Barrow wight

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A barrow wight is a mythical creature, very rarely found in the dungeons. A barrow wight may follow the player from level to level, if it is nearby when the player leaves, and can be a stronger threat than its figures may suggest. From long range, the barrow wight may throw projectiles (usually its knife) and use spells to attack the player. If the player attempts to engage in melee combat, they put themselves at risk of the barrow wight's level draining (but otherwise harmless) weapon attacks. It always carries a long sword and a knife. A barrow wight is best dealt with quickly, without undue alarm.


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.


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 "ghostd ". It resembles a wraith.

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 ]