Erklings are elfish creatures, three feet tall on average (making them larger than gnomes) with pointed faces, which have a particular affinity for the taste of children. Their high pitch cackles are particularly entrancing to children, and they use this to lure them away from their guardians to eat them. These creatures also enjoy shooting darts at unsuspecting victims. Originating from the Black Forest in Germany, the difference between this creature and many others is that they can speak Human-language.[1][2]


Strict control by the German Ministry of Magic, beginning in the centuries preceding 1991, has greatly reduced the number of Erkling attacks.[1]

Known attacks

According to Newt Scamander, the last known Erkling attack was on a six-year-old called Bruno Schmidt. The Erkling in question was killed when Schmidt hit it over the head with his father's collapsible cauldron.[1]

They also attacked Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in 1994 as part of Mad-Eye Moody's challenge.[2]

Bavarian Erklings

"Do those things ever stop being creepy?"
A much worse kind called the Bavarian Erkling exists. Harry, Ron and Hermione came across these in a greenhouse at Hogwarts.[2]


The name erkling may have been influenced by the English word "irk", meaning to annoy and "erlkings", elfish creatures in German mythology which have a fatal influence on children. Erlking is a translation of the German erlkönig which literally means "alder king", and may in turn be an 18th-century mistranslation of the original Danish word elverkonge, literally "elf king".

Behind the scenes

  • Erklings share some resemblances to Nari, a type of evil fairy from Eastern Europe legends. Both Erkling and Nari use their high-pitched cackles to lure their prey into false sense of security, and then feed on them.
  • Some have speculated that wizards bred house-elves from erklings.


Notes and references

Magical Creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merpeople · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf