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"The Shrieking Shack's supposed to be the most severely haunted building in Britain."
Hermione Granger discussing the Shrieking Shack[src]

The Shrieking Shack was an abandoned house in Hogsmeade. For many years, villagers thought it was haunted because they often heard screams coming from inside, and Albus Dumbledore encouraged the rumour, as he was the one who commissioned it, due to Remus Lupin's lycanthropy.[1]

According to Nearly Headless Nick, not even the Hogwarts ghosts would enter it.[2] The Shrieking Shack's entrance from the Hogwarts grounds was the base of the Whomping Willow. The trick was to poke the knot in the trunk, which paralysed the tree.[3] The secret passageway could be seen on the Marauder's Map.



"This house, the tunnel that leads to it-they were built for my use. Once a month, I was smuggled out of the castle, into this place, to transform. The tree was placed at the tunnel mouth to stop anyone coming across me while I was dangerous."
— Lupin reveals the Shack's history[src]

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley visiting the Shack

In reality, the Shrieking Shack was only used so that Remus Lupin would have a place for his monthly transformations into a werewolf in secret and in safety, during the time he was a student attending Hogwarts. Madam Pomfrey used to escort Lupin into The Shrieking Shack before his transformation. The yells and shouts heard by the villagers were really Lupin biting and scratching himself due to lack of humans to infect.[1]

The "shack" actually had no working doors or windows that allowed entry or exit of the premises. The entrance was through a tunnel under the Whomping Willow on Hogwarts's school grounds. This allowed Remus Lupin (and James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, and Sirius Black) to pass between the two locations unnoticed (as Animagi or Werewolf).[3][1]

One year Sirius thought it would be funny to lure his arch-nemesis Severus Snape to the Shack where Lupin was due for his monthly transformation, in order to eliminate Snape from spying on them. James saved Severus in time, but not before Snape witnessed what Lupin was, though he was forbidden from telling anyone else.[2]

1990–1991 school year

Jacob's sibling finding an unconscious Corey in the Shrieking Shack

During the 1990–1991 school year, Corey Hayden was kidnapped by Merula Snyde because they and Jacob's sibling "wouldn't stop poking around about 'R' and the Director", so she took Corey unconscious to the Shrieking Shack. Shortly after, Jacob's sibling was teleported by a Portkey to the Whomping Willow, where Merula was waiting, who guided them at wand point towards the Shrieking Shack, where the Director formally introduced herself to Jacob's sibling and revealed her true name as Verucca Buckthorn-Snyde, as well revealing to be Merula's aunt.[4]

Verucca explained to Jacob's sibling that 'R' planned everything to get them to that point, including using Patricia Rakepick, Eustace Burke, and Kazuhiro Shiratori as pawns to get to them and make contact, while having Merula Snyde make Jacob's sibling willingly join 'R' and eventually lead them.[4]

Verucca stated that it was the destiny of Jacob's sibling to become their leader, who however stated that they would never join 'R' after all they had done, but at that very moment, Peregrine, the father of Jacob's sibling, came out from the shadows, revealing himself to be the leader of 'R', much to the surprise of Jacob's sibling.[4]


The trio, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black in the Shrieking Shack

In 1994, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were led into the shack when Sirius Black, as a dog, dragged Ron off into the underground passage, located underneath the Whomping Willow.[3] While inside the shack Harry then found out who had really betrayed his parents and Scabbers' true identity was revealed.[1] During the confrontation, Remus Lupin and Severus Snape also entered the shack. Remus entered to assist his friend in exposing the true betrayer, and Snape attempted to capture Sirius.[5]

Voldemort ordering Nagini to kill Snape within the Shack during the Battle of Hogwarts

The Shrieking Shack was later used by Lord Voldemort and several of his Death Eaters in 1998 as a hideout during the Battle of Hogwarts. Severus Snape was killed by Nagini in this very building, while Harry, Hermione and Ron watched helplessly from their hiding spot. It is unknown whether they knew that if they went down the stairs and through a passage they would be in the Castle Grounds next to the Whomping Willow. It is also unknown if it was disassembled, but it is likely the house remained on Hogwarts grounds.[6]


"It was a room, a very disordered, dusty room. Paper was peeling from the walls; there were stains all over the floor; every piece of furniture was broken as though somebody had smashed it. The windows were all boarded up."
— A description of the shack[src]

The interior of the Shrieking Shack

The Shrieking Shack was an abandoned house, with the windows and doors boarded up. The rooms and halls were all dirty, covered with dust, and the furniture was moth-eaten and broken. There was a chair in the foyer of the shack that had one of its legs ripped off.[3]

In the foyer, a staircase led to the second floor. In one of the rooms, there was a magnificent but dusty four-poster bed with rickety doors. This room was also where Peter Pettigrew was caught.[3]

See also

Behind the scenes

Concept art of the shack on Pottermore

The Shrieking Shack in LEGO Harry Potter

  • Severus Snape had a terrible history with the Shack. In 1975, Sirius Black told Severus that if he went under the Whomping Willow, he would find out what was wrong with Remus; this would have lead to his death, as Remus was in werewolf form. On 6 June, 1994, Severus was disarmed, and knocked unconscious. On 2 May, 1998, Severus was ultimately killed in the Shrieking Shack by Nagini under Voldemort's orders.
  • In the film adaptation Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Snape instead dies in the Boathouse.
  • The Shrieking Shack is shown more as a large two-story house rather than a shack in the film adaptations. The shack interior in the film adaptations were also very different from the books.
  • The second moment of Chapter Fourteen on Pottermore, in which the Shack first appears, is titled "The Shrieking Shack".
  • Given a werewolf's superhuman strength when transformed, Dumbledore likely enchanted the shack's structure to be abnormally durable and possibly added enchantments to make it impossible for Lupin to exit during his transformations.
  • In the film adaptations, the walls of the shack are shown to slowly move.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 55 images related to Shrieking Shack.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat and Dog)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 39 (The Aftermath)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32 (The Elder Wand)
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