pretty horrific in itself. Then it becomes a complete monster And you have to fight, not capture because of Ghetsis' cane, fight Ghetsis' newly-created Eldritch Abomination, newly named White Kyurem (If fused with Reshiram,) or Black Kyurem (If fused with Zekrom) once it is fused.
  • The concept of reviving Pokémon from fossils. Doesn't help that the characters in Red and Blue don't say clone, but revive or resurrect, implying they're Back from the Dead.
  • And then, there's Espurr. With its eyes. And the implication of being a psychic bomb ready to explode, at any time....
  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: the Slowpoke Song. There is something unnatural about it.
  • Takeshi Shudō's novelizations depict the world of the anime as a Crapsack World, with Gym Leaders being fired if they lose three matches, 10-year-olds being legal adults and having to pay taxes, go to jail, or marry, and many, many fathers and grandfathers leaving their families only to get nowhere on their Pokémon journey. Shudo apparently wanted Pokémon to end with a revolt or rebellion of the Pokémon, who made Pikachu their leader and Meowth some ambassador or translator, and Ash would realize his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master was a childish dream that he needed to wake up from.
  • The Drought effect in Omega Ruby is even more sinister when you think about it. During a Pokémon battle, instead of just shining the strong sun weather effect, the sky is a fiery orange, accompanied by random sparks of embers. It's as if the sky is actually burning and the world will burst into flames at any moment. Have fun trying to unthink that while listening to the ominous Drought tune. Also, playing at nighttime will not save you, the sky is still burning and it's still daytime.
  • Zinnia from ORAS. Her childlike speech patterns and behavior as well as the strange and animalistic movements she makes at the start of her battles unnerved many. Never mind the fact that she's the one of the last survivors of an ancient tribe of Dragon-type masters and commands an entire team of them. And can use Mega Evolution.
  • Also from the Delta Episode is Deoxys's entrance. Basically, Mega Rayquaza destroys the meteor... but in the debris, we see a floating triangle, which begins moving in the very same way the one on Birth Island did as it turns red... and then four black tentacles come out as Deoxys's battle music starts up, (Which has a rather unnerving beginning.) then it bursts open and Deoxys comes flying straight at us, leading into a battle against a Lv. 80 Deoxys. note  Anyone who did the original event will probably be shocked as the triangle begins moving and the music starts- Anyone without knowledge of it will probably be freaked out at the creepy tentacles and then be shocked as Deoxys appears.
  • In ORAS, soaring on one of the Eon duo is relaxing... unless you have either a Castform or both Thundurus and Tornadus in your party, in which case, you get to see a giant, eerie thunder cloud which makes loud noises to boot, containing either Thundurus or Tornadus if you have Castform, or Landorus if you have the other two. It's reminiscent of running into a Bigocto in The Wind Waker.
    • Additionally, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina appear in a massive rift in the sky, although whether or not that's creepier than the above is a matter of opinion.
  • In Omega Ruby, right before you fight Tabitha at Mount Chimney, he opens his eyes for the first time. They are bright red, while at the same time he gives a slasher smile.
  • Also in Omega Ruby: Courtney is freaking weird. In the original Ruby, she was simply a Giggling Villain and laughed at virtually every time she spoke. Now, she's like an unholy mesh between a robot and some disturbed child, most of the time showing no emotion except for occasional outbursts of anger. Even her cute design doesn't take away from this. (It might even make it worse.)
    ... ...There's still for me to do. ...I must...stop you. ...Until Leader Maxie...departs... ...But... ...Now...I just...want to... ...With you... ...I want to...engage... ...You... ...I want to...analyze. Ahahaha. ♪"
    "Don't. Get. In. My. Way."
  • Pikachu's voice in Pokémon Yellow. Ikue Ōtani's Pikachu voice is normally cute as heck, but the Game Boy's extremely strict hardware limitations distorted it into a horrific, staticy mess that WILL make you scramble to turn the volume all the way down.
  • The animation for Snorlax's Pulverizing Pancake, especially the beginning, where it's just lying there...then suddenly lifts its head up and looks straight at the camera, eyes glowing and briefly flashing red with a quick but echoing roar. Then, in an instant, it gets up and lunges at you. See it here. Better think twice before taking out that Poké Flute.
  • The Galactic Hideout Depths in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum are darkly lit, have cylinders with strange objects suspended in a fluid inside them, scientists that talk about the experiment to make the Red Chain which hurt the Lake Trio to the point that they feel sickened and very creepy music. Seeing the Lake Trio caged is also disturbing.
  • Junji Ito's Pokémon artwork, done for a Halloween promotion in 2014. There were two pictures: one showed a Banette stalking a little girl from a dark alley, and the other showed a Gengar about to eat a person (although given Gengar's personality, it's probably just messing with her). Even worse, the room Gengar's in is full of Spirals.
  • The "rare footage of the Hisui Region" that shows part of the region in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, alongside a "restored" version. The entirety of the first thing is of freaky VHS quality - the audio is mixed in with a lot of static and the video looks really worn and poor, as though it was an old thing that was just recently discovered. It shows someone who was exploring some sort of frigid landscape, finding wild Snorunt and an unknown Pokémon that seems to have resembled a Growlithe or Vulpix (revealed to be a Zorua in the restored version). Towards the end he proclaims the latter looks adorable, and then... in the first version, there's a loud sound and the man shrieks as his device drops to the ground, afterwards only leaving strange noises and a black display for the rest of the video... And in the restoration, it's revealed he was attacked by a large black... smoky thing with glowing eyes, which was barely emanating in the background before suddenly springing out like Giratina in Pokémon Platinum that turns out to be a Hisuian Zoroark. We don't see what it did to the man, but it can't be anything good. It's a hefty reminder that the Pokémon world out there can be absolutely dangerous and terrifying.
  • The *CONFIDENTIAL* REPORT: Ultra Beast Sightings commercial made to commemorate the 2022 GO Fest event of Pokémon GO, showing the video(s) of supposed Ultra Beast sightings in the real world. The whole video has no music and the footages are either of freaky hand-recorded or VHS quality. In the Seattle "recording", a Buzzwole jumps right in front of a man attacking him. He screams "WHAT IS THIS THING, MAN?" in shock before the recording cuts off with the Buzzwole closing in at him, followed by a footage of a Japanese office building in Sapporo suffering from an outage caused by a Xurkitree, who screams and lashes out at the man who saw it. Finally, the trailer goes back to the Nihilego at the beginning, who starts approaching the woman recording it, almost looking like it has found prey to control and brainwash, before it flies high above the air and reunites with a whole swarm of its kind. Celesteela, Kartana and Guzzlord later also received similar recordings, the Guzzlord and Kartana one in particular featuring the Kartana outright attacking whoever is recording it. It really reminds you of how terrifying and ethereal Ultra Beasts actually are.
  • The fact that Ingo is somehow in Hisui is terrifying on multiple levels, because the exact word used to refer to him is Faller. It's very likely that the Ultra Beasts are somewhere in Hisui, or worse, that the Ultra Wormholes can now drop people through time.

I bet you could use a Cresselia right about now, eh?