Vampire bat

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The vampire bat, B, is a monster in NetHack. It is the most powerful variety of bat. Despite its name, it cannot drain life the way a vampire can, but it does have a poisonous bite.

Its corpse is poisonous, but unlike the corpses of other species of bat, it does not stun the player.

As of version 3.6.0, a vampire bat may actually be a shapeshifted vampire or vampire lord, and resurrect in that form after being killed.


Players polymorphed into vampire bats

Identifying polymorphed vampires

A vampire bat can be identified as a polymorphed vampire by using any means of probing (wand of probing, stethoscope, attack with Magicbane); the message will show a "shapeshifter." Attacking a vampire bat with a silver weapon will sear it if it is really a vampire.


In SLASH'EM, vampire bats are classified as members of the vampire race. This does not give them any actual vampiric properties, but player vampires can nevertheless use their corpses for same-race sacrifice.


Vampire bats are real, and common to the American Southwest as well as Central and South America. There are three distinct species of vampire bat, and are the only animals known to feed primarily or solely on the blood of other animals.

Encyclopedia entry

A bat, flitting in the darkness outside, took the wrong turn
as it made its nightly rounds and came in through the window
which had been left healthfully open. It then proceeded to
circle the room in the aimless fat-headed fashion habitual
with bats, who are notoriously among the less intellectually
gifted of God's creatures. Show me a bat, says the old
proverb, and I will show you something that ought to be in
some kind of a home.
[ A Pelican at Blandings, by P. G. Wodehouse ]