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"Avoid This Area" Effect

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Sometimes, you need to keep certain people out of an area, maybe helping your Masquerade by forcing Muggles away, or you need one person to leave for some reason, or perhaps you want your own personal zone of privacy. So you use your magic, psychology, or perhaps some really Mundane Solution to get that privacy.

The requirement of signals to create Sexiled situations, means that Sexiled is a Sub-Trope of this, of the usually mundane variety.


This may be how Weirdness Censors work, and may be caused by a Perception Filter, with the affected area being a kind of Forbidden Zone.

Or, in video games, this might be how Encounter Repellant works, by literally being repellant, and not to be confused with Area of Effect. And for all media, Supernatural Repellent overlaps with this trope if used to create such an effect.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics: Earth-616 (primary Earth) in the Marvel Universe has this effect applied to it, through the power of sheer word of mouth, when it comes to alien races. Hostile aliens tend to avoid Earth due to its 100% undefeated record when it comes to dealing with invasions. Not so much a Forbidden Zone as a place best avoided unless you want your ass kicked. One alien race even left in a panic when Reed Richards simply told them who he was and where he was from. Doesn't stop a few from trying, though. It never ends well.
  • One issue of Thessaly: Witch for Hire sees Thessaly cast a spell on a coffee shop that causes every normal person inside to want to abruptly leave - even the staff and the owner - enabling Thessaly to be alone with the demon she's been hired to kill. Considering that he's a particularly fat demon, and she has to cut all 400 pounds of him into pieces small enough to shove into a very small jar, she needed a lot of time with no witnesses around.
    "Okay, I think you'd all better leave now."

    Film - Animated 
  • How Murray Saved Christmas: The Christmas Special takes place in a town near the North Pole where all the holiday mascots, Santa Claus included, live. The name of the town? Stinky Cigars. The narrator implies that its unsavory name was chosen to keep nosy Muggles away.

  • In Andre Norton's science fiction works, a distort is a futuristic device that can conceal a location and keep unauthorized creatures away from it.
  • The Dresden Files: A small island in Lake Michigan inspires escalating dread and horror in people approaching it, and was written off the maps when its one small colony collectively went insane from exposure to its aura. It turns out to host a profoundly antisocial Genius Loci and an Extranormal Prison for entities so horrible that their presence creates a Ley Line of overwhelming dark power.
  • Fever Series: The mechanism is never explained but areas of Dublin infested with the Shades - Fae creatures of Living Shadow that are deadly to humans after dark - somehow disappear from city maps, get forgotten by utilities and authorities, and are shunned by most people.
  • Harry Potter: Muggle Repelling / Repellant Charms. When cast on an area, they presumably do what the name says, used in multiple places:
    • When said in regards to the Triwizard Trillenium Stadium in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
      Arthur Weasley: Muggle-Repelling Charms on every inch of it. Every time Muggles have got anywhere near here all year, they've suddenly remembered urgent appointments and had to dash away again.
    • They've been cast on the Hogwarts and Durmstrang Castles.
    • They protect the protagonists' campsite in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Cranked Up to Eleven in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Arthur Dent confronts a bureaucrat about a construction project being built right through his house with no warning. The bureaucrat claims the plans have been on public display, and Arthur argues they were in a dark cellar with no stairs, at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard."
  • The Lord Darcy books have such magic. For example, in Too Many Magicians, a murder scene has a spell cast over it to stop people from wanting to enter it. A spell for Perception Filter type invisibility is explicitly stated to be similar in nature.
  • The Wheel of Time: The One Power can be used to "ward" an area so that specific types of creature can't enter. However, powerful wards can be sensed by Shadowspawn from miles away, so channelers usually stick to setting perimeter alarms for their campsites when traveling and save the stronger effects for warding their homes against rats and vermin.

    Live-Action Television 

  • Voltaire: In "Beast Of Pirate's Bay", the singer describes a sign that tells people to beware the titular beast of the bay, and describes the beast in great detail during the song. Then the twist comes— the beast is actually a beached whale he couldn't save:
    All I could to do help him
    Was to keep people away
    So I wrote a sign
    That said: "Beware"
    "The Beast of Pirate's Bay"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Morotrophian vampire Bloodline have access to a unique Discipline, "Institutionalize", that manipulates group psychology. Its "Off Limits" power wards an area so that everyone not "authorized" by the Morotrophian innately knows that they cannot enter and will even fight anyone who tries to force them inside.

    Video Games 
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Nameless Isle that holds the Wellspring of Divinity can normally only be located by those chosen as Godwoken by a deity. By the time of the game, the Gods have been weakened enough to break the Isle's protections.
  • Dungeon Keeper 2: Fear Traps prevent enemies from approaching with an aura of pure terror, which can even break your hold over a possessed Meat Puppet. Only Fearless Undead are immune.
  • Magic and Mayhem: The fear totem drives away any creatures that approach it.
  • Metroid often uses "hazard" rooms for the purpose of restricting access to certain areas. These are rooms that will continually damage Samus as long as she is inside of them, and many are too large to rush through before she dies. The player is supposed to avoid these rooms until they acquire the Varia Suit upgrade to negate the damage.
  • In Minecraft various elements can keep certain mobs away to grant you safety. Cats keep Creepers or Phantoms from even approaching. Skeletons avoid Wolves which will hunt them down. Soul Torches and Soul Campfires scare away Piglins, and Warped Fungus cause even aggressive Hoglins to back away.
  • In Monster Hunter, the presence of an elder dragon is enough to cause all other monsters and wildlife in an area to flee or go into hiding. This is due to elder dragons being extremely powerful and capable of inflicting curbstomp battles on any normal monsters they encounter.
  • Pokémon: The Repel items, which prevent Random Encounters.

  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: After learning some magic, Reynir is able to create runes to keep the group's campsite safe as it will deter wandering trolls from getting too close. However, he warns that it won't work against monsters that are actively hunting them.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: Parodied in "Grift of The Magi." When Kid First Industries privatizes Springfield Elementary, they hide all their surveillance equipment behind a door marked "DANGER! BROOM CLOSET." It doesn't stop Lisa for a second.

    Real Life 
  • Hoffman Quarry, also known as the Blue Lagoon, is a lake located near Harpur Hill, England, that was once a beautiful turquoise-blue colour. However, it also was - and still is - a highly dangerous body of water due to having a pH level of 11.3note , and being littered with dead animals, wrecked cars. Signs were put up at the lagoon, stating that the water could cause serious health problems, but this did little to stop people from swimming in the lake. Ultimately, the lake was dyed black in 2013, and then re-dyed a few more times in later years, to prevent people from swimming in it.
  • Police Tape / Crime Scene Tape: Only police and those who are authorized by police are allowed inside areas cordoned off with it, such as crime scenes.
  • The US Department of Energy is attempting to design nuclear waste storage sites so that they will repel any possible intruders.
  • A chain-link fence with barbed or razor wire at the top is generally understood to mean one should keep out of that area unless they have business and permission to be there.
    • These fences can also be electrified for good measure.
  • Signs posted on a fence are commonly used as a deterrent. "Keep Out", "No Trespassing", and "Beware Of Dog" signs are commonly sold at most stores carrying lawn and garden supplies.
    • Military installations will have signs that clearly state "USE OF DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED" for use on trespassers. Usually found at sites that store nuclear weapons.
  • The main purpose of having a home-security system in your home is to deter unwanted visitors from entering it. Most home-security companies will also give you a sign to put on the front of your house warning of this system.
  • Hostile architecture is the use of construction and environment to prevent people (specifically, the homeless) from hanging around a particular area. Examples include studs and spikes to prevent people from sitting/lying on flat surfaces, removal/modification of park benches, and sprinklers that turn on occasionally but don't actually water anything. Needless to say, it's quite controversial.


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