Scary Hospitality! (Japanese: こわいイエのおもてなし！The Scary House's Hospitality!) is the 72nd episode of the XY series, and the 871st episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 14, 2015 and in the United States on July 18, 2015.
As our heroes travel through a deep forest, Serena recalls a story about a particularly scary house. And just as they make their way out of a forest, they come across the mansion from her tale! On the doorstep of the scary house, a gentleman named Lon invites them in out of the rain.
Shortly after, our heroes witness a series of frightening and inexplicable events. But it soon becomes clear that these scares are the work of a Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar, all Lon’s good friends. The Pokémon don’t mean any harm—it’s their way of making guests feel welcome!
The real mystery begins when Clemont discovers a young boy’s journal and photo in the basement. As Clemont reads about the boy’s scary experiences in the house, Lon recognizes himself in the photo, which apparently was taken more than two hundred years ago…and then our heroes are in for the fright of their lives when their host calmly reveals that he isn’t exactly alive!
The next morning, our heroes wake up in the forest, wondering if their shared experience was all just a dream. Later, during another rainy night, a soaked Team Rocket arrives at the scary house. Lon invites them in out of the rain...
Ash, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie are walking along a path when they realize that they are lost because they have passed the same location multiple times. The situation reminds Serena about a mansion located in the area, called the "Scary House", where anyone entering will have the scariest experience of their life. Ash and Clemont frightened by the idea of the Scary House, while Bonnie shows interest in going. As Clemont scolds Bonnie for wanting to visit, the group decides to take a different path than the one before in the hopes of finding their way to Laverre City. However, they soon come across a large house. An elderly gentleman immediately invites them in so that they are safe from the thunderstorm and offers them towels with which to dry themselves off. As the man introduces himself as Lon, Clemont notes with some apprehension the peculiarity of there being exactly four towels. Lon notices Clemont's worried expression and asks what is wrong, and Clemont doggedly insists that he was just noticing how soft the towel was.
After the group dries off, Lon leads them into the dining room for a meal. Again, Clemont is suspicious at there being only four plates and, although the food is delicious, he continues to feel unsettled. While eating, Ash asks why Lon isn't eating with them, and Lon says he has already eaten his dinner. Once the group is finished eating, Lon invites them to the living room to share tea with him. As they are on their way to the living room, Ash remarks how generous Lon is, and Serena questions why anyone would call the mansion the Scary House. Clemont disagrees and relays his suspicions to Ash, Serena, and Bonnie, feeling as if Lon had anticipated their predicament and subsequent arrival. Before they can discuss it any further, however, Lon reappears and leads them to the living room. He then tells them a story behind the reason for his home being called the Scary House. The story frightens Ash and Serena and causes Clemont to fall over in fright, but Bonnie is excited by it and eagerly asks Lon to continue. Lon is surprised at her enthusiasm, and, as he explains how he likes to tell scary stories to his guests, several frightening events start taking place, such as wall decorations shaking for no reason.
Clemont, frightened by the idea of supernatural causes, doggedly insists that anything can be proved with science and introduces his newest invention: a machine with a design similar to a metal detector that is designed to identify the cause of any seemingly inexplicable event. As Bonnie, Ash, and Serena look outside at the moon, with the rain having stopped, Ash's shadow begins to undulate and takes the form of a ghost before escaping. As an unseen force causes Ash to suddenly feel very cold, Clemont's machine registers something but he is unable to identify it. He tries again when Serena experiences a similar sensation, but he is again unable to get a definite reading. After this, Clemont himself is hoisted into the air and his device is stolen from him and flies into another room. Bonnie runs after it and manages to pin it back to the floor, when several things start happening: the drapes on the window are fluttering without the aid of a breeze, a chair is spinning by itself on one of its legs, and a piano is evidently playing itself. Using Clemont's machine and Ash and Serena's Pokédexes, the group determines that these apparently impossible events are being caused by a Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar, respectively.
Once Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar realize that Ash and his friends are aware of their presence, they join together with Lon to explain that they enjoy setting up scares and tricks for Lon's guests. Lon is pleased to know that they enjoyed the scares, and Clemont is most relieved and points out that he was correct about a perfectly rational, scientific explanation for the strange occurrences in the house. As Ash asks Bonnie a question, he, Clemont, and Serena suddenly realize that she is nowhere to be found. Ash runs out into the hallway to look, when Serena and Clemont hear him cry out in surprise. The two of them run after him, but Ash and Pikachu have vanished as well. While Clemont and Serena are searching the area for Ash, Clemont hears Serena scream as well and looks around just in time to see her falling through a trap door. When he mentions this to Lon, Lon suddenly remembers that there is a passage to the basement in the living room and leads Clemont to it. Clemont then proceeds downstairs with Chespin, where he discovers that his friends and sister are trapped behind a rusted door. Using Frogadier's Frubbles to force the door open, Clemont happily embraces Bonnie. Meanwhile, Pikachu discovers a notebook lying forgotten on a table, and they bring it back with them.
In the living room, Clemont reads aloud from the notebook per Lon's request. It explains how a young boy had his father build secret passages to a basement room so that he could escape from the ghosts that were causing all kinds of frightening events in the house, but despite a medium's efforts to ward the evil spirits away, the strange things kept happening and the boy's family eventually moved away. A picture falls out of the notebook, and Bonnie notices that the young boy in the picture looks similar to Lon, who then realizes he is the boy in the photo, and had simply forgotten about him previously living in the mansion. In addition, Lon realizes that Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar were responsible for everything all along and that he had misunderstood their simple desire to play. As Ash discovers that Lon's photo is over two hundred years old, Lon reveals that he is in fact dead causing Ash and his friends to scream in fear.
Ash, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie wake up in the forest, where Ash, Serena, and Clemont comment on the events that just took place. Bonnie suggests that they all shared the same dream, but as she runs ahead of them on their way to Laverre City, she pulls a photograph out of her bag showing her standing with Lon and the three Ghost Pokémon.
Later that night as a heavy rain falls, a drenched Team Rocket find themselves seeking immediate shelter from the storm and come across none other than the Scary House. As Lon welcomes them to his home, Gastly, Haunter and Gengar wait happily as they prepare to have more fun with the newcomers.
Team Rocket does not recite their motto, blast off, or attempt to capture Pikachu or other Pokémon in this episode. They only appear for a moment in the very end of the episode.
The design of the ghost that appears as Ash's shadow is similar to the Ghost sprite of original games.
During the entire episode, Lon never casts a shadow (aside from his flashbacks), not to mention eating, drinking, or touching or holding anything, alluding to the revelation that he is actually a ghost.
Lon's photo as a child dates from July 14, 1758. In the real world, camera captures were not accomplished at all until the mid-1820s.
Ash's comment on how said picture is from over 200 years ago marks the only instance in the anime where an approximated numbered date of the Pokémon world's present time is implied.