00 Halloween 2019 Banner

Since release, Pokémon GO has always featured a Halloween event with plenty of ghostly goings on, and 2019’s event may just be the biggest yet. From 17 October until the 1 November you will be able to catch new Gen 5 Pokémon Yamask, battle the new Gen 4 mythical Darkrai as well as encounter plenty of dark type, ghost type and alternative form Pokémon through the game’s various quests, gyms, stops and shops.

In this guide we break down all the features of Pokémon GO’s Halloween events, including a walkthrough for the ‘A Spooky Message’ Spiritomb quest being re-run in 2019.

Pokémon GO’s 2019 Halloween Event Dates

This year’s Halloween event started on Thursday 17 October 2019 and will end on Friday 1 November 2019. Localised start and end times are:

  • Europe - 10pm (CEST)
  • UK - 9pm (BST/GMT)
  • East Coast US - 5pm (EDT/EST)
  • West Coast US - 1pm (PDT)

(Note that certain areas will start and end on different time standards due to daylight savings).

What’s Happening?

New Pokémon Release: Yamask (and Evolution Cofagrigus)

01 Halloween Yamask Cofagrigus

One of the first monsters to emerge since the initial wave of Generation 5 (Unova) Pokémon released in September, the masked ghost-type Pokémon Yamask (#562) and its sarcophagus-themed evolution will haunt your walks as soon as the event starts.

Infamous for its Pokédex description (“Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry”), this symbol of unfathomable existential horror can be caught in shiny form too.

New Pokémon Release: Darkrai in Five-Star Raids

02 Halloween Darkrai

Also making its debut will be the Gen 4 (Sinnoh) mythical Pokémon Darkrai (#491). The Dark-type ‘Pitch-Black Pokémon’ is vulnerable to Big, Fairy and Fighting type moves and is anticipated to be among the most effective dark-type Pokémon in the game.

Costumed Pokémon Forms for Gen 1 Starters

Halloween-themed forms of the first generation starters are coming to the game during the event. A Pikachu wearing a Mimikyu costume will be available in the wild, and in raids you can fight Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle dressed as Shedninja, Cubone and Yamask respectively.

New Shadow Pokémon

After the appearance of infected Pokéstops earlier this summer we’ve seen a steady increase in special shadow versions of various Pokémon in Team Rocket GO battles. The Halloween 2019 event will include the release of Shadow Weedle, Lapras, Mareep, Magmar, Nuzleaf and more.

Other Features

  • More Ghost and Dark Pokémon in the wild, in eggs and in raids
  • Ghost and dark-type themed field research tasks
  • New items in the Style Shop for your trainer (incl. Litwick cap, Mimikyu bag)
  • 2x candy multiplier applied to catches, egg hatches and transfers to the professor

Spiritomb – ‘A Spooky Message’ Research Walkthrough

03 Halloween Spiritomb

The 2019 Halloween event will additionally feature a re-run of the ‘A Spooky Message’ special research quest that originally debuted for Halloween 2018. This quest will be newly redistributed from Pokéstops during the event period, having disappeared on November 1 2018.

Even if you participated in the quest in 2018, you are able to do this year's edition as well - giving you a chance to get a second Spiritomb. Although ‘A Spooky Message 2019’ involves the same steps as the previous edition, some of the catch rewards have been changed, as described below.

Step 1/3

Quest

Reward

Catch 10 Ghost-Type Pokémon

2019 Encounter: Litwick

2018 Encounter: Duskull

Make 8 Great Throws

1,080XP

Use 108 berries to catch Pokémon

2019 Encounter: Sableye

2018 Encounter: Lickitung

Rewards: 10x Poké Balls, 1,080 Stardust, 8x Silver Pinap Berry

With the increased spawns of ghost-type Pokémon during the Halloween event, you should have no trouble catching 10 ghost-type Pokémon. 8 non-consecutive great throws should also be no trouble – try to find Pokémon with a naturally large catching circle (e.g. Wailmer and Slowpoke) if you’re having difficulty.

The most time consuming subquest is likely to be the 108 berries you have to use. Note that the Pokémon doesn’t have to be caught for your berry use to count (and you don’t actually have to even try catching a Pokémon). Replenish your berry supply by spinning Pokéstops (and look out for research quests that reward you with berries).

Step 2/3

Quest

Reward

Catch 10 Dark-Type Pokémon

2019 Encounter: Yamask

2018 Encounter: Misdreavus

Spin 8 Pokéstops you haven’t visited before

1,080XP

Catch 108 Pokémon

Encounter: Spiritomb

Rewards: 10x Poké Balls, 1,080 Stardust, 8x Golden Razz Berry (2018: 8x Silver Pinap Berry)

Once again, 10 dark-type Pokémon will be easy to catch during the event period. Veterans are likely to find getting to Pokéstops they haven’t visited before more difficult than newcomers for obvious reasons – all we can say is that you should just head to a place (or part of a place) you haven’t been before.

Catching 108 Pokémon is a task that we can’t really provide any advice on either – this is as good a time as any to point out that you don’t need to complete the quest during the event period, so feel free to catch at your own pace.

Step 3/3

Quest

Reward

Auto-completed quest

1,080XP

Auto-completed quest

1,080XP

Auto-completed quest

1,080XP

Rewards: 18x Spiritomb Candy, 1,080 Stardust

The third and final step of the quest is a simple dump of XP, Spiritomb candy and stardust – no strategy required here!

Ok, but what’s the significance of 1080/108 to Spiritomb?

While we’d love it to be the case that Spiritomb is a huge fan of Nintendo’s all-to-long-dormant 1080° Snowboarding series, it is described in Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon X and Pokémon Omega Ruby in the following terms:

A Pokémon that was formed by 108 spirits. It is bound to a fissure in an Odd Keystone.

Additionally, its Sinnoh Pokédex number is 108, in the mainline games it has Defence and Special Defence base values of 108, it weighs 108.0kg and it even appears on Route 108 in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.

In real-world terms, 108 is an allusion to the 108 temptations that you must overcome to reach Nirvana in Japanese Buddhism. If you reach Nirvana as a result of reading this guide, please let us know in the comments.