DnD ghost 5e monster guide

A classic monster in and out of D&D, Wizards simply had to create a DnD ghost 5e monster for the tabletop RPG – exorcise any gaps in your knowledge here

DnD ghost 5e in a winter coat (art by Wizards of the Coast)

The DnD ghost is much like any other spooky spectre. Bound to a certain place, person, or sentimental item, a ghost tied to the mortal world by extreme emotions or unfinished business. They look and act as they would have in life – only with a lot more floating, moaning, and maybe the rattling of chains if the mood takes them. Objects may fly off shelves; whispers may be heard in the night. If so, you’re keeping company with a ghost, so your D&D party better know how to deal with them.

Below is a full guide to the ghost 5e. If you’re learning how to be a DM and want plenty of spooks in your DnD campaigns, this is the ideal place to start. Players can also get a heads up on DnD monsters like the ghost ahead of time, but don’t spoil too much for yourself. You might find our DnD classes, DnD races, and DnD backgrounds guides more relevant – and definitely less haunted.

Here’s everything you need to know about a DnD ghost:

DnD ghost 5e group (art by Wizards of the Coast)

DnD ghost 5e stats

Here are the official D&D stats for a ghost:

Armour Class 11
Hit points 45 (10d8)
Challenge rating 4
Speed 0ft, fly 40ft
Proficiency bonus +2
Strength 7 (-2)
Dexterity 13 (+1)
Constitution 10 (+0)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 12 (+1)
Charisma 17 (+3)

In D&D, a ghost is immune to cold, necrotic, and poison damage. It’s also resistant to acid, fire, lightning, thunder, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing – pretty much any nonmagical damage isn’t going to cut it. On top of that, ghosts can’t be charmed, exhausted, frightened, grappled, paralysed, petrified, poisoned, restrained, or knocked prone. It’s not surprising that a spirit who walks through walls is pretty tough to hit.

A ghost has darkvision of 60ft, much like many of your favourite DnD races. Their passive perception is 11.

D&D ghosts have many supernatural qualities, all typically focused on being spooky, scary, and incorporeal. Their Ethereal Sight allows ghosts to peer into the Ethereal Plane whenever they fancy, and all spooky spectres can move through creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. The rules for difficult terrain of course mean they’ll take damage if they end a turn inside these objects, though – 1d10 force damage, to be precise.

DnD ghost 5e woman (art by Wizards of the Coast)

DnD ghosts in combat

A ghost only has one way of dealing direct damage, and that’s with its Withering Touch. This is a melee attack with a range of five feet that needs +5 to hit. Once it lands its target, it deals 17 (or 4d6+3) necrotic damage.

Its aggressive manoeuvres may be limited, but a ghost has many tricks up its sleeve to dodge damage or weaken a foe. As an action, a ghost can reveal its Horrifying Visage, frightening any creature within 60ft that fails a Wisdom saving throw (difficulty class 13).

DnD ghost 5e with mace (art by Wizards of the Coast)

If a ghost can’t frighten you, it might try to possess you instead. Failing a Charisma saving throw (difficulty class 13) when within five feet of a ghost can lose you control of your body. You’re technically incapacitated during Possession, but you remain aware of what’s happening around you. The ghost can then do as it pleases with your fleshy mortal form.

The only way to boot it from your body is for someone to use spells or effects like Turn Undead or Dispel Evil and Good; any other kind of attack will hit you instead. The ghost can end the possession at any time, and it ends automatically if the possessed body has zero hit points.

If these powers don’t cut it, the ghost has one last trick up its ectoplasmic sleeve: Etherealness. We already mentioned ghosts can see into other DnD planes, but it’s worth mentioning they can spend an action to move in and out of the Ethereal Plane too. When not in the Material Plane, nothing there can affect the spirit.