Statue trap

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` statue trap Statue trap.png
Generates level 8+
Effect Statue on its space comes to life

A statue trap is a type of trap that appears in NetHack. They resemble normal statues, but will spring to life if you disturb them or step on their square.


Trap statues contain the inventory a monster normally starts with. Unlike ordinary statues, they cannot contain spellbooks. Randomly generated trap statues are extremely unlikely to depict a co-aligned unicorn.[1]

Three statue traps appear on the Archeologist quest locate level, and two appear on the Wizard quest locate level.

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.

The statuary from UnNetHack appears as a possible themed room, and contains 1-3 statue traps.


When you walk on the trap, it will transform the topmost statue on that square into the monster it depicts.[2][3] The statue trap will activate if you search while on a square next to it, and will also activate in response to applying a pick-axe, zapping a force bolt or zapping a wand of striking. Monsters will never set off these traps.[4]

Though this animation works similarly to the stone to flesh spell, using the spell itself will not activate the trap, and it is treated as a normal statue - the spell will reanimate the statue if the monster was fleshy, and will otherwise turn it into a meatball.

Applying a stethoscope as a Healer will give a distinct message without activating the trap.[5]


Statue traps are removed if you activate them or else remove the statue in some way - note that as described above, the usual methods of breaking a statue will only activate it instead. If possible, you can carry over a lighter statue of a weaker monster to throw onto the trap - as the statue trap animates the topmost statue on the pile, the old one will be inanimate once it activates. You can also zap a wand of teleportation to move the statue elsewhere, or else zap a wand of polymorph to turn it into a weaker statue or perhaps even a boulder.


It is a good idea to far look at any statue you see, especially those that are out of place in your current area - a random statue in the Mines is very likely to be either a statue trap or a product of a bones file. Avoid stepping on the squares of any statues that depict monsters you would rather not fight, and do not come within a square of such statues if you have automatic searching.

Throwing a statue onto the trap can also provide an unorthodox means to revive a petrified pet, e.g. for illiterate conduct play.


The <monster> appears to be in extraordinary health for a statue.
You applied a stethoscope to a statue on a statue trap as a Healer.[5]
Instead of shattering, the statue of a <monster> suddenly comes to life!
You tried to destroy a statue, but it was actually a statue trap.



In SLASH'EM, one of the Lawful Quest obstacles is a statue trap of an arch-lich placed in the middle of a swampy room, with a cursed -9 set of gray dragon scales on the same space. The arch-lich's inventory has wands of fireball, create horde, speed monster, and make invisible, all of which have one charge each save for the wand of fireball; it also contains a cockatrice corpse and a cursed -1 pair of leather gloves.


In UnNetHack, there are two random vaults that can generate with statue traps: the statuary is a room full of statues that may contain up to three trapped statues (with each one having a 50% chance of generating), while the "Ozymandias' Tomb" vault has two statue traps of an Elvenking and a werejackal next to a throne.


In dNetHack, the Law quest has several statue traps at the top of the Arcadian Tower where Oona resides. All the statues in the room except the djinni are trapped and have heavily-enchanted gear inside - the djinni statue is untrapped and named "Qadeej, of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa", and contains The Rod of Seven Parts.

The palace of Demogorgon in the Brine Flats has a trapped statue of Shaktari.


In EvilHack, the statuary from UnNetHack can appear as a special room.


In Hack'EM, both the statuary and Ozymandias's Tomb from UnNetHack can appear as special rooms.