|“||...the ghasts, those repulsive beings which die in the light, and which live in the vaults of Zin and leap on long hind legs like kangaroos...
After a moment something about the size of a small horse hopped out into the grey twilight, and Carter turned sick at the aspect of that scabrous and unwholesome beast, whose face is so curiously human despite the absence of a nose, a forehead, and other important particulars.
|~ The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath , H. P. Lovecraft|
Ghasts are humanoid creatures who dwell in the vaults of Zin where they are often hunted by the Gugs. Their language appears to consist of "coughing gutturals".
They also appear to travel in packs, as Randolph Carter meets a group of fifteen. Together they seemingly manage to bring down a Gug.
Ghasts may be encountered in places where sunlight never comes, such as underworld labyrinths, cavern networks, and deep tunnel systems. They shun light and are fearful of the sun, as when they are exposed to direct sunlight they sicken and may eventually die.
Often living in groups of 10 to 20 members, some ghast communities can accommodate up to 60 or more individuals. Ghasts prefer to go about either singly or in pairs but may hunt in larger packs, making the best use of their knowledge of underground networks to herd and trap prey. Close relationships between ghasts are rare, as they are cannibalistic in nature, happy to prey on one another as well as other beings that enter their domains. In some cases, wizards (human or otherwise) have been able to utilize ghasts as guardians as they have a tendency to be fairly docile and amenable to command, although their primitive and savage nature does carry a risk of brooding resentment if left to their own devices, which can cause them to attack and eat “allies” considered to be particularly tasty.
It has been suggested that the horrible, semi-human bipeds ridden by the morally degenerate people inhabiting the inner world of K’n-yan may be distant relatives of ghasts.
Should this conjecture prove true, it suggests that the origin of the ghasts may stem from genetic experimentation by the serpent people.