Poes are ghost-like monsters that typically carry lanterns.
In combat, Poes will usually swing their lanterns at their foes. The more advanced Poes may cast spells, such as fire magic, and ice magic. In The Windwaker, Poes could also take possession of their opponents and mess up the game controls. After this, however, the Poe would die off.
It is likely that the name Poe is derived from the writer Edgar Allen Poe, a writer of short horror stories and poetry.