The Lethifold (also known as the Living Shroud) was a carnivorous and extremely dangerous magical beast. It was also considered a Dark creature because of its extremely aggressive and violent nature.
The Lethifold resembled a black cloak roughly half an inch thick, and appeared slightly thicker if the creature had recently digested a victim. It glided along surfaces in an unknown form of locomotion in search of its prey, humans. It attacked at night, when the target was asleep, by suffocating and then digesting them.
Protection from a Lethifold
The only known effective method of protection against a Lethifold was by using the Patronus Charm, similar to that of a Dementor, as discovered by Flavius Belby, the only known survivor of a Lethifold attack. Other spells, such as the Stunning Spell, or the Impediment Jinx would not work.
The Lethifold was a very rare species and was found only in tropical climates. The only known survivor of a Lethifold attack was a wizard named Flavius Belby. In 1782, Belby was on holiday in Papua New Guinea, and he managed to repel the attack because he was not fully asleep at the time. After unsuccessful repelling attempts with various spells, Belby managed to conjure a Patronus at the last second, causing the Lethifold to release him and slink away. Previous victims had apparently been unable to do this because they were either asleep, were Muggles, or unable or did not think to cast a Patronus Charm.
It was virtually impossible to determine the number of Lethifold victims, as the creatures left no clues to its presence. Much easier to calculate however, was how many people had faked a Lethifold attack, for their own reasons. One known case of an individual attempting to fake a Lethifold attack was Janus Thickey, who disappeared in 1973, leaving behind a note reading "Oh no, a Lethifold's got me, I'm suffocating". Because of this and his empty bed, Thickey's wife and children began mourning him. However, he was soon discovered living five miles away with the landlady of the Green Dragon pub.
"Lethifold" comes from two roots: lethum, variation of letum, which is Latin for "death", "annihilation", "ruin", and fold, which possibly pertains to the creature's cloak-like appearance. Lethi- is also similar to Levi-, which is reminiscent of levitation (an ability of the Lethifold) and levis, a Latin adjective, meaning "light" (a quality that Lethifold also possess). It can also be related to "lethal", which means "causing death". It is possible that the Ancient Greek lethe, the name of one of the rivers of Hades and meaning "forgetfulness", is also a point of origin, since mortals touched by its waters forgot their lives, ceased to struggle, and (generally) drowned.
Behind the scenes
- It is possible that the Lethifold is related to the Dementor, as they share similar forms of movement, inhumane behaviours, and vulnerability to the Patronus Charm. However, Lethifolds have been classified as beasts, whilst Dementors are considered non-beings.
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., Dementors may be unknown in tropical regions, while Lethifold are found only in tropics.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (First appearance)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
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|