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 and use spells to attack the player. If the player attempts to engage in melee combat he or she puts him or herself 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

They do leave corpses (1200l) in Slash'EM Extended. Don't eat them.


They originate from the Tolkien Universe. "Barrow" refers to the burial mounts they normally inhabit. While "wight" is middle English for "living being", here implying "spirit". 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 ]