15 Scariest Legend of Zelda Enemies (Ranked)

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The best scares come when you’re least expecting them.

We expect horror in Dark Pictures Anthology and Resident Evil Village – but when playing something bright and carefree like Super Mario, a scare can bypass your mental defenses and deliver a devastating blow.

Despite being a franchise marketed to kids and teenagers, The Legend of Zelda has its fair share of disturbing elements.

Chief among them is its rather scary enemies. Nobody finds a Chu Chu menacing – but there are zombies, ghosts, malformed insects, and all sorts of horrifying fiends to fight in Hyrule.

Here’s our ranking of Zelda monsters that’ll send chills down your spine.


15. Bomskit (Twilight Princess)

Bomskit Twilight Princess Enemy

I’m not trying to give anyone a heart attack, so we’ll work our way up from “mildly disturbing” to “OMG GET IT AWAY FROM ME,” starting with the humble Bomskit.

This enemy made its first and only appearance in Twilight Princess.

In terms of danger posed to the player, the Bomskit ranks pretty low – but if you look closely, you’ll get creeped out for sure.

This small insect-like creature’s giant eyes and disgusting mandibles are creepy by themselves, but combined with the Bomskit’s lanky legs, it looks downright wretched.

It’s a good thing they’re so small.

If they were any bigger, they’d be a major threat to my mental health.


14. Big Poes (Twilight Princess)

Big Poes Twilight Princess Enemy

Big Poes have been around since Ocarina of Time, where they’d terrorize the Hyrule Field in the dark future where Ganon won.

Back then, they weren’t so terrifying as they were dangerous – but things changed for Twilight Princess.

These eerie ghosts look just like the ones in Fatal Frame, and that game is horrifying.

Their smaller version – the regular Poe – is also pretty damn creepy.


13. Shadow Beast (Twilight Princess)

Shadow Beast from Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess is the most grim and dark game in the Zelda franchise.

So it’s no surprise it holds many horrifying creatures.

Also known as Twilit Messengers, these dark figures will airdrop from red portals in the sky to trap Link and attempt to overwhelm the hero with numbers.

What makes Shadow Beasts incredibly creepy for me is how they used to be regular Twili.

Their twisted forms hide the pain of a former person corrupted by Zant’s power, of which only a raging carcass remains.


12. Like Like (Ocarina of Time)

Like Like from Ocarina of Time screenshot

Like Likes are a little-known enemy despite being present in over ten TLoZ games.

If I had to guess, it’s due to their amorphous worm-like form.

There are plenty of worms and serpents in TLoZ, so our brains don’t register this specific species.

That said, there’s one example you won’t easily wipe from your brain’s storage – and you’ll want to forget for sure.

The low-res textures and low-poly model in Ocarina of Time give the Like Like an oddly realistic worm look. It looks fleshy and decaying, and the idea of it sucking you up is profoundly disturbing.


11. Seahat (Wind Waker)

Seahat from Wind Waker

Peahats are bizarre, flying, plant-like creatures that have appeared in almost every Zelda game. Since they’re usually just flowers, they’re not too scary – but their aquatic counterpart is another story.

The Seahat has adapted to life on the Great Sea by turning from plants to fish.

How they did that remains a mystery.

These enemies protect their territory in packs, trying to ram ships that sail by to knock off the crew and have themselves a feast.

It may not look that scary by itself, but being ambushed by a pack of Seahats during a storm far away from land has a way of making you feel vulnerable. They’re terrifying!


10. Guardians (Breath of the Wild)

Guardians from LoZ Breath of the Wild

Guardians are another enemy that’ll scare the courage out of you because of the danger they pose.

The Sheikah designed these ancient automatons to battle Calamity Ganon. Time has rendered most of them useless, and Ganon’s influence has corrupted those that do work.

Coming across one of these will most likely spell your death in the early stages of the game.

Once you’ve realized their overwhelming power, you’ll start fearing their glowing red eye.


9. Silent Realm Guardians (Skyward Sword)

Silent Realm Guardians from LoZ Skyward Sword

If the Guardians in Breath of the Wild are the product of science and knowledge, the Silent Realm Guardians are the children of divine power – created only to protect the power of the Goddess.

Link must enter the Silent Realm to collect the Sacred Tears of the Goddesses and earn their favor.

It doesn’t sound too bad until you realize the strongest enemies in the game will try to stop you – and you’ll be unarmed.

These missions are the definition of stressful.

The guardians are relentless, and unless you’re good at tracking down magic items, they’ll get several times.

Considering how many people just dropped the game at this point, I’d say these guardians are pretty scary.


8. Stalchild (Ocarina of Time)

 Stalchild from Ocarina of Time screenshot

The Hyrule Field was a land of wonders the first time I played Ocarina of Time.

I remember running around just marveling at the world around me, enraptured by what I felt was the most realistic thing I’d ever seen on my TV screen.

Then, night fell

Imagine my horror when these sinister animated skeletons started crawling out of the ground. They may be low-poly, but their glowing red eyes made them more than scary enough to make me put down the game until the morning.

They’ll keep coming no matter how many you put down. If you kill enough of them, a giant Stalchild will make an appearance.

Hardcore stuff for an E-rated game.


7. Stalhound (Twilight Princess)

Stalhound Twilight Princess Enemy

To see something that’ll disturb your adult self as much as the Stalchildren disturbed me during my childhood, boot up Twilight Princess and head to the Hyrule Field at night.

Stalhounds are skeletal dogs that stalk any traveler foolish enough to travel at night.

They emerge from the ground as if crawling out of the grave, and the eerie green glow of their eyes is enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine.

What makes these undead canines especially creepy is the tufts of decaying fur covering some parts of their bodies. It reminds us that these were once regular hounds. Without it, they’d look like part of a museum exhibit.


6. Floormaster (Wind Waker)

Floormaster from Wind Waker

The Floormaster was introduced back in Ocarina of Time as a floor-dwelling cousin of the Wallmaster.

Both of them take the form of disembodied hands that cause harm in different ways. For example, a Floormaster may grab you and send you back to the dungeon entrance.

The Floormaster that creeps me out the most is the hand of pure darkness that pops out of the ground in the Earth and Wind temples in The Wind Waker – mainly because it can attack your allies.

Rescuing Medli or Makar from their prison is never fun, and if you get grabbed, you’ll have to make your way back through some of the hardest (and scariest) dungeons in the game.


5. Wallmaster (Ocarina of Time)

Wallmaster from Ocarina of Time

Like the Floormaster, the Wallmaster presents itself as a disembodied hand fixated on stopping Link from reaching the end of the dungeon.

While its classic form from the original TLoZ is arguably more iconic, the Wallmaster from Ocarina of Time takes the gold for the most terrifying.

The mixture of low-poly model and basic textures force your mind to fill in the gaps. It looks bloody and decaying, making you wonder what happened to the rest of its body.

The fact that they can drop from the ceiling and surprise you only adds to the horror.


4. Skulltula (Ocarina of Time)

Skulltula from Ocarina of Time

Skulltulas have been a recurring enemy in The Legend of Zelda since their iconic appearance in Ocarina of Time.

At first, I wasn’t so scared of Skulltulas, but a visit to the House of Skulltula in Kakariko Village left me scarred for life.

This horrible place is inhabited by a family cursed with becoming Skulltulas and living their days in agony.

Their models still let you see a part of their human faces through the Skulltula’s abdomen. Truly a traumatizing experience.


3. Dead Hand (Shadow Temple) (Ocarina of Time)

Dead Hand in Shadow Temple / Ocarina of Time Screenshot

I couldn’t finish my first playthrough of Ocarina of Time, or the second, or the third… I was just too young.

Still, there’s a silver lining:

I never saw Dead Hand in the Shadow Temple.

This grotesque monster looks like the spiritual predecessor to Resident Evil 4’s Regenerador.

It’s a grotesque humanoid being with sickly pale skin, patches of blood all over its body, and gigantic teeth to bite Link’s head off if given a chance.


2. Cuccos

Cuccos from TLoZ Ocarina of Time 3D


Well, you shouldn’t be.

I mean, we’ve all been chased by a pack of Cuccos at least once.

Even if you’ve never chosen to attack Cuccos indiscriminately, you’ve at least seen a video of Link getting jumped by dozens of cuccos seeking revenge against the hero.

Can you imagine the horror if a chicken summoned 30+ friends to peck you?


1. ReDead (Wind Waker)

ReDead from Wind Waker screenshot

Zombies are a staple of horror movies and video games, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one as scary as the ReDeads.

These reanimated corpses will follow Link around and try to jump on his back to bite his neck and drain away his health.

While ReDeads torment my dreams ever since I was first grabbed by one in Ocarina of Time, the prize to the creepiest and most disturbing enemy goes to their Wind Waker version.

You’ll find them in the Earth Temple – easily the scariest location in the game – and their scream will freeze both Link and yourself in absolute terror.

They’re easy to kill, but you won’t know that until you try.

And if you’re like me, you’d rather get away as fast as humanly possible.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.