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"The Zombie dwells only in the Southern part of America. It is an example, like the Vampire, of the Living Dead and may be recognised by its greyish colour and its rotten smell."
Quentin Trimble, The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection[src]

Zombies were "Living Dead" magical creatures that dwelt in the southern part of the United States of America. They were identifiable by their greyish skin and rotten smell.[1] While zombies had much in common with Inferi, they were in fact two distinct creatures.[2]


In a 1913 Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry concerning Boggarts, a student's Boggart morphed into the form of a Zombie, to which the student used the Boggart-Banishing Spell to turn its head into a pumpkin.[3]

During the 1991–1992 school year, Hogwarts Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor Quirinus Quirrell told his students that his turban had been given to him as a gift by an African prince for getting rid of a troublesome zombie. However, whenever he was asked how he fought off the zombie, Quirrell would try to change the subject and talk about the weather.[4]

It was eventually revealed that the turban was used to hide the face of Lord Voldemort on the back of Quirrell's head, as he was possessing Quirrell at the time.[5] It is therefore unlikely that Quirrell's story about the zombie was true, and the fact that the native range of zombies is America makes the veracity of the tale regarding the African prince even more dubious.

The wizarding travel agency TerrorTours offered trips along the Zombie Trail, where hikers could "experience the thrill of coming face to face with the living dead".[6]

Behind the scenes

"Lastly, zombies have been represented and reinterpreted on film so often in the last fifty years that they have a whole raft of associations that were of no use to me. I'm part of the 'Thriller' generation; to me, a zombie will always mean Michael Jackson in a bright red bomber jacket."
J. K. Rowling[src]
  • Zombies are a creature from Haitian folklore comprised of a human corpse resurrected and reanimated from the dead by a dark sorcerer to be an unwilling slave, though the creature is used in modern times to describe a corpse resurrected by any means and has become a staple of horror media.
    • In most horror-related media, the only ways to kill a zombie are destroying the brain and burning them with fire. It is unknown if this works in the Harry Potter universe, although this is highly likely given how Inferi can be burned and kept away with fire.
  • Inferi have much in common with zombies, but they are not the same thing. J. K. Rowling presented her reasons for not calling the guardians of the locket Horcrux 'zombies', on Pottermore: firstly, zombies are not part of the British folklore (and, as such, would not be something a wizard would come across in Britain); secondly, there are some traditions that have it that the sorcerer that created the zombies uses their souls (or part of their souls) to sustain himself (Rowling wanted to distance herself from this, since it could potentially have implications in her Horcrux story); lastly, and perhaps more importantly, zombies have been such a big part of horror films and other media, that they had several associations that she did not see fit.[2]


Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 19th century professor · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · First 1990–1991 professor · Olivia Green · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · Unidentified professor · Brindlemore
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · 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 · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Bombarda Maxima · Cave inimicum · Concealment Charms · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nauseam) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo Spell (Deprimo) · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenum Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimblewimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillious) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillious) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Dugbog · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Manticore · Nocturnal beasts · Poltergeist · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie