A trick of the light has Japanese social media checking every crane game for evil apparitions.

Kirby has reigned long and mighty as one of the most iconic Japanese video game characters ever. Not only is he as cute as a button, he’s easy for grade-schoolers to draw and his superpower is eating. That’s about as relatable as it can get, in my book.

So it’s natural that Kirby and crane games go hand in claw. Who doesn’t want to win a chubby little pal all of their own, and spend endless hard-earned coins in the process? You can even play crane games for Kirby in the video games themselves, which makes for some effective subliminal advertising.

But if you were to head over to one of the Bandai Namco arcades to challenge the crane, you might be in for a surprise. Voice-actress and singer Hibiku Yamamura recently took to Twitter to share a snap of a Kirby crane game prize that doesn’t seem quite right.

The overlay between Kirby’s reflection and the plush in the next booth creates an eerie mismatched reflection effect. Yamamura herself spoils the ‘trick’ of the shot in the text of her tweet – Kirby’s reflection falls on a neighboring plush of Gengar, who hails from Pokémon, another famous Nintendo franchise.

A helpful commenter appeared to show the same effect in their local arcade.

Gengar is one of the most popular ghost Pokémon in the franchise, and he’s a common fixture at the arcades too. His shape and size means that when positioned just right, Kirby’s cute eyes transpose exactly over his toothy grin.

These photos just lends themselves to all kinds of theories. Do they show a Kirby who successfully gulped down a ghost? A Gengar trying to pass himself off as Kirby as a prank? A freak ghost possession gone wrong?!

Opinions are strictly divided in the Twitter thread itself. Fear seems to be the winning response with one commenter saying gravely “A pink demon was birthed here”. Another added, “That’s a monster disguised in pink skin,” and another frightening possibility emerged with “It’s Kirby’s true form!”

Others rushed to more farfetched comparisons, such as that this mirror Kirby is anime creature Koro-sensei in disguise, or the Annoying Orange.

Seeing as one of the earliest responses shows the crane game cases side-by-side, Twitter can get back to the real mystery: should we expect a ghost Kirby cameo in Pokémon GO?

Source, featured image: Twitter/@hibiku_yamamura