|“||Cold be hand and heart and bone, and cold be sleep under stone. Never more to wake on stony bed, never til the Sun fails and the Moon is dead. In the blackness, the stars shall die, still here let them lie, til the Dark Lord lifts his hand, over dead sea and withered land.||„|
|~ The Barrow Wight's death chant.|
|“||Get out, ye old Wight, vanish into the sunlight! Shrivel like cold mist, like the winds go wailing, out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains, come never here again, leave your barrow empty, lost and forgotten be, darker than the darkness, for the Gates stand forever shut, til the world is mended!||„|
|~ The exorcism chant of Tom Bombadil against the Wights.|
The Barrow-wights are minor antagonists in the high-fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. They are evil mysterious creatures which haunt the Barrow Downs, over the East of the Shire, and are famous and feared amongst humans and hobbits alike.
Ever since the War of Wrath in the First Age of the Sun, many disembodied evil spirits traversed the land of the living, unable to move on due to their heinous crimes. The spirits sought bodies to possess, having failed to possess any of the living. Thus, they sought out the rotting bodies of the dead - animating them and moving around the moon-drenched Barrows of Angmar like a nightmare come to life. Those who saw them were stricken with terror; and the Rangers of the North came to fear the devils - they were literally seeing their deceased ancestors up and walking around, long-useless rings clanking on undead, stale fingers, which itched to get themselves round the throats of the living.
The Barrow-wights abduct Merry, Pippin and Sam and leave a frightened Frodo to stumble blindly lost in the night. He gets weak with calling for his friends but then a Barrow-wight answers and says "I have been waiting for you" and then knocks him out and drags him into the Barrow. When Frodo reawakens, he is inside a stone chamber, and he sees the other hobbits bound beside him. Over their necks is a sword and they are dressed in coffin shrouds. Frodo sees a hand creep down a tunnel at him with a long bare arm after it, and the hand of the Barrow Wight comes down to pick up the sword and execute them.
But Frodo sings to summon Tom Bombadil, and he appears in a few seconds, exorcises the Barrow-wight, and it shrieks as Frodo cuts off its hand with the sword. Then the Barrow collapses on it and it vanishes.