"Skulkin’ around Knockturn Alley, I dunno — dodgy place, Harry — don’ want no one ter see yeh down there —"
Rubeus Hagrid informing Harry Potter of Knockturn Alley's sinister reputation in 1992[src]

Knockturn Alley is a shopping area off Diagon Alley in London. It is filled with numerous shops devoted to the Dark Arts, including Borgin and Burkes, which specialises in objects that have curious and strong magical properties. Unusual, sinister and sometimes dangerous individuals walk around and shop in the area. When Tom Riddle left Hogwarts, he worked at Borgin and Burkes.[1]


Knockturn Allley sign

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.[2]



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.[1]

Harry Potter visits the alley for the first time in 1992

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.[2]

The trio visit the alley during the height of the Second Wizarding War

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.[3] Draco let several Death Eaters into Hogwarts through a Vanishing Cabinet in Borgin and Burkes at the end of the 1996-1997 school year.[3]

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.[2]

Items that can be purchased

  • A “bloodstained pack of cards”.[2]
  • Poisonous candles, sold in a shop several doors down from Borgin and Burkes.[2]
  • Evil-looking masks.[2]
  • Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent, which Hagrid apparently bought somewhere in the alley.[2]
  • The Hand of Glory, which “gives light only to the holder[2] – purchased by Draco Malfoy at some point before 1996 and used to help Death Eaters break into Hogwarts, spring 1997.[4]
  • Hangman’s rope.
  • Human bones.
  • Human fingernails, sold by an Aged witch.[2]
  • Slytherin’s locket, which Borgin and Burkes purchased from Merope Gaunt for ten galleons and later sold to Hepzibah Smith for far more.[1]
  • The cursed Opal Necklace, priced at 1500 Galleons, which killed nineteen Muggle[2] owners and was later purchased by Draco Malfoy for an attempt to kill Dumbledore. Katie Bell was injured instead.[5]
  • Rusty, spiked instruments.[2]
  • Shrunken heads, on sale in a window across from Borgin and Burkes,[2] one of which might have been purchased by Crabbe in 1996.[6]
  • Skulls, at least one of which costs sixteen galleons.[3]
  • Giant black spiders, in a shop window a couple of doors down from Borgin and Burkes.[2]
  • A “staring glass eye”.[2]
  • 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.[3][4]

Known locations


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 Harry Potter Wiki has 42 images related to Knockturn Alley.

The Knockturn Alley sign, as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)

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