"Oh, that one had a great vogue during my time at Hogwarts. There were a few months in my fifth year when you couldn't move for being hoisted into the air by your ankle."
Remus Lupin[src]

Levicorpus is the incantation of a jinx. The spell, which was intended to be cast nonverbally but which can be spoken aloud,[6] causes the victim to be hoisted into the air by their ankle; the counter-jinx for this spell is Liberacorpus.


"Pointing his wand at nothing in particular, he gave it an upward flick and said Levicorpus! inside his head... There was a flash of light... Ron was dangling upside down in midair as though an invisible hook had hoisted him up by the ankle."
—Harry uses the spell for the first time on Ronald Weasley[src]
This jinx was invented by Severus Snape and recorded under his pseudonym the "Half-Blood Prince" during his time as a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[4][5]

There was a couple of months in 1976 where the spell became quite popular and students could barely move about without being hoisted up in the air by their ankle. In June 1976, James Potter cast this on Severus Snape while bullying him in front of a crowd.[7]

On 22 August 1994, this spell was likely used by Death Eaters during the attack at the 422nd Quidditch World Cup.[8]


Ron dangling in the air

In 1996 Harry Potter found the Half-Blood Prince's copy of Advanced Potion-Making that contained the spell, he used it twice during the 1996-1997 school year. In October 1996 Harry very rashly cast this on Ron Weasley without a clear idea of what the effects would be. On 30 June 1997 after the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, Harry tried and failed to cast this on Snape during Snape's departure from Hogwarts.

In 1998 this spell would be used again by Hermione Granger during the Trio's hunt for Horcruxes.

Known practitioners


The incantation can be divided into two separate Latin words; levare means "lift", and corpus is translated to "body". It could also be translated as "Light Body".

Behind the scenes

  • The effect of this spell may be a reference to the Hanged Man, a Tarot card that depicts a saint-like figure being hung upside down from his ankle.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film), this is a verbal spell taught to Dumbledore's Army; it is used to lift people in this medium, but not by the ankle, as the victim's of the spell are seen being levitated onto the air as long as the user concentrates, as loss of concentration causes the spell to break immediately and the victim to fall to the ground. This was shown when Cho Chang was distractedly looking at Harry while Nigel, who she was levitating, suddenly fell to the floor. However, when Luna Lovegood uses it on a Death Eater in the Ministry of Magic, it sends the Death Eater flying upwards, similarly to Alarte Ascendere, except that the victim does not come back down, suggesting it does suspend him in the air or to the ceiling.
  • Also in the film, James Potter levitated Severus off the ground with Impedimenta instead of Levicorpus, though Severus still was dangled upside-down.
  • It is unclear when Severus Snape invented this jinx, as James Potter knew it in his fifth year, whereas it was noted in Snape's NEWT-level textbook. Furthermore, according to Sirius Black, Snape "knew more curses when he arrived at school than half the kids in seventh year."[10]
  • In Harry Potter for Kinect Voldemort can use this spell against Dumbledore in the final Duel in the Ministry Atrium as they engage in a normal duel.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals) - "Harry had already attempted a few of the Prince’s self-invented spells."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pottermore - All about... Severus Snape
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  8. 8.0 8.1 In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hermione noted "We've seen a whole bunch of people use it, in case you've forgotten. Dangling people in the air. Making them float along, asleep, helpless." Harry stared at her. With a sinking feeling, he too remembered the behaviour of the Death Eaters at the Quidditch World Cup.
  9. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Thirteen
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)