You have to be living under a rock to not know what Pokémon GO is. Alright, alright. So you don’t login to the internet as much, or at least, you don’t venture out into the gaming portion of the net. So, here’s the thing: Pokémon GO is an app that was released for free to be downloaded on Apple and Android phones. It lets its users catch imaginary animals called Pokémon in real life. How?
Well, the app is GPS-enabled, which means that wherever you go (outside your house, that is) you may or may not come across some random Pokémon just waiting to be caught. But as is the thing with every technological advancement, people just managed to mess things up. How? Read on to know more about 15 Pokémon GO horror stories.
15 Teen discovers dead body
Yikes! Well believe it or not, it’s true. Nineteen-year-old Riverton resident, Shayla Wiggins found a body floating in the Wind River. So what exactly happened? Well, she was searching for Pokémon (duh!) and they all happened to be in Riverton. She wanted to get a Pokémon from a natural water resource so like most teens her age, she defied all instructions around the water body and jumped right over the fence to get what she wanted.
It was on her walk towards the bridge when she realized something odd in the water. She had to look twice to realize that a dead body was floating in the water! I cannot begin to imagine what would have gone through the poor girl’s mind. You can read the full report here.
14 Pokémon hunting turns into ghost hunting (well, almost)
Two Japanese men, who have since then been dubbed as “daring” and “heroic” (moronic is more like it, if you ask me), are seen going down a ghost tunnel, famed for its haunted past, in search of rare Pokémon.
Wearing white shirts, these men used torches to see better at night inside the tunnel so that they could navigate their way through pitch black darkness. They seem to be scared (and rightly so) but in the end, all's well as they happily catch the Pokémon they wanted to. I am not sure how much of this video is scripted and how much is genuine, but it sure is worth a watch either way. And yeah, you get to see one of the men smash his phone in the process of catching Pokémon, so there’s that!
13 Dissing the dead
There are certain lines that nobody should cross, but it seems like the youth of today do not know this. So here’s the deal. In a cemetery in Whitburn, West Lothian (Scotland), headstones were knocked over and damage worth £8,000 was caused when hundreds of Pokémon GO players ran to the site in search of rare Pokémon.
Obviously, catching imaginary animals was way more important to these people than respecting the deceased and the result was there for everybody to see. In fact, the situation became so grave (excuse the pun) that it caused the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to issue a plea to gamers to NOT disrespect their fallen war heroes. Eventually, the location was removed entirely from the game.
12 A lady caught her boyfriend cheating on her
This “horror” story is about the despicable Queens resident Evan Scribner, who cheated on his girlfriend. So, what happened? Well, he was playing his game and while playing, he found one Pokémon bat which just happened to be near his ex’s place. So how was he caught? Not doing the deed, that’s for sure.
For those of you who don’t know, the app makes use of geolocation to show the location of players, and thankfully, his girlfriend (now his ex) saw that he’d spent quite some time at his previous ex’s home. The douchebag got what he deserved, if you ask me.
11 People are becoming victims of robbery
Speaking of tracking locations, guess what you can do with the GPS location of strangers? Yeah, well, highway robbery. Literally. When you reach a specific level in the game, players can converge at certain areas to have “battles” among themselves. When they did, a few Pokémon GO players got robbed, and they immediately reported the incident to the Missouri police. The police explained that the tech savvy robbers used the geolocation feature of the app to lure players to secluded locations where they could get robbed.
Thankfully though, the robbers were caught, charged with first degree robbery, and had a bond set at $100,000 cash.
10 When the game caused car crashes
Everybody knows that driving + texting = accidents, but that doesn’t stop people from texting anyway, does it? Yeah well, the same principle applies to Pokémon GO. You can’t drive AND play on your phone. Well, you can, but then you’d end up in a road accident, much like the people we're about to tell you about.
This time, it wasn’t one person but two completely unconnected people who ended up being victims of car crashes. One of them was playing the game behind the wheel, while the other had parked his car illegally at Texas A&M University, and as luck would have it, another car hit their parked car. However, this driver, unlike the first one, was lucky and didn’t get hurt. Human stupidity, amirite?
9 When human stupidity knew no bounds
Would you believe that the Japanese police has come out with its own safety guide for playing Pokémon GO? They did. And it features basic tips like not visiting secluded areas, not meeting up with strangers, etc. But despite everything the authorities are doing to ensure the country’s citizens don’t get hurt, guess what? A student attending Kindai University in Osaka became of a victim of his own stupidity within hours of the game being released in Japan.
So what happened? The usual. The young man had his nose buried deeply in his phone and he didn’t realise he was going to walk down a flight of stairs. And so instead of walking down them, he tumbled and fell. He was bleeding and suffered facial injuries, because of which, he was rushed to the hospital.
8 When bones were broken
From scraped knees to severe sunburns, there’s nothing that the mighty Pokémon GO players haven’t gone through. In fact, the injuries from this game have been so widespread that doctors have come up with their list of the top five Pokémon GO injuries and how you can avoid them
And who could blame them? Well, I know I would, but what’s the point? Their eyes are stuck to their phone screens and they become completely oblivious of their surroundings. As you can see above, this is an X-ray tweeted by a player who says his friend broke his collarbone while playing the game. Other people have reported sprained ankles, bruised shins, getting wet and thus catching a cold, getting cuts on their hands and legs, among other injuries.
7 Teen fatally shot while playing Pokémon GO
This happened in Guatemala, and the reason for the teen’s death is still unknown. In the small town of Chiquimula, 18-year-old Jerson Lopez de Leon was walking the streets with his 17-year-old cousin, Daniel Moises Picen, when they were suddenly shot at by people unknown. Both were taken to the hospital. Lopez died there while Moises was still being treated when the report was written.
Eye witnesses said that while the two were busy playing the Pokémon GO game down a railway line, a car passed by suddenly and showered at least 20 bullets at the teens. The bullet casings were found at the murder scene, verifying the account of the eyewitnesses. The accused are still at large, and the motive behind the killing is still unclear. One theory states it’s a messed up mobile phone robbery where the teens just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The other theory states that one of the teens had simply got into the company of wrong people, and that he had a hit out on his name.
6 Employee fired over his rant on Pokémon GO
Again, this one isn’t exactly a horror story by most people’s standards, but come on, haven’t we all had nightmares about being fired for being too vocal with our opinions? Well, this is exactly what happened with Australian Sonny Truyen, who is currently residing in Singapore. Frustrated at Pokémon GO’s limited release worldwide, he took to Facebook to rant about it by saying, "You can't f***ing catch Pokémon in this piece of f***ing s*** country."
As luck would have it, someone took a screenshot of his rant (which has since been deleted) and alerted the company that he works at of his hateful rant. Which, by the way, went viral in Singapore.
The company distanced itself from Truyen, stating that he had only been a part of their organization for one week. It also said that as a result of his language and behaviour, the young man was fired from the company. Cheung apologized, but it was too little, too late.
5 That time when a stampede happened
Rumor spread around that a Vaporeon was just waiting to be caught at Central Park at around 11 p.m. one night. For those of you don’t know, it’s one of the rarest Pokémon there is out there, and understandably, New Yorkers went NUTS! Players went in groups to the park in search of that one elusive Pokémon and the result was, well, quite a sight.
You can watch the video here, by the way. A nonchalant bystander managed to capture this frenzy on his mobile phone and thankfully uploaded it on YouTube for the entire world to enjoy. Would you believe that cars were backed up in the streets? One man was so eager to catch that Vaporeon that he immediately jumped out of his car to catch it. Really, guys?
4 When people fell off a cliff
This happened in Encinitas, California. And to be honest, there were warning signs everywhere, but despite it all, two men decided to be “daredevils," disregarded all warnings, and tried to catch Pokémon by those seaside cliffs.
With their noses buried in their smartphones, they were unable to see where they were walking. As a result, both fell down a cliff. One fell down a 50 feet drop while the other fell down 90 feet. The fire department had to be called and the two young men had to be pulled out with harnesses and ropes. It was alleged that one of the men was drunk, but nothing conclusive has been determined so far. It’s also unknown to what extent the two young men were injured.
3 Teens were confused as burglars and SHOT at
So these two teenagers were cruising around in Florida, trying to capture Pokémon, Marowak and Tauros, when they decided to trespass onto someone’s property. Reports claim that the owner of the house thought it suspicious to have a car parked in front of his car, and just like anybody else, he thought they were up to no good. Mistaking them for burglars (one of the teens shouted to the other “did you get anything?”) he got his gun and allegedly told the teens not to move.
But they sped away in their car, and the owner shot at them. His bullets hit the car, but in his defence, the man claimed the two were trying to run over him with his car. The teens weren’t hurt, though and the case is still being investigated.
2 When a PokéBattle was taken literally
This happened to 21-year-old Michael Baker, a diehard Pokémon fan. Early on a Monday morning, the young man set out of his home in search for his next Pokémon when he came across a stranger. Assuming the stranger to be a Pokémon player like himself, Baker challenged him to a battle.
Turns out, the man knew nothing about Pokémon GO because when he heard about a battle, he immediately took out a knife and stabbed Baker in the shoulder. But here’s the surprising part: Baker refused medical attention because for him, it was more important to carry on with his Pokémon journey. After he was satisfied with his hunt, he sought out medical treatment and got eight stitches in his shoulder. As they say, gotta be the first one to catch them all.
1 South Koreans rush to the North Korean border
Now for those of you who don’t understand why this is a horror story, a simple Google search will show you why life in North Korea is less than desired. Which is why, if you’re caught sneaking into the country, or even accidentally entering it, guess what happens? Lemme tell ya, nothing pleasant.
This is why it’s shocking to see people visiting the city of Sokcho in South Korea, a mere 20 miles away from the demilitarized zone, which splits South Korea and North Korea. Maybe it’s because it’s the only city in the entire country of South Korea where you get to play the game.
And on that note, would you believe that special Pokémon GO bus services have begun and its sole purpose is to start their journeys at Seoul and drop off passengers at Sokcho? Tickets have been sold out days in advance already. Those guys better hope they aren’t dumb enough to walk their way into North Korea with their noses buried in their phones.