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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. The only evil ghosts who's reason for returning to the world of the living, is due to them holding hatred towards the world and return in order to terrorize the living. Good Poes like Sharp and Flat are generally angry spirits that return to protect something and/or waiting for someone who will help their soul find peace.

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 Princess Mipha aid Link as spirits after their deaths.

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. 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.

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.

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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).

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.

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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.

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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.

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