"The hag is a child-eating creature of human appearance, though likely to have more warts than the average witch."
Quentin Trimble, The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection[src]

A hag was a savage being that looked like an ugly, old witch but had more warts.[2] They had four toes on each foot, had a taste for the flesh of human children, and possessed rudimentary magic, similar to that of a troll.[3] Many Muggles tended to think that hags were what witches looked like, and were therefore popular in Muggle literature.[7]

History

In the 14th century, hags were "gliding about in search of children to eat" at Burdock Muldoon's failed meeting of the Wizards' Council welcoming any two-legged creatures as beings.[6]

Sometime during the 17th or 18th century, the witch Honoria Nutcombe founded the "Society for the Reformation of Hags", presumably a charitable organisation to help hags integrate into wizarding society.[8] Its headquarters were in Diagon Alley, London.[9]

Quirinus Quirrell supposedly had a "nasty bit o' trouble" with a hag sometime in 1990-1991 during his Grand Tour.[10]

A copy of Gilderoy Lockhart's Holidays with Hags

Sometime in or before 1992, Gilderoy Lockhart published a book called Holidays with Hags;[11] whether the book was one of Lockhart's fictions, in which case it would be useless, or one of the stories he stole from other, memory-charmed wizards and witches, is unknown.[12] This book, along with six other of his collected works, was set as a compulsory Defence Against the Dark Arts textbook during the 1992–1993 school year.[13]

In August 1993, Harry Potter thought he saw a hag ordering a plate of raw liver from behind a thick balaclava in the Leaky Cauldron.[14]

A hag called Annis Black sent in "A Word in Support of Hags" to the Daily Prophet, offering babysitting services.[15]

Hags were amongst the various magical creatures who proposed threats to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy across the Wizarding world, during the Calamity in the 2010s. Hags were trapped in huge blocks of ice, in which volunteer wizards and witches had to liberate using the Fire-Making Spell to melt the ice and free the Foundable hags.[5]

Ministry classification

The British Ministry of Magic classifies hags as beings, a fact that causes centaurs and merpeople to desire the classification of beast.[6]

Known hags

Habitats

Hags are what Muggles would recognise as "fairy tale witches": the above is Muggle child Bethany Harrison's impression of witch Winifred Whittle

Hags could occasionally be encountered in Diagon and Knockturn Alleys, as well as Hogsmeade;[14] however, some hags like Annis Black lived in caves.[15]

Diet

Hags were said to eat children[2][1] and raw livers,[14] although it was possible that those were false descriptions to defame them.[15]

Behind the scenes

  • The hag is a creature from English folklore. Originally used a way to explain the then-unknown condition of sleep paralysis, the "Old Hag" was a spirit that sat on a person's chest while they slept and gave them nightmares. The concept later evolved to be used for any malevolent and ugly old woman.

Appearances

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Notes and references


Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Subjectsdada.JPG
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Professors
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · 21st-century professor
Textbooks
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · 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 · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Cave inimicum · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nasuem) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenium Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronus) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Rectratum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimble Wimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · 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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