"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 regarding the popularity of this jinx[src]

Levicorpus was the incantation of a jinx.[1] The spell, which was intended to be cast nonverbally but which can be spoken aloud,[7] caused the victim to be hoisted into the air by their ankle; the counter-jinx for this spell was Liberacorpus.[1]


"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]

An individual under the effects of this jinx

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][6] According to Remus Lupin this spell became quite popular during his school times and students could barely move about without being hoisted up in the air by their ankle, apparently unaware that Snape had invented it.[8]

An individual under the effects of this jinx

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."[9]

Known uses


Caster(s) Victim(s) Date Notes
James Potter Severus Snape June, 1976 Used it to bully him after an O.W.L. exam.[10][8][11]
Death Eaters Roberts family 22 August, 1994 Used during the attack at the 422nd Quidditch World Cup, by Death Eaters to torture a family of Muggles.[3][12]
Robertses GOF trailer.gif
Harry Potter Ron Weasley 12 October, 1996 Used it nonverbally without a clear idea of what the effects would be, after he found the Half-Blood Prince's copy of Advanced Potion-Making that contained this spell.[1]

Ron dangling in the air

1 March, 1997 Used it to levitate Ron when he hit him after Harry ridiculed his obsessive feelings for Romilda Vane, due eating Harry's Chocolate Cauldrons spiked with Love potion.[13]
Hermione Granger Harry Potter 1 May, 1998 Used it to levitate Harry by the ankle in the Lestrange Vault during break-in so that he could reach the Horcrux Cup.[7]
Draco Malfoy 2020 Used it during his duel with Harry.[14]
Tom Riddle Mykew Gregorovitch 2 September, 1997 Used it to suspend Gregorovitch in the air, before interrogating and murdering him in his wand shop.[15]


Caster(s) Victim(s) Date Notes
Harry Potter Draco Malfoy Early May, 1997 Harry tried and failed to cast this nonverbally on Malfoy in Boys bathroom, but spell was blocked by the Shield Charm.[2]
Severus Snape 30 June, 1997 Harry tried and failed to cast this on Snape near Hagrid's Hut during Snape's departure from Hogwarts, after he had killed Albus Dumbledore.[6]

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.
  • Despite being a non-verbal spell, it apparently does work verbally as Hermione Granger successfully used it in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by speaking the incantation out loud.
  • 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 victims of the spell are seen being levitated onto the air as long as the user concentrates, whereas 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 Ascendare, except that the victim does not come back down, suggesting it does suspend him in the air or to the ceiling. Despite this, Harry does not become aware of this spell himself until his sixth year.
  • Also in the film, James Potter levitated Severus off the ground with the Impediment Jinx instead of Levicorpus, though Severus still was dangled upside-down.
  • 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.
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the spell can be unlocked by reaching the maximum level of friendship with George Weasley.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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 5.2 Pottermore - All about... Severus Snape
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 28 (Snape's Worst Memory)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  12. 12.0 12.1 In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals), 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.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Thirteen
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
  16. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6
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