Ghosts are a recurring race in the Legend of Zelda series. Ghosts are the physical representation of the spirit of a dead person. Many different types of ghosts are encountered throughout the series. The word "ghost" is used as a collective term, meaning all different types of ghost characters of any race. Some are common enemies, some are more benevolent, some show sentience, and others seem to be bent on destroying Link out of pure hatred and malice.

The dead among the living

Many reasons are given in real-world folk lore about why ghosts return to the living, but in Hyrule (and other lands throughout the series), the friendly ghosts return because they have something they must do that they were prevented from doing because of their death, such as fixing a mistake or teaching someone something of the utmost importance. In the more evil variants, it is hard to say as they rarely speak or show much sentience. The only evil ghosts who have a reason for returning to the world of the living is due to them holding hatred towards the world and only return in order to terrorize the people that are still alive. Good Poes like Sharp and Flat are generally angry spirits that return to protect something and/or are waiting for someone who will help their soul find peace. In Twilight Princess, it is revealed other creatures can become ghosts after death as Rats become Ghoul Rats.

There are many different designs of ghosts and many types are not consistent with the designs in different games. The exception would be the Ghini, who look similar to their different incarnations throughout the series. The Poes, on the other hand, are very different from game to game.

At least two Kings of Hyrule have been shown to aid Link as spirits long after their death. The first was King Gustaf from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap who helps Link in his quest to save Hyrule from Vaati. The second was King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild who guides Link after he awakens from his Slumber of Restoration in the Shrine of Resurrection and ultimately gives Link the main quest to "Destroy Ganon". King Rhoam is able to appear to the eyes of Link as a living person, and physically interact with the world. In is true spirit form, King Rhoam is surrounded by ectoplasm-like flames and levitates in the air. This type of spiritual assistance is not limited to Hylian royalty as both Queen Rutela and Mipha aid Link as spirits after their deaths though Queen Rutela appeared more ghostly while Mipha's appearance as a ghost was similar to Rhoam and the other Champions. In addition to Mipha, the Champion Daruk, Revali, and Urbosa all appear as spirits whom aid Link after he frees their trapped spirits which have been imprisoned within their Divine Beast by their respective killers the Scourges of the Divine Beasts whom Link must defeat to free his comrades' spirits allowing them to retake control of their Divine Beast. Mipha is also revealed to have communicated her final wishes to her people through the Lightscale Trident she once wielded in life in a Zora Stone Monument. However not all spirits of deceased people become ghosts even if their death was unnatural and violent as Dorian's wife was murdered by the Yiga Clan yet apparently rests in peace within small graveyard north of the village and her daughter Koko believes she is in heaven after passing on. Interestingly despite all the violent deathes during the Great Calamity very few actually became ghosts indicating most found peace after death and no malevolent ghosts of deceased people are encountered by Link only the reanimated undead skeletons of monsters and horses. Rhoam and the four Champions would pass on into the afterlife after Ganon's defeat.

Spiritual beings

Not all ghosts encountered in the Legend of Zelda series are the spirits of the deceased, as some are simply spectral entities. One such case involves Phantom Ganon from Ocarina of Time, a ghostly doppelgänger of Ganondorf that Ganondorf created to guard the Forest Temple and later imprisoned in the Gap Between Dimensions after it was defeated by the Hero of Time. Another example is Princess Zelda from Spirit Tracks who's spirit becomes separated from her still living physical body. As a result, Zelda gains traditional ghostly powers and traits such as white transparent body, the ability to fly, phase through solid objects, and the ability to possess Phantoms. Eventually Zelda's spirit manages to reunite with her physical body. Though not considered a ghost, Fi being the sentient spirit of the Goddess Sword as well as the legendary blade forged from it would also fit the classification of a Spiritual Being.

In Breath of the Wild, the Lord of the Mountain is a noble spiritual creature protecting the animals that dwell in the forest of Satori Mountain. According to legends, it is the reincarnation of a sage who died on the mountain. Blupees are rabbit-like entitles that resemble Lord of the Mountain and large numbers on Satori Mountain indicating a connection. Blupees are mysterious creatures that have a perchant for collecting Rupees and drop Rupees if hit with a weapon or arrow before running off disappearing in a flash of light, though a Korok theorizes they may actually be a spiritual creatures that make Rupees. Given their otherworldly appearance and ability to disappear, they are obviously not beings of the physical world and a loading screen tip refers to them as spirits though their origins and purpose are a mystery even to the Koroks who are more familiar with the supernatural world than other races to the point Koroks themselves are considered spirits of the forest. Blupees In addition to Phantom Ganon, the four Scourges created by Calamity Ganon are said to be "phantoms of Ganon" in their Hyrule Compendium entry, indicating to be phantom doppelgängers of Ganon, much like how Phantom Ganon is a doppelgänger of Ganondorf. However they are never referred to directly as ghosts as "Phantom" could have a different meaning besides ghost or spirit. Princess Zelda mentions the Spirit Realm in a Recovered Memories and notes that her grandmother could hear spirits that inhabit the Spirit Realm thanks to her holy power possessesed by women of the Royal Family of Hyrule who inherit the bloodline of the Goddess Hylia. However this ability and their sealing power must be awoken through ritual and dedication to Hylia though in Zelda's case her power only awoke after selflessly shielding an exhausted Link despite years struggling to awaken them through prayer. Zelda herself was apparently capable of hearing the Master Sword's slumbering spirit Fi who apparently only lost the ability to manifest physically as she is apparently still conscious within the sword indicating her "eternal slumber" only sealed her spirit form and limited her ability to communicate as only Zelda could hear her speak thanks to her power to commune with spirits. However after Ganon's defeat Zelda's power to hear spirits apparently began to fade though this may be due to her destiny being fulfilled by sealing Dark Beast Ganon after Link defeats him or her holy power becoming exhausted due to sealing Ganon and herself for a century. Zelda and Urbosa also suggest people pray to spirits in addition to gods, though some spirits are apparently tied to the ancient gods a Zelda prayed to them inaddition to Hylia as part of her training though never heard or felt anything until her power awoke. Presumably this spirits include Fi from Skyward Sword who apparently remains conscious within the Master Sword in Breath of the Wild and the Light Spirits of Twilight Princess which defended the Light World and Sacred Realm from evil such as the Interlopers, Zant, and Ganondorf. Additionally the three Dragon Spirits are elemental spirits that take the form of benign Dragons though involuntarily produce their elemental and can damage on contact though mean no ill will towards people according to the Hyrule Compendium. However some spirits are even considered deities or deities are sometimes referred to as guardian spirits or possess god-like powers. However this may be due to their otherworldly nature and people having trouble grasping their true nature due to superstition and myths surrounding such beings.

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

In Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends, Wizzro is a monstrous evil spirit born from a ring that had absorbed the dark magic of its various wearers over the centuries.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Interaction with Ghosts & Spirits

Most people tend to fear ghosts and spirits due to superstition or due to certain spirits attacking people such as Poes, However some find ghosts fascinating or realize they are not all bad. Some such as the gravedigger Dampé even encounter ghosts as part of their occupation thus are naturally less frightened though Dampé's Termina counterpart is terrified of Ghosts though this may be due to the large number of malevolent spirits in Ikana due to the ancient war that took many lives. In Breath of the Wild, Dorian even uses a ghost story to attempt to scare his daughters to keep them away from Great Fairy Cotera's fountain as the area had become dangerous though it only worked on Koko as Cottla was excited by the story though Koko is shown to have a better understanding of concepts like death and the afterlife than Cottla. Additionally Koko may be more sensitive given her awareness of her mother being deceased though despite having been murdered by the Yiga Clan, their mother did not become a spirit after death and Koko believes she passed on and went to heaven though her father's ghost story apparently hits to close to home as it involves the spirit of a woman crying indicating she may subconsciously fear her mother's spirit is not at peace. Cottla is presumably intrigued as she is easily bored thus may view meeting a ghost as an exciting adventure due to her childish innocence. Thus some ghost stories can be fabricated by parents to scare their children in order to protect them and get them to avoid certain areas leading these places to develop an undeserved reputation of being haunted, though as shown by Cottla it can have the opposite effect as brave and/or curious children may wish to see it for themselves putting them at risk of encountering real living dangers such as monsters. People may make faustian bargains with ghosts like Jovani who received wealth though was cursed along with his cat Gengle by Imp Poes so doing so out of greed can lead to misfortune. The Lord of the Mountain can be tamed by Link though stable folk consider doing so a bad omen and believe it will curse them if registered though this may be superstition as the managers also believe undead Stalhorse may be cannibalistic towards their living counterparts. Hateno Village merchant farmer Agus mentions being jumpy due to having been badly spooked by a weird tree ghost near Lake Siela, though it is implied the tree ghost he is referring to is a Korok as some Hylians apparently can't see them or some that do are unaware they are Koroks with Agus mistaking one for a ghost. Additionally it is implied Korok like to pull pranks thus the Korok may have playfully scared Agus by pretending to be a ghost. Such pranks may cause confusion among those unfamiliar with Koroks which may result in ghost stories that are actually encounters with Koroks.

Due to superstition, benign ghosts and spirits can be considered dangerous or even hostile by people that encounter them thus they may gain an undeserved reputation. However some normally benevolent spirits such as the Composer Brothers may become hostile if disturbed or defend important locations in death such as when the Composer Brothers attack the Hero of Time to protect the Royal Crypt that contains the Sun's Song though later tell him how to access it upon realizing his association to the Royal Family of Hyrule. People tend to be cautious around spirits generally due fear of the unknown. Ghosts can fall in love with the living as Phoeni falls for Cawlin after receiving his love letter intended for Karane though Cawlin became miserable (though he becomes miserable regardless as Karane is attracted to Pipit who reveals his feelings for her in response to learning about Cawlin's Letter) and despite Phoeni gently caressing him at night as he slept Cawlin has trouble sleeping due to her nightly visits. Additionally people retain their love for people they cared for in life as Mipha retained her love for Link after death even though her death prevented them from being together romantically. Deceased parents also retain their love for their children as shown by Queen Rutela in Twilight Princess and King Rhoam in Breath of the Wild who aided Link after their death so he could aid their respective children. King Rhoam even became a spirit due to his regrets over having chosen his duty over his daughter and failing to support her research viewing it as Zelda ignoring her duties to play at being a scholar when it was her way of contributing without her powers, which had ultimately saved Hyrule as her discovery of the Shrine of Resurrection saved Link's life allowing him to survive and heal after the Great Calamity. People also tend to be less frightened of spirits of loved ones as Yunobo waves to his ancestor Daruk's spirit due to respecting him greatly and wanting to carry on his proud legacy despite his own timid nature. The Zora people and her family were also deeply moved when Mipha spoke through the Lightscale Trident and all wished for Mipha's spirit to be at peace.

The Princesses of Hyrule apparently possess the power to communicate with spirits according to Breath of the Wild as an aspect of their holy power while Link and the Lokomo could see and hear Ghost Zelda in Spirit Tracks. Wolf Link can sense spirits in Twilight and sense ghosts outside of Twilight. However most sentient spirits and ghosts have no trouble communicating with the living.

Ghosts in combat

It is often shown that ghosts are easily defeated with steel, by means of a sword or an arrow. In folklore edged steel is often a good way to shield yourself from the supernatural, both against ghosts, goblins and the Fae. This could explain why Link is able to defeat ghosts even with non-holy weapons such as standard arrows or the Biggoron's Sword. Ghosts are able to glide through physical objects such as tombstones and walls. If ghosts have a physical body can be debated, and the Zelda games are not consistent about it. Ghosts can cause physical damage to Link, and throw him to the ground and they themselves take damage from physical attacks, but can as mentioned walk through walls and other objects. It is not clear how a ghost's body works in the series.

In Twilight Princess, Link can normally only see ghosts if he is in wolf form. This means that he can only defeat them if he attacks them with his bare teeth and claws. This is possibly due to the fact that Link has become a "sacred beast" and not just an everyday wolf (of course its possible that animals are just more sensitive to their presence).

In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pearle mentions once Urbosa defeated an evil ghost that threatened Gerudo Town though it is unclear what kind of ghost it was or the manner she defeated it. Interestingly the only confirmed ghosts Link encounters are the spirits of his fallen allies and the Lord of the Mountain thus Link never fights any ghosts in Breath of the Wild though he does fight undead "Stal" monsters and the cursed skulls of monsters corrupted by Malice giving them a pitiful form of life after death that behave like Bubbles. He can also tame the Lord of the Mountain like a Horse and can even for ride it into combat. The Lord of the Mountain is a guardian spirit of animals that is said to be the reincarnation of a sage who lived on Satori Mountain and the hunter Quince once had a run in with the spirit while hunting there though was unable to draw his bow however was saved by the Hylian Retriever Satty whom Quince befriended on the mountain. Despite the Lord of the Mountain's size and otherworldly power, Satty bravely confronted it by barking to defend Quince apparently startling the spirit allowing Quince to grab Satty and flee though the confrontation actually caused Quince to adopt Satty whom Quince felt indebted to. It is unclear if the Lord of the Mountain meant either of them any harm as the story is told from Quince's point of view which may be biased due to his fear of the spirit as even stable folk fear the Lord of the Mountain considering bring it to a stable a ill omen and would all be cursed if registered. Interestingly, Link can hunt on Satori Mountain without being confronted by the spirit though this may be due to his heroic status and possibly the spirit sensing his destiny to confront Ganon who threatens all of Hyrule. The spirit of King Rhoam takes on physical form identical to a living person and can wield a Woodcutter's Axe and bow for hunting. The Champions possess the ability to control their respective Divine Beasts after being freed and support Link by attacking Calamity Ganon with their Divine Beasts inflicting massive damage to the Scourge of Hyrule Castle.

While the Scourges of the Divine Beasts are called "phantoms" of Ganon, they are never clearly identified as ghosts and "phantom" could simply reference them be dopplegangers or incarnations of Ganon made of Malice. However they may be artificial ghosts like Phantom Ganon. The Scourges are unique in that they are made Malice and wield ancient Sheikah weaponry they have merged with or acquired. The Scourges also seem to possess the ability to possess and corrupt the Divine Beasts once their Champion was slain and their spirit imprisoned. However Ganon is unable to revive them once they are slain indicating if they are artificial ghosts, he apparently cannot resurrect them as he apparently requires a soul to revive slain monsters and being ghosts they are not truly alive and/or have no soul for Ganon to resurrect them provided he can actually do so. Additionally by imprisoning the spirits of the Champions they killed the Scourges gain the ability to control the Divine Beasts as Kaneli claims only a Champion or descendant of one can properly control a Divine Beast which is supported by the Scourges inability to control the Divine Beasts completely as they are unable to coordinate attacks like the Champions and simply rampage. Additionally Zelda's seal on Ganon caused the corrupted Divine Beasts to go dormant implying the Scourges are connected to Ganon which is supported by them defending him from Link if he attempts to take on Ganon without freeing the Divine Beasts even appearing in Hyrule Castle's Sanctum to confront Link forcing him to defeat them their even before confronting Calamity Ganon acting as a formidable obstacle as Link is likely to be unprepared to face Calamity Ganon and then Dark Beast Ganon after fighting them. Freeing the Divine Beasts removes them as optional bosses in Hyrule Castle and gives Link allies who can weaken Calamity Ganon making the battle with him less difficult.

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

In Hyrule Warriors, all ghosts can be defeated with conventional weapons such as swords, arrows, Bombs and unconventional like a Horse's hooves. Giant Poes can fire balls of energy and blasts of supernatural fire. There are also Ghost Soldiers which wear ghostly armor, wield ghostly shields, and ghostly weapons such swords, Bows, and Maces. Ghost Soldiers are basically the ghosts of long dead Hyrulean Soldiers who guard the Temple of the Sacred Sword from trespassers but can be manipulated by powerful magic users such as Wizzro.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Notable ghosts

Common ghost enemies

Malevolent ghosts

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Benevolent ghosts

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.