• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:Dementor jpg w560h420 8727.jpg

You don't want to know what's behind that door.


Harry Potter: I'm scared, professor.

Professor Lupin: Well, I'd consider you a fool if you weren't.
—From Harry Potter.

Harry Potter... it's just a series of books about a boy going to wizard school, right? Totally kid friendly, right? It's late, but I think I'll give it a read...

Spoilers abound. You have been warned.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

  • The first book is mainly safe-for-reading by innocent souls, but there is a horrifying vision at the end, with Voldemort physically inhabiting Quirrell, his face parasitising in the back of his head..
  • Harry is in the library late at night and opens a book. It SCREAMS!
  • The three-headed Cerberus acting as the first line of defense for the Philosopher's/Sorceror's Stone is pretty terrifying, even though it is a good-aligned character.
  • The film can make young viewers afraid of freaking chess pieces!
  • When Harry encounters Quirrell/Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, all he sees is a hooded figure, crouched over a unicorn and drinking its blood, with only its lower jaw and snarling, blood-dripping mouth visible. It also doesn't walk, but instead glides (like A DEMENTOR, no less). It's not entirely clear what it was going to do with Harry, since it doesn't seem to be carrying a wand, but it's still pretty scary either way.
    • Try and connect the man that Harry encounters in the forest, with the man Harry knows as Professor Quirrell up to this point, and it's even more chilling.
  • Something that runs through the whole series, and always have come across as awful at best and nightmare inducing at worst to this troper, is the Dursleys. "No Harry, no one will contact authorities and permanently take you away from your abusive relatives who starve you, lock you up and slander you and your parents. You are being abused for your own safety so if it seems like you will suffer permanent psychological trauma then that's just too bad." Any other child would have been relocated, but apparently the mightiest wizard of our century can't think of any better protection for The Chosen One.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • Hagrid, an 8.5 feet (2.6 m) tall half-giant who considers vicious and violent three-headed dogs that look like they were cast out of Hades 'cute', is absolutely horrified at the mention of Azkaban. It is not made clear by this book what is so frightening about Azkaban.
    • It's revealed in the next book. And it is most definitely the sort of thing that only the most dedicated of Death Seekers wouldn't be completely and utterly terrified of.
  • "Slytherin's gigantic stone face was moving... something was stirring inside the statue's mouth. Something was slithering up from its depths... Harry could almost see the giant serpent uncoiling itself from Slytherin's mouth... He heard Riddle's hissing voice: 'Kill him.'..."
  • An eleven-year old girl is possessed and writes in blood on the walls. The walls which mysteriously hiss at the protagonist. Hisses and moans about it being time to kill and eat. What's not freaky about that?
  • Even before the revelations of its true function in later books, Tom Riddle's diary is still deeply disturbing. Something about the fact that all the things the diary did were never really dissected and logically analyzed in-series made it all the more sickly dark, the same way that the simplistic, matter-of-fact way that dark things in children's stories and fairy tales are introduced are much more disturbing than deeply analyzed dark aspects of and occurrences in adult literature. The vagueness and mystery of the off-screen horrors combined with things that are perfectly logical but not all neatly tied up with an explanation — like the way the diary writes back, the ink gushing out of it, the effects it had on Harry, and the things Ginny wrote in it, and, most of all, the diary's total nondescript innocence and lack of physical threats, all have a creeping Grimm's Fairy Tales type of muted horror about it.
    • It's a Soul Jar with a copy of the mind of a genius, murderous seventeen year old sociopath with a deep-seated hatred of the racially "impure" and a willingness - no, eagerness - to wipe them off the face of the continent, if not the entire world. What about that isn't scary?
  • There is a giant snake. In a school. Filled with children. It has been there for nigh on a thousand years. When you look at the snake, you either become a statue or die. And the gigantic, carnivorous basilisk: just what was it eating all those months? We only know about the victims whom it left petrified, not about whether or not anyone just plain disappeared...
    • Whenever Harry hears from the Basilisk, all it seems capable of contemplating is how much it wants to hunt down and savagely kill students.
    • Consider that Sally-Anne Perks does simply disappear between book 1 and 5.
      • Furthermore...Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of Hogwarts, was so convinced that only those of pure blood ought to be taught magic that he had a child-killing basilisk hatch in a hidden chamber to hunt down those of Muggle blood!
    • Acromantulas are terrified of it, to the point that they refuse to speak of it.
  • In the film, the Basilisk chase becomes nauseating for certain young tropers, especially at this moment where the Basilisk, despite being blind, gets this close to sniffing out and eating Harry when he's backed against a wall. Even now it's one of the scariest moments in the film.
  • Ginny writes blood on the walls. WHERE DID THE BLOOD COME FROM? She'd have to have a whole paint bucket of those just to write messages that big!
    • Presumably from all the school's roosters that she killed so that the giant snake would not hear them crow and die. There's another one right there: making an eleven year old Shrinking Violet kill anything, even animals.
  • Acromantulas. As if the fact that they're giant, man-eating spiders isn't enough, they also hunt in packs. And one of them nearly kills Ron.
    • Aragog. He is the largest of the Acromantula in the Forbidden Forest, said to be the size of a small elephant. He has never personally harmed a human, out of respect for Hagrid, and forbids his children from ever harming his friend while he is alive. Anyone else is fair game for his colony.
      • When Harry and Ron are brought before Aragog, before they've even been given the chance to speak, Aragog tells his colony to kill them right on the spot.
  • Obliviate. That is all.
  • Lockhart mentions Entrancing Enchantments and love potions. Think about this when you remember that there is a book called Twelve Failsafe Ways to Charm Witches, that isn't all about wandwork, in a society where at least mild love potions are legal.
    • Consider that Ron is given that book by his brothers who sell lovepotions to teenagers. Creepy yet?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  • Boggarts. Creatures that can exist without anyone knowing their true form is pretty unnerving, but the fact that they can take the shape of the thing a person fears most, which can change on the person's mindset, and inhabit any given corner of the globe is pretty damn terrifying.
  • "Dementors... are among the foulest things that walk this earth. They glory in decay and despair. They drain peace, hope, and happiness from the air around them." Rowling tried to dream up a demon that could scare anyone. Her solution was a monster that literally eats joy. And souls.
    • More specifically, Dementors are allegories for clinical depression, and anyone who's ever had it knows that some of the thoughts that float through the depressed mind are absolutely horrifying, including "kill yourself, you worthless waste of space".
  • The concept of a serial killer being after Harry. While it’s eventually revealed Sirius Black was innocent, it’s disturbing to think that not even Hogwarts will keep the boy safe.
  • Peter Pettigrew betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort, even though they were his best friends. When his remaining friend, Sirius, chased him down after James and Lily's deaths, Wormtail caused an explosion that killed dozens of innocent people. Pinning his mass murder on Sirius and ensuring Sirius's twelve-year psychological torture in prison, Wormtail escaped.
    • Worse, he escaped by turning into a rat and got himself adopted as the Weasleys' pet. For twelve years, the Weasley family was unwittingly sharing their home with a murderer.
  • Remus' transformation, in both the book and the movie. It's both the way it's clear that becoming a werewolf is painful, and that he's trying to not become a monster, as his sanity goes and his pained whimpers slowly change to growls as the wolf takes over and... yeah.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

  • The second task of the Triwizard Tournament in the Black Lake in the film adaptation... the merpeople's design and their shockingly aggressive attitude when the Berserk Button is pressed.. Viktor Krum's transfigured shark head, the Grindylows, which, despite the fact that they were only seen from a distance or below, were extremely territorial...
  • "It looked as though Wormtail had flipped over a rock and revealed something ugly, slimy, and blind. Only worse, a hundred times worse. [...] A crouched human child, only Harry had never seen anything that looked less like a child. It was hairless and scaly looking, a dark, raw, reddish black. Its arms and legs were thin and feeble and its face - no child alive had ever had a face like that — flat and snakelike, with gleaming red eyes."
  • The entire graveyard scene, really, which was complete with mutilation, dead bodies, torture, and giant snakes. Though Order of the Phoenix was a much darker book overall, nothing in the book can compare to the graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire.

 "Robe me."

  • Imagine being in your tweens, reading a series that has never showed anything but clean, abstract violence, and getting to the scene where Rowling in minute detail describes how Wormtail cuts off his own hand and how it looks afterwards.
    • In fact, Rowling applied a Gory Discretion Shot in that scene, as Harry shut his eyes during the mutilation and only heard the sounds of the knife and Wormtail's whimpers. Nevertheless, it's made clear what happens and the reader can easily put together the details in their own mind.
  • Out of all the Nightmare Fuelish scenes in the HP series, one of the most unnerving has/had to be in "The Madness of Mr. Crouch". You have a possessed man, dragging himself through the forest — foaming at the mouth, for God's sake — talking to a tree one moment, then desperately clutching at Harry's robes the next, issuing a warning and saying his son's death was all his fault. All the while, Harry can do virtually nothing to help the situation, Viktor is useless, and Crouch Sr. still gets killed (transformed into a bone, no less).
  • What about, "I'M YOUR SON! I'M YOUR SON!"? Imagine how Crouch Jr. must have felt, and the pure feelings of terror in that moment.
    • That WOULD be sympathetic... if you didn't realize by the end that HE DESERVED EVERYTHING HE GOT. Reason being, he's the reason poor Neville's parents are permanently insane. THIS is what I find Nightmare Fuel inducing: Neville was alone in the same room as one of the people who tortured his parents into madness, and he didn't even know it. And what's worse, the guy knowingly manipulates Neville so he could help Harry advance in the tournament and resurrect Voldemort. That's just chillingly horrid. And one more thing: imagine that your parents were tortured to the point that they don't even recognize you any more.
      • I always wondered about the thing with Crouch. See, he joined the Death Eaters because his father never loved him. He was rebelling against him, and I don't think teenage Crouch knew exactly what he was getting himself into, and regretted it. But after he was sentenced, locked up, and spent years under the Imperius Curse, which is shown to drive people mad after overuse. Crouch could be blamed for his son's actions, if his story is anything to go on.
  • Moody reverting into Crouch Jr. and clawing at his own eye... because another eye is trying to grow in the place of the glass eye. Ouch.
  • In the aforementioned scene, when Crouch actually starts letting the façade slip away, it is just terrifying. There's just something dreadfully off about him, from his sudden bouts of intensity, his fascination with what Harry went through in Little Hangleton, and how he reveals his hand in Harry's terrors from the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament. And he was so close to killing Harry himself!
  • Moody was locked, bound and gagged, in his own trunk for ten months. Anyone who fears And I Must Scream will shudder at that thought.
  • Fridge Horror sets in during Moody's teaching scene. As he's demonstrating the Cruciatus Curse, Neville becomes visibly disturbed, as this is the curse which drove his parents into insanity. What makes this truly horrifying is that Neville is watching the curse being performed by the very man who tortured his parents all those years ago. Made worse in the film; Fake Moody's face indicates he's getting some sick pleasure out of it.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • The only correct answer is Umbridge herself. If there is anything scarier than High Octane Nightmare Fuel, she would be it. "The Dementors are only afraid of one thing: Her."
    • Harry being forced to carve his own hand open with Umbridge's quill. Where's a child abuse hotline when you need one?
      • Child abuse hotline? What makes you think she doesn't own it? After all, in the book at least, she actually seemed to anticipate Harry telling on her. "Attention seeking stories" anyone?
      • The worst part is that it's so reminiscent of teenage self-harm (like cutting) and Harry was really so miserable in that book.
      • Watch that scene in the films. You wanna know how bad Umbridge is? You REALLY wanna know? She looks like she's having a tiny orgasm as Harry gasps in pain!
      • Note how in the book, Harry spends the first few nights of detention stubbornly refusing to react to the pain, then one night, he finally does due to his scar acting up... and Umbridge smiles and lets him go a little early. She wants to know that she's hurting him.
      • High Octane Nightmare Fuel, say hello to Writers Cannot Do Math. Umbridge is allowed to put Harry in detention for his entire free time from the end of school to midnight every day for two weeks. The other teachers' response? Sorry, Harry, you still have to do your homework for all your other subjects.
        • This is actually Truth in Television. Teachers rarely care about how much screwed you are from other subjects. Although taking the fact that Umbridge was not generally liked by anyone in the teacher room, they could cut him some slack.
    • The scene where Umbridge attempts to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry. This is the wizarding version of Cold-Blooded Torture at its worst, only previously described as having been used by Death Eaters and Barty Crouch Sr's team of interrogators, and she's about to use it on a fifteen-year-old boy. Dear God. Did I mention that the Cruciatus Curse is capable of causing insanity, and is considered so horrible, its use is punishable by a life sentence in Azkaban?
      • An understated, but still bloody horrifying, part is that Neville Longbottom was in the room with them. Someone whose parents were hospitalised for life because a gang of Death Eaters tortured them into insanity to the point that they couldn't recognise him, was on the verge of witnessing perhaps the exact same thing happen to one of his closest friends.
  • Frankly, the Wizarding World seems to get away with a lot. Leave Umbridge and consider Snape for a minute: never fired, never reprimanded. Sure, Dumbledore wanted to keep him on board, but he had no good reason to knowingly let him cripple the teaching of students or play favorites.
    • Snape's classes are described as working beyond their level. He can be a dick, but he gets results. And at least he tries to protect his students.
    • By this stage, the Wizarding World was in the hands of corrupt cowards who had become aware of just how deeply they'd been consorting with the enemy, and were trying to cover their own tracks and weren't particularly mindful of (or interested in) what was being done in their name.
  • The Department of Mysteries, especially the vat full of brains, and the time research room. Made even worse by the fact that the heroes saw it in the middle of the night, when it was unoccupied.
    • Out of all the things in the Department of Mysteries, which ranged from the bizarre to the beautiful (the room full of planets, anyone?), when Harry met with Ron again and Ron is gibbering and blabbing like a baby or an idiot — what kind of spell did that?
    • The room with the dais. An enormous, rectangular room with a sunken pit twenty feet below in the center, with stone steps leading down to it and an old, crumbling archway in the middle. The fact that the veil of this dais is fluttering with no one being there to move it is frightening enough; when you learn that it is actually the gateway to death and that the veil's fluttering is caused by souls of the dead who are waiting on the other side... EURGH.
      • So, what happens if only part of you goes through the veil? Say, your arm. Would the rest of your body get sucked in? Would your arm be stuck in the veil, leaving you no choice but to go in the rest of the way? Would your arm fall off, leaving you with only a stump? Or would your arm die, leaving you with a dead arm hanging off your shoulder, a la Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird? *shudder* Stupid overthinking!
      • Oh, and the whispering... my God, the whispering!
    • The love room in the Department of Mysteries. Out of all the many horrors in that place, the contents of this room is the one that they feel they need to keep behind a permanently locked door.
      • Fridge Brilliance/Fridge Horror. Remember what created Voldemort in the first place; conception via a love potion. The love room is locked because of the potential to create a TON more Voldemorts.
  • The powerful spell Dumbledore used against Voldemort. All we ever learn about it is that it would not have killed Voldemort, and Dumbledore simply responds, "There are other ways of destroying a man, Tom." The spell's horrifying effect is left up to the imagination of the reader.
  • Boggarts, generally all bark and no bite except for Harry and whoever's afraid of THAT MUTANT JACK-IN-THE-BOX, are given a Wham Moment when Mrs. Weasley, trying to get rid of one, is forced to see the dead bodies of her family (and Harry, in a darkly heartwarming moment). Adult Fears cannot be helped with the Ridikkulus spell. Moreover, how would it work in the first place?!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • The entire 'House of Gaunt' scene.
  • Inferi (which are more or less zombies), especially when they come out of the water; Harry slashes at them, but they have no blood to shed, and they try to drag Harry down into his grave.
    • Especially considering the fact that Voldemort's inferi are the bodies of his victims... hundreds of innocent people with families, floating in a mass grave, forced to do their murderer's bidding...
    • And when the Sectumsempra spell does work... OUCH.
    • The movie made the Inferi creepier, just by making them succeed in pulling Harry under the water.
    • Oh, and then in Hallows, we find out that one of those Inferi is Regulus.
  • Sectumsempra. Severus Snape, as a teenager, devised a spell that could cause another human being to potentially bleed to death!
  • The potion in the cave. It's freaking Dumbledore sobbing and pleading for Harry to KILL him. And Harry can't do a single thing but force more and more of the potion down his throat. It's a Tear Jerker where your tears are mixed with fear.
    • An extra dose of Fridge Horror comes when we realize what was (probably) actually happening - he was reliving the moment when, in a fight with his best friend, either he or said friend accidentally killed his young, mentally disturbed sister, who was only trying to stop the fight.
  • Creepy Child Tom Riddle. He made a rabbit HANG ITSELF.
    • We never really find out what he did to those Muggle children in that cave!
  • Katie Bell touching the cursed necklace, floating up with her arms outstretched, then DROPPING TO THE GROUND SCREAMING!
    • The worst part in the movie is when we get a closeup of her face while she's being held rigid in the air. Her eyes are bulging and the angle makes her mouth look like it's open much wider than humanly possible. It's freakier seen than described. What? You say you want to see it?
  • Dementors breed. It's to be expected, and it's more Squick than scary, but to be informed so bluntly of that fact...
    • Well, from how they described it, it's more like they "spawn" from fog, but that arguably makes it worse. Imagine, waking up to find your town covered in a thick, gray fog. Suddenly, you realize you feel cold, colder than you've ever been...
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban Lupin mentions that if you are around a Dementor long enough you become "like them". I had assumed that was what the breeding was. They had made people so unhappy and miserable they became Dementors themselves. Which is really just another form of nightmare fuel.
    • The fact that Muggles can feel their presence, but can't actually see them. These creatures are wandering the streets at night, preying upon victims that can't even see what their captor is. Although maybe it's better for them that they can't...?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • Nagini the snake being INSIDE Bathilda's corpse and controlling her like a puppet, then SHEDDING her dead body like it was SNAKE SKIN. Ugh!
    • The entire Bathilda Bagshot scene is extremely creepy, beginning with the gruesomely detailed descriptions of the horrific condition of Bagshot's house and Bagshot herself, and ending with a battle against Nagini in a pitch dark room.
    • The house is described as 'smelling like rotten meat'.
    • I saw the film. On the one hand, every close up of Bathilda's face (and there are several of them) is horribly unnerving, especially if you know what's coming. On the other hand, it's much less graphic than one would imagine; it's implied that Nagini was transfigured to look like Bathilda, and that the real one was killed by the snake; Hermione finds the real Bathilda's body. We never see it, but we see flies, Hermione's horrified face, and plenty of blood splatters. Now, the actual fight with Nagini? Terrifying. Partially because the director was not afraid to put in plenty of shots where the snake was coming towards the audience. My sympathies go out to anyone who has seen that scene in 3D.
    • A giant snake who possesses people... HOLY CRAP! Nagini is OROCHIMARU!
    • The part where Hermione realizes they are being watched — especially the atmospheric horror of the film scene — is chilling.
    • Harry and Nagini are fighting in the grimy, dimly-lit upstairs bedroom of the house, and then they crash through a wall into a well-lit, clean nursery-like room. It just seems so wrong and out of place.
  • Speaking of Nagini, we can't forget Snape's brutal murder. Oh, how beautiful it must be to see his neck chewed on by Nagini, and then see him writhing on the floor in pain as blood and memories leak out from him...
    • It gets worse when it's revealed that it was totally pointless.
    • The movie has this as a Nothing Is Scarier moment — we see it only partially through a dirty window, and only hear the sound of the snake striking at Snape again and again. God, the screams.
  • Little scarred and blistered, soulless mewling creature Voldemort, so repugnant-looking that Harry didn't want to touch it.
  • What about the Ministry rounding up Half-Bloods and Muggle-borns, even the children? And it's implied that a lot of them (yes, even kids) are given to the Dementors...
  • Fenrir Greyback's remarks about Hermione, and all of the torture scene, despite not being graphic, are very creepy too.
    • It'll get worse in the movie. We get to see Bellatrix pinning Hermione to the ground, interrogating her while Hermione screams. Doesn't sound much more creepy than the book, right? Except then Bellatrix carves the word "Mudblood" into Hermione's arm. *shiver*
      • I honestly thought that Bellatrix was biting Hermione. Even though I saw the words, I'm still convinced that she gnawed them in.
  • Umbridge keeps her government post when Voldemort takes over the country and turns it into a thinly-disguised fascist dystopia, to many readers' lack of surprise.
    • Not just keeping her government post, it seems like she becomes even more politically powerful upon Voldemort's takeover! The idea of someone like her having the power to be other people's judge and jury in a police state is pretty terrifying!
    • Don't forget the magical eye mounted on her door, which used to belong to Mad-Eye Moody.
    • Or how she likely ordered a large number of Muggle-borns to have their souls sucked out by the Dementors.
      • Which could be related to far more real and horrifying events, which can only add to the effect of the nightmare.
    • Umbridge during the interrogation of the Muggle-borns. Just remember that her Patronus-fueling happy thought is sending people to their deaths. If you read that and just thought "meh", for the love of God, stay on your own side of the internet.
      • And you know how to make it worse? She wore a freaking horcrux in her neck, a part of Voldemort's soul and she had no trouble making a Patronus, in the presence of Dementors. I didn't fully realize how sick she was until it was mentioned that Harry couldn't conjure a Patronus when it was in his neck. Not to mention it seemed she wasn't affected by the Horcrux, she is the worst.
      • Even worse, maybe she IS affected by the Horcrux, but she's already so evil that we don't notice any change.
    • Even scarier is that Umbridge was never a follower of Voldemort. She's always been loyal to the Minister of Magic, whomever that may be - unfortunately, the current Minister of Magic is under the effect of an Imperius Charm from Voldemort. Umbridge takes advantage of the situation. She already was an incorrigible sadist before Voldemort took over, after all...
        • Unlike other things in the books this was very true to life. She is the living embodiment of Voldemort's quote from the first book "There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to seek it." Umbridge has no morals, not so long as she is at the top of the ladder.
      • Another way of putting it: adding evil to Umbridge is like pissing in a bucket of piss.
  • Here are another couple of examples from Deathly Hallows: The "Dumbledore corpse", who floats towards you saying that you killed him. Then there's Dumbledore's sister: a six year old is playing happily in her garden, exploring her magic powers. Then a group of older boys appear. They do... something... to her, which causes her to suppress her magical powers and drives her insane. Finally, there's the fate of Voldemort. He ends up as a shrunken, slimy thing trapped in the gateway between life and death, and he's stuck there forever and nobody will ever help him. Yeeeesh.
    • Not that nobody WILL help him; nobody CAN help him. Dumbledore doesn't say, "We must do nothing for him," or, "We should do nothing for him," or, "We may do nothing for him." He says, "We CAN do nothing for him." Rowling uses language very carefully. Riddle has made his bed, and he must lie in it.
  • Voldemort kills the wandmaker Gregorovitch, described as having a similar appearance to Father Christmas. Voldemort murdered Father Christmas.
    • Voldemort arrives at a Muggle house looking for Gregorovitch. The way it's described with the happy mother opening the door, her laughing children in the background, then seeing him and begging for her life and trying to protect her children... he kills an entire family just because he went to the wrong damn house!
  • Voldemort pursuing the heroes in mid air without a broom, flying like a bat out of hell.
  • The scene where the trio are visiting Luna's house and go into her room... and realize that she hasn't been there for quite some time. It's worse when Harry begins to calmly punch holes through her dad's excuses. Something is terribly wrong here. Later, it's revealed that Luna's a-okay, but when I first read that scene, I thought that her dad had KILLED her.
    • Arguably, the real reason for her disappearing was more horrifying than what we were initially led to believe: the Death Eaters had kidnapped Luna Lovegood and held her hostage, and it is implied that the place she was held at tortures its prisoners. They also imply that they are perfectly willing to kill Luna if her father disobeys, such when they ask him to hand over Harry and his friends.
  • The prologue, when Voldemort murders the Muggle Studies teacher. That's not so bad; what's bad is what he says afterwards.

  Voldemort: Dinner, Nagini.

    • Oh, no, no, it is so bad, because JKR COMPLETELY and cruelly fakes us out for a second, not revealing who the person is suspended above the table, and then having Voldemort say that "she" was a teacher from Hogwarts. It might have been McGonagall, Sprout, Trelawney, or one of the others we know well. And then it was... someone we'd never met before. Still sad, but that was mean.
    • And then there's the whole reason he targeted her to begin with: For daring to suggest that Muggles should be tolerated and peacefully coexisted with. Knowing all the poor woman wanted was peace makes watching her die, while tearfully begging for Snape's help all the more heartrending for the viewer/reader and Snape.
    • The whole implications of this scene, much like with the "MAGIC IS MIGHT" statue: Muggles aren't even considered human. They (make that WE, the readers) are lower forms of life; vermin to be devoured by snakes, or if luckier, to simply live to serve Pure Bloods (and half bloods?). Of course, this is also very reminiscent of how some members of a certain group felt/feel about another certain group.
  • As to the statue... were the people being crushed underfoot a depiction or real Muggles Taken for Granite? Or worse, put into an And I Must Scream situation?
    • Even worse if you realize that statue is quite reminiscent of a lot of Holocaust monuments, particularly this one.
  • The part near the end when Voldemort paralyzes Neville and sets him on fire. Voldemort knows hundreds of other less painful and more efficient ways to kill, but here he chooses to burn someone alive.
    • If it makes you feel any better, reread the scene. Voldemort only puts the Sorting Hat on his head and sets the hat on fire. This then invokes its own horror: the screams? It's the hat screaming!
  • The scene with the locket Horcrux trying to turn Ron against Harry in a last ditch effort to defend itself. Ghastly spectres of Ron's friends and family tell him that he's worthless compared to Harry.
    • That Eldritch Abomination swirling cloud of darkness that EXPLODED out of the locket was freaky as hell. Swirling, talking, with things that looked like heads and bones thrusting out of it before disappearing... That scene wasn't scary in the book, but in the movie...
    • Speaking of the locket, you know when Harry finds the Sword of Gryffindor in the frozen pond and jumps in to get it? When he gets close enough to the sword, the locket yanks him back. It doesn't get repelled — it drags him away of its own volition. It knows what he's trying to do. Just that is scary enough, but Harry looked like he was getting strangled and quickly abandoned the sword to claw desperately at the ice. I'm seriously glad that Ron came back in time. Five more minutes and Harry might have drowned.
    • Here's a nice subliminal scare in the movie. When the locket opens, the shot lingers on the open locket for a split second before the darkness erupts out. Pause it there and you'll see an eye inside the locket looking right at the camera.
  • Death, as portrayed in the movie's animated version of The Tale of the Three Brothers. The atmosphere in that scene is generally creepy, but the way that hunched-over, skeleton-like thing moves...
    • Try not to think of how much Death looks like a Dementor... although, to be fair, Death is rather more True Neutral than anything else, if something of a Jackass Genie.
      • Dementors look like Death, not the other way around.
  • Ariana. Namely, what the HELL did those Muggle boys do to her?
    • It gets worse. So. Much. Worse. Ariana became so scarred by what happened to her that she could not control magic, to the point that it exploded out of her in monstrous ways. One of these incidents accidentally killed her mother. And she cannot receive proper medical or magical help from anyone, because any hint of what she has become will have her put in St. Mungo's for life.
  • What happens to Lavender: She's mauled by Greyback and he starts to feed upon her from her throat. In the books, she lives, but she dies in the film.
  • Really, anything scary in the book Deathly Hallows are ten times worse in the movies. Voldemort's soul was sick and we get Harry and Voldemort merging mid-apparation. FREAKY. But Fiendfyre is God-awful as well. It was like someone called up Satan and personally escorted his worst demons through the gates of Hell!
    • In the Purgatory-esque scene, we get a much more vivid picture of Voldemort's soul (well, the parts that have been removed from the Horcruxes, at any rate). It looks like an abortion... combined with Freddy Krueger.
    • When Voldemort uses his cloak as "tentacles" to attack Harry, he looked a little too much like a certain well-dressed gentleman...
    • Voldemort's death is... very graphic. He starts dissolving into paper like shreds, with a truly horrifying, despair-filled look on his face.
    • In the film, Voldemort's ultimatum to the school is accompanied by a chorus of inhuman shrieks, which is revealed to actually be coming from students. Apparently, whatever spell he was using had a side effect of mind raping random people.
  • For any twin, Fred Weasley's death is this, on top of being a Tear Jerker. It's not the death itself that's the nightmare, it's the fact that George is left alive and alone (well, without the person so close to him, they're all but extensions of each other). And, rather understandably, he never gets over it. It's especially bad if you are also rather terrified of loneliness.
  • The scene where Harry uses the Cruciatus Curse on Amycus Carrow can be very disturbing.
  • This picture of Fenrir Greyback. Don't look in his eyes too much.
  • Voldefetus. It doesn't help that this horrific...thing is seen in an extreme closeup, covered in blood against a completely white background. It's impossible to miss.
  • The ghost in the tower pulling a Jump Scare when she suddenly screams at Harry during his search for one of the Horcruxes.
  • The dragon in the Gringotts underground was taught by the goblins to associate the sound of clanking metal with the pain of being stabbed with a red-hot sword. It flinches when it hears the sound. Poor thing...

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

  • "The Warlock's Hairy Heart". In the liner notes, Dumbledore even points out that many wizard parents won't tell it to their children "until they're in an age where they won't have nightmares".
    • This bears elaborating. A wizard decides he's above the weakness of love, and performs some sort of magic to prevent him from ever loving anyone. He tries to woo a woman to be his trophy wife, but she refuses to marry him unless he shows her that he has a heart. During a feast at his castle, he takes her down to the dungeon to show here where he keeps his ACTUAL, STILL BEATING HEART encased in a crystal casket - a heart which, thanks to lack of love is now twisted and hairy beyond recognition. The witch understandably freaks out and begs him to put the heart back in, so he cuts open his chest and puts it back in. The witch then embraces him. Time for a Happy Ending with the wizard saved by The Power of Love, right? Wrong. The warlock's heart is so completely unused to feeling love that it has deteriorated to an animalistic state, driving the wizard to find a true heart. He does this by cutting out the witch's heart and trying to magic out his own. The dinner guest then find him downstairs both hearts in his hands with him licking the witch's heart.