Skyrim:Detect Dead

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SR-icon-spell-Detect Life.png Detect Dead
School Alteration Difficulty Expert
Type Defensive Casting Concentration
Delivery Self Equip Either Hand
Spell ID 000211ef Editor ID Detect Dead
Base Cost 148/s Charge Time 0
Magnitude 0 Area 200 ft (exterior)
100 ft (interior)
Tome ID 000a26ea Tome Value 600
Appears in random loot at level 35+
Purchase from (Alteration lvl 65+)
Nearby dead and undead can be seen through walls.

Detect Dead is an expert level Alteration spell that allows you to see nearby undead creatures and dead bodies through any obstacle. Friendly targets will appear as glowing blue particles, while enemies will appear as red or pink particles. The effect lasts for approximately one second after you stop concentrating.



  • Aside from detecting nearby undead, this spell can be useful to detect fallen foes that may be hard to find and loot after a battle, especially in grass-covered areas or in the dark. It will also make it easier to determine fallen allies, as it will differentiate between friend or foe.
  • The game's definition of enemy or friendly may not always match what you expect. Some creatures or NPCs that will only attack you if they get close, such as sleeping draugr, will be highlighted in blue when at a distance. Once you approach and the enemy attacks, its color will change to red.
  • Most skeletons' body parts will scatter individually, and will leave a faint trail from its origin when this spell is used.
  • Also related is the Detect Life spell, which can detect living NPCs and creatures the same way this spell detects undead.
  • Casting this spell with two hands or dual-casting does not have any effect on the range of the spell, thus only draining your magicka faster. This also applies to Detect Life.
  • You will gain Alteration skill XP at a faster rate while casting this spell when there are more (un)dead in range, as you get XP for each affected target. Casting this spell in a raided dungeon, a crowded vampire lair, or after a battle scene can increase your skill level very rapidly. One could move bodies and collect them on a pile to keep them in range.