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"The receptacle is prepared by dark magic to become the receptacle of a fragmented piece of soul and that that piece of soul deliberately detached from the Master Soul to act as a future safeguard or anchor to life and to safeguard against death."
J. K. Rowling[src]

This dark spell (incantation unknown) was used to prepare a receptacle for the placing of a fragmented piece of soul within it, thereby allowing the target to become a Horcrux, tethering the caster to the mortal world, preventing death.[2]


"There is a spell, I do not know!"
— Horace Slughorn regarding this dark spell[src]

The first known use of this spell was in Ancient Greece by Herpo the Foul, an infamous Dark Wizard who used it after committing murder in order to create the first known Horcrux.[2] Since Herpo was the first Horcrux-maker, it was certainly possible he invented the spell.[3]

Millennia later, Horace Slughorn told Tom Riddle that he considered this concept unspeakable, claiming not to know what the spell was, nor did he wish to find out.[1]

Tom Riddle, then known as Lord Voldemort, used this spell to create six Horcruxes, splitting his soul into seven.[1][2] He most likely got this spell from Secrets of the Darkest Art before it was removed from the Hogwarts Library by Albus Dumbledore.[4]

Behind the scenes

  • Little, if anything, was known of this spell; it was possible, however, that it would be explained either in the Harry Potter Encyclopedia, or (since the former seems to had been cancelled), on Pottermore.
    • The likelihood of the incantation to this spell being revealed was very low, as Rowling said that she could not "possibly tell [us]. Some things were better left unsaid." in an interview, on 30 July 2007.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 PotterCast (see this transcription)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Herpo the Foul was the first known wizard to create a Horcrux. If he did indeed invent this method, then he must had invented this spell as well. In addition, it was known that Herpo had invented many vile curses before.
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)