Aside from introducing fans to some of the most beloved characters of the past few decades, the Harry Potter franchise also presented an enormous world full of magical critters. Some of these creatures, like Dobby the house-elf or Ginny’s pet Pygmy Puff, are regarded as whimsical and wholesome.
However, there are many other magical creatures that, when given the chance, could be just as lethal as Voldemort. From deadly mythological beasts to dangerous beings with near-human intelligence, there’s a long list of magical creatures that every wizard should avoid.
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Updated on January 20th, 2023 by Gabriela Delgado: As the Harry Potter series expanded, it introduced a slew of fantastical creatures and beasts that ranged from lovable and inoffensive to extremely deadly. The Fantastic Beasts franchise also marked the first on-screen appearance of many of these creatures, some more dangerous than others. This list has been updated to include even more lethal critters inhabiting the Wizarding World.
15 Sphinxes Were As Deadly As They Were Intelligent
Originally from Egypt, Sphinxes were as dangerous as they were wise. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, they were fully capable of communicating with humans, especially when relaying one of their beloved riddles and puzzles. Given their high intelligence and ferocious nature, magical folk often used Sphinxes to guard their valuables.
Sphinxes were also employed at Gringotts where they watched over various high-security vaults. In Goblet of Fire, Harry encountered a female Sphinx while exploring a maze in the Third Task and was given a riddle to solve. After pondering for a while, Harry was able to solve it and leave unscathed.
14 Erklings Lured Unsuspecting Children With Their Entrancing Cackles
In the Harry Potter universe, Erklings were elfish creatures with pointed faces that inhabited the Black Forest in Germany and were capable of human speech. They were especially known for their high-pitched cackles, which they used to lure children away from their caretakers in order to feast on them.
When Erkling killings reached a concerning number, the German Ministry of Magic took matters into its own hands and established strict rules to protect the elfish species. As of the 20th century, the last reported Erkling murder happened when a six-year-old wizard hit the creature with his father’s cauldron in self-defense.
13 Runespoors Had Three Heads With Different Purposes
Runespoors were three-headed, bright orange snakes native to the forests of Burkina Faso. While most grew to a length of six to seven inches, Fantastic Beasts‘ Newt Scamander found an unusually large specimen that he kept hidden in the depths of his magical suitcase. Like common snakes and Basilisks, Runespoors could communicate with Parselmouths.
Each of the Runespoor’s heads served a different purpose—the right head leads the body, the middle head experiences visions, and the left head judges the validity of their efforts. Runespoors were the only magical creatures to produce eggs through their mouths. These eggs were highly coveted by wizards, as they were essential ingredients in mentally stimulating potions.
12 Erumpents Used Their Valuable Horn To Explode Their Enemy
Large and powerful, Erumpents were African beasts that resembled rhinoceros. They possessed a single, sharp horn that contained a highly-flammable liquid that caused whatever it pierced to explode. For this reason, both the horn itself and the fluid inside had been classified by the Ministry of Magic as valued tradeable materials.
Erumpents were usually pacific unless provoked, so African witches and wizards respected their space lest they find a terrible fate. These large beasts were also known for their resistant hide, which could deflect most charms and curses. Xenophilius Lovegood kept an Erumpent horn in his home that exploded when Death Eaters invaded in search of the Golden Trio.
11 Giants Were Known For Their Bloodthirst And Violent Tendencies
Known for their bloodthirst and superhuman strength, Giants were one of the largest magical beings in the Wizarding world, many of them easily surpassing twenty feet in height. Unlike their distant cousins the Trolls, Giants were somewhat intelligent and had their own language and hierarchy.
A Giant’s large size made it difficult for them to stay concealed from Muggles, which led to a dramatic decrease in their population across Europe. During both Wizarding wars, the Giants sided with Voldemort, who managed to recruit them using a series of gifts. They were responsible for massacring entire Muggle towns under Voldemort’s command.
10 Kelpies Were Deadly Water Demons That Often Appeared As Horses
Kelpies were shapeshifting water demons that often took on the appearance of a horse, though some, like the Loch Ness Monster, preferred other forms. Originally from Great Britain and Ireland, they often lured gullible travelers onto their backs before dragging them to the very bottom of the lake and eating them.
Kelpie hair could be used as a wand core, but it was considered inferior to other magical substances and was extremely difficult to obtain so it wasn’t a very popular option. In Crimes of Grindelwald, Newt Scamander rode a male Kelpie that he kept in a large body of water in his basement.
9 Kappas Resembled Scaly Monkeys & Fed On Human Blood *
One of the most dangerous creatures that originated in Japan, Kappas were deadly water demons that dwelled in shallow ponds and rivers and fed on human blood. These deadly creatures were said to resemble scaly monkeys with webbed feet and sharp claws. Kappas also had a hollow on top of their head that they used to carry water wherever they went.
The only way to prevent a Kappa from attacking was to carve one’s name into a cucumber, throw it at the beast, and expect the Kappa to bow its head. When Snape substituted for Lupin as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, he incorrectly explained that Kappas were native to Mongolia and had red hair.
8 Chimaeras Were Extremely Difficult To Subdue
Considered extremely lethal by the Ministry of Magic, Chimaeras were vicious beasts with the body of a goat, the head of a lion, and the tail of a dragon. Native to Greece, Chimaeras were so dangerous that their eggs were even classified as Class A Non-Tradeable Goods.
As they were difficult to defeat, there was only one recorded Chimaera slaying, attributed to a wizard who died shortly after from exhaustion. While working at Hogwarts, Care of Magical Creatures expert Professor Kettleburn owned a Chimaera and even taught his students how to handle the beast.
7 Manticores Crooned As They Devoured Their Prey
Like Sphinxes and Chimaeras, Manticores were a mash-up of various animals. With the body of a lion, the tail of a scorpion, and the head of a human, they were incredibly fast and resistant. They were able to kill instantly with a venomous sting and easily deflect all known charms with their skin. Manticores were also known to croon softly as they devoured their prey.
In Prisoner of Azkaban, when Buckbeak was put on trial for injuring Draco Malfoy, Hermione looked up similar cases and found one where a Manticore had ‘savaged’ a wizard in 1926. The ferocious animal was let go, but only because everyone was too afraid to go near it.
6 Quintapeds Were Incredibly Hostile And Had A Particular Taste For Human Flesh
As their name suggested, Quintapeds were five-legged beasts with a particular taste for human flesh. They were native to a small island in Northern Scotland, the Isle of Drear, which had been made Unplottable to keep wizards and witches away from the vicious monsters.
A famous legend suggested that Quintapeds were actually the Transfigured members of the MacBoon Wizarding clan. Upon angering a neighboring clan, they had been transformed into savage beasts. As Quintapeds were incredibly hostile towards humans, the Ministry of Magic was unable to confirm or deny this rumor and had failed to study them numerous times.
5 Nundus Could Devastate Entire Villages With Their Toxic Breath
The Nundus were huge, leopard-like creatures that originated in East Africa. They were extremely quiet despite their large size and were equipped with highly toxic breath that was capable of devastating entire villages in one go.
Far more resilient than most dragon species, Nundus were almost impossible to subdue. Over a hundred highly-skilled, experienced witches and wizards needed to work in tandem to bring one Nundu down. Famous thief Eldon Elsrickle was the only known owner of a Nundu cub, which he stole during a trip to Africa and used as his house’s main guard.
4 Werewolves Were Stripped Of Their Humanity During The Full Moon
Werewolves were classified by the Ministry as both Beings and Beasts, using the former when werewolves were in their human form and the latter while in their transformed state. They were not born, but were transformed through a poisonous bite that would strip them of their human consciousness during the full moon.
After their first transformation, new werewolves were required to register at the Ministry of Magic, which immediately made them a pariah within wizarding society. While there was no cure, the Wolfsbane Potion served to alleviate most of the worst symptoms and rendered the werewolf relatively harmless.
3 Acromantulas Were Colossal Spiders With Near-Human Intelligence
Native to the dense jungles of Borneo, Acromantulas were a type of wizard-bred magical spiders with near-human intelligence. They were covered in thick black hair, had eight eyes and a leg span of fifteen feet, and could secrete a powerful venom that was capable of immobilizing even the largest of prey.
Unlike common spiders, Acromantulas tended to band together in large colonies. These colonies were led by the oldest and wisest of their species. They enjoyed devouring humans but could resist attacking them if commanded by their leader, as shown when Aragog forbade his children from attacking Hagrid.
2 Dragons Were One Of The Most Well-Known Magical Creatures Worldwide
Armed with two powerful wings and lethal fire breath, dragons were one of the most well-known magical creatures. Many of their organs and body parts, such as the heart, hide, blood, and liver, had highly valuable magical properties in potion-making, alchemy, and wand-crafting.
There were ten recognized dragon breeds, including the volatile Hungarian Horntail that Harry battled during the Triwizard Tournament and the Norwegian Ridgeback that Hagrid obtained from Quirrell in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Dragons had to be restrained by several experienced wizards and were particularly resistant to Stunning Spells.
1 The Basilisk Was A Huge Snake With A Killer Gaze
Nicknamed the King of Serpents, a Basilisk was a large snake that hatched from a toad-incubated chicken egg and that could reach up to fifty feet in length. Gazing into its large, yellow eyes meant instant death, making the Basilisk an extremely dangerous beast to subdue.
Herpo the Foul, a medieval dark wizard, owned the first recorded Basilisk, which lived up to nine hundred years. A fellow Parselmouth, Salazar Slytherin also owned a specimen that he kept hidden from the other Hogwarts founders in a secret chamber below the castle. This particular Basilisk was responsible for killing a student in the 1950s and petrifying various others forty years later.
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