Wand of undead turning

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Name undead turning
Appearance random
Abundance 5%
Base price 150 zm
Weight 7
Type beam
Maximum charges 8
Spell turn undead
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A wand of undead turning is a type of wand that appears in NetHack.


The wand of undead turning makes up 5% of all randomly generated wands.


A wand of undead turning has two functions: Zapping an undead monster deals 1d8 points of damage and will cause the creature to flee from you. This damage is doubled if you are a Knight carrying the Magic Mirror of Merlin. Alternatively, the wand can be used to unturn dead,[1] reviving corpses and rejuvenating eggs, though limitations apply. Monsters will not use this wand.

A Healer that is blind and using the wand to revive a corpse will formally identify the wand if they are not deaf.[2]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Intelligent monsters with hands that have a wand of undead turning will zap you with it if you are carrying any corpses, including lizard corpses or wielded cockatrice corpses. When they do, one corpse from each stack you are carrying will be revived.


One of the most common uses for this wand is to revive the corpse of a killed pet, though it may need to be re-tamed depending on their previous tameness and pet abuse; another somewhat common use is to revive corpses that are too old to eat or else #offer as sacrifices. In both cases, be mindful of corpse generation odds - there's no guarantee that the monster will leave a corpse a second time unless they are of sufficient physical size (i.e. large or bigger).

Though it may be tempting to farm unicorns and dragons for their horns and scales, this is not as useful as it sounds: revived unicorns have a 50% chance of not dropping an extra horn at all, and the horns that do drop will count as non-magical tools for polypiling purposes; revived dragons will only drop scales 5% of the time.


Main article: Engrave-test

Engraving with a wand of undead turning generates no message or effect - if you zap a wand that has no message or effect at yourself and reanimate a corpse in your inventory, stun yourself while undead, or else get a specific message, the wand is unambiguously undead turning.


The wand of undead turning first appears in PDP-11, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack.

The method for Healers to identify the wand was introduced in NetHack 3.6.0.[3]


You shudder in dread.
You zapped a wand of undead turning at yourself, and there were no corpses in your inventory.



In UnNetHack, engraving with a wand of undead turning will give the following message and auto-identify the wand:

The dead bugs on the floor start moving!

Additionally, if you are playing as a Vampire and have drained the blood of a corpse, it cannot be revived. Attempting to do so gives the following message:

The drained bite-covered <foo> corpse stirs with life, but doesn't have enough blood to survive.


In SlashTHEM, Undertakers start each game with a wand of undead turning.