Barrow wight

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The barrow wight, W is a monster that appears in NetHack.

They are resistant to cold, sleep and poison, and do not normally leave corpses.


A barrow wight always carries a long sword and a knife.


The barrow wight can be a stronger threat than its statistics may suggest. If distant, the barrow wight may throw projectiles (usually its knife) and close in to use spells on the player. If the player attempts to engage in melee combat, they put themselves at risk of being stunned, as well as the wight's level draining (but otherwise harmless) weapon attacks. A barrow wight is best dealt with quickly, but without undue alarm.

The barrow wight's long sword may be of interest to lawful characters looking for a long sword to create Excalibur.


Barrow wights originate from the universe of Tolkien's works. "Barrow" refers to the burial mounts they normally inhabit, while "wight" is old English for "thing, living being creature", used in the less archaic sense meaning "ghost". It resembles a wraith.



In UnNetHack barrow wights are slightly more common; if a player is killed by a Nazgul, they will rise as a barrow wight in the bones file.

Slash'EM Extended

Barrow wights leave corpses (1200l) in Slash'EM Extended, and they are usually hazardous to eat.

Encyclopedia entry

When he came to himself again, for a moment he could recall
nothing except a sense of dread. Then suddenly he knew that
he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A
Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under
the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered
tales spoke. He dared not move, but lay as he found himself:
flat on his back upon a cold stone with his hands on his

[ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ]

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