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Version 0.28: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

The undead are once-living creatures from beyond the grave, now preying on the living or serving the dark will of Necromancers, unholy Priests, and certain evil gods. Examples of undead include skeletons, zombies, vampires, wraiths, ghosts, ghouls, and mummies. They are common monsters in the Dungeon, and certain branches (Ossuaries, The Crypt, and The Tomb) are populated almost exclusively by undead. Note that demons and demonic creatures are not undead, despite occasionally looking the part (like hellwings or reapers).

All undead are considered evil, and many gods award piety for destroying them. Naturally, Yredelemnul and Kikubaaqudgha instead reward their vile worshipers with power over the undead.

Several undead species are available to players, offering an unusual style of play. Undead characters are somewhat weaker on average than the living races, but their innate resistances can often compensate for their disadvantages. Having died once already, they leave behind no ghosts to plague future adventurers.

Undead Traits

All undead beings (including player undead) share several immunities and vulnerabilities. They have immunity to poison, at least one rank of cold resistance, immunity to negative energy, immunity to torment, and they are not susceptible to mutations (they lose stats instead). However, they are vulnerable to the Dispel Undead spell and weapons of holy wrath (which they also cannot wield) and take more damage than living characters from holy attacks.

Their undying nature means they cannot go berserk or fall asleep. Also, many spells simply will not function for them, including most of the self-altering Transmutations (Beastly Appendage, Spider Form, Ice Form, Blade Hands, Statue Form, Dragon Form, Storm Form, and Necromutation) along with Sublimation of Blood, Death's Door, and Borgnjor's Revivification.

Being considered evil, the undead may not worship the good gods (The Shining One, Zin, Elyvilon).

These are only the traits that all undead share. A particular undead being will have additional powers, intrinsics, and vulnerabilities peculiar to its species.

Playable Undead

These species of undead are available for player characters:

  • Mummy - Embalmed figures that are especially attuned to Necromancy. However, they cannot drink potions, and their dry, bandaged bodies are quite flammable.
  • Ghoul - Undying beings that are quite strong, though somewhat unskilled and dim-witted. They do not heal naturally in the presence of enemies, but can regain stamina by slaying their foes.
  • Vampire - Stealthy undead that may freely switch between their natural undead state and a partially-living one; they heal quickly and can use transformative spells while alive, but lose access to most of their undead powers (though they never lose their undead weaknesses). Unlike the other two undead species, vampires are susceptible to mutations.

Other species may temporarily become undead by casting the Necromutation spell, gaining the standard undead resistances and vulnerabilities, but losing the ability to drink potions like mummies.

Undead Monsters

Derived undead

These monsters are made from other creatures, so their stats and abilities depend largely on what they were in life. They make up the bulk of an average Necromancer's entourage, though their low intelligence and lack of regeneration present a challenge different from the use of summoned creatures. Unfortunately, many methods of creating undead servants are inherently unstable, so most player-created undead will eventually decay; undead granted by Yredelemnul's power won't decay over time, but will still fall apart should their creator leave for a different floor of the Dungeon.

Zombie human.png Zombie - Shambling, reanimated corpses that are slower, but often more durable, than their living counterparts.

Skeleton medium humanoid.png Skeleton - Weaker than zombies, but easier to animate, skeletons are a fallback if a necromancer has used a creature's flesh for other purposes.

Simulacrum small humanoid.png Simulacrum - Replicas of creatures made from ice. They are fragile and vulnerable to fire, but can deal brutal cold damage in melee.

Spectral small humanoid.png Spectral thing - A disembodied soul bound into a Necromancer's service. While weaker than some other types of undead, they retain their original speed and can recover from injuries.


Abominations are haphazard combinations of body parts with demonic traits, which are partially randomized.

x Small abomination.png Small abomination- Small abominations tend to be fast and fairly strong, but aren't particularly hard to destroy.

X Large abomination.png Large abomination- Significantly stronger than their smaller brethren, but slower.

Ghosts and Wraiths

These are insubstantial forms of undead, many of which have unusual abilities.

W Phantom.png Phantom- Phantasms that appear early on. They are evasive, and can drag their opponents with them when they blink.

W Wraith.png Wraith- Spectral forms that drain speed from their foes.

W Freezing wraith.png Freezing wraith- Icy phantasms that freeze their foes with but a touch.

W Shadow.png Shadow- Shadowy apparitions that can turn invisible, allowing them to strike at the weak spots of hapless adventurers.

W Phantasmal warrior.png Phantasmal warrior- Spirits of deceased warriors whose attacks cut at flesh and willpower alike.

W Shadow wraith.png Shadow wraith- Invisible ghosts whose attacks slow down blundering passersby.

W Drowned soul.png Drowned soul- The souls of those lured to their deaths by a merfolk avatar, commanded to share their fate with the living.

W Eidolon.png Eidolon- Dread apparitions that radiate unearthly fear, preventing their foes from approaching as they bombard them with negative energies.

W Silent spectre.png Silent spectre- Feared by spellcasters, these spirits are surrounded by a vast aura of silence.

W Flayed ghost.png Flayed ghost- Hideous phantasms capable of inflicting illusory wounds that temporarily reduce the health of their victims.

W Putrid mouth.png Putrid mouth- Miasma-spewing maws that roam the damned wastes of Tartarus, wailing and gnashing their teeth.


These undead horrors are animated by esoteric magics to spread death and decay. While they do leave corpses, they are too rotten to be raised as full zombies.

n Necrophage.png Necrophage- Rotting cadavers that wander in search of the living. Their touch withers their foes.

n Bloated husk.png Bloated husk- Wandering corpses made buoyant with swamp gas. They are prone to exploding at the slightest disturbance.

n Bog body.png Bog body- Decaying figures found in swampy areas. They possess chilling magic and an icy touch.

n Ghoul.png Ghoul - Both strong and tough, these undead horrors tear apart and devour anything that crosses their path.

n Searing wretch.png Searing wretch- Incendiary undead that wander the blasted wastes of Gehenna. Their claws can sear away their targets' fire resistance.


These are magicians who have chosen undeath in order to prolong their existence. Since becoming a lich requires considerable arcane power, these are some of the most dangerous types of undead you can come across.

L Stoker.png Stoker- Former mortals sentenced to undeath in Gehenna; they may summon creeping infernoes to blast intruders with storms of flames.

L Halazid warlock.png Halazid warlock- Undying servants of forgotten gods, halazid warlocks can sacrifice their allies to create explosions of negative energy.

L Lich.png Lich- Powerful undead mages capable of casting a wide variety of spells.

L Ancient lich.png Ancient lich- A long-lived lich that has achieved mastery over offensive magic. Their spells are hideously powerful.

L Dread lich.png Dread lich- A lich that has instead made pacts with powerful demons and may call upon them at will.


I see Egypt and the Egyptians - I see the pyramids and obelisks;

I look on chisel'd histories, songs, philosophies, cut in slabs
of sand-stone, or on granite-blocks;
I see at Memphis mummy-pits, containing mummies, embalm'd, swathed
in linen cloth, lying there many centuries;
I look on the fall'n Theban, the large-ball'd eyes, the side-drooping
neck, the hands folded across the breast.
-Walt Whitman, Salut au Mond

Found mostly in the Ossuary and The Tomb. Powerful mummies are largely notable for their death curses, some of which can be very dangerous.

M Mummy (monster).png Mummy - A shambling, slow-moving, flammable, embalmed corpse. They possess no death curse.

M Guardian mummy.png Guardian mummy- A more capable and less flammable opponent than a standard mummy, it also bears a vicious death curse.

M Mummy priest.png Mummy priest- Horrifying undead foes that can torment you to the brink of death, smite you over the edge as you flee, and afflict you with a death curse even if you manage to destroy them.

M Royal mummy.png Royal mummy- Powerful undead royalty with many resistances, all the necromantic prowess of a mummy priest, and ruinous death curses.


A variety of undead notorious for their skill with Hexes and thirst for the blood of the living.

b Vampire bat.png Vampire bat- Flimsy bloodsucking vermin that pose little threat save to the truly inexperienced.

y Vampire mosquito.png Vampire mosquito- Pesky undead insects that come in swarms, but rarely prove dangerous when fought one-on-one.

V Vampire (monster).png Vampire - Sneaky types that like to drain your life force after turning invisible.

V Vampire knight.png Vampire knight- Moderately dangerous foes that attempt to cripple you with Hexes before pummeling you in melee.

V Jiangshi.png Jiangshi- Deceptively nimble cadavers from distant lands that absorb life essence through their knife-like claws.

V Vampire mage.png Vampire mage- Dangerous Necromancy specialists. Don't forget your life protection!

Other Undead

Z Bound soul.png Bound soul- A disembodied soul bound into service by the power of Yredelemnul. It retains much of the abilities it had in life.

z Wight.png Wight- Undying warriors, often equipped with high-quality weapons. They roam the Dungeon in groups in search of honourable deaths in battle.

z Flying skull.png Flying skull- Swift but weak, flying skulls make for mediocre guardians but serve as an excellent alarm system.

B Pharaoh ant.png Pharaoh ant- When destroyed, these insects bind the souls of anything nearby to rise as simulacra.

t Ghost crab.png Ghost crab- Scuttling undead crustaceans that fill the air with spectral flames and summoned ghosts.

* Lost soul.png Lost soul- A bereft and wandering soul, capable of reviving another creature at the moment of its death.

z Skeletal warrior.png Skeletal warrior- Powerful undead warriors who combine surprising durability with two-handed weaponry.

z Ancient champion.png Ancient champion- Skeletal warriors that have been imbued with unnatural strength and fell magics.

z Revenant.png Revenant- Baleful figures wreathed in ghostly flames; the fires they fill their surroundings with will also generate hostile spirits.

D Bone dragon.png Bone dragon- Mighty undead made from the pieced-together skeletons of dragons.

A Profane servitor.png Profane servitor- Champions of the powers of darkness, these undead angels radiate shadow in place of light.

B Death scarab.png Death scarab- Swarming undead insects with life- and speed-draining bites.

z Curse skull.png Curse skull- Swift-moving and extremely durable menaces that summon legions of undead while tormenting anything that blunders into view.

z Death cob.png Death cob- Extremely fast undead ears of corn (no, seriously) that assault and drain the speed of those who enter the Realm of Zot.

z Curse toe.png Curse toe- Disembodied undead toes that would be pretty ridiculous if it weren't for their extremely dangerous abilities.

f Deathcap.png Deathcap- Pestilential, life-draining fungi called into existence by curse toes.

C Tainted leviathan.png Tainted leviathan- Undead giants that roam Tartarus, mesmerising intruders before pelting them with large rocks.

Unique Undead

p Player ghost.png Player ghost - All that remains of another adventurer who fell in search of The Orb of Zot. It retains many of the skills and traits it had in life.

M Menkaure.png Menkaure- A forgotten mummy lord with the power to torment his foes.

L Zonguldrok lich.png Zonguldrok - A master Necromancer who rises as a lich to accost anyone who dares to disturb his tomb.

L Boris.png Boris- A lich who has mastered the art of regeneration, allowing him to respawn elsewhere in the Dungeon after you've felled him.

V Jory.png Jory- The mightiest of vampires, he is capable of devastating magic and possesses a mesmerising gaze.

M Khufu.png Khufu- A royal mummy who strives to ascend to godhood.

z Murray.png Murray- A curse skull who appears in the Vestibule of Hell and packs a nasty bite in addition to his magic.

L Master Blaster.png Master Blaster- The boss of the Thunderdome map in Dungeon Sprint. Ridiculously powerful even by Crawl's usual standards.

Retired Undead

x Crawling corpse.png Crawling corpse- A pitiful, crawling body created by the Twisted Resurrection spell with no combat skills whatsoever. However, it can merge into other abominations to form larger creations. Removed in 0.27, along with Twisted Resurrection.

x Macabre mass.png Macabre mass- Several corpses that have merged together. While slightly more durable than a crawling corpse, they still require more mass to be battle-capable. Removed in 0.27, along with Twisted Resurrection.

J Death ooze.png Death ooze- Jellies comprised of decaying flesh, they drained your health instead of corroding your equipment. Removed in 0.27

W Hungry ghost.png Hungry ghost- These ghosts drained the sustenance of their foes in hopes of making them starve to death. Removed along with the hunger system in 0.26.

L Unborn.png Unborn- A skilled lich-priest of Yredelemnul wielding some of the less common forms of Necromancy. Removed in 0.17.

z Flaming corpse.png Flaming corpse- Incendiary remains of those who perished in fire, they sought to share their gruesome fate with others. Removed in 0.15.

n Plague shambler.png Plague shambler- Infected hulks that existed solely to spread plague and miasma. Removed in 0.15

n Rotting hulk.png Rotting hulk- A large, shambling corpse, riddled with disease. Replaced with plague shamblers in 0.13.

M Bog mummy.png Bog mummy- A type of mummy found in waterlogged areas. Replaced with bog bodies in 0.11.

p Terpsichore.png Terpsichore- A phantom who would have been able to enchant nearby weapons into joining her dance. Considered for but never implemented in 0.8

See Also