[Top 15] D&D Best Undead Creatures For Your Campaign

D&D Best Undead Creatures
Don't go into the graveyard at night!

One of the joys as a Dungeon Master (DM) is deciding which monsters to add to your next adventure. I personally love featuring undead creatures in campaigns, because I can add an element of history into the backstory.

As an example, who were these beings before they were turned undead? Also, how did they become undead?  In this article, through experience and research, I have discovered 15 stellar undead creatures that I would feature in an upcoming D&D campaign so you can easily plan your next undead adventure! 

15. Banshee

They're a scream!

Banshees are a paradox! These chaotic evil beings, both charismatic and fear-inducing, once originated as elves before devolving to the dark side. The banshee is renowned for its life-altering or ending wail.  This creature would be excellent to use as a main antagonist in a campaign, because it can drain life, inflict terror, fly, and screech. (I would recommend at least two high level clerics in a party to encounter a banshee.) Keep reading to learn more details about adding a banshee or two to your next adventure! 

Why Banshee Is Fun

  • As an undead elf, there could be a compelling backstory to this monster. 
  • Banshees are difficult opponents to surprise, as they can magically sense living beings approaching and have darkvision. Adventurers would have to think outside the proverbial box when approaching a banshee. 
  • This undead creature travels by flight, so encountering a flying enemy would make the encounter more exciting! 

Banshee details:

  • Banshees have several immunities, including cold, necrotic, and poison attacks! They are also resistant to acid, bludgeoning, fire, lightning, piercing, slashing from non-magical items, and thunder.
  • In addition, banshees cannot be charmed, crippled, exhausted, frightened, grappled, petrified, poisoned, or restrained. 
  • Despite all the immunities and resistances, banshees are very weak with only a strength of 1.

14. Dracolich

No bones about it!

Liches can take any form as long as its soul rests in a phylactery. (A phylactery is a repository for a life force.) A Dracolich is a dragon who did just that. These creatures can be lawful or chaotic evil and speak draconic. Dracoliches would be the perfect undead creature to use at the end of a campaign. Read more to find out about Dracoliches!

Why Dracolich Is Fun

  • DMs would not have to choose between an undead creature and a dragon for a final battle; they can have both! 
  • Dracoliches would have an excellent backstory; why did the Dracolich decide to become undead and “live” forever? 
  • Dracoliches are more sinister than evil dragons; they also have cool phylacteries! 

Dracolich details:

  • Only adult or ancient dragons can become Dracoliches. 
  • Contains a lot of resistances and immunities, including charm, fright, necrotic damage, paralysis, or poison. 
  • This creature is also resistant to magic.

13. Ghast


Ghasts are much like ghouls, except that they are a little bit smarter and a lot more dangerous. 

Ghasts usually are the leaders of ghouls. These chaotic evil entities are demonic and have a stench that could literally kill. Read more to find out why Ghasts are more dangerous and greater to use in an undead adventure! 

Why Is Ghast Fun

  • Ghasts have more demonic energy than ghouls, so they can be more challenging for PCs.
  • Ghasts can speak Common, so there may be some interesting banter and conversation between ghasts and players! (However, I would not expect diplomacy with ghasts.) 
  • These creatures have a defense called “Turning Defiance”, so clerics may have a hard time driving ghasts away. 

Ghast details:

  • Biting and clawing are the ways that Ghasts defeats opponents. 
  • Ghasts smell so bad (stench) that adventurers must make a saving throw or be poisoned.
  • They can see in the dark (darkvision) and have passive perception.  

12. Ghost  

Not your typical friendly ghost!

I could not have an undead creature list without including a ghost! Ghosts are essentially lost souls that have not moved on from the Material Plane after death. There is a connection between the ghost and an object or place. Ghosts can be evil, good, or neutral, depending on its history in life. Read more to discover why ghosts would be great to use in a campaign! 

Why Is Ghost Fun

  • Ghosts can be used to guard treasure or can be used for interesting backstory!  
  • Because these creatures have so many immunities and resistances, they are difficult to defeat. 
  • These creatures can see into both the Ethereal and Material Planes. 

Ghost details:

  • Ghosts have incorporeal movement where they can move through beings and other solid objects. 
  • Along with Etherealness, ghosts have interesting attacks such as Withering Touch, Horrifying Visage, and Possession.
  • Like many undead creatures, Ghosts have Darkvision (60 ft) and Passive Perception. 

11. Ghoul

They will make a meal out of you!

Ghouls are foul, as they enjoy feasting on the flesh of newly departed beings that they or something else has killed. These chaotic evil creatures, dexterous and strong, prefer to hang out in groups. If Orcus, the deity that creates ghouls, gives a ghoul more evil energy, it can be turned into a Ghast.  Read reading to discover how ghouls can add flavor to your next undead adventure!

Why Is Ghoul Fun

  • Ghouls originated from the Abyss. Therefore, it would really be a good versus evil campaign if the PCs were good in alignment. 
  • These creatures usually do not travel alone, so there would be several (and challenging) for players to defeat! They also speak Common, so the conversation would be interesting!
  • It would be fun to have an elf as a player because they have immunity to the Ghoul’s touch! 

Ghoul details:

  • Ghouls cannot be poisoned and are immune to charm and exhaustion. 
  • These creatures have Darkvision and Passive Perception. 
  • Ghouls use claws and teeth in combat. 

10. Lich

Evil undead wizards!

My friend, who is a DM in another campaign and currently playing a dragonborn cleric in our D&D 5E game, prefers liches over any other undead monsters. (I tend to agree, although it is a toss-up between liches and vampires.) He explained that the concept of phylactery is what is most intriguing. Liches are always considered as evil, and their uniqueness stems from the fact that unlike many other undead creatures, liches want to become undead. In life, they were clerics, sorcerers, or wizards, and they have the magical abilities of an 18th Level spellcaster. Read more about using liches for your next campaign! 

Why Is Lich Fun

  • Liches are formidable opponents! Their only weakness is a strength score of 11. 
  • The concept of the phylactery is fascinating and dangerous, as liches need to feed souls to the phylactery for sustenance. 
  • Liches are intellectuals and collect items such as books and magic items. 

Lich details:

  • These creatures have Legendary Resistance, Rejuvenation, Spellcasting, and Turn Resistance. 
  • Also, Liches have legendary actions such as Cantrip, Paralyzing Touch, Frightening Gaze, and Disrupt Life. 
  • Skills include Arcana (+18), History (+12), Insight (+9), and Perception (+9) 

9. Mummy

Mummy Dearest!

The mummy may be the source of the old saying “if looks could kill”, because they literally have a dreadful glare when encountered! These lawful evil creatures are disturbed corpses that have been conjured and cursed by an evil cleric or wizard. You will usually see them near a tomb or crypt. Read more about mummies below!

Why Is Mummy Fun

  • It is a challenge to avoid the mummy’s Death Glare!
  • Mummies can detect with Dark Vision and Passive Perception.
  • These undead creatures would be good opponents for lower-level campaigns, as they  are fairly easy to combat. 

Mummy details:

  • Actions include Multiattack, Rotting Fist, and Dreadful Glare.
  • Mummies are vulnerable to fire and immune to necrotic and poison. 
  • Resistant to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing (unless the weapons are magical).

8. Skeleton

The leg bone's connected to the knee bone...

You certainly do not want these skeletons in your closets! A staple used in undead campaigns and conjured by an evil cleric or wizard, skeletons are commonly used in lower-level dungeon crawls! In large numbers, skeletons can be tough and tiresome for mid-level and advanced level PCs.  Read on to find out more about using skeletons in your next adventure!

Why Is Skeleton Fun

  • Skeletons are usually the first undead creatures that players encounter, and they are generally easy to defeat unless there is an army. 
  • They cannot speak but may understand Common if they spoke that language while alive.
  • Skeletons are vulnerable to bludgeoning weapons. 

Skeleton details:

  • Immune to exhaustion and poison attacks. 
  • Skeletons use short swords and shortbows to attack. 
  • They have Darkvision and Passive Perception. 

7. Skin Kite

You don't want to fly this kite!

These disgusting creatures will literally make your skin crawl if they land on you and try to take a piece of your flesh to replenish their stolen skins! Skin Kites are exactly what the name implies; they are undead beings made of 5 pounds of undead skin and fly around looking for more victims. They must constantly replace the skin. Keep reading to find out how DMs can use them in undead effectively in a campaign!

Why Is Skin Kite Fun

  • I think the idea of flying skin attacking would be interesting and terrifying!
  • The Skin Kite is a newer undead creature in D&D; it was introduced in 3rd Edition and brought back in 5e. 
  • This creature flies, so it may be a challenging target to hit. 

Skin Kite details:

  • This creature has +3 perception and +6 stealth. 
  • Although the Skin Kite does not have Darkvision, it does have Perception. 
  • Skin Kites are Immune to poison. 

6. Specter


In undead campaigns, adventurers may encounter a specter. These non-human, violent beings are chaotic evil and are struck roaming the Material Plane until they are destroyed. (If they were not so hateful, one could almost feel sorry for them.) The sight of a living being or light is physically painful for a specter. Read on to find out more about them!

Why Is Specter Fun

  • Specters would be good to fight in sunlight, as it has disadvantages when attacking! 
  • This monster has a story and has anger issues. 
  • Specters cannot speak but  like other undead creatures like skeletons, they can understand languages they knew when alive. 

Specter details:

  • They are hard to surprise, as Specters have Darkvision and Passive Perception.
  • Specters have Incorporeal Movement and use Life Drain as its attack. 
  • Immune to necrotic and poison attacks. 

5. Vampire

Not the sparkly kind!

I love a classic adventure that involves old gothic castles in the mountains, a spooky graveyard, and a vampire taking an afternoon siesta in a dark cellar! DMs can choose the romantic Bram Stoker variety of vampire, or opt for the rodent- like, disease-carrying nosferatu. Either way, there are more fun stats and biting anecdotes about vampires found below!

Why Is Vampire Fun

  • Vampires can have an excellent backstory! 
  • Also, vampires are shapechangers, so they can change into a bat, or if seriously injured, it can revert to mist. 
  • There are no weaknesses concerning strength, intelligence, wisdom, etc., so the vampire can be difficult to battle. 

Vampire details:

  • Vampires have a lot of actions: Multiattack, Unarmed Strike, Bite, Charm, and  can summon Children of the Night (bats and rats). 
  • Saving throws for vampires include Dex +9, Wis +7, Cha +9. 
  • Perception is +7 and Stealth is +9. 

4. Wight

Wights are one of the most dangerous of the undead creatures!

These undead creatures, full of hate and spite, literally drain adventurers (and other living beings) of life and vitality. Although these beasts are lesser known than some of their undead counterparts, they are nevertheless secret weapons DMs use in campaigns. Read on to find out more about wights!

Why Is Wight Fun

  • Wights can turn fallen enemies into zombies. 
  • These creatures lurk in dark places like tombs and can surprise adventurers! 

Wight details:

  • Actions include Multiattack, Life Drain, Longsword, and Longbow. 
  • Wights have sun sensitivities and attack at a disadvantage. 
  • Skills include Perception (+3) and Stealth (+4) 

3. Will-o-Wisp

Not your typical fireflies!

Small does not necessarily mean weak. These tiny, chaotic evil balls of light enjoy feeding on the souls of tormented beings. Will-o-Wisps are often found in battlefields; when they speak, it is in spine-chilling whispers. Read on to find out how to use these creatures in a campaign!

Why Is Will-o-Wisp Fun

  • Will-o-Wisps are fast! With a dexterity score of 28, they are difficult to catch! 
  • These creatures can pretend to be helpful to hapless wanderers, but actually lures them into deadly traps.
  • Will-o-Wisps can alter the colors of their light source. 

Will-o-Wisp details:

  • Immune to lighting and poison! 
  • Has Darkvision, Passive Perception, and becomes invisible at will. 

2. Wraith

A Wraith can make a Specter out of you!

Wraiths are smoke-like creatures. Neutral evil in alignment and spiteful, wraiths will literally snuff the life out of living beings that cross its path of negativity! DMs like to use these shadowy creatures in mid-to-higher level campaigns. Read on to find out why wraiths are great to use in D&D undead campaigns!

Why Is Wraith Fun

  • Wraiths can create Specters! 
  • This creature can move through living beings and objects. 
  • Wraiths can fly up to 60 feet and would be a challenging monster to encounter. 

Wraith details:

  • Actions include Life Drain and Create Specter. 
  • Immune to necrotic and poison.
  • Several damage resistances, including acid, fire, and lightning, 

1. Zombie

The walking un-dead!

Last but not least, we have zombies! Zombies are one of the more popular undead creatures of the night. Evil clerics or magic-users created these beings using corpses; zombies obey the commands of the one who created them. They also have a rancid odor of decay. Read on to find out how and why Zombies are great to use in an undead adventure! 

Why Is Zombie Fun

  • Zombies are fun because they are well-known in popular culture.  
  • There are also Beholder Zombies and Ogre Zombies! 
  • They can understand languages they knew when they were alive. 

Zombie details:

  • Immune to Poison Attacks, action also includes Slam Attack. 
  • Zombies have both Darkvision and Passive Perception. 


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As a Pokemon Trainer by day and a bard or cleric by night, I enjoy the spoken and written word by candlelight.
Gamer Since: 1983
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: D&D
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