"Into darkness taking flight, whispers on the wings of night,
follow us, our lovely tune, as above the smiling moon,
Diddle-dee-dee, diddle-dee-doe, not far now, not far to go,
Into twilight, into gloom, sing the sound of dawdling doom,
follow us, our lovely song, know that we can do no wrong,
Diddle-dee-dee, diddle-dee-doe...
—An Erkling's song[src]

Erklings were elfish magical beasts, three feet tall on average (making them larger than gnomes) with pointed faces, which had a particular affinity for the taste of children.[1]



An Erkling

Their high pitch cackles were particularly entrancing to children, and they used this to lure them away from their guardians to eat them. These creatures also enjoyed shooting darts at unsuspecting victims. Originating from the Black Forest in Germany, the difference between this creature and many others was that they can speak Human-language.[1][2]

Strict control by the German Ministry of Magic, beginning in the centuries preceding 1991, had 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]

During the 1994–1995 school year, they also attacked Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as part of Bartemius Crouch Jnr's (disguised as Alastor Moody) Defence Against the Dark Arts challenge. They managed to defend themselves against these vicious creatures by using a number of useful jinxes, such as the Orbis Jinx, Melofors Jinx and Pullus Jinx.[2]

During the Calamity which occurred in the 2010s, volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force could fight against Erklings in Fortresses throughout the wizarding world, with the activation of certain Runestones within these buildings.[3]

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 European legends. Both Erkling and Nari use their high-pitched cackles to lure their prey into false sense of security, and then feed on them.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 8 images related to Erkling.

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

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence – Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo Charm · Boggart-Banishing Spell · Cave inimicum · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Counter-spells · Cruciatus Curse · Curse of the Bogies · Defensive Charms · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell · Full Body-Bind Curse · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell · Impediment Jinx · Imperius Curse · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse · Knockback Jinx · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm · Red Sparks · Reductor Curse · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Smokescreen Spell · Snake-Vanishing Spell · Tickling Charm · Tongue-Tying Curse · Trip Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie
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