"Petrified, he watched as Quirrell reached up and began to unwrap his turban. What was going on? The turban fell away. Quirrell's head looked strangely small without it. Then he turned slowly on the spot. Harry would have screamed, but he couldn't make a sound. Where there should have been a back to Quirrell's head, there was a face, the most terrible face Harry had ever seen. It was chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils, like a snake."
—The thing behind Quirrell's turban[src]

This purple turban was worn by Professor Quirinus Quirrell to conceal the face of Lord Voldemort after the latter possessed him following the break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank in 1991. Quirrell's justification for wearing the turban was that an African prince had bestowed it upon him in gratitude for removing a troublesome zombie. The accuracy of this story is unknown. The turban possessed an odd smell possibly caused by Voldemort's face. This led to a misconception of Fred and George Weasley that the turban had been stuffed full of garlic to ward off hostile vampires.

During the winter of the 1991–1992 school year, Fred and George Weasley bewitched several snowballs to follow Quirrell around and bounce off the back of his turban, not realising that by doing so they were hitting Voldemort in the face.

The turban would have only been used until Voldemort got the Elixir of Life and achieved a body of his own. Near the end of Quirrell's life, he took off the turban when Voldemort instructed, in front of Harry Potter, so the Dark Lord may reveal himself to the boy.


Quirrell removing the turban

Behind the scenes

  • In the film version of Philosopher's Stone, Quirrell was wearing the turban at the Leaky Cauldron pub when he first met Harry Potter. However, in the book he wasn't, as he had not been possessed by Lord Voldemort until after his failed attempt to steal the Stone from Gringotts.
  • On Harry Potter's first night sleeping at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he had a nightmare in which he imagined that he was wearing this turban, which told him that he must transfer to Slytherin at once, because it was his destiny. It then kept getting heavier & heavier and tightened painfully, and Draco Malfoy laughed at him as he struggled with it, then transformed into Severus Snape.
  • According to costume designer Judianna Makovsky, they could not use a Middle Eastern turban because it could not hide what needed to be
    Screenshot 840
    hidden without being misleading.[1]


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Notes and references