At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
Knockturn Alley was a shopping area off Diagon Alley in London. It was filled with numerous shops devoted to the Dark Arts, including Borgin and Burkes, which specialised in objects that had curious and strong magical properties. Unusual, sinister and sometimes dangerous individuals walked around and shopped in the area. When Tom Riddle left Hogwarts, he worked at Borgin and Burkes.
Just around the corner from Diagon Alley lies a dark, twisting alleyway devoted to the Dark Arts: Knockturn Alley. It is a place that the Weasley children are not allowed in, and with good reason. Not only are the wares sold there somewhat dangerous, but the wizards and witches hanging around behave fairly suspiciously as well. From the shops and the street vendors one can purchase, among other things, shrunken heads, poisonous candles, human-looking fingernails, and Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent.
As with Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley is not directly accessible from the Muggle world. The Leaky Cauldron pub provides one access (via Diagon Alley), while Apparition and Floo Powder are other access options. There may be other entrances. In addition, as noted above, a vanishing cabinet located within one of the shops provided direct access to Hogwarts. The entrance to Knockturn Alley is noted to be gloomy in comparison to that of Diagon Alley.
In the 1920s, Slytherin's locket was sold at Borgin and Burkes to Caractacus Burke by Merope Gaunt for ten Galleons, as Burke was not known to be a generous individual. Burke later sold the locket to Hepzibah Smith, who paid an "arm and a leg for it". After graduating from Hogwarts, Tom Riddle worked as a shop assistant at Borgin and Burkes. His employers were surprised when he resigned his post and disappeared after the murder of Hepzibah Smith. After Riddle murdered Hepzibah he also stole Slytherin's locket from her, as well as Hufflepuff's cup.
During the 1988–1989 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Jacob's sibling and one of their school friends ventured into Knockturn Alley using the Floo Powder with the help of Patricia Rakepick, hoping to meet Mundungus Fletcher. After speaking to Mundungus Fletcher and also Villanelle, they went to enter Borgin and Burkes, but were approached by a dark witch, who demanded something from them, with her cursing their friend with the Slug-vomiting Charm and then duelling Jacob's sibling. She was defeated, but more dark wizards and witches surrounded them, before they were dispelled by Rakepick. They then left the alley to visit the Three Broomsticks Inn to speak to Fletcher. Jacob's sibling and Rakepick visited the alley again that twice that school year, the first time being when they spoke to Mundungus Fletcher in the alley after purchasing a new wand at Ollivanders, who told them that he had sold the Marauder's Map to an unknown buyer, whilst they were looking for it. The second time, Rakepick wanted to teach them the Unforgivable Curses, so she demonstrated the Cruciatus Curse on a dark wizard, much to Jacob's sibling shock and horror. Jacob's sibling also visited the alley to speak to Fletcher again, where they duelled a dark wizard on Fletcher's orders and won the duel, as Fletcher claimed the wizard had cheated him.
During the 1989–1990 school year at Hogwarts, Jacob's sibling visited the alley to speak to Ben Copper about a missing skull from the Artefact Room, accusing them of stealing it, but Ben was instead looking for answers about Rakepick (by then a fugitive). Ben then spoke to Mundungus Fletcher, who warned them about a Wizard in white robes from the Mahoutokoro School of Magic, who was a deadly assassin. At another time, they went to the alley to speak to Merula Snyde, who was planning on killing Rakepick as revenge, but their brother Jacob apparated on the scene and warned them that the assassin was after the both of them. They asked their brother for more information, but he had to leave after giving them a brief practise duel. Jacob's sibling went to the alley another time to see Ben Copper interrogating dark wizards and witches. They encountered a witch who had information about the assassin, and then Mundungus Fletcher under a disguise, who told them Rakepick had been collecting dark artefacts. Jacob's sibling also entered Knockturn Alley disguised as Rakepick with Polyjuice Potion, in order to infiltrate a meeting of the organisation "R", which resulted in Rakepick discovering them and a brief duel occurred in the alley with them, Alastor Moody and their brother, with them overpowering Rakepick and forcing her to disapparate. The last time they visited the alley that school year was when they discovered Merula Snyde to be the mole for "R", after watching her reveal her supposed loyalty towards the group with a dark witch they had encountered before with Fletcher, both under Invisibility cloaks.
Harry Potter first entered Knockturn Alley in 1992, when using floo powder for the first time at the The Burrow. He ended up inside Borgin and Burkes when he didn't say "Diagon Alley" clearly enough when trying to travel there by Floo Powder from the Burrow. When inside the shop he briefly saw Lucius and Draco Malfoy, where Malfoy senior was selling Dark artefacts. He ran into Rubeus Hagrid outside the shop. Hagrid, who was getting Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent in Knockturn Alley, told Harry that he shouldn't be hanging around in such a "dodgy place". Hagrid then escorted Harry back to the Weasleys.
Harry's next visit to the alley was in 1996, when he, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger followed Draco Malfoy, Harry suspected him of being a Death Eater. Draco let several Death Eaters into Hogwarts through a Vanishing Cabinet in Borgin and Burkes at the end of the 1996-1997 school year.
From the shops, one can purchase many types of dark objects, which include poisonous candles, shrunken heads, giant spiders, human-looking fingernails and toenails, and Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent. Because of its contents, Arthur and Molly Weasley prohibited their children from entering Knockturn Alley.
Items that can be purchased
- A “bloodstained pack of cards”.
- Poisonous candles, sold in a shop several doors down from Borgin and Burkes.
- Evil-looking masks.
- Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent, which Hagrid apparently bought somewhere in the alley.
- The Hand of Glory, which “gives light only to the holder” – purchased by Draco Malfoy at some point before 1996 and used to help Death Eaters break into Hogwarts, spring 1997.
- Hangman’s rope.
- Human bones.
- Human fingernails, sold by an Aged witch.
- Slytherin’s locket, which Borgin and Burkes purchased from Merope Gaunt for ten galleons and later sold to Hepzibah Smith for far more.
- The cursed Opal Necklace, priced at 1500 Galleons, which killed nineteen Muggle owners and was later purchased by Draco Malfoy for an attempt to kill Dumbledore. Katie Bell was injured instead.
- Rusty, spiked instruments.
- Shrunken heads, on sale in a window across from Borgin and Burkes, one of which might have been purchased by Crabbe in 1996.
- Skulls, at least one of which costs sixteen galleons.
- Giant black spiders, in a shop window a couple of doors down from Borgin and Burkes.
- A “staring glass eye”.
- A Vanishing Cabinet, which unknown to anyone but Draco Malfoy (at the time, at least) linked directly to its partner in Hogwarts. Draco bought it in 1996 and used it to sneak Death Eaters into the school the following spring.
- 13B Knockturn Alley - A building where Borgin and Burkes is located.
- Borgin and Burkes - An antique shop.
- Beard Trimming - A barber shop.
- Betting shop - A shop that takes bets on various events.
- Chimney Sweep Elf
- Cobb & Webb's - A shop that sells items related to Dark Arts.
- The Coffin House - A shop that sells Dark Arts materials related to the dark art of Necromancy.
- Dystyl Phaelanges - A shop that sells bones.
- E.L.M and Wizards Undertakers & Embalmers
- Fledermaus and Tanner Bats & Skins
- Markus Scarrs Indelible Tattoos
- McHavelock's Wizarding Headgear
- Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary - A shop that sells potion ingredients.
- Msaw Ætare
- Noggin and Bonce - A shop that sells shrunken heads.
- Potage's Cauldron Shop - A shop that sells different types of cauldrons.
- Tallow and Hemp Toxic Tapers
- Trackleshanks Locksmith
- Shyverwretch's Venoms and Poisons
- The Spiny Serpent
- The Starry Prophesier
- The White Wyvern - A pub.
- Wizarding Supplies
- Ye Olde Curiosity Shop - A shop where people can purchase curios related to Dark Arts.
The name "Knockturn Alley" is a play on "nocturnally", just as "Diagon Alley" is a play on "diagonally". "Nocturnally" has to do with the night and darkness, hinting at its dark nature.
Behind the scenes
- The Whispering Wizard may have been an inhabitant of Knockturn Alley.
- The 2-disc DVD edition of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets includes an interactive tour of Diagon Alley, which includes one of the entrances to Knockturn Alley (in the early films depicted as being directly to the right and behind the Leaky Cauldron access), although the tour does not progress into the alley itself.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Shrunken Head in the Knight Bus announces "Next stop, Knockturn Alley!" after the Knight Bus has dropped off Harry at the Leaky Cauldron. This suggests that either there is an entrance to Knockturn Alley that does not lead through the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley, or that the Knight Bus can actually jump into Knockturn Alley, to a bus stop there. This is not seen (or possible according to J.K. Rowling's book canon.)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Entrance only) (PS1 version only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Mentioned in deleted scene)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Nintendo DS version only)
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- Creator: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- LEGO Dimensions (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Wand Collection (Mentioned only)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 10 (Knockturn Alley)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 17 (Broken Bonds)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 19 (The Unforgivable Curses)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 24 (Dark Pranks)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 4 (Friends in Low Places)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 6 (On Jacob's Trail)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 9 (Artefact Check)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 35 (Infiltrating 'R')
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 45 (The Messenger)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)