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Poe Artwork (Ocarina of Time)
A Poe, a common type of Ghost, from Ocarina of Time
First appearance The Legend of Zelda (1987)
Preceded by All types of races prior to death
Distinctions Translucent, sometimes transparent bodies
Notable members Brant
Clock Poe
Composer Brothers
Death Sword
Desert Piratian
Diabolical Cubus Sisters
Ghost Ringleader
Giant Ghini
Hero's Shade
Jalhalla (TWW · FSA)
King Gustaf
King Mutoh
Lucky Lee
Nostalgic Ghost
Poe Sisters
Phantom Guide
Princess Zelda
Queen Rutela
Shadow Hag
Spookter & Spekter
Swiftblade the First

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. 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 utmost important. In the more evil variants, it is hard to say as they rarely speak or show much sentience. As many ghosts appear in graveyards, it can be guessed that at least the lesser ones are tied to their bodies.

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.

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 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.

Notable ghosts

Common ghost enemies

Malevolent ghosts

Friendly ghosts

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