A MISDREAVUS frightens people with a creepy, sobbing cry. It apparently uses its red spheres to absorb the fear of foes as its nutrition.
Misdreavus is a dark bluish-green, ghost-like Pokémon. While it has no visible arms or legs, its lower half has several small appendages and resembles a ruffled dress. It has a several round, red gems around its neck, which are used to absorb fear as nourishment. It has long, flowing lilac-tipped "hair". Misdreavus's large eyes have yellow sclera with red irises.
As a nocturnal Pokémon, it spends its days sleeping in darkness and its nights startling people with mischievous tricks. Since it loves watching frightened people, it is known to yank and bite at people's hair or sneak up on them and cry and shriek.
Misdreavus' nocturnal habits of wailing to frighten people and its similarity in appearance to a disembodied head are shared by various mythological creatures. One of these is the nukekubi, which shares the similarities of nocturnal habits, flying about as a decapitated head, and wailing to increase its victims' fright. Another possible origin is the banshee, a female spirit from Gaelic folklore who was known for its unearthly wailing and screaming. It is also possible that it was based on a Lang Suir, a type of vampire in Malaysian mythology known to appear as a flying decapitated head of a woman.
Misdreavus is a corruption of mischievous. It may also be any combination of mistress, miscreant (due to the way it always scares people), dream, dread, dreary, and reave (to rob).