Wand of undead turning

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Name undead turning
Appearance random
Abundance 5%
Base price 150 zm
Weight 7
Type beam
Maximum charges 8
Spell turn undead
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A wand of undead turning is a utility wand in NetHack with two functions. Zapping an undead monster deals 1d8 points of damage and will cause the creature to flee from you. This damage is doubled if you are a Knight carrying the Magic Mirror of Merlin.

Alternatively, the wand can be used to unturn dead,[1] reviving corpses and rejuvenating eggs, though limitations apply.

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.

Intelligent monsters with hands can now zap you with a wand of undead turning when you are carrying any corpses, including lizard or wielded cockatrice corpses, should they happen to come across such a wand. When they do, one corpse from each stack you are carrying will be revived.


When engrave-testing a wand of undead turning, if no message or effect is generated, it's safe to zap it at yourself - getting stunned while undead, having a corpse in your inventory reanimated, or getting the message "You shudder in dread" unambiguously identifies the wand as undead turning.

The optimum strategy, however, is to place the corpse of a monster and a locked container in front of an unlocked door—or an unlocked container in front of a locked door—and zap the wand at the door over corpse and container. If the corpse is revived, the wand is undead turning. If the contents of the container are revealed, the wand is probing, and will be formally identified as such. If the container (or the door) locks, it is locking, and will be formally identified as such. If door (or the container) unlocks, it is opening, and will be formally identified as such. Otherwise, the wand is nothing, and will remain unidentified. If the wand does not prompt you for a direction, it is either secret door detection, or, in some games, nothing.

As of NetHack 3.6.0, a healer using the wand to revive a corpse will formally identify the wand if not blind (or, if hallucinating, not deaf)[2].


  • If a corpse is too old to eat or #offer, zapping it with a wand of undead turning, then re-killing the monster will reset the rot timer. Note that the revived monster won't always leave a corpse unless it is size large or bigger (see corpse generation odds).
  • If your pet dies and leaves a corpse, zapping it with the wand could bring it back to life, although it may need to be re-tamed.
  • This wand can be used to farm unicorns and dragons for their horns and scales; however, this is not as useful as it sounds. Revived unicorns have a 50% chance of not dropping an extra horn at all, and the horns that do drop will count as non-magical tools for polypiling purposes. Revived dragons only drop scales 5% of the time.


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.2. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-362}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.