For information about the Spectre enemy from Strife, see Spectre (Strife).
A spectre about to bite the player in Doom II MAP08: Tricks and Traps.

Spectres are the partially invisible counterparts of demons. Except for their fuzzy, blurred appearance, they are exactly the same in behavior and attributes, and thus may be thought of as demons who have a permanent partial invisibility power. They usually hide in darkened areas, waiting to startle players. Spectres do not have frames of their own, as the Doom engine uses the same information used for demons to account for them, which means the monsters share sprites.

Spectres appear as "shimmering" beings, like a lens which distorts and reflects the area seen through their translucent bodies, making them hard to spot in darker areas or against certain textures, such as grey speckled walls. However, in bright areas, they are noticeably visible and "spotty".

In the Doom II manual, their description is: Great. Just what you needed. An invisible (nearly) monster.


The initial opaque appearance of a spectre in Doom 64.

In many OpenGL source ports, as well as in Doom 64 and the Sony PlayStation version of Doom, spectres do not "shimmer", but are instead rendered using translucency. This is because the partial invisibility effect is very difficult to reproduce using such a renderer. EDGE, however, emulates the effect using a shader, and GZDoom allows users to select one of several "simulated" effect presets to suit their tastes.

In Doom 64 specifically, inactive spectres are initially rendered as opaque demons with a green tint, becoming translucent upon detecting the player. Upon death, they revert to an opaque state again. Spectres also appear in the Doom 64 Cast of Characters sequence at the end of the game, unlike the spectre in the Doom II cast sequence.

The PlayStation version, aside from featuring ordinary spectres at both 25% and 100% additive translucency levels, introduced a stronger version of the spectre called the nightmare spectre.


  • There are some tricks that can help make spectres more visible: their shimmering outline is much easier to see with the inverted colors of an invulnerability sphere, for example, and they feature a fully visible blood-splatter effect when hit.
  • The spectre does not appear in the Doom II cast sequence at the end of the game.
  • If a spectre's corpse is crushed, the pool of gibs left behind continues to display the partial invisibility effect. In most hardware accelerated ports, the gibs will be translucent.


ID # 58 (decimal), 3A (hex)
Hit points 150
Speed 10 map units per frame
(175.0 map units per second)
Width 60
Height 56
Reaction time 8
Pain chance 180 (70.70%)
Pain time 4 tics
Mass 400
Bits 4194310
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite name SARG
Alert sound DSSGTSIT
Action sound DSDMACT
Pain sound DSDMPAIN
Death sound DSSGTDTH
Melee attack
Damage 4-40
Damage done by a spectre's bite
Bites needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
5.16 1.20 3 9
Player (100%
health, security armor)
7.32 1.33 5 11
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
18.86 1.60 15 22
Barrel 1.50 0.66 1 5
Trooper 1.50 0.66 1 5
Sergeant 1.97 0.77 1 5
Wolfenstein SS 2.98 0.95 2 7
Imp 3.29 0.99 2 7
Chaingunner 3.84 0.99 2 8
Lost soul 5.16 1.20 3 9
Commander Keen 5.16 1.20 3 9
Demon 7.48 1.31 5 11
Spectre 7.48 1.31 5 11
Boss brain2 12.15 1.59 8 17
Revenant 14.31 1.57 11 18
Cacodemon 18.86 1.60 15 22
Pain elemental 18.86 1.60 15 22
Hell knight 23.52 1.50 19 27
Arachnotron 23.52 1.50 19 27
Mancubus 28.15 1.35 24 32
Arch-vile 32.84 1.30 30 36
Baron of Hell 46.72 1.79 42 51
Spiderdemon 139.43 2.32 134 144
Cyberdemon 185.64 2.97 180 192

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, and blood splats are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics[edit]

In classic Doom, the spectre is first encountered on these maps:

The Ultimate Doom E1M6: Central Processing1 E1M5: Phobos Lab1 E1M3: Toxin Refinery
Doom II MAP03: The Gantlet MAP03: The Gantlet MAP03: The Gantlet
TNT: Evilution MAP04: Wormhole MAP02: Human BBQ MAP02: Human BBQ
Plutonia MAP02: Well of Souls MAP02: Well of Souls MAP02: Well of Souls

The IWADs contain the following numbers of spectres:

The Ultimate Doom 51 102 183
Doom II 37 93 175
TNT: Evilution 83 150 224
Plutonia 95 102 111
  1. May be encountered earlier if the secret level is played.

See also[edit]