Killing ghosts in Dark Souls.

Dark Souls: How to Kill Ghosts

"I ain't afraid of no ghost!"

Written by:
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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

There are three ways to kill ghosts in Dark Souls:

  • Use a Transient Curse, which lets you deal damage to ghosts as if they are normal enemies
  • Get cursed to do the same as above
  • Use a cursed weapon such as the Jagged Ghost Blade, Ghost Blade, or the Greatsword of Artorias

Ghosts are peculiar enemies in Dark Souls—especially regarding how to kill them. They are terrifying in that they seem undefeatable…at first. These ghosts make exploring New Londo Ruins a difficult experience. They are unlike other enemies in that you can only destroy them in three specific ways.

Table Of Contents

    Every Method to Kill Ghosts in Dark Souls

    Ghosts can be very intimidating, especially when you first meet them and realize your weapon just goes through them without damaging them at all. While your attacks phase through them, they can easily attack and kill you. Their attacks can’t even be blocked!

    There are very specific ways to harm these ghosts. Specifically, three…

    Use a Transient Curse

    The Chosen Undead using a Transient Curse.

    The easiest way to destroy the ghosts in Dark Souls is to use the Transient Curse item. The Transient Curse temporarily curses you without affecting your health. This is ultimately the only way to hurt ghosts: get cursed. When you are cursed, you can attack and damage ghosts, as well as defend against their attacks. This is most easily done with the Transient Curse item despite there being other methods.

    Note
    The effects of a Transient Curse lasts for 5 minutes.

    You can buy Transient Curses from the Female Undead Merchant in Firelink Shrine for 4,000 Souls a piece.

    The Chosen Undead speaking to the female undead merchant in Firelink Shrine.

    She’s in the aqueduct that links Firelink Shrine and Lower Undead Burg together. The gate to where the Female Undead Merchant is can only be opened from Lower Undead Burg.

    A ghost also has a 5% chance of dropping two Transient Ghosts when killed. That said, purchase a few from the Female Undead Merchant before heading to New Londo Ruins. You’ll get more once you’re finally able to kill these enemies.

    Get the Curse Status Effect

    The Chosen Undead getting cursed in Dark Souls.

    Since the way to damage ghosts is to be cursed, you can also actually get cursed by an enemy to kill the ghosts in New Londo Ruins.

    There is a clear disadvantage to this, of course. When you’re cursed, your health is reduced to 50%. If you’re confident enough to go through New Londo Ruins with only 50% of your total HP, this is a good choice because you won’t have to spend Souls to purchase a ton of Transient Cure items.

    You’ll need to be attacked by Basilisks to get cursed most easily. You’ll find these slimy little enemies in the Depths and The Great Hollow of Ash Lake. Once the curse meter fills up, you will automatically die and get the curse status effect.

    Tip
    Spend all your Souls before dying so that you don’t lose anything.

    Unlike other status effects, the curse does not disappear after you revive. If you want to rid yourself of the Cursed affliction, you’ll need to use a Purging Stone.

    You can purchase them for 6,000 Souls each from the same Undead Merchant where you buy Transient Curses. Oswald of Carim, the merchant in the Gargoyle Belltower, also sells them for 3,000 Souls.

    Use Cursed Weapons

    The Chosen Undead attacking a ghost with a cursed weapon in Dark Souls.

    Cursed weapons also deal damage to ghosts. This is a good alternative if you’re not willing to deal with New Londo Ruins with only half of your total health or if you don’t want to spend tons of Souls on Transient Curses.

    There are three Cursed Weapons in Dark Souls.

    • Jagged Ghost Blade – Dual-wielding ghosts have a 1% chance of dropping this item.
    • Ghost Blade – Banshees have a 1% chance of dropping this.
    • Greatsword of Artorias – You get this weapon by ascending a wide selection of +10 normal daggers, straight swords, greatswords, and ultra greatswords with the Soul of Sif. This ascension can be done by the Giant Blacksmith in Anor Londo.

    While this is a good alternative, cursed weapons are hard to come by. Both the Jagged Ghost Blade and the Ghost Blade have very low drop rates. This means farming for them requires you to buy Transient Curses or get cursed anyway just to kill ghosts and banshees.

    The Greatsword of Artorias can be a good alternative here. You’ll have to kill Sif in Darkroot Garden to get her Soul. She’s a fairly low-level boss which means you will be able to easily defeat her if you’re far enough in the game to explore New Londo Ruins.

    The other downside to this approach is that while you can deal damage to ghosts, you won’t be able to block their attacks.

    Is Killing Ghosts Worth It?

    Yes, it is absolutely worthwhile killing ghosts. While they don’t drop anything substantial aside from Transient Curses and a few Souls, simply running past them will allow them to quickly overcrowd, overpower, and overwhelm you.

    There are a ton of Ghosts in New Londo Ruins. They phase through walls and can follow you for a significant distance. You’ll have a much better time navigating this entire level if you deal with them as they approach you.


    Ghosts suddenly make for very trivial encounters once you finally figure out how to eliminate them. However, that doesn’t mean you should still underestimate them. They have the numbers to overcrowd you quickly. Kill ghosts as quickly as you can as soon as you spot them in Dark Souls. This game is already a tough FromSoftware title. Don’t allow them to make things harder for you.

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