From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki



Psychologically torment Guardians
Serve Emperor Calus

At war with:

House of Light
Imperial Cabal
Sol Divisive (partially)
Hidden Swarm (partially)
Loyalists (partially)
House of Dusk (partially)

Allied with:

The Witness
Hidden Swarm (partially)
Sol Divisive (partially)
Loyalists (partially)
House of Dusk (partially)

Average height:


Average weight:



Trauma-induced apparitions of past enemies and other figures
Black and red miasma manifestations with faint tendrils
Shimmering blurry outlines

Average lifespan:


Notable individuals:

Nightmare of Crota, Son of Oryx
Nightmare of Dominus Ghaul
Nightmare of Fikrul, the Fanatic
Nightmare of Omnigul, Will of Crota
Nightmare of Skolas, Kell of Kells
Nightmare of Taniks, the Scarred
Nightmare of Phogoth, the Untamed
Nightmare of Zydron, Gate Lord

Other names:



"The Nightmares appear to be extracted from our very psyche—violent manifestations that wreak havoc, tormenting us with our past trauma. They tease us with a life we once knew, prying into our minds and attacking our most vulnerable points. This assault on our emotions is aimed to weaken us and our sense of purpose."
— Eris Morn.

Nightmares are apparitions of Darkness utilized as a security system by the Black Fleet for psychological warfare; manifested as past figures and enemies to exploit the trauma and worst fears of Guardians and other victims. First appearing following Eris Morn's discovery of the Pyramid beneath the Moon, the Nightmares include phantoms of some of Guardians' deadliest foes, including Crota, Fikrul, Ghaul and Uldren Sov.


Nightmare Veins circulating out of Crota's Nightmare

According to Hashladûn, Nightmares are malleable creations of Nezarec's Pyramid, not truly alive but made of "chaos, negation, and the raw things found existing in spaces between thought and fear."[1] They are extracted from the psyche of targets, wreaking havoc by provoking grief and trauma as well as presenting a physical threat.[2]

Nightmares are usually surrounded by a miasma of crimson reddish-black Darkness with radiating ghostly tendrils. Eris initially surmised that the true purpose of the Nightmares was a tool used by the Witness to manipulate and exploit Guardians at their weakest; for the explicit temptation towards its side and promises of power.[3] This would be recanted much later when she revealed that the Nightmares were in fact a defense mechanism to drive away those who would tamper with the lunar Pyramid.[4] This defense mechanism would also be utilized by the Europan Pyramid when Elisabeth Bray entered it in her attempt to relearn Stasis.[5]

The Nightmares are found primarily near and in the Scarlet Keep citadel, which was built in close proximity to the Pyramid. Beyond the moon, Nightmares had propagated on other celestial bodies, roosting in Lost Sectors as its previous enemy tenants.[6] Calus, the exiled Cabal Emperor, would weaponize the Nightmares to his bidding by forming a psychic bond between the dormant lunar Pyramid and his massive flagship, the Leviathan. This in turn transformed Calus' ship into an extension of the Pyramid's resonance and allow for new Nightmares to haunt the derelict vessel.[7]


Nightmares surrounding the Luna Pyramid

Nightmares are enemies that debut in Shadowkeep and are primarily encountered in Lost Sectors and during endgame activities like Nightmare Hunts and Altars of Sorrow on the Moon. They can vary in difficulty; such as Elite, Major, and Ultra, and drop phantasmal orbs upon death that grants players an "Unstable Essence" damage buff on all other Nightmare enemies for ten seconds. Nightmare bosses are often accompanied by two Major mob enemies that can respawn if destroyed, most often when boss health reaches halfway and if there are no current Nightmare enemies standing then.

Ultra-tier Greater Nightmares, especially the ones found in endgame activities, have an additional mechanic that renders them intangible with immunity to damage in a reddish-black ethereal form after they spawn additional Nightmare mobs; forcing players to clear them first to initiate the next damage phase.

Nightmares have a chance of dropping "Phantasmal Fragments" and even rarer "Phantasmal Cores" as a resource to craft weapons and Dreambane Armor at the Lectern of Enchantment, which are unlocked from Nightmare Essence weapon bounties (which can drop from bosses during Nightmare Hunts and randomly on the Moon). Even certain armor mods equipped to Dreambane armor are effective in both warding and boosting damage against Nightmare enemies.

Notable members[edit]

Greater Nightmares[edit]

Other Nightmares[edit]

Mentioned only[edit]

Unique forces[edit]







  • In a few bounties when the Haunted Forest was created, it is implied that the Vex are capable of creating Nightmares of their very own known as Terrors. They are said to prey on our greatest fears[8] and Ikora even asked if they would create shades of ourselves.[9]
  • In an effort to create a puppet champion, the Daughters of Crota constantly resurrect the shattered Zulmak, Instrument of Torment by combining the phantasmal essence of the Nightmares with Zulmak's husk, creating the first hybrid of a Hive and a Nightmare.[10]
  • According to Toland, the Pyramid cannot conjure Nightmares from Hive minds. They require a human psyche: anguished, burdened, Lightbearing vessels. However, this seems to be contradicted by the existence of the Nightmare of Horkis, Fear of Mithrax, unless Horkis had previously encountered the Guardians before manifesting as a Nightmare.
  • Several Nightmares are effigies of individuals that are not deceased. For example, Toland exists beyond his physical form and Omar Agah's essence was transferred into an insect-like creature that now powers a weapon. This indicates the purely psychological intent of the Luna Pyramids conjuration of the Nightmares, and not, in fact, its ability to pull the spirits of the dead into being.
  • Because of the connections to memory, the creation of Nightmares may be closely related to the powers of Deepsight.


List of Appearances[edit]