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A ghast, Z, is a type of monster that appears in SLASH'EM, SpliceHack, SlashTHEM, and Hack'EM. It is a low-level undead being similar to a ghoul: it is carnivorous, humanoid, mindless, unbreathing, and can follow the player character to other levels.

Ghasts share the ghoul's paralyzing claw attack, and also have a second claw attack and a bite attack. They possess cold resistance, sleep resistance, poison resistance, and drain resistance.


In addition to random generation, a Necromancer using the raise zombies technique on a humanoid corpse without a matching zombie form has a 14 chance of creating a ghast.

Ghasts may leave an old corpse upon death.


Ghasts are fairly non-threatening: they are slightly weaker than ghouls in SLASH'EM and its variants, they move at a slow 6 speed, and their melee attacks have very mediocre damage output. A ghast also has no AC or MR score to speak of, making them easy to hit and kill. Their paralysis attack is unlikely to cause too much harm unless you are already surrounded, and can be prevented with magic cancellation or free action.


Ghasts are purely a modern fantasy invention, derived simply from the word ghastly and its resemblance to ghostly; NetHack's ghasts specifically appear to derive from D&D. Curiously, the spelling of the word ghastly itself also derives from similar confusion with the word ghost: ghastly derives from the Old English root 'gast' meaning "to torment, frighten" while "ghostly" comes from a root meaning "spirit", but during the standardization of English spelling in the 16th century, gastly was standardized to ghastly due to its resemblance in both form and meaning to ghost or ghostly.