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( Bell.png
Name bell
Appearance bell
Base price 50 zm
Weight 30
Material copper
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A bell is a musical instrument. It does not play notes; its function is to ring.


Bells are often found on graves reading "Saved by the bell!"[1] All bells are generated uncursed.

Unlike horns, harps, and flutes, there are no randomly-generated magical bells. The only magical bell in the game is the Bell of Opening, which has the distinct appearance of "a silver bell".


Ringing a blessed or uncursed bell makes noise (waking nearby monsters) and calls pets. A cursed bell, however, has a 14 chance of summoning a nymph (she won't be carrying any items), assuming none of the nymphs are genocided or extinct. If a nymph is summoned, the bell has a 7% chance of breaking (the Bell of Opening never breaks). If the bell doesn't break, then with equal probability:

  • there may be no effect;
  • the summoned nymph may be fast; or
  • the player may be paralyzed for 2 turns.[2]


Bells have very little use in most games, and they are quite heavy, so they are rarely worth keeping.

See also

  • Tin whistle – an item that can also wake monsters and call pets


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.