Nightmare Fuel / Harry Potter
aka: Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone

Harry Potter: I'm scared, professor.
Professor Lupin: Well, I'd consider you a fool if you weren't.

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 give it a read anyway...

Spoilers abound. You have been warned.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Ladies and Gentlemen: Lord Voldemort. At least until the fourth movie.
  • 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 as a parasite - his face protrudes from the back of Quirrell's skull.. The video game version is even worse. Here, Quirrell twists his head around so Voldemort is facing Harry directly.
  • Harry's in the library late at night and opens a book. It SCREAMS AT HIM! It's like a disembodied head is trying to escape from the book, wide-mouth yelling the entire time. And, if unintentionally, it serves to foreshadow another situation where Harry encounters another face that's somewhere that isn't supposed to have a face.
  • Quirrell feeding off the dead unicorn in the forest. When he notices Harry and Draco, he growls and slithers towards Harry and Draco, looking like a cross between a Dementor and Darth Sidious.
  • The three-headed Cerberus acting as the first line of defense for the Philosopher's/Sorceror's Stone is pretty terrifying, even though it's a good-aligned character.
  • Quirrell being burned alive from Harry's touch. His reaction at the flesh on his hand melting was bad enough, but then there is his scream of agony when Harry uses his newfound power on the guy's face.
  • There's also the genuine Adult Fear that is the premise of the book: Harry's parents know that the most deadly wizard of their time is hunting their infant. Even though they do everything they can, they can't stay alive to protect him. And instead of being raised in a loving household, he's given to family, who neglects/abuses him. This is justified later in the series as the Dursley family was the only place where he would be 100% safe from Voldemort or his followers, as Petunia was Lily's last living relative. Harry's Childhood may not have been nice at all but at least he wasn't killed and he was pretty much normal, although raised far away from all the fame.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
"Let's match the power of Lord Voldemort, heir of Salazar Slytherin, against the famous Harry Potter."

  • 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's not made clear by this book what's so frightening about Azkaban.
  • 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's possessed and writing 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?
  • "Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever." Pleasant dreams.
  • When Harry accidentally stumbles into Borgin and Burkes at Knockturn Alley, he sees various rotting human heads on display as well as a hand that grabs him when he gets too close to it. When he gets out of the store, he meets a group of unsettling strangers who were a little too interested towards him. He was lucky Hagrid was there to bail him out.
  • Even after 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 is quite reminiscent of real-life stories of girls meeting mysterious boys online and what they often turn out to be.
  • The basilisk is a giant snake. In a school. Filled with children. When you look at the basilisk, you're either petrified or dead.
    • Not helping matters is the fact that some of the early examples of students getting petrified, seemed like they were lucky to have it turn out that way (like seeing it through the camera / Nearly-Headless Nick). As horrifying as being petrified is, at least it's curable; some of the students came dangerously close to dying.
      • It's even worse if you think about this: 50 years ago all that happened as well with one girl Moaning Myrtle ending up dead. Obviously every stone they could find was turned and even Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard of the time, and Slughorn, who possessed a deep knowledge of dark magic, and all the other teachers never seemed to have the slightest idea where to search or even what they where hunting. This time it was all the same, and if Harry could not understand snakes, most likely no one would ever have found the Chamber of Secrets.
      • And there is the fact that the Basilisk was already ancient for its standards (1000 years is the average lifespan and it was older than that) and it still almost killed Harry, and it would have succeeded if not for Fawkes. Now think how things would have went if the Basilisk was in peak physical strength.
    • Acromantulas are scared of bailisks. If you don't think that's impressive/terrifying, then please read the entry directly below this one.
  • Acromantulas. As if the fact that they're giant, man-eating spiders isn't enough, they're also intelligent. And they hunt in packs. And one of them nearly kills Ron.
    • Ron is terrified of spiders. Why? When he was a toddler, his brothers turned his teddy bear into one.
    • Aragog making it perfectly clear to Harry and Ron that their being friends of Hagrid's doesn't mean a God damn thing to him - he'll still feed them to his kids. Think about that for a moment. Here are two children who clearly know Hagrid, are friends with Hagrid, are trying to help Hagrid stay out of Azkaban and he's just given them information that will help prove Hagrid's innocence, and he does not give a shit. He'll let his children kill and eat them, and you also get the clear impression that he won't even conceal that fact from Hagrid. He regards Hagrid as a friend, but beyond that, everyone else is just a meal.
      Aragog: Go...? I think not. My sons and daughters do not harm Hagrid, on my command. But I cannot deny them fresh meat when it wanders so willingly into our midst. Farewell...friend of Hagrid.
  • Terrible and lethal though the basilisk is, there's something about it having both eyes pecked out that's disquieting.
  • Ron's warning to Harry when he first picks up Riddle's diary that picking up and opening a strange book in the Potterverse can curse you for life.
    Ron: Anyone who read Sonnets of a Sorceror had to speak in limericks for the rest of their life!
  • Lockhart was totally willing to erase Ron and Harry's memories, leave Ginny in the Chamber without even attempting to rescue her, and pass himself off as a hero, despite the basilisk still being alive and able to kill students. This man is a teacher. The students are meant to trust him and rely on him for protection.
  • In the movie, when Lucius Malfoy lifts his wand and whispers "Ava—" before Dobby stops him. Damn Malfoy! Is it worth a lifetime on Azkaban for losing a single house elf!? That kind of makes you wonder what he is like to his son. (It turns out, Jason Isaacs ad-libbed the line he only read the fourth book and was instructed to tell a random spell.)
  • Another brief instance in the film involves Filch of all people. When he discovers the petrified Mrs. Norris, his clear distress at her fate quickly turns to anger at Harry (whom he thinks is responsible). Through his rage, he grabs Harry's collar and threatens to kill him before Dumbledore shows up to set things straight. Even though he's hardly the nicest character around, it's still pretty unnerving to see Filch so willing to kill a student.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ron: I think... something's coming aboard.
  • Boggarts. Creatures that can exist without any 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. The Giant Spider form of the Boggart in the movie is a good example. See for yourself.
    • When Parvati Patil is faced with a giant snake Boggart in the film, she responds by turning it into an infinitely more terrifying Jack-In-The-Box, that bobs back and forth and, upon going forth, looks as though it's trying to grab you. Keep in mind, this was made from a spell that's essentially weaponized Nightmare Retardant. Who on Earth thought that would be funny!?
  • "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. According to her, she actually based the monsters on the feeling of depression. So basically, these things are depression made into (semi)physical creatures.
    • The actual results of the Dementor's Kiss.
      Lupin: You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you'll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no...anything. There's no chance at all of recovery. You'll just — exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever...lost.
    • The GBA game of the same game has a rendition of the theme that has been catapulted onto many "most disturbing video game music" lists. Hearing it may help you to understand why.
    • Let's take it a bit further, shall we? Deathly Hallows implies that there's some kind of Afterlife in the Potterverse, which you can only enter if your soul is whole and undamaged. But Lupin states that when Dementors Kiss you they suck away your soul and presumably eat it or destroy it somehow, and then your soul is "gone forever... lost". Which begs the question: how can you enter the Afterlife if your soul's gone? You probably can't, and once you finally die you'll simply stop existing altogether. Not only that: the Ministry of Magic can sentence someone to the Dementor's Kiss; which means that not only they basically kill you in this life, they also take away your right to enter the eternal Afterlife. Talk about harsh punishments.
    • The books' description of the Dementors is horrifying enough but the third movie took it to a darker places when the viewers are treated to a close-up of one of their faces as it attacks Harry during a Quidditch game.
    • And Pottermore makes it even worse with the revelation that the Dementors are not the scariest thing in Azkaban, and refusing to elaborate beyond stating that the Ministry was too scared of the fortress itself to destroy it and the building. I repeat: unkillable soul-stealing wraiths are not the scariest thing in Azkaban, and even that pales to the building itself.
    • Want even more? In the book, Lupin states that if you suffer a Dementor's presence long enough, you may eventually become one... Sure, he may have been speaking metaphorically, but heavens.
    • It's established in later books that dementors breed where there's lots of despair; maybe they do it by turning people into more of them? Oh, and lest we forget, not only do they breed, but they're immortal and, by all appearances, unkillable.
    • Dementors can clearly be bargained with, based on their detailed agreements with the Ministry, and yet we never hear one speak onscreen. Their means of communication, therefore, goes straight into Nothing Is Scarier.
  • Wormtail 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 cast a spell to cause an explosion that killed a dozen 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 unwittingly shared their home with a murderer who would bring about the resurrection of Voldemort. The fact he was in Harry's dormitory for three years. If he had heard of Voldemort recovering...
  • 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.
  • While you find out at the end of the movie that he's a good guy, seeing the Grim before you know it is pretty scary. Especially when he turns up in the beginning, when Harry's alone and he looks ready to attack.
  • Before The Reveal, the idea of Sirius Black himself was pretty terrifying. Voldemort's most faithful servant unhinged by his death, escaping from prison solely for revenge on Harry? All the fear of a mass murderer who's out to get you, with added magical powers that the wizards themselves couldn't figure out. Not only was he seemingly unaffected by the dementors, not only did he escape from Azkaban, but he broke into Hogwarts in a way Voldemort had not (at the time) managed to. Twice. Ron's first meeting with Black is especially chilling. He hears the curtains rip, wakes up and sees Black, who is said to resemble a vampire or corpse with an extremely gaunt face, waxy skin and dead eyes, standing over him with a huge knife. And when Ron screams Black is able to instantly slip away and avoid detection.
  • The trance Trelawney goes into, when she speaks her second real prophecy, is rather creepily described. In the film the scene begins in a Jump Scare.
  • When Ron was taken away by the Grim. Sure, Sirius Black was a good guy, so they weren't in any real danger, but try thinking about it from the kids point of view: they're out after hours without permission; so no one (except Hagrid, but he's not exactly in good shape at the moment) knows where they are, and they get attacked by what is essentially the wizarding world's form of the Grim Reaper. The Grim jumps on Harry and knocks him down. He tries to bite Harry, but bites Ron's arm instead; cause he pushed Harry out of the way. Then the Grim runs off with Ron despite their best attempts to stop it and disappears into the Whomping Willow, which leads to the Shrieking Shack.
    • From Harry's point of view, he seems to be the dog's target. Then Ron pushes him out of the way and it bit his arm instead. Even though he's hitting with all he's got, the Dog's dragging his best friend away into unknown territory, preparing to do who-knows-what with him (main thoughts were probably visualising how badly Ron was mauled, or the dog killing Ron). And he can't run to get the teachers cause it might have killed Ron by the time they found him. Kid was probably terrified for his friend, feeling guilty for being unable to stop it, as well as out of control of the situation (helplessness).
    • From Ron's point of view, it's worse. Basically, no matter how hard he struggles or hits the dog, it's dragging him towards unknown territory. He hooks his foot in a tree root stop it and gets his leg broken for his troubles. Then he finds out that the Grim (which he believes is the Grim Reaper), turns out to actually be Sirius Black's animagus form, and he has Ron's wand. Keep in mind that Ron currently believes him to be an axe crazy serial killer who's probably ready to kill him at any moment, since he needs a wand in order to perform magic. This means he no longer has any defence since his wand was taken, and that he probably knows that he was bait to lure his best friend to his death. Basically, Ron's in an unknown location alone with a serial killer who could kill him at any moment with zero defence and enough pain from his broken leg and bitten arm to potentially pass out, and the only reason he's still alive is to act as bait. Sure, he turned out to be a good guy, but they obviously don't know yet. The poor guy was probably terrified out of what little mind he had left which wasn't trying to cope with a broken leg. Pretty terrifying, huh?
      • The film adds extra creep factor to the scene in the Shrieking Shack: accentuated by the music, Ron points to someone standing in the corner, the true form of the Grim, hiding behind the door that Harry and Hermione just walked through. In the dust covering the floor are pawprints, which the camera follows until it finds a man's shoes, then pans up to reveal that the hellhound that's been following Harry throughout the story is actually the mad murderer who they're all convinced is about to kill them: Sirius Black. The pawprints leading to a human being are downright unsettling—they create an unnatural sight even by the standards of a wizarding school.
    Harry: The dog. Where is it?
    Ron: Harry, it's a trap! He's the dog! He's an Animagus!
  • So, back to those Dementors... The climactic scene where Sirius and Harry are at the lake under attack, there are swarms of them. The book makes it scary enough, but actually seeing it in the film, the part where one attacks Harry and you can see part of his soul getting sucked out, like some sort of double-consciousness, is horrifying, along with the screams of agony. Then two and three more attack, all sucking. And just what was that small bright light leaving Sirius's mouth? If the Dementors had swallowed it, his soul might have been lost forever.
  • The lengths Draco Malfoy went to get revenge for when he didn't pay attention in Hagrid's class and got injured as a result was to have his father convince a committee to kill Hagrid's pet. Imagine if some arsehole got bit by your pet after refusing to listen to directions on how to handle it and he pulled strings to have it put down.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
He's back!

  • It's treated as a throwaway gag, but in order for the Quidditch World Cup to be held, it was necessary to inflict amnesia and varying amounts of mind control on dozens of people who weren't doing anything nastier than visiting/living in an out-of-the-way bit of the moors.
  • The Unforgivable Curses. They are so-called and net a lifetime sentence in Azkaban for very good reasons:
    • The Imperius Curse. Imagine being forced to do things like mutilate yourself and kill others with it.
      • To clarify, the Imperius Curse doesn't just make you do whatever the caster wants you to, it puts you in a blissful state where you feel removed from any concept of consequence or responsibility. In other words, not only will you do whatever the caster wants, you will be happy while you do it.
    • The Cruciatus Curse, painful enough that two of its victims were rendered insane for life!
    • And last but not least, Avada Kedavra. Lily and James sacrifice themselves to this to protect a baby Harry, and Harry sees it hit Cedric and later Dumbledore with his own eyes.
      • The utter horror of the Killing Curse is just too mind-boggling to think, especially for the Muggles. Imagine, it is a spell that is cast specifically to kill. It's like shooting with a pistol, except that pistol kills because it inflicts messy biological damages, which may not always happen with fatality (though as the word says: "When you shoot, you shoot to kill"). The primary characteristic of the Killing Curse (and why it is so handy to dark wizards) is that it leaves no biological damage. Once you are hit by the green flash, you just drop dead, your internal organs being as the same before, except that they immediately stop functioning. Not even the wizards know why exactly it happens; imagine having to explain it to Muggles who have absolutely no idea why their neighbors suddenly have their life force ripped as if the beings above strip them of their right to live.
  • 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. In the aforementioned scene, when Pettigrew chops off his hand, you can see the hand coming off.
  • In the film, Fleur's scream of terror upon seeing Cedric dead.
  • Out of all the Nightmare Fuelish scenes in the Harry Potter 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 — 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.
    • While the book and series focus on Cedric, this (and Frank Bryce) were actually the first true deaths in the series. Both minor characters, so they're sort of skated over, but upon re-reads, it's really the first warning sign that the stakes are about to get really high.
    • And then his corpse is transformed into a bone, and buried so it can never be found. And all this was done by his own son.
  • "I'M YOUR SON! I'M YOUR SON!" Crouch Jr. screaming and begging his father incite pure feelings of terror in that moment.
  • Fake!Moody reverting into Crouch Jr. and clawing at his own eye... because another eye is trying to grow in the place of the magical eye Moody had to replace his lost one.
    • Also, this eye itself is a little scary because it's electric blue, it can move independently from the other eye, and it can see inside Moody's head and through solid objects
    • And after he pulls it out, it keeps swiveling around of its own accord!
  • 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.
  • Three words: "Kill the spare". Cedric Diggory, a 17-year-old popular Hogwarts student who participates in a tournament that can finally raise his house's prestige with a successful Quidditch career, a caring father, and a loving girlfriend, with a compassion to his fellow compatriot on the tournament even if it reduces his prestige and goes out his way to help him, killed because he happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. From this point onward, it begs no question of why Harry acts paranoid at all times and desperately wants no one to associate with himself; he's afraid that Cedric's fate is going to befall them. Though, it also speaks an awesome moment for his friends and Ron and Hermione in particular, who stubbornly always follow him no matter how dangerous being in that position is.
  • When Nagini speaks in the film adaption, it sounds way too human.
  • The whole scene in the book where the Death Eaters first reveal themselves at the Quidditch World Cup. Even though they don't cause any lasting harm, it's made abundantly clear that they're essentially a lynch mob with magical powers. It just gets worse when the main trio runs into Malfoy, who smugly informs the Muggle-born Hermione that they're targeting Muggles. From that point on, it was impossible to ignore the real-world subtext of this series.
    Malfoy: Granger, they're after Muggles. D'you want to be showing off your knickers in midair? Because if you do, hang around...they're moving this way, and it would give us all a laugh.
    Harry: Hermione's a witch!
    Malfoy: Have it your own way, Potter. If you think they can't spot a Mudblood, stay where you are.
    • And let's be honest: Malfoy's "knickers" line is about fifty times more unsettling if you're over the age of thirteen. To someone who's old enough to know about the concept of sexual harassment, Malfoy comes off like he's not-so-subtly suggesting that Hermione might be raped.
      • Which is certainly a disturbing enough implication on its own, but the fact that Hermione is a fourteen-year-old girl just adds so much more Squick to the scene.
      • Oh, and it gets worse. These particular Death Eaters likely aren't strangers to Malfoy. The fathers of his two lackeys were probably in there. Hell, his own dad was probably in there.
  • The scene where "Moody" tortures the spider is one of the most disturbing scenes in the series when put into context. Crouch Jr. was the among the Death Eaters who tortured Neville's parents into insanity, and now he is performing the same thing on a spider in front of Neville just to torment him, under the guise of being a concerned teacher preparing the class for life.
  • While it's more intimidating in the film than in the book, the Death Eater riot at the Quidditch World Cup has quite a bit of terrifying imagery.
  • This far and no one's mentioned easily one of the darkest and most disturbing moments of the film? Though I don't blame you... but let's give a hearing for Voldemort's return. It's not just the fact that he's done something incredibly dark to return, not just the fact he killed a seventeen-year-old, whom he saw was spare weight... it's because of what this MEANS. Avada Kedavra doesn't have just ONE survivor. It has TWO. One of which is THE MOST evil and vile wizard of the past century. A monster who started a war because he wanted to rule over everything. Seeing it in the film and reading it in the book doesn't change ANYTHING about what it means... and imagine Harry seeing him not in another person's body, not as a child, but what was most likely him as he looked at the height of his powers... the same monster that killed his parents.
  • The Erklings in the video game version are creepy as hell. They are known to lure children away from their parents to eat them. Oh, and they also sing this eerie melody.
  • The fate of Bertha Jorkins: she's captured by Wormtail and brought to Voldemort, who then proceeds to torture her for information about the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament; even managing to break through the Memory Charm Barty Crouch Senior placed on her. Note that he doesn't specifically mention the Cruciatus Curse; he only says "with a little persuasion" — so there's no telling what methods he used to get all he needed out of her. When he's done with Bertha, her mind and body are both damaged beyond the repair of even magic, and utterly useless if he tried to possess her — and so, as he describes it to the Death Eaters, he 'disposes' of her, like a bit of rubbish.
    • It's never said outright, but... Bertha Jorkins was captured and implied to have been held by Wormtail and Voldemort for a good, long while. The body that Voldemort uses before the regeneration spell, is described basically as looking like a deformed fetus. There are several implications that can be drawn from this, and all of them are horrifying.
    • Fortunately, said possibilities are overruled by a brief explanation Voldemort gives to his followers. He and Wormtail made what has since been referred to as the "rudimentary body potion", made with unicorn blood and venom from his devoted Nagini. Still disturbing as all hell however, seeing as Voldemort's body was incredibly feeble and required the potion regularly to sustain himself and the result was still a deformed, monstrous excuse for a human body.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Even in Muggle territory, you are never safe from the wrath of the Dementors.
  • Montague's experience after Fred and George stuffed him into a vanishing cabinet. He spent weeks in a pitch black limbo, hearing snatches of conversation from either end, taunting him. Eventually, he managed to apparate himself out, an experience which almost caused his death.
    • Made worse by the fact that it turns out that the aforementioned Vanishing Cabinet is the same one used the following year by Malfoy to create a passageway into the castle for some of Voldemort's top Death Eaters.
    • Not to mention how casual everyone is about it. Sure, Montague must be a grade-A douche to join the Inquisitorial Squad, but trapping him in limbo for weeks just for trying to dock you some house points? That's kind of messed up.
  • Umbridge herself. If there's anything scarier than Nightmare Fuel, she would be it. "The Dementors are only afraid of one thing: Her." Here's a couple of things she's responsible for.
    • Harry being forced to carve his own hand open with Umbridge's quill. In the film, at least, we have this line that summarizes just how monstrous and horrible Umbridge really is.
    Umbridge: That's right. Because you know, deep down, that you deserve to be punished. Don't you, Mr. Potter?
    • Additionally in the film, she subjected first year students to this torture.
    • 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. The Cruciatus Curse is capable of causing insanity, and is considered so horrible, its use is punishable by a life sentence in Azkaban.
    • In the way the scene is described, she's excited, almost aroused at the prospect of using it, and keeps pointing her wand at different parts of Harry "trying to decide where it would hurt the most." One can only imagine some of the body parts she cycled through... especially if you're male.
    • Stephen King, famed writer of such horror stories as The Shining, and creator of such memorable and terrifying villains as Annie Wilkes, called Dolores Umbridge "the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter."
  • Heck, the mere fact that there are people like Umbridge in real life. And many of them are teachers. Teachers whom many of the kids and teens reading these books just might have had experiences with...
  • On the other hand, as awful as Umbridge was, her comeuppance at the hands of the centaurs is horrific to think about, if you subscribe to the theory that they raped her. Just the idea of being gang-raped by centaurs is pretty damn disturbing.
  • The Department of Mysteries has a few moments:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Especially creepy considering it's an amphitheatre-like room.
    • The Death Eater whose head — just his head — was regressed to infancy.
    • 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.
    • Hell, the Department of Mysteries itself. A top-secret government agency that only those with the highest security clearance are allowed in, inside which all of the creepiest and most dangerous magic is studied. Where have we seen this before?
  • The Battle of the Department of Mysteries speaks volumes, considering how it involves a group of four 15-year-olds and two 14-year-olds fighting for their life against the Death Eaters, and the various injuries they get are horrific by itself, but the most horror has to be what Hermione experiences. She is struck by a mysterious purple spell conjured by Dolohov, which causes her to faint and immediately crumple, showing all signs of someone being killed. Harry is actually very, very scared in his narration that she is really going to die, although it fortunately does not happen. After the battle, it is noted that Hermione has to experience a lengthy recuperation process that involves drinking a lot of potions for several weeks. Oh, didn't we mention that Dolohov is muted at that time? Nonverbal spells are not as powerful as verbal, which brings up a Fridge Horror of what would happen if he was not muted at that time. It is implied that a verbal version of this spell is what Dolohov uses to kill Lupin in the final book. Rowling never elaborates the nature of this spell, unlike other high-end curses like the Unforgivable Curses or Sectumsempra or even Fiendfyre. What we know is that it can be negated but not deflected completely and that it inflicts some sort of internal damage as from the outside the people hit by this spell is peaceful-looking. It sounds an awful lot like a Theme Park Version of the Killing Curse, which is not much better.
  • Boggarts, generally all bark and no bite except for Parvati's mutant jack-in-the-box (a significantly less terrifying mummy in the book), 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 can't be helped with the Ridikkulus spell.
  • The possession scene at the end of the film. Daniel Radcliffe completely sells the idea that poor Harry is being ruthlessly mind raped by Voldemort. Not to mention Harry's snake-like writhing just screams out that something thoroughly inhuman is trying to possess his mind and body.
    You've lost, old man.
  • One of Harry's hallucinations during the possession is of him looking into the Mirror of Erised and seeing Voldemort's face in his reflection. "Look at me."
  • Hagrid attacking the Aurors after they gang up on Fang and McGonagall. Sure it's Beware the Nice Ones, but this scene also shows just how dangerous someone who is 11'6" and weighs probably around 1000 pounds can be when you piss them off. Add in that because of his giant blood, he is immune to the Stunning Spell.
  • The photograph of the Original Order of the Phoenix. As Harry lampshades, so many in that photo are doomed and are unaware of their fates. ​And just think about how some of those old Order members died some were murdered along with their entire families, some (like Ron's uncles) were outnumbered, and others were blown to bits.
  • Harry's dream where he sees Arthur being attacked by Nagini, with the description of his ribs shattering beneath the attack. If Harry hadn't been quick it may have been hours before Arthur was found. On a meta level, this scene was likely where Arthur was going to die had Rowling not changed her mind. While most of the other deaths have been quick or offscreen, Rowling had obviously been prepared to not just sacrifice Arthur, but do so in an unforgettable, dramatic, gory way - with Harry watching it all in 1st person, which certainly wouldn't have been good for his already shaky mental health.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Touching that cursed necklace was not a good idea.
  • 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... The movie only made them creepier, just by making them succeed in pulling Harry under the water.
    • Made ever-so-much-worse in true Rowling fashion with the knowledge that one of those corpses is Regulus Black, Sirius's kid brother.
  • 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 real Tear Jerker.
  • Young Tom Riddle. He made a rabbit hang itself, among other things.
    • The whole thing with how similar Harry and Tom's early childhoods were fraught with abuse, and that how Tom turned out was supposed to be his own fault. Rowling even says he chose to become a psychopath, although orphanages in the twenties and thirties weren't all that great for child development, and whether one is the product of rape is directly irrelevant to whether or not one grows up to be a psychopath.
    • What Riddle did in the cave to terrify two other orphans. It's never revealed what happened, but does show even at that age Riddle was a terrible person.
  • 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.
    • That's not the only part terrifying about that scene. Even before then, when it looks like her body's getting thrown and dragged across the ground like some sort of human rag doll, it's so inhuman that it could probably give The Exorcist a run for its money.
    • Her friend shouting "I warned her! I warned her not to touch it!" as Katie thrashes about on the ground is pure Adult Fear.
    • Even Hagrid's appearance doesn't help to dampen the fear felt during this part, as he is absolutely serious as he warns the characters not to touch the necklace. It helps to highlight just how serious of a threat that necklace was.
  • The deleted scene where the school choir is singing that song is both beautiful AND haunting.
  • The fact that Muggles can feel Dementors' 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. Rowling has stated that she based Dementors on clinical depression. Taken with the above, this implies that in Potterworld, Muggles who suffer from the disorder do so because they have an invisible soul-sucking demon on them. Charming.
  • Apparation, when you think about it. In the books, it's the extremely-uncomfortable sensation of being squeezed through a narrow tube, unable to breathe, which is terrifying to those with a fear of enclosed spaces. In the films, a person's body is shown twisting, stretching, swirling... it's all very disturbing, especially for any unlucky freeze-frames. Not to mention that if it's done incorrectly, people can be separated from their body parts, or otherwise get gravely injured by doing it wrong.
  • The idea of Voldemort murdering people, then modifying the memories of others to believe they've committed the murders.
  • Ron being poisoned.
  • Right before, there is a rather unsettling moment when the love potion's effects wear off. The dopey look of infatuation fades away and a rather horrified expression replaces it, Harry and Slughorn just laugh it off.
    • From a brain chemistry standpoint, powerful infatuation can have similar effects to drugs. What Ron might have been feeling may have been similar to crashing after coming down off a high, and he was only exposed to a small bit of the potion for a few hours. Imagine what it felt like for someone that may have been fed the potion for several months... like what was implied to have happened to Tom Riddle, Sr. AKA Voldemort's father. Almost makes you feel some sympathy for the guy. Almost.
  • Fenrir Greyback is one of the nastiest villains in the series. A werewolf who enjoys it, deliberately going after people. He specialises in going after children, at one point killing a little boy, and even acts like a werewolf when it is not full moon, with cannibalistic urges. He even attacks Bill while untransformed and leaves him with permanent scars. The paedophilia and rape overtones don't help.
  • The Attack on the Burrow, film-only. Regardless of what you may think about it's inclusion note , the scene has terrifying Adult Fear vibes: Voldemort and his followers are back in power, and are able to appear/attack anywhere. The ones attacking involve an Axe Crazy woman who tortured several into insanity, and a werewolf who has no hesitation in spreading the disease... and they're toying with you, trying to draw you away from the others - which succeeded on Harry and Ginny. Then once they have you alone, they hunt you... not just fight, but constantly apparate around to make you unsure where they are, hiding until the right moment to strike. Then at the end, just like the attack itself, they damage the Burrow for no good reason/for the fun of it. The book had vibes of this, but never was 'Nowhere is safe' so strongly showcased.
  • The Sectumsempra curse, particularly from the point of view of a victim. Imagine having your skin cut open without anything even touching it, to point that you could bleed to death. Even if the first victim is Draco Malfoy, you can imagine Harry's horror at seeing blood spurt from his opponent's body "as though he had been slashed with an invisible sword".
  • A subtle, unnerving example in the cave, film-only. When Harry is trying to give water to Dumbledore, he quickly fills up the previously-filled-with-potion bowl with water, but he can't fill it up whatsoever due to the bowl's magic... just when Harry realizes it won't work, he goes absolutely still. He slowly looks around at the lake, the water perfectly calm, surrounding this dark island... but he has no other choice. Slowly, body language screaming that he knows something is gonna happen the moment he gets water, he inches toward the edge of the island... cue an Inferius grabbing his hand, then all hell breaks loose.
  • Malfoy basically joined a terrorist cult and started a school shooting.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
"Nagini... dinner."

  • Nagini the snake being inside Bathilda's corpse and controlling her like a puppet, then shedding her dead body like it was snake skin. 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. Complete with a Jump Scare when Harry and Hermione wonder if she's dead and she lunges at them.
    • Nagini in general is Nightmare Fuel, especially if you're ophidiophobic.
    • In the movie, before we even know that Bathilda's being possessed (unless you've read the book, of course), we have Harry upstairs alone with the poor senile old woman, while Hermione looks around downstairs. While the atmosphere is a little unsettling, you don't realize "Shit shit shit GET OUT OF THERE" until Hermione stumbles on a dark room which, when lit, has the walls and ceiling covered in blood spatter.
  • Neville Longbottom offhandedly mentions that the Hogwarts "Dark Arts" classes post-takeover have involved practising the Cruciatus Curse. On first years. You know, the curse that inflicts horrible, unimaginable, incomprehensible pain? You know, the curse that drove Neville's parents insane? It's the definition of Fridge Horror.
  • 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... 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.
    • Even worse, before Snape is killed by Nagini, he has his throat cut open by Voldemort. All with a flick of his wand.
    • In the film, you can see the reaction of the trio, hiding outside the boathouse, as it happens. Harry hates Snape at this point, and even he's horrified as he listens to Nagini attacking him.
    • Also bear in mind that, in the books, it happens in the Shrieking Shack. The place of his humiliation and bitter memories. For Snape, being at death's doors it must have been terrifying with triggers to the time what he nearly got eaten by Remus in the same place.
  • 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.
    • Little scarred and blistered, soulless mewling creature Voldemort, so repugnant-looking that Harry didn't want to touch it. In the movie, it's covered in blood.
    • Nightmare Retardant of course when you realise he deserved it.
  • The Ministry rounding up 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 scenes, despite not being graphic, are very creepy too. It's even 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.
  • 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.
  • The magical eye mounted on Umbridge's door, which used to belong to Mad-Eye Moody.
  • Umbridge during the interrogation of the Muggle-borns. Just remember that her Patronus-fueling happy thought is sending people to their deaths. She wore a horcrux in her neck, a part of Voldemort's soul and she had no trouble making a Patronus, in the presence of Dementors. 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 Curse from Voldemort. Umbridge takes advantage of the situation. She already was an incorrigible sadist before Voldemort took over, after all...
    • It's actually even worse. Her Patronus-fueling happy thought isn't sending people to their deaths. It's sending people to Dementors.
    • It's somehow even worse in the audiobook. Jim Dale acting out a terrified, screaming man being led away from the court and trying to resist the dementors... -shudder-
  • The "Dumbledore corpse" that appears to anyone who enters the Black family home.
  • 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.
    • They didn't just drive her mad, they made her an Obscurial. Desperate and afraid she shunned and repressed her own magic, and without control her magic darkened and twisted into its own parasitic entity. Normally she was such a sweet little girl, but if she got too scared or angry or sad... good bye Mother.
  • Voldemort kills the wandmaker Gregorovitch, described as having a similar appearance to Father Christmas. Voldemort murdered Santa Claus.
  • 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 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.
  • The prologue, when Voldemort murders the Muggle Studies teacher. 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. But it's what he says afterwards that is the true Nightmare Fuel:
    Voldemort: Nagini... dinner.
  • As for 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?
    • It doesn't have to be anything subtly horrifying at all - just the statue's presence is dreadful. Especially for Muggleborns like Hermione, who can only stare and is unable to do much (at that moment) in protest of it.
  • The scene with the locket Horcrux trying to turn Ron against Harry in a last ditch effort to defend itself. Harry says "Open" in Parseltongue in order to get the locket open, and Ron is ready to stab it with the Sword of Gryffindor, but ghastly spectres of Harry and Hermione emerge from the locket, only to tell Ron that he's worthless compared to Harry, and that Hermione will never choose him. Then the spectres of Harry and Hermione start kissing, showing Ron his worst fear.
    • In the film, in addition to all that, when the locket opens a swirling cloud of darkness explodes out of the locket with enough force to knock the boys off their feet. Swirling, talking, constantly having things thrusting out of it then disappearing before you can seem them properly, all while a high-pitched whirling is playing; the thing was freaky as hell. Also scary Emma Watson's and Daniel Radcliffe's perfect delivery of the lines mocking Ron, and Rupert Grint's pained and horrified face as he looks to the two of them making out half naked.
  • What happens to Lavender: She's mauled by Greyback and he starts to feed upon her from her throat. In the books, her fate is unknown, but she dies in the film. Word of God stated that she later dies of her wounds in the book canon too
  • Voldemort's death is... very graphic. He starts dissolving into paper like shreds, with a truly horrifying, despair-filled look on his face.
  • Not long before this, when Harry pulls a Taking You with Me on Voldemort, the violent and frightening way the two of them fly/fall through Hogwarts while Apparating is only made more disturbing when the two of them briefly fuse into one image.
    • And the fact they were groaning, grunting and screaming throughout that whole fight. You could only start breathing again after they separated.
  • 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.
  • The scene where Harry uses the Cruciatus Curse on Amycus Carrow can be very disturbing.
  • This picture of Fenrir Greyback.
  • The Grey Lady pulling a Jump Scare when she suddenly screams at Harry during his search for one of the Horcruxes.
    • The Jump Scare is quite disturbing by itself, but then her pupils and irises dilate, creepily resembling Black Eyes of Evil.
    • Perhaps serving also as a dark Call Back or a parallel to a more funny scene, where the other resident Ravenclaw ghost does the exact same thing to Ron six movies back, while interestingly, Harry and Ron are asking Myrtle about a Horcrux (though not knowing what a Horcrux is at the time, of course). Also more alarming considering her more serene portrayal in earlier films (and book, but let's not get into that...).
  • 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 AND whimpers whenever it hears the sound. Poor thing...
    • The dragon itself is a pretty shockingly realistic depiction of animal abuse.
  • Finding out you're a living Horcrux, and have had a part of one of the most foul evildoers of the age attached to you. *shudders* Talk about getting a massive case of the heebeejeebees.
  • The fact that after so many innocent children were probably subjected to the Dementor's Kiss and will thus cease to exist upon their deaths anyone in the Wizarding world, especially the relatives of those who had that happen to them, could ever be remotely happy again really says something about the sorry state of this secret society itself.
  • Bellatrix torturing Hermione. She carves "mudblood" into her wrist. It's as much disturbing as it is devastating to watch, with Hermione's horrifying screaming and Ron and Harry being in the cellar unable to do anything.
  • In the final battle, Aragog's family returns because the Death Eaters have driven them out of the forest. When they arrive while the battle is in full force, they attack anything that happens to be nearby, Death Eater and Hogwarts supporter alike.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

  • "The Warlock's Hairy Heart". 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. 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".

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

See page here.

Alternative Title(s): Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince