The creation of a Horcrux — the "darkest art"

"The Dark Arts are many, varied, ever-changing, and eternal. Fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixed, mutating, indestructible."
—Description of the Dark Arts[src]

The Dark Arts, also known as Dark Magic, refers to any type of magic that is mainly used to cause harm to, exert control over, or even kill the victim.[1][2] Despite being labelled "dark", the Dark Arts are not necessarily "evil".

The Dark Arts encompass many spells and actions ranging from the powerful Unforgivable Curses to brewing harmful or poisonous potions and breeding Dark creatures, all of which are often illegal or at least heavily discouraged in the Wizarding world. Practitioners are referred to as Dark wizards or witches. The most prominent and powerful of these was Lord Voldemort, who was and is widely considered to the be most evil Dark wizard in all of history. His followers, known as Death Eaters, also heavily practised the Dark Arts.[3][4]

Nature of the Dark Arts

Tom Riddle: "I have experimented; I have pushed the boundaries of magic further, perhaps, than they have ever been pushed —"
Albus Dumbledore: "Of some kinds of magic. Of some. Of others, you remain... forgive me... woefully ignorant."
Tom Riddle: "The old argument. But nothing I have seen in the world has supported your famous pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic, Dumbledore."
— A serious discussion regarding the nature of the Dark Arts[src]

Lord Voldemort after his transformation by the Dark Arts

The Dark Arts are generally regarded as corrupting to those who use them (which is part of the reason they are considered "dark"). After engaging in them extensively for many years, even Tom Riddle's appearance demonstrated his corruption — he lost his former handsomeness, eventually taking on serpentine physical qualities and red eyes.[5] Albus Dumbledore, in particular, suggested that engaging in any of the Dark Arts that involve murder was damaging to the soul; for instance, he told Severus Snape that Draco Malfoy's soul was "not yet so damaged" that he was probably capable of murder, but that if he did go through with murder, his soul would be "ripped apart".[6] This suggests that using very dark magic, such as the Killing Curse, damages an individual's soul. The dark art of creating a Horcrux involves literally splitting the soul for the unnatural purpose of achieving immortality.[5] Quirinus Quirrell was interested in dark magic, initially by a theoretical view to gain recognition, but his curiosity turned to avarice, and eventually he was completely drawn in and corrupted.[7]

According to Snape, the Dark Arts are pragmatic in nature, where every time a branch is defeated, it only comes back "fiercer and cleverer" than before. It is therefore imperative that one's defences must be as versatile as these foul arts themselves.[2]

Powerful dark spells also require malicious intent in order to be successful. To cast the Cruciatus Curse, for instance, one must truly desire to cause pain in and of itself, according to Bellatrix Lestrange.[8] The Dark Arts can also be difficult to control; for example, Vincent Crabbe lost control of the cursed fire he created in 1998 and was killed by it.[9] Injuries caused by dark magic sometimes never fully heal, such as George Weasley's ear after it was cut off by the Sectumsempra curse, he was struck with during the Battle of the Seven Potters.[10] Some curses can remain in one's genes, being passed down through generations as recessive, or can reemerge in a descendant that could lead to frail health. For example, Astoria Malfoy was one such victim of her ancestor's curse.[11]

Effects after Harry Potter is injured by a baskilisk fang

Dark creatures can also have lasting impacts that are deadly or incredibly harmful to those who come into contact with them. Basilisks have the ability to petrify people who see them indirectly or kill them with their gaze, or from the venom in their fangs.[12][13] While petrification can be cured by the Mandrake Restorative Draught,[14] and wounds from basilisk fangs cured by phoenix tears, these treatments are difficult to prepare or obtain.[15] Dementors have the ability to consume human souls with their kiss.[16] There is no cure for someone who has had their soul removed as they spend the rest of their lives in a vegetative state.[17]


"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love! The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's!"
—Explanation of the best type of protection against the Dark Arts[src]

Lily Potter bodily shielding infant Harry from the Killing Curse

According to Albus Dumbledore, the only power strong enough to enable a person to resist the temptation of the Dark Arts, and to defeat them, is pure love. He was perhaps referring to the Sacrificial protection shield, which Lily Potter inadvertently used to protect infant Harry Potter and Harry himself later used to protect the defenders of Hogwarts by letting himself willingly be hit by a Killing Curse from the Dark Lord.[18] However, Harry was not killed by this curse, since it only destroyed the part of Voldemort's soul inside him; he spent a brief time in limbo before returning to the land of the living.[19]

Ethical considerations

While the Dark Arts have a bad reputation, overall, dark magic is not, by definition, "evil" magic. Indeed, dark magic can be used for good as well as evil. Even the Killing Curse can be used for good, as Albus Dumbledore said that it would not harm Severus Snape to kill him (Dumbledore) as he had asked Snape to kill him since he was going to die anyway (and it would ultimately serve to fool Voldemort and lead to his destruction).[6] Using the Dark Arts in an act of true mercy in and of itself contradicts the very stark moral view that many such as Bartemius Crouch Senior publicly espoused regarding them.

At the same time, dark magic is not the only type of magic that can be used with the intent to kill. For example, the Severing Charm can kill if used irresponsibly or maliciously.

The only exception to this rule is the spell which creates a Horcrux; this is an entirely selfish act — taking a life in order to prolong one's own. This act is so reprehensible that the caster's soul becomes fragmented, allowing the creation of a Horcrux. The soul can only be restored by complete remorse for the murder, or repentance, which is actually painful enough to cause death.[5]


The suitability of a wand to perform dark magic depends, at least partly, on its core; dragon heartstring, phoenix feather, and rougarou hair have a reputation for being suitable for it, while it is hard to perform dark magic with unicorn hair wands. In addition, wands made of Applewood mix poorly with dark magic.[20]

The Dark Arts and the law

"When a wizard goes over ter the Dark Side, there's nothin' and no one that matters to 'em any more..."
—The nature of the Dark Side[src]

Four known Death Eaters stand trial in front of the Council of Magical Law

Although many members of the wizarding world appear to frown upon the Dark Arts, they are not prohibited (with the exception of the Unforgivables) and may even — under certain conditions — be encouraged. For example, while Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry teaches only Defence Against the Dark Arts, Durmstrang Institute teaches the Dark Arts itself.[21] Moreover, shops like Borgin and Burkes in Knockturn Alley openly trade in Dark artefacts, and are patronised by "hundreds of people",[22][23] which suggests that at least some aspects of the Dark Arts are somewhat socially acceptable or at the very least legal among parts of the wizarding population.

Also, in times of war, the Ministry of Magic has been known to permit Aurors to use strong Dark magic against its enemies. When Lord Voldemort was in control of wizarding Britain in late 1997 to mid-1998, every aspect of the Dark Arts was legalised and taught at Hogwarts by Death Eater professor Amycus Carrow. However, Voldemort was controlling the Ministry at this time, so it may not be standard protocol.[24]

In addition, there is a matter of degree. The three Unforgivable Curses are punishable by an automatic life sentence in Azkaban Prison when used on humans,[1] except when permitted in wartime, whereas some types of magic can have more benign uses as well as Dark uses and, thus, are presumably not always illegal.

Of course, the law may differ from country to country. Japan does not permit its citizens to practise the Dark Arts; to do so is a violation of the Japanese wizard's code. Anyone who does so will face trial in front of the Japanese Ministry of Magic. Furthermore, if the offender is a student at Mahoutokoro School of Magic, said offender will be immediately expelled, in addition to facing legal reprecussions.[25]

Known Dark magic

Dark charms

Main article: Dark charm
"Magic always leaves traces, sometimes very distinctive traces. I taught Tom Riddle. I know his style."
Albus Dumbledore regarding the impact left by dark magic[src]

An Unforgivable Curse, the Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra)

A Dark charm is primarily defined as any charm that consistently affects the object in a negative manner, usually associated with varying levels of discomfort.[20]

Dark charms can be classified into three groups: jinxes, hexes, & curses. These groups form a hierarchy, with jinxes at the base, hexes in-between, and curses at the top. The further one ascends up this hierarchy, the more wicked, the stronger, the longer-lasting and the less reversible the Dark spell's effects appear to be.[20] The Unforgivable Curses are the strongest known Dark spells in existence, as their effects are very powerful and their use requires skill.[1]

The Unforgivable Curses are shown to Hogwarts students in Defence Against the Dark Arts class in the sixth year, but Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody using Polyjuice Potion) in the 1994–1995 school year showed these curses to fourth years instead.[1]

Some spells may not be considered Dark magic in and of themselves, but may be used for Dark purposes. For example, the Taboo curse allows the caster to track anyone who says a certain word or name. This gives the caster a great deal of power over people's speech, and spreads fear. It may thus be considered to have Dark applications, such as when it was used by Death Eaters to track their enemies during the Second Wizarding War.[26][27][28][29]

The following are some Dark spells:

Type Spell Incantation
Minor dark magic, small inconvenience to the target.[20]
Knockback Jinx




Oppugno Jinx




Revulsion Jinx




Moderate dark magic, causing major inconvenience to the target.[20]
Bat-Bogey Hex


Knee-reversal hex


Toenail-growing hex


The worst kind of dark magic, intended to affect the target in a strongly negative manner.[20]
Cruciatus Curse




Imperius Curse




Killing Curse


Avada Kedavra


Dark potions

"Undoubtedly, this potion must act in a way that will prevent me taking the Horcrux. It might paralyse me, cause me to forget what I am here for, create so much pain I am distracted, or render me incapable in some other way."
Albus Dumbledore regarding the effects of the Emerald Potion[src]

Dark Potions are potions that cause negative effects on those who drink them or cause harm in some way or another. Dark Potions may also include ingredients that are not common in regular potions, or possess usual properties. Some Dark potions include the following:

Potion Notes
Rudimentary body potion A potion used to or used in combination with other magic to create a rudimentary body that can be inhabited by a non-corporeal wizard. Its ingredients consist of Unicorn blood and potent Snake venom.[4]
Regeneration potion A potion noted by Lord Voldemort to be "an old piece of Dark Magic".[4] Its ingredients include a bone from the father unknowingly given, flesh from the servant willingly given, and blood from an enemy of the one for whom it is intended. It creates a new body for a Dark witch or wizard who has used Horcruxes and lost their original body, as Voldemort did. This new body is a replica of the old one and has its former powers too. It apparently requires that the Dark wizard exist within a rudimentary body that can be placed within the cauldron after all the ingredients are added. If the blood of the enemy contains protections or infections, like a love sacrifice or lycanthrophy, it will also affect or protect the wizard or witch reborn with it.[34]
Drink of Despair An emerald green potion used in a stone basin in which the locket Horcrux was hidden. Its consumption causes the drinker to see "terrible things", dehydrate, and experience excruciating burning in one's insides. Because of the 'terrible things' it subjects its victim to, it has an effect similar to the presence of a Dementor.[35][36]

Dark items

"Of the Horcrux, wickedest of magical inventions, we shall not speak nor give direction —"
—the introduction of Magick Moste Evile[src]

Some items can be bewitched by Dark Magic for various purposes. They then become known as Dark Magic Artefacts (or simply Dark items). The following items are associated with Dark Magic:[37]

Object Notes
Cursed books Books can be cursed to cause harm to anyone who attempts to read them. Examples include Sonnets of a Sorcerer, which cursed the reader to forever speak in limericks, an unnamed book that a person could never stop reading it, as well as one that would burn the readers out. Tom Riddle's Diary was both a cursed book and a Horcrux.[38]
Hand of Glory A severed human hand with a candle placed within it. It provides light only to the holder, and is commonly attributed to catching thieves and plunderers.[22] It is also able to penetrate Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder.[39]
Horcrux An object (or living being) that contains a fragment of a Dark wizard's divided soul. It is used to provide protection against death, thus providing Immortality, and is considered to be the darkest of all objects.[5]
Opal Necklace A cursed item which turned up in Borgin and Burkes, was apparently purchased by Draco Malfoy, and almost killed Katie Bell. It is cursed very heavily, to the extent that merely touching it causes nearly instant death. It has killed at least nineteen Muggles.[33]
Objects in the Black house Various objects belonging to the House of Black can be classified as Dark, such as an Enchanted music box that would put people to sleep, Ancient purple robes that would strangle those who get close, a Grandfather clock that would shoot heavy bolts at passers-by, a spider-like tweezers that would puncture somebody's skin, a silver snuffbox that would bite an individual, and a highly dangerous locket Horcrux that contained Voldemort's mutilated soul.[40]
Black Quill An enchanted quill that does not require ink, as it writes with the blood of the person using it. What the user writes will be carved onto the back of his or her hand, and the blood from the words sliced into the hand will be magically siphoned and used as ink on the parchment. It is used as a torture device.[41]

Dark creatures

Many magical creatures may be considered Dark, all of which are deeply feared and/or despised by numerous wizards and witches as a result of the danger these creatures pose to all living things. Some of those creatures include the following:

An Acromantula

Acromantulas are a species of giant spider with a taste for human flesh. There is a large colony of them living in the Forbidden Forest on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[42] It is implied that most wizards stay clear of them due to how dangerous they are. Breeding Acromantulas has been made illegal by the Ministry of Magic and are included in the Ban on Experimental Breeding.[13]

A Banshee

The Banshee is a dark creature native to Scotland and Ireland. They are malevolent spirits who assume the form of skeletal women with green skin and black hair, with a high-pitched scream which is fatal to the ears.[43] The Banshee can be effectively combated with the Laughing Potion.[44]

A Basilisk

A Basilisk is a giant serpent, and is also known as the King of Serpents. Looking a Basilisk directly in the eye will immediately kill the victim, but indirect contact will merely render them Petrified. It is known as one of the foulest beasts on Earth, and is also the mortal enemy of spiders.[12] Breeding Basilisks has been made illegal by the Ministry of Magic and are included in the Ban on Experimental Breeding. The punishment for breeding this monstrous creature depends on the ruling of the Wizengamot.[13]

A Boggart

Boggarts are amortal shapeshifting non-beings who have the ability to assume the form of an individual's worst fear. Their true appearance is unknown due to their shapeshifting ability, and they usually prefer to inhabit dark or confined spaces. Boggarts are mischievous entities who enjoy feeding off the human emotion of fear. They can be easily combated and restrained with the Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus), a charm which causes the Boggart to assume a humorous, non-threatening form, rendering it no longer frightening.[43]

A cloaked Dementor

Dementors are widely considered to be one of the foulest creatures to inhabit the world. Dementors feed on human happiness and thus generate feelings of depression and despair in any person in close proximity to them.[45] They can also consume a person's soul through the process known as the Dementor's Kiss.[16] The Dementor's Kiss is considered a fate worse than death, leaving the victim in a permanently vegetative state.[17]

The Gorgon is a serpentine dark creature of female appearance, with snakes for hair. Like the Basilisk, its glare is capable of causing petrification.[32]

A Grindylow

Grindylows are small, horned, pale-green water demons. They have long, strong (albeit brittle) fingers which they use to strangle their prey.[31] Students at Hogwarts are taught to defend themselves against them in their third year of Defence Against the Dark Arts education.[46]

A Hag

Hags are savage beings that look like ugly, old witches but have more warts. They possess rudimentary magic, similar to that of a troll. They prefer to eat children and raw liver,[20] and some even advertise themselves as babysitters.[47]

An Inferius

An Inferius is a dead body, reanimated by a Dark Wizard's spell. The spells used to reanimate the corpse are complex and difficult to perform. There is a large difference between an Inferius and a ghost.[48] Voldemort was known to have an army of Inferi, mostly consisting of homeless Muggles that the Dark Lord had murdered.[35]

A Lethifold attacking

A Lethifold is a carnivorous and highly dangerous magical creature. It is also considered a Dark creature because of its aggressive and violent nature. The only known spell that will work against it is the highly advanced Patronus Charm.[13]

An Obscurus

An Obscurial, is a young repressed witch or wizard who have developed a dark and parasitic energy force known as an Obscurus. The Obscurus is developed through the forced repression of a young witch or wizard's magic, usually through both physical and psychological abuse. When the Obscurus becomes powerful and loses control, it manifests itself as a floating black cloud, which is both extremely unstable and destructive in nature. Most Obscurials die before they reach the age of ten, and the only documented case of an Obscurial surviving past this age was with the American wizard Credence Barebone.[49][50]

The Red Cap is a small, dwarf-like magical beast that is attracted to places where human blood has been spilt, and will bludgeon the unwary to death with a club.[51] They can be repelled with the Beautification Potion.[44]

A Rougarou is a dangerous dog-headed monster that inhabits the swampy regions of Louisiana in the United States.[52]

A Vampire

A Vampire is a dark magical humanoid that is famed for biting people on the neck and sucking their blood. They are part of the family of beings known as the Living Dead.[20]

A transformed Werewolf

A Werewolf is a human-being who, upon the complete rising of the full moon, becomes a fearsome and deadly near-wolf. This condition is caused by infection with lycanthropy.[46] Werewolves are unfairly treated and discriminated against within the magical community and are looked down upon and despised by witches and wizards who do not have the condition. The Ministry of Magic has introduced legislation in regards to Werewolves, as a means of controlling them.[53]

The Zombie is a dark creature which is a member of the Living Dead, that swell in the Southern regions of the United States of America. They are identifiable by their greyish, decomposing skin and foul rotting smell. It is likely that these creatures have a taste for the flesh of living beings.[20]

Dark practices

Some other practices that would be considered dark include: breaking the Ban on Experimental Breeding by hatching a basilisk,[13] consuming the blood of a unicorn,[54] and Necromancy, the Dark Art of raising the dead.[35]

Known practitioners

The following wizards and witches are known to have used Dark Magic. Note that as above, the Dark Arts encompass many different types of spells and practices, including many that seem to be in everyday use by most wizards — this section is limited to those who have used strong dark magic at least once.

Dark Wizards

Wizard(s) Notes
Barnabas Deverill Possibly the most dangerous dark wizard of the early 18th century, notorious for using the Elder Wand to carve himself a reputation as a fearsome warlock, until his reign of terror was ended.
Delphini The illegitimate daughter of Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, who attempted to reverse the result of the Second Wizarding War through Time travel in the 21st century.[11]
Dolores Umbridge A British Ministry of Magic bureaucrat who served as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic from 1985 to 1998, Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor and “High Inquisitor” of Hogwarts School during the 1995-1996 school year, and Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission at the height of the Second Wizarding War; credited for inventing the Black Quill,[55] as well as giving unauthorised and malicious tasks to Dementors.[56]
Egbert the Egregious Mastered the Elder Wand after killing Emeric the Evil in a ferocious duel (Emeric was "slaughtered").
Ekrizdis A dark wizard of unknown nationality and the original inhabitant of the fortress of Azkaban.
Emeric the Evil A short-lived but exceptionally aggressive dark wizard who terrorised the south of England in the early Middle Ages; first recorded master of the Elder Wand.
Gellert Grindelwald The most dangerous dark wizard of the early 20th century, notorious for initiating the For the Greater Good revolution that terrorised Europe from 1926 to 1945; regarded as an accomplished Seer and believer in the Deathly Hallows, having mastered the Elder Wand from Mykew Gregorovitch. Eventually defeated by Albus Dumbledore and imprisoned within his own fortress of Nurmengard.[57]
Godelot An "unpleasant character" who once owned the Elder Wand.
Gormlaith Gaunt A pure-blood supremacist and the aunt of Isolt Sayre.[58]
Hereward Mastered the Elder Wand after murdering his own father Godelot to acquire it.
Herpo the Foul An Ancient Greek wizard regarded as the first dark wizard to successfully hatch Basilisk, create a Horcrux and speak Parseltongue.[13]
Loxias Master of the Elder Wand after Barnabas Deverill and gave it the name of "the Deathstick".
Merwyn the Malicious Credited with the invention of many unpleasant jinxes and hexes.[59]
Morgan le Fay The half-sister of King Arthur and Queen of Avalon, who antagonised her own brother and Merlin in many Arthurian legends; regarded as a proficient healer and bird Animagus.[59]
Narcissa Malfoy Not officially a Death Eater herself, believed in the importance of blood purity and supported her husband in following Lord Voldemort. Was stated by her former House-Elf Dobby as being a practising dark witch.[60]
Niko Nenad A former Beater for the Romanian National Quidditch team, who was infamous for jinxing an entire forest in Siberia with the assistance of local Dark Wizards near a Quidditch pitch before a game during the 1809 Quidditch World Cup, resulting in the Attack of the Killer Forest.[61]
Quirinus Quirrell A timid child prodigy who served as Muggle Studies Professor of Hogwarts from the 1980s to 1990, and later as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor of Hogwarts during the 1991-1992 school year, aiding Lord Voldemort in his attempt to steal the Philosopher's Stone. Died in vain trying to murder Harry Potter on his master's orders in the Skirmish in the Underground Chambers.[7]
Raczidian A tyrannical sorcerer who (according to an ancient story) attacked a wizarding village near his Dementor-infested castle in an attempt to abduct and marry the young witch Eliana, only to be foiled by the Patronus of her orphaned lover Illyius.[32]
Salazar Slytherin One of the four founders of Hogwarts School and most notorious champions of pure-blood supremacy, who secretly built the Chamber of Secrets for the purpose of housing his Basilisk until the time came for it to purge the school of all Muggle-born students; also regarded as one of the earliest known Parselmouths, accomplished Legilimens, and notable ancestor of the House of Gaunt.[14]
Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) An orphaned descendant of the House of Gaunt and former shop assistant at Borgin and Burkes,[62] who became the most powerful and dangerous dark wizard of all time, ill-famed for initiating the two Magic is Might insurrections that terrorised Great Britain from 1970 to 1981, then again from 1995 to 1998; also regarded as a Parselmouth and the sole dark wizard to ever create several Horcruxes.[5] Eventually defeated and killed by Harry Potter at the Battle of Hogwarts.[63]
Walburga Black A pure-blood supremacist and believer in Voldemort's cause.[40]

Death Eaters

Wizard(s) Status Notes
Alecto Carrow Possibly imprisoned Former professor of Muggle Studies; she taught the hateful ideology that Muggles are inferior to Wizardkind, and punished students with the Cruciatus Curse who rejected her authority.[64]
Amycus Carrow 1997, Amycus was made Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. This class, which for all intents and purposes simply became "Dark Arts", and punished students with the Cruciatus Curse who rejected his authority.[64]
Antonin Dolohov Killed or imprisoned|Fought in the First Wizarding War, during which he tortured many Muggles as well as wizards and witches who were not supporters of the Dark Lord.[65]
Augustus Rookwood Spy who worked as an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries.[65]
Avery Snr Member of Tom Riddle's gang when they attended Hogwarts.
Bartemius Crouch Jnr Dementor's Kiss A loyal follower who helped ensure Voldemort's return to power in 1995.[66]
Bellatrix Lestrange Deceased Voldemort's most loyal follower and best lieutenant.[65][67] She was the last of the Death Eaters standing during the Battle of Hogwarts.[63]
Corban Yaxley Possibly imprisoned Since Voldemort was in control of the Ministry of Magic, Yaxley became the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.[68]
Draco Malfoy Defected Was made a Death Eater as a means to punish his father and given the task of assassinating Albus Dumbledore.[39]
Evan Rosier Deceased After graduating from Hogwarts, he became a Death Eater.[65]
Crabbe Possibly imprisoned. Participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.[67]
Avery II
Goyle Returned to Lord Voldemort when he rose to power again in 1995.[4]
Gregory Goyle Fought in the Battle of Hogwarts.[9]
Igor Karkaroff Deceased Headmaster of Durmstrang Institute and was murdered for defecting.[23]
Lestrange Member of Tom Riddle's gang and one of the earliest Death Eaters.
Lucius Malfoy Defected He joined the Death Eaters, who shared his views on blood purity, and participated in the First and Second Wizarding War.[4]
Muliciber Possibly imprisoned. Member of Tom Riddle's gang and one of the earliest Death Eaters.
Mulciber After graduating from Hogwarts, he became a Death Eater.
Nott Member of Tom Riddle's gang and one of the earliest Death Eaters.
Peter Pettigrew Deceased Betrayed the Potter family to Voldemort during the First Wizarding War.[69]
Rabastan Lestrange Possibly imprisoned Brother of Rodolphus and brother-in-law of Bellatrix. He fought in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
Regulus Black Deceased Discovered the location of Voldemort's locket Horcrux and was drowned in his lake of Inferi.[36]
Rodolphus Lestrange Possibly imprisoned Brother of Rabastan and husband of Bellatrix. He fought in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
Rosier One of the earliest Death Eaters of Lord Voldemort. He fought in the First Wizarding War.
Severus Snape Defected Became a spy for the Order and was instrumental in the defeat of Voldemort.[6] Despite this, he invented and utilised several Dark charms in his lifetime.[70]
Travers Possibly imprisoned He fought in the First Wizarding War, during which he helped murdered Marlene McKinnon and her family, and was imprisoned for committing this crime. He also fought in the Second Wizarding War.
Vincent Crabbe Deceased Died during the Battle of Hogwarts attempting to murder the trio, after conjuring Fiendfyre during the Skirmish at the Room of Requirement and perishing in the cursed flames.[9]
Walden Macnair Possibly imprisoned He managed to avoid Azkaban, and worked for the Ministry of Magic as Executioner. He fought in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.[71]
Other Death Eaters

Non-Dark Wizards

Wizard(s) Status Notes
Alastor Moody Occasional user Capable of performing the Unforgivable Curses and many other curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Albus Dumbledore Capable of performing many curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Bartemius Crouch Senior Capable of performing the Imperius Curse, despite his intense hatred and opposition to the Dark Arts, ironically.[66]
Ginevra Weasley Capable of performing a highly powerful Bat-Bogey Hex[72] and could perform other curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Harry Potter Capable of performing two of the three Unforgivable Curses and many other curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Hermione Granger Capable of performing many curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Isolt Sayre
Minerva McGonagall Capable of performing the Imperius Curse.[73]
Molly Weasley Capable of performing many curses, hexes, and jinxes. This includes a powerful and lethal curse that killed Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of Hogwarts.[63]
Pius Thicknesse Imperiused While Imperiused, he performed numerous dark charms under the Death Eaters malign influence.
Viktor Krum While Imperiused, he performed the Cruciatus Curse.[74]
Durmstrang students Durmstrang is infamous for teaching its students the Dark Arts.[21]
Hogwarts students (1997–1998 school year) Threatened Forced to perform the Dark Arts, including the Unforgivable Curses. The members of the D.A. refused and were punished for it.[73]

Known texts

The following texts are known to discuss the Dark Arts:

In Wizarding fiction

The Warlock in the wizarding fairy tale The Warlock's Hairy Heart, found in The Tales of Beedle the Bard , utilised a piece of Dark Magic to remove his heart from his body to ensure he would never fall in love, while keeping himself alive without this vital organ within his body.[80]

Behind the scenes

  • The Dark Arts are similar to magic known as maleficium, which is used in a similar manner.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14 (The Unforgivable Curses)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 5 (Fallen Warrior). Also in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret), Harry mentions "the injuries from Dark Magic... You can't repair the damage."
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 Pottermore
  21. 21.0 21.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 11 (Aboard the Hogwarts Express)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
  24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
  25. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Mahoutokoro" at Wizarding World
  26. 26.0 26.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
  27. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  28. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
  29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  30. 30.0 30.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis)
  31. 31.0 31.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Wonderbook: Book of Spells
  33. 33.0 33.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  34. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)
  36. 36.0 36.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  37. Harry Potter Lexicon: Dark Magic Items
  38. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  39. 39.0 39.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
  40. 40.0 40.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black)
  41. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
  42. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
  43. 43.0 43.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
  44. 44.0 44.1 Wonderbook: Book of Potions
  45. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 5 (The Dementor)
  46. 46.0 46.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat)
  47. Daily Prophet Newsletters
  48. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 21 (The Unknowable Room)
  49. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
  50. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
  51. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  52. "History of Magic in North America: 1920s Wizarding America" on Pottermore
  53. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Werewolves" at Wizarding World
  54. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
  55. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Dolores Umbridge" at Wizarding World
  56. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 32 (Out of the Fire)
  57. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
  58. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Wizarding World
  59. 59.0 59.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  60. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
  61. History of the Quidditch World Cup from Pottermore (via The Internet Archive)
  62. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
  64. 64.0 64.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
  66. 66.0 66.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  67. 67.0 67.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
  68. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)
  69. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  70. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
  71. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
  72. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 33 (Fight and Flight)
  73. 73.0 73.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
  74. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  75. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
  76. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  77. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  78. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
  79. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
  80. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
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