A Dark Detector was the name given to a wide variety of sophisticated magical devices used to discover or identify the presence of Dark Wizards and their activities.


While some were used to detect lying, some were to uncover concealment, or even when Dark Wizards or one's enemies were around, they were all unique in their shared ability to interact and improve upon each other when made to work together; a trait no other magical artefact was known to possess.[2] However, those experienced in their use still tended to advise those who were not against relying on them too much, as they could be fooled. They could be purchased at Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment in Diagon Alley.[3]

Known Dark Detectors

History of usage

Alastor Moody

Alastor Moody seemed to own quite a few of these. This is probably because of his overly cautious and paranoid nature. They were used by Barty Crouch Jr when he was impersonating Moody using Polyjuice Potion during the 1994–1995 school year at Hogwarts.[5]

Dumbledore's Army

When Dumbledore's Army was formed in 1995, there were various Dark Detectors in the Room of Requirement when it served as the D.A.'s Headquarters.[1]

Harry Potter

Harry Potter owned two sneakoscopes throughout his Hogwart's years. The first one he got from Ron in 1993 for his Birthday.[6] In 1997 Hermione gave him a new one for his Birthday, as his old one was cracked and worn out.[7]

Statute of Secrecy Task Force

Following the outbreak of The Calamity and the subsequent establishment of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force in the late 2010s, the British Ministry of Magic supplied members of said department with modified Dark Detectors, which had been "re-purposed" and "attuned" to find hidden Traces created by the Calamity.[4]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
  2. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite SOS Task Force Appraisal: Calamity Essentials I.
  3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 1 (Owl Post)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2 (In Memoriam)
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