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"It resembled nothing so much as a rippling black cape, the edges fluttering slightly as it slithered up the bed towards me."
Flavius Belby's account of a Lethifold attack[src]

The Lethifold (also known as the Living Shroud) is a carnivorous and highly dangerous magical creature. It is also considered a Dark creature because of its highly aggressive and violent nature.

Physical description

The Lethifold resembles a black cloak roughly half an inch thick, and appears slightly thicker if the creature has recently digested a victim. It glides along surfaces in an unknown form of locomotion in search of its prey, humans. It attacks at night, when the target is asleep, by suffocating and then digesting it.

Protection from a Lethifold

The only known effective method of protection against a Lethifold is 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 will not work.[1]

History

Belby - Lethifold attack - FB2017

Lethifold attack on Flavius Belby

The Lethifold is a very rare species and has been 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 is virtually impossible to determine the number of Lethifold victims, as the creatures leave no clues to their presence. Much easier to calculate is how many people have 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.[1]

Celestina Warbeck's parents met when the man who would become her father saved his future wife from a Lethifold that had disguised itself as a stage curtain during one of her performances.[2]

Etymology

"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.

Appearances

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


Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Subjectsdada
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Professors
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · 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 · Magical Drafts and Potions
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo Charm · Boggart-Banishing Spell · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Counter-spells · Curse of the Bogies · Defensive Charms · Disarming Charm · Freezing Spell · Full Body-Bind Curse · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Knockback Jinx Duo · Melofors Jinx · Nonverbal spells · Orbis Jinx · Patronus Charm · Red Sparks · Reductor Curse · Revulsion Jinx · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Smokescreen Spell · Stunning Spell · Tickling Charm · Tongue-Tying Curse · Ventus Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Wand-Lighting Charm Duo · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Acromantula · Banshee · Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Erkling · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Lethifold · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie