| A hideous glowing apparition.
"On the hungry craving wind
A form of derived undead, spectral things are the phantasmal spirits of slain creatures. Like other undead creations such as zombies or skeletons, spectral things are slower and weaker than the original creatures they were made from and have the standard undead resistances to cold and negative energy. Unlike zombies or skeletons, spectral things retain their original intelligence, can use stairs, come with draining-branded attacks, and take damage normally, meaning they can eventually regenerate.
They are occasionally found in special vaults, can be summoned by the Spectral Cloud spell of either a ghost crab or a revenant, and occasionally generate naturally in The Crypt. The mid-game unique Nergalle is capable of summoning large numbers of spectral orcs, which will often be armed with reaching-capable polearms.
The player can summon spectral things by killing things while the Death Channel spell is active, though these are only temporary. Since monsters can still create corpses, this can be used to greatly increase the size of your undead horde for a time. Yredelemnul's Enslave Soul invocation can also give you a single permanent spectral thing that retains all of its former powers.
Spectral things are somewhat less durable than skeletons or zombies, but their increased intelligence, ability to follow you between levels, and ability to heal all help make up for this. Their draining attacks can prove quite useful against enemies that do not resist them. As insubstantial beings, they are inherently levitating, allowing them to cross liquids safely. They also uniformly see invisible, a power the original creature may not have had.
Identifying Spectral things
Though spectral things will have different stats depending on what they were made from, Crawl currently tends to lump them together, making identification somewhat difficult. In console mode, there are unique tiles for several categories of monster, but there are still possible variations within those categories. Press x and highlight the spectral thing in question to get a better idea of the monster you are dealing with. However, this is not definitive: eg, when an ironbrand convoker dies, it comes back as a "spectral human" and the creature's (still active) spellset is omitted in the description.
Below are all the categories of spectral things in tiles mode: