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Black Magic

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All the girls on the block knockin' at my door!
(I got the recipe!)
Wanna know what it is make the boys want more!
(Now you belong to me!)
Little Mix, "Black Magic"

"Bad" powers, the stuff that the Anti-Hero, Evil Sorcerer or Wicked Witch uses, and the Evil Counterpart of White Magic. Probably called this because we tend to think of darkness as evil. If heroes use it, they're headed for a fall, or at least An Aesop. Black Magic has the tendency to corrupt more than just the actions it enables.

There are three factors that determine whether a power is Black Magic or not.

As a rule, any of these factors will make something Black Magic; they can't be offset by the others being positively good.

Also beware of the side-effects. Gaining and using Black Magic will often have a "corrupting" effect on its practitioner's character, causing grey actions to go to black very quickly. This generally coincides with a similar degradation of the practitioner's mental stability, or at least give rise to a thought that they are Above Good and Evil. More often than not, it also causes rapid degradation of the user's own body, requiring more Black Magic to maintain their physical condition. Even if not, the power they have accumulated may eventually entice them to seek immortality.

For a more detailed description of side-effects, see This Is Your Brain on Evil. If a partial Demonic Possession is the source of your Black Magic, you are in very real danger of a total Grand Theft Me — heck, you may be in danger of this even if it isn't.

In some settings, all magic (or at least magic that doesn't come from the gods or some other divine source) is Black Magic; for this, see Magic Is Evil.

Remember that Evil Is Not a Toy. See also Artifact of Doom and The Dark Arts. Compare and contrast White Magic. May overlap with Casting a Shadow to some extent.

A practitioner of Black Magic could be "dark but not evil" if he's a sympathetic figure — perhaps a Reluctant Monster Blessed with Suck. See Heroic Willpower, Faustian Rebellion and Bad Powers, Good People. Not to be confused with Black Mage, which is all attack magic and no healing, though there can be some overlap because this trope doesn't usually lend itself to healing, either.

See also Bad Powers, Bad People, Psycho Serum. Not to be confused with Shirow Masamune's Black Magic M-66, using magic to manipulate and create darkness, or magic users of African stock.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Love spells are forbidden because they reach into someone and change their private self. In addition, Negi knows a forbidden spell that would result in killing a demon instead of binding or banishing it. What the details or consequences of such a spell would be are not shown, as he chooses not to use it, but… it is a demon, which is just another race in the Magic World.
    • Later on, Negi learns a technique called Magia Erebea, which depends on negative emotions such as hate, rage, fear, or sorrow, and takes a major toll on the user's body and soul. According to a demon Negi fights later, it works by the magician taking an offensive spell into himself for empowerment—basically, swallowing your own lightning spell to become a human thundergod. This is later revealed to be an aversion, however; the actual technique is actually more of a Yin-Yang Bomb, and while using it enough will eventually turn Negi into a demon, this is because it wasn't designed to be used by humans to begin with.
  • The Philosopher's Stone in Fullmetal Alchemist definitely counts, seeing as it basically costs thousands of lives.
  • The alchemy of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) eventually turns out to be fueled by the death and suffering of those in Real Life Earth, and is implied to be behind the world wars.
  • Arguably, Hiei's Dragon of the Darkness Flame technique in YuYu Hakusho. It falls under the category of hellfire, as it comes from the demon underworld. However, it only requires a sacrifice when the user is not strong enough to control it ("I suppose just my right arm will do,") and is used by Hiei to fight various enemies who have less-than-honorable intentions.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has the Shadow games, which utilize dark magic and utilize rules for each game.
    • Also, there's the Dark Magician (actually called the Black Magician in Japan) and his extended family, all Dark type Spellcasters. Though the Dark Magician itself was created through a noble cause, only uses his own life energy, and his purpose is to defend the Pharoah. The card is also used by Yugi, the main protagonist, who isn't evil.
  • In the Fairy Tail world, the title "Black Mage" Zeref is taken very seriously.
    • Somehow subverted. There are forbidden spells, but Darkness Magic (not to be confused with black magic), as well as Shade Magic are not necessary evil magic and is tolerated. The (former) Guild Master José being a user of the latter, and there are some good mages like Simon, Mirajane and Jellal are users of Darkness Magic (Simon has this as his main magic). Ditto for Shadow magic and Shadow Dragon Slayer magic.
  • Fabia Crozelg of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid and her True Witch style of magic, which includes commanding different kinds of devils and utilizing a wide variety of Curses. When Sister Chantez of the Saint Church sees her for the first time, she remarks that she's probably the complete opposite of Fabia professionally.
  • Tohru invokes the name of dark gods for the purpose of making food delicious when she gets a job at a Maid Cafe in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. She also teaches the spell to the rest of the staff when she quits (whether or not it actually casts a spell when they do so isn't specified, but the customers seem to enjoy the theatrics).
  • Forbidden Magic in Black Clover is this, using negative mana from the underworld to cast powerful spells that break the laws of magic, at the cost of destabilizing the soul and the caster losing their humanity, developing wegs as a result. Types of Forbidden Magic include Mythical Beast Magic, which regenerates an entire arm, and magics used by devils, who are from the underworld, such as Word Soul Magic.

    Comic Books 
  • In Black Magick the witch-hunting organization Aira tracks down and executes those witches who use black magic. They believe that once a witch starts using black magic, no matter how good-intentioned or minor the first instance was, they will inevitably fall deeper and deeper into villainy. Unusually for the witch hunter trope, they do not believe that all magic is black magic and stress that they must Never Hurt an Innocent.
  • Some versions of Red Sonja use black magic wielders as villains, depending how much realism the writer is using. Thulsa Doom is the most famous.
  • Doctor Strange has the ability to use such magics (and, in fact, was proclaimed "Master of Black Magic" back in his first appearance), but he rarely employs such magics as it is basically taking the power of a dark entity and using its power.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm mixes the Harry Potter and The Dresden Files versions of this, and it is repeatedly underlined as being incredibly dangerous, corrupting and addictive, with one of the main villains being an absolutely terrifying Axe-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac Necromancer and borderline Humanoid Abomination. However, a distinction is made between wandless and wanded black magic, with wanded practitioners able to get away with much more since their wands serve as buffers against the fallout, sort of like the Black Staff, so they're not likely to go insane (or at least, do so anywhere near as quickly as their wandless counterparts). Equally, though, it is pointed out that if you're willing to use that sort of magic, you've got a dark streak, and if you're using it often, you're unlikely to be very nice or very sane, so it's a fairly moot point.
    • The reasoning for why mind magic affects wandless practitioners in a way that it doesn't non-magical telepaths is that magic is slightly alive in a way that psychic energy isn't, and doesn't respond well to being twisted like that. However, again, it is mentioned that a telepath who routinely screws with people's heads is unlikely to be nice or sane, to the point where there's basically no difference between a rogue psychic and a warlock (a wizard gone bad). In Chapter 68, Betsy Braddock tells Harry that the White Council has executed rogue psychics in the past. Not often, but they've done it.
    • Being able to handle Dark Magic without being changed by it is a requirement of being the Sorcerer Supreme, and both Strange and Wanda (his former apprentice and heir apparent) are mentioned as being capable of it, though Wanda says that she hates doing so.
  • Equestria: A History Revealed: According to the Lemony Narrator, this is what powers Celestia and the Elements of Harmony. Of course, this is the same pony who says that because baking cannot be explained, and neither can dark magic, that baking must be dark magic, so it's best to take her words with cautious belief.
  • Necromancy and Mind-affecting magic (including mind control and mindreading) is classified as this in The Freeport Venture. It's not inherently corruptive, but it does often lead to Slowly Slipping Into Evil because it's such an easy path to power with no drawbacks (at first, anyway). Sunset Shimmer struggles a lot with the temptation to use this kind of magic, especially since her talent for picking up on any school of magic means it comes to her very easily. The fic also shows that Necromancy can go both ways, with two of its Arc Villains. Rising Fire is an evil lich obsessed with revenge who freely kills and reanimated pony corpses, while the unnamed Bokor simply uses washed up drown bodies for cheap labour and is killed by Strumming for it.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: Mordru is an evil and immensely powerful sorcerer who uses black magic for all kind of nasty effects, from splitting souls to run-of-the-mill disintegration. One of his goals is to merge with the source of all black magic in the universe to ascend to godhood.
  • Trug from Shazam! fanfic Here There Be Monsters is a powerful black sorcerer.
    Trug spoke an incantation. A bolt of black force leaped from his fingers and struck Junior in the chest. The World's Mightiest Boy gasped. Freezing coldness paralyzed his lungs and spread through his body.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • Olga uses this as a means to turn Garan into a Mordor.
    • Shamuhaza uses this to create a legion of Elite Mooks, known as "the Neverborn experiments". A component of the Eldritch Truth pursued by the Mensis scholars.
    • Summoning minotaurs like what Grishom did in Chapter 26 is seen In-Universe as dark magic. Doing so in Ken, the capital of Eostia, is seen as a death sentence.
  • Subverted in Outcast, a Hetalia: Axis Powers Highschool AU — although England's powers are consistently referred to as "Black Magic", the magic itself seems to be pretty neutral and he uses those powers to assist the student council in running the school. While he can commune with the dead and monitor the whereabouts of the school's students remotely, he can also summon a unicorn (which is about as "goody goody" as magic can get), and it's noted that he could probably perform an exorcism if need be. His powers also enable him to get information on the origin of Sweden's curse from the spirit world.
  • Princess of the Blacks:
    • True black magic is bestowed by one of the seven Dark Powers, and usually requires some fairly nasty things to fuel it (Death's mages have to kill people to fuel their magic, Tiamat's mages must inflict pain and suffering, Nyarlathotep's mages burn up fragments of their own soul, etc). There is also dark magic (such as the Unforgivables), which anyone other than a white mage can use. Dark magic is generally more powerful than neutral magic, but can usually only be used to cause pain, death, and other destructive uses. True dark spells are fairly rare, but Jen's unique freeform casting style lets her turn almost any spell dark by infusing it with hatred and sadism.
    • However, one of the major plot points is that "dark magic" has become an umbrella term in the Wizarding World for any kind of forbidden or regulated magic, including both true dark magic (such as the Unforgivables) as well as things like Evocation or fleshcrafting which are dangerous or obscure, but morally unaligned.
  • In the Vocaloid fic Rotting Camellias, Meiko uses this to power her Circus of Fear.
  • In Split Second (My Little Pony), Sparkle's body runs on the stuff and is immunenote  to its corrupting effects.
  • Turning Red: Secrets of the Panda: Jason Vaugn and his ancestors have the ability to control corrupted red panda spirits as opposed to the relationship Mei and her family have with their spirits.

    Film — Animated 
  • Rothbar and following Big Bads in the The Swan Princess movies, all clamor for the power of 'The Forbidden Arts', the magic of Change, Creation and of course, Destruction. The powers themselves tend to take the form of a glowing crystal ball that, if destroyed, takes the powers away from anyone using them—explosively. The less than perfect final movie takes it up to eleven when it reveals that the Forbidden Arts are a living entity
  • White Snake (2019): The General and his apprentice practice a form of Taoism associated with evil and darkness and fuel their powers by taking essence from other beings, especially snakes. It also takes its toll on their bodies. The General is already wrinkled and disfigured, and the apprentice face is starting to show disfigurement on his lower jaw.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The dark side of the Force in Star Wars. The more you use it, the more physically and mentally corrupt you become, and the more corrupt you become, the less you worry about little things like morality and bodily corruption-it's a vicious cycle. Strangely, no source ever seems to mention how one side effect of long-term exposure to the Dark Side is an increased amount of hamminess.
    • This is taken to new heights in the Expanded Universe, where Sith Alchemy is an actual, defined practice that ranges anywhere from making indestructible swords to turning preexisting species into horribly warped monstrosities, and in one or two occasions full-blown, not-even-bothering-with-the-technobabble necromancy. Sith Alchemy is pretty much Magic, and most writers make absolutely no attempt to justify it as some sort of biological side-result to do with midichlorians.
    • Nightsister Magick also falls into the same category. While similar to Sith Alchemy, Magick is exclusive to the Nightsister of Dathomir, who use it for teleportation, invisibility, demonic possession, necromancy, and even puppeteering of sentient beings.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, the Dark Magic is described as non-elemental magic with no purpose other than to hurt, using poisons and Human Resources to work. However, it seems that Bad Powers, Bad People isn't necessarily in effect, as good witch, Chloe is a Dream Walker while dreamwalking is considered a Dark Magic skill.
  • Warcraft (2016) has the fel. It requires souls as fuel, corrupts anyone who as much as has contact with it into serving its causes and heavily mutates the user.

  • In Acacia, all Magic Is Evil to some degree because it's humans' flawed and corrupted copy of Elenet's song, something that no human can hope to truly duplicate. However with the Santoth, the evil wizard army that conquered much of the world, they have been taught only Black Magic such as cursing people with undeath, casting spells that only mutilate or kill, cause disease, summon demons etc. And worse yet, they've been geased to have to regularly use magic or they'll suffer great pain.
  • Labyrinths of Echo: Subverted:
    • Magic is indeed divided into White and Black, but only in terms of subject: Black magic deals with tangible materials while White deals with images, thoughts, souls and other ethereal matters.
    • Moreover, this means that Black magic is used mostly in the kitchen or to make amulets, while strong White is what's used to make things... less corporeal. The highest-level White magic spell humans can cast is the highly destructive Green Fire: if it touches anything (save the strongest barriers), that something vanishes — no remains.
    • There are some things considered dark or forbidden, mostly those including some degrees of human sacrifice or world-ending effects.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Black Arts are a collective name for magics of the unsavory sort, which mostly appear to revolve around enslaving people and summoning demons. Most magic of this sort seems to require a human sacrifice or at least a lot of blood, which practitioners of the Black Arts will get by nabbing convenient targets, who usually happen to be the Tourists or someone close to them. Practitioners can range in skill from simple beginners dabbling with forces that will eventually corrupt them to skilled adepts gleefully performing atrocities, and can appear both as agents of the Dark Lord and running their own little enterprises.
  • Harry Potter features a wide array of techniques that fall under The Dark Arts:
    • The three Unforgivable Curses are so named because under most circumstances, using any of them will earn you a life sentence in Azkaban. However, Aurors are permitted to use them against suspects, and some "good" mages cast these as well in the Potter Verse (Harry included). Aurors were first granted the right to use these during the First Wizarding War, which might fit with the "corrupt government" motif (Barty Crouch Senior describes it as "fighting fire with fire"), but no one ever calls Harry or the other good characters on it.
      • Avada Kedavra, or the Killing Curse, is forbidden in the same way gun control is practiced in Great Britain.
      • Crucio, the Cruciatus Curse, not only causes pain as Cold-Blooded Torture, but also only works if the caster is really sadistic. Righteous fury only stings a bit.
      • Imperio, the Imperius Curse, is a forbidden mind control spell.
    • The Sectumsempra spell causes severe physical damage and cannot be healed by non-magical means.
    • A number of methods for immortality exist, many of which fall under Immortality Immorality. For example, creating a Horcrux requires you to split your soul through murder, after which you bind a Soul Fragment to a physical object (the Horcrux), thereby tethering yourself to the world of the living. Another method involves killing a unicorn and drinking its blood, also considered an extreme Moral Event Horizon.
    • Any type of necromancy would count. In the Potter Verse, this includes such acts as creating Voodoo Zombies called "Inferi" (singular "Inferius"), and resurrecting someone who's been physically killed but preserved through one or more Horcruxes. Harry has the pleasure of witnessing the latter in the sixth book, and it's not pretty.
  • In The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the form of magic in common use is powered by blood. Your own blood is fine, but if you want to do something moderately powerful, someone has to die. In addition, every spell cast in this way has the side effect of making life slightly worse for everyone by feeding power to bad stuff. The books also have other forms of magic used predominantly by Evil Minions.
  • In The Dresden Files, use of Black Magic is constrained by the White Council's Seven Laws of Magic. Black Magic has been shown to be powerfully addictive and can push someone to The Dark Side, to the point that it's implied the mandatory death penalty for violating the Laws (except in certain, rare circumstances, namely if a council member is willing to put their own neck on the line on the violator's behalf) is probably a good thing.One member of the Senior Council, the Blackstaff, is given leeway to use Black Magic when the Council really needs it. The current holder of this office is later revealed to be Harry's mentor, officially assigned to him by the Council because he's the only one who would be allowed to "put him down" if he ever tries using Black Magic again — Harry's previous use of magic to kill was ruled to be self-defense, which means they'd at least let someone stick their necks out for him, rather than go straight to the killing. The Blackstaff is in fact a black wizard's staff that lets the user violate the laws of magic without going all evil and crazy. Instead, Ebenezar just gets a lot of nightmares and other guilt issues, but no evil laughter. It also gives its user Tainted Veins while in use. A huge part of the reason why Black Magic in The Dresden Files is so bad is that magic in the setting is based on belief. You can't work magic if you don't honestly and truly believe in employing it both in the way you're using it and for the reasons you're using it. So, when someone uses a magical ritual designed to rip your heart out of your chest, or to invade your mind to make you a meat puppet, or to steal your body or turn you into a zombie, they can only do that because they believe that it is right for them to use that power on you in that way. There's a reason why those who use Black Magic are generally twisted, vicious, outright evil, and insane. The Seven Laws of Magic are:
    • Thou Shalt Not Kill. One of the stranger twists to this is that several of these rules only apply to humans. In other words, using magic to kill something that isn't human (like, say, a vampire) is fine, but magically killing a human is Evil and drives you mad.
    • Thou Shalt Not Transform Others. Shapeshifting a human will cause an imbalance in their mind and eventually will turn it into that of the animal they are morphed into. However, a wizard is permitted to shapeshift themselves.
    • Thou Shalt Not Invade The Mind of Others.
    • Thou Shalt Not Enthrall The Mind of Others. Mind control will always leave some form of psychological trauma. There are some gray areas, though, such as creating illusions or putting someone to sleep to prevent them from harming themselves or feeling too much pain.
    • Thou Shalt Not Reach Beyond the Borders of Life. How powerful the result of Necromancy is depends on the strength (life force) and age of the corpse. Most corpses intact enough haven't been dead all that long, so for the most part it's useless unless used on a human. Harry himself stays within the rules by using it on the complete skeleton of a sixty million year old dinosaur found in a museum.
    • Thou Shalt Not Swim Against the Currents of Time. Time travel can easily end up tearing the fabric of reality and create paradoxes.
    • Thou Shalt Not Open the Outer Gates. This Law is against the summoning of creatures from outside our reality called Outsiders.
  • In Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician Trilogy:
    • Black Magic comes from taking a person's Life Energy. While many users of Black Magic are portrayed as evil, as some Life Energy can be taken without harming the person, the morality of using it is based on whether the Life Energy was given willingly or not. It doesn't help either that this Black Magic is like a super-steroid for mages, eight renegades from a neighboring empire, where this magic is legal, curb stomp a whole nation. While the majority of mages are practically powered by AA batteries, the renegades and anyone else who practices black magic are effectively walking nuclear reactors of magic. By the end of it the guild pass a decree that effectively leaves the protagonist in a Gilded Cage, or so they wish to show to the king; every member of the guild is fully aware they stand no chance if they try to force her do something she doesn't wish to.
    • In the prequel, The Magician's Apprentice, black magic is simply called "higher magic," and it's expected of all magicians; apprentices feed Life Energy to their masters until they've learned enough to be mages in their own right. What keeps it under control and not this trope is that magic must be given consensually in Kyralia. Unlike in Sachaka, commoners with magical potential are left alone, as it would only be ethical to take magic from them if they were apprentices, which isn't usually done because it's not worth the pain in the ass.
  • In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series:
  • Death magic in Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion hits two out of three—it summons a demon from the deity that at least some of the world's residents consider evil, and has the sole purpose of (surprise!) killing the target. However, it also requires the sacrifice of the caster. Interestingly, because Death Magic is considered (at least in Chalion) to be a bona fide miracle of justice granted by a god, it is not against the law; only attempting it is illegal, mostly in hopes of preventing people from trying to fake it by more conventional means.
  • In Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere novels, several magic systems lend themselves to this:
    • Each form of magic comes from one of the Sixteen divine Shards, each with their own Intent which essentially defines their personality. Powers from Shards like Honor, Endowment or Preservation tend to be fairly neutral powers that can be used for good or bad, but powers from Shards like Ruin, or Odium are unsurprisingly pretty evil.
    • Hemalurgy (derived from the shard Ruin) in Mistborn. Powered by Human Sacrifice? Check. Blood Magic? Check. With Great Power Comes Great Insanity? Check. Opens your mind to an omnicidal Eldritch Abomination? Yup. It's also wasteful: you can use it to steal power from others, but some of the power is always lost in the process as Ruin literally can't help but destroy. Of course the cost is born by whoever's getting killed to steal their powers, so who cares?
    • Voidbinding and the Parshendi "forms of power" in The Stormlight Archive require sharing your soul with the Cosmic Principle Of Hatred (the Shard Odium), to predictable results.
    • The Idrian people in Warbreaker consider Awakening to be this, since they believe the Breaths that fuel it to be pieces of people's souls. Practically speaking, forfeiting one's Breath (each person is born with only one) is undesirable and has some slightly unpleasant side effects, but one can still live a more or less normal life without it. Awakening itself comes from the Shard Endowment and isn't intrinsically good or bad, however.
  • The British author Dennis Wheatley might be best remembered today for his novels dealing with Satanic black-magic cults. Christopher Lee got a rare chance to play the hero in the Hammer Films adaptation of Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time has the True Power, a form of magic that can only be used if a direct link to the Dark One has been forged, and then only if he decides to allow it. And the eventual fate of those who use it regularly is so terrible that only one of the baddies dares to use it at all. And that's because he's already batshit insane. As well as the main character, due to him becoming more and more like Ishamael in goals and motivations.
  • In Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, even using a purely benign magical item for the best of purposes with no conception that you're doing anything wrong will damn your soul to Hell if the item's original creator used Black Magic to create it. Moral #1: don't buy magic items off eBay. Moral #2: the afterlife is unfair and arbitrary.
    • Averting Moral #2, above, is basically what the whole series is working towards.
  • Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe includes, among other things, a mage who forces parents in the local village to give him their children, whom he kills so he can transfer their souls to giant, sentient, insectlike "killing devices" which he sells to a king as war weapons. Sleep tight!
  • C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • In Prince Caspian, when it looks to the members of La Résistance as if no help from Aslan is coming after all, Nikabrik the dwarf (along with a hag and a werewolf) wants to call the White Witch back to Narnia to help them instead. There's some vague talk about drawing circles and "preparing the blue fire."
    • In The Silver Chair, when Eustace suggests to Jill that they try to call to Aslan and see if he'll take them into Narnia, she asks, "You mean we might draw a circle on the ground… and write in queer letters in it… and stand inside it… and recite charms and spells?" He admits that he had something like this in mind, but upon further consideration he decides that that's probably "all rot" and that they should just face eastwards and hold out their arms "like they did on Ramandu's island" while they appeal to Aslan.
  • In G. K. Chesterton's "The Dagger with Wings", invoked for the villain John Strake by a man who declares he will use White Magic against him. Father Brown deduces that the man telling him the story is, in fact, John Strake.
  • In 10 A BOOT STOMPING 20 A HUMAN FACE 30 GOTO 10 necromancy is lampshaded as black magic because it requires the destruction of something valuable to the spirit that is to be summoned.
  • Used by Valentin Ivashchenko: the protagonist of the Warrior and Mage series, "Black Earl" Valle, is the strongest necromancer to live for several centuries. Valle makes a major point of neither choosing a divine patron (his choices would be obviously limited) nor borrowing power from anything that will require a greater payment than he can accept, and researching any possibility to discredit this trope. Other spellcasters capable of necromancy are less ethical.
  • Used by Iar Elterrus:
    • When dealing with the new incarnation of the "Bearer of the Gray Sword", the Empire's mages unseal forbidden archives. The spell they find has to be fuelled by sacrificing 10000 humans.
    • In the same setting, the Empire's main magic university not only has a faculty of "pain magic", but produces devices to measure and store the pain of torture victims, just to make sure the tortures don't cut slack to anyone.
  • In Alexey Pehov's Wind and Sparks series, the main magic school of the Sdis empire is referred to as the "black school". Their spells revolve around necromancy, pain and torture. Interestingly, the necromancers are often referred to as "whites" because they normally wear a white overall.
  • Vadim Zykov's Return series:
    • Necromancy is the official magic of a country—the strongest necromancer is the king, and gaining ranks means gaining social standing. Spells powered by blood, sacrifice and desecration are par for the course. Most necromancers will cast a spell to return as liches after meeting an untimely end, and the liches are still partly controlled by said country.
    • Shamans of some human tribes possess the knowledge of the Collar and the Black Collar spells. Said spells are woven into slave collars, allowing the owner to inflict any degree of pain upon the slaves, coining the in-universe idiom "Loyalty of the Collared". Black collars are for enslaved mages—they add total blockage of magic abilities to the regular functions.
    • Neither the most hardened criminals nor the most ruthless warlords will harm elves. Those who do will be hunted down relentlessly and subjected to the "Forest's Breath" spell—torture and slow execution.
    • Worlds-travelling elder dragons don't only snack on occasional humans, they fuel said worlds-travelling by Human Sacrifice.
    • Regular dragons have called an undead elder dragon to prevent the fulfillment of an obscure prophecy.
  • Modern Russian fantasy often takes up motifs from Fairy Tales, among them the character of Baba Yaga and Koshchey the Deathless. Baba Yaga's role varies among authors, as it does in fairy tales, from benevolent or neutral to monstrous and cannibalistic. Koshchey is usually depicted as universally evil with various powers and abilities. Either Koshchey or his followers usually fall into this trope.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Theo recounts fighting such magic, including diseases that were released by carelessness or on purpose and women sacrificing their children for beauty.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories, magic is just about always this: trafficking with Eldritch Abominations, Human Sacrifice, Moral Event Horizon Eye of Newt, Necromancy — and other unpleasantness.
  • Shadows of the Apt: Ucteberi practices this, producing among other things a nightmare to drive a woman to suicide.
  • In Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, magic is defined as Additive and Subtractive, with the "magic sand" for Additive magic being pure white and for Subtractive magic being as black as space. Subtractive magic can also be granted only by making a Deal with the Devil by the time of the books, though in the past it was available to most mages and neutral. While it destroys things (in contrast to Additive, which creates them) it's not inherently evil. Rather, Subtractive's issue is due to its source, and it reemerges in a neutral way after Richard's born with both.
  • There are three branches of magic which are classed as "black" in The Riftwar Cycle. The first, and worst, is necromancy, the ultimate violation of nature. The second is arcane life, which involves warping living things to the magician's will, and the third is demon summoning, though in that case it's not the magic itself that's bad so much as the fact that most of the things you can use a demon for once you've got it aren't very nice.
  • Sourcery in The Witch Watch mainly seems to be comprised as this and all magic is condemned as unholy in the eyes of the Church.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, Mae's magic twists to this and causes pain. She uses great care to use it only beneficially—keeping out vermin—and laborously learned to undo curses and other dark bindings.
  • In Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, used by Cody's captors.
  • Leo Colston in The Go-Between is obsessed with astrology and the occult. At school he devises a curse on his chief bully; the boy subsequently has a serious accident and Leo gains some respect for his perceived success. He attempts another curse later; it doesn't end happily for him.
  • In Shadow Ops, "Negramancy" is the designation for magical ability to cause decay, rot, and entropy. By its basic nature (and the nature of Shadow Ops' magic system) magic is very powerful and requires relatively little effort to use beyond willpower and mental discipline. A powerful negamancer is a Person of Mass Destruction who kills and destroys in one of the most horrible ways imaginable, and can do this to ''anything. Tanks rust and fall apart, flesh rots off the bones, plastic breaks down, and electronics corrode. Nothing is safe, and the only shown negramancer in the series, Scylla, has an ugly steak of brutish insanity and a superiority complex that rolls together to make her one of the most terrifying things in the setting.
  • In Living Alone by Stella Benson, Sarah suggests World War I was caused by this. Richard rejects the notion at once.
  • In A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned, all four elemental magics have an element of darkness in them, which every mage must struggle to control. It is also possible to become a hoshek, a mage of pure darkness. Hosheks can use all four elements fully, but are completely evil and more than a bit crazy. Luckily, they are very rare.
  • Mercedes Lackey, Heralds of Valdemar series has Blood Magic which operates on a Cast From Hitpoints principle; the life sacrificed can be a source of power for a mage. Unless it's a voluntary sacrifice, the practice is flat-out evil: it steals life-energy from other people without their consent, plus a slow, painful death generates more power than a quick one. It's also seductive, even addictive, because it's easy, allowing mages access to power at little cost to themselves.
  • Castle Hurog is Powered by a Forsaken Child. Which was accomplished by magic. The colour of said magic was never mentioned, but one can safely assume that it was evil magic.
  • A literal example in The Children of Man cycle, where black magic is the corruption of the six color magics. It grants great power (including the ability to access all six forms of magic, something otherwise impossible), but is inherently wicked and forbidden.
  • Necromancy in An Army of the Dead, which revolves around using the energy of formerly living things to power spells. Oddly enough, the time it was actually used was for a good reason.
  • Black magic is the subject of the horror anthology That Hoodoo Voodoo That You Do by Ragnarok Publications. The book has the interesting theme the majority of evil magical rituals don't start that way but have had their true purposes forgotten over the centuries so the only people left practicing them are psychopaths.
  • In the short story "The Arts of the Enemy" by David Langford, the "evil wizard" explains to the hero that magic is based on the Balance of Good and Evil. (Actually, he explains that magic works however the magician thinks it does, but his theory is that it's based on balance.) He's seen as a villain because he builds up dark powers For Science!, but no one realizes that the Equivalent Exchange results in a stream of healing items leaving his lair. He would probably get less heroes bothering him if he was accumulating Light magic, but the thought of having to put the residual Dark into cursed swords and so on horrifies him.
  • In the Schooled in Magic series, there is some suggestion that the elves long ago used magic to twist and shape humanity to create the other races. This is just one example of black magic in the books. Black magic is not necessarily forbidden, but it is not taught lightly. The whole world has also been shaped by the use of necromancy, a source of magical power that corrupts and destroys, which is gained through killing people to take their mana.
  • In the Prospero's War Urban Fantasy series by Jaye Wells, this is called "dirty magic" (which is also the title of the first book), and is basically taking cheap and dangerous shortcuts. The protagonist, Kate Prospero, is a police adept who uses "clean magic" to stop these people, although she has a background in dirty magic herself. Find out more on the Magic Enforcement Agency website!
  • In Almost Night, it's called Anam. It's apparently a controlled substance, since spaceports scan for it along with explosives and weapons. Vampires run on it and the Tome of Eldritch Lore is a huge source of it.
  • Shaman Blues: Any magic that involves blood sacrifices and draws energy from death and suffering is black magic, as it upsets the natural balance, not to mention necessiting killing animals and, eventually, humans.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: It's magic derived from death, and is mainly used for necromancy. It could presumably be utilized in the same manner golden and green magics are used, as the two are already interchangeable, but if you're willing to kill someone for their mana, you're likely not using it to light a fire.
  • The Paper Magician has Excision, the magic channeled through human flesh and blood. In theory the magic could conceivably be used to heal people, and the caster could stick to using their own blood...but in practice, everyone who uses it seems to invariably descend into Mad Doctor territory or worse. Some of the more advanced spells definitely require Human Resources.
  • Sorcery in The Barbarian and the Sorceress. Barnabus uses it to inflict pain, try to choke Rom to death by summoning gold coins in his throat, and summon an Eldritch Abomination, which he plans to sacrifice Rom to in exchange for more power.
  • Villains by Necessity: Valerie's magic, which is almost entirely about killing or destroying. She admits this is her specialty. That said, she's capable of other kinds, it just doesn't come up except for a few times.
  • Lightblaring in Shadow of the Conqueror, which requires the user to become one of The Soulless in order to use it, and has a heavy darkness flavor.
  • Dark Heart: The priesthood of Vraxor is known for this. Basically all of their magic we see is used for harm. It's not surprising, given he is a God of Evil.
  • The Scholomance: While Mana is created through personal effort, malia is magic power drained from something else's life force. Wizards can get away with stealing a bit of energy from plants and insects, but the psychic taint from killing "anything complicated enough to have feelings about it" for a bigger boost causes maleficers to go Drunk on the Dark Side and eventually rots them alive.
  • Bazil Broketail: The Enemy's magic is fueled with blood, death or pain. It's only used for creating monsters and inflicting harm on opponents.
  • Johannes Cabal: True Necromancy can only be gained from a Deal with the Devil, usually in exchange for the practitioner's soul. Johannes manages to win his soul back from Satan, allowing him to pass as a non-necromancer because he can enter a churchyard without burning.
  • Once: Nell Quick, seemingly through both natural ability and demon worship, gives Thom Kindred a magically stroke; unleashes a succubus, and conjures horrifying phantasms.
  • Curiously, in Slayers, Black Magic is in fact fueled by the dark energy radiated by the various demonic Mazoku Lords. However, humans can tap into this without ill effects, since this is a divine function to maintain the Balance Between Good and Evil.
    • The only rule is the mazoku themselves are immune to any spell from them or a mazoku subservient to them. Thus Shabranigdo, the main Dark Lord, can just choose to not be affected by any Black Magic. This is most dramatically demonstrated in the last novel, when a shard of Shabranigdo chooses not to be unaffected by the dragon slave, and is killed that way. Using against a Mazoku Lord a spell summoning the power of him-/her-/itself (or power of servants they created), as Lina put it,
      …is like saying: 'Hey, you! Can you help me kill you?'
      • There's a second rule about Black Magic for Mazoku. They can't cast Black Magic of other Mazoku. Meaning that even as strong as Hellmaster and Dynast are, they can't cast a Dragon Slave or any spells of other Lords without killing themselves in the process.
    • Further, there's a distinction made within Black Magic between Curses and Destructive spells. Curses are almost uniformly seen as evil (though the really twisted stuff is exclusively used by demons). Destructive spells, on the other hand, are value-neutral, given that a large number of Shamanic (elemental) spells can accomplish the same result (Fireball, for instance, uses fire spirit, not Mazoku).
  • Witch King: Expositor magic is fueled by the enslavement, torment, and sacrifice of intelligent beings, so its practitioners tend to become amoral sociopaths in short order. Kai accidentally learns it through Ghost Memories, but avoids its corruption by using his own pain as a power source.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Beverly Hillbillies episode "That Old Black Magic'', Granny confuses Mrs. Drysdale's study of astrology with her delving into evil spells. Later, a series of misunderstanding leads Granny to conclude Mrs. Drysdale accidently turned herself into a crow as a result.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all magic is Black Magic, and is referred to as the 'dark arts', though some spells are more corrupting than others. In season six Willow becomes addicted to the stuff like a drug, and people freak out whenever she uses magic that does nothing more than decorate the house or levitate a book. In season seven, Willow struggles with overcoming her old habits, and briefly snaps after using a simple barrier spell. Willow even uses innocent blood, the blood of a fawn, in her resurrection spell for Buffy. Kind of a trade-off, as one must die for another to live.
  • In Charmed (1998), practically all dark witches, warlocks, demons, dark lighters, and so forth have used one form of evil-based magic spell one way or another.
  • Dark Winds: Ada practices witchcraft, which involves using magic to harm people per real Navajo belief (usually aided by something like their hair).
  • In Kamen Rider Wizard, we have the Sabbath, a ritual which creates a magic circle by sacrificing four magical beings placed at key points. Anybody within the circle dies one of two ways: if they have magic potential, their Phantom is released, killing them and taking over their identity; if they're Muggles, the released magic energy just kills them outright. The entire purpose of the ritual is to release a massive quantity of mana and focus it into a Philosopher's Stone.
  • In Merlin (2008), Morgause and Morgana practice Dark Magic. Merlin, in contrast, practices White Magic.
  • Reservation Dogs: Uncle Brownie wants no part in the curse Willie Jack wants him to lay on the NDN Mafia, warning that bad medicine is not to be messed with. She had acquired a baggie of Jackie's hair from Auntie B for that express purpose. Season 2 reveals she got one of the white men at the bar to perform a curse with the hair clippings.
  • In The Secret Circle, John Blackwell and his two daughters, Cassie and Diana all possess dark magic due to their ancestry. Dark magic is the most deadly and dangerous form of magic.
    • Dark Magic possess the same capabilities as regular magic, though it appears to be slightly more potent. Unlike regular magic, dark magic is not limited by coven laws, as witches bound within circles are capable of using their dark magic without collective aid. Cassie Blake has successfully performed dark magic on several occasions while bound to her circle and was also capable of using regular magic as well, revealing witches that perform both dark magic and "white magic" appear to be able to distinguish the two apart and use them separately.
    • Dark magic has been shown to penetrate an iron sulphate circle which is supposed to block a witch's magic while inside the circle. Cassie Blake was capable of setting a witch hunter on fire using her dark magic, despite the fact that she was inside the iron sulphate circle as well.
    • Dark Magic also appears to grant it's users a unique connection to other's minds, allowing them to view another's memories. Cassie Blake was able to see an apparition of Faye's memory while others could not with the exception of Faye. This connection was seen again when Cassie performed a spell to recall the "lost" memories of Jake Armstrong.
    • Dark magic also appears to have a unique connection with other forms of magic (though the exact nature is unknown), as Cassie and Diana were noted to be the only witches that could form the crystal skull. Dark magic mostly appears to be an innate quality, however Royce Armstrong mentioned that John Blackwell wanted to teach the circle dark magic. Because dark magic is rooted and accessed by negative emotions (anger/hate), it's possible to some degree it can be achieved by those that do not come from dark lineage like the Blackwells.
  • While magic is rather vaguely categorized in Supernatural there are times when "black magic" is explicitly used. They tend to involve ritual sacrifices, human bones and control of powers and beings best left alone. The clearest example is in the episode Malleus Maleficarum where a coven of witches unknowingly gain magic power through a Deal with the Devil — in exchange for magic, their soul belongs to Hell. This seems to be a common subset of magic — Ruby was once this flavor of witch, and witches of this nature appear throughout the show.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers:
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Still Valley", Teague uses a book of black magic to freeze Union soldiers in time. He would like to use it to defeat the entire Union Army but he can't as he is dying.
    • In "The Jungle", the Kekouyu put a curse on Alan Richards using a form of black magic known as Umchawi in revenge for his company building a hydroelectric dam that will result in the loss of their homes. It first manifests in the form of a dead goat being dumped outside of his apartment. In the early hours of the following morning, Richards is haunted by sounds of the jungle and tribal drums in the street. When he returns home, he finds that his wife Doris has been killed by a lion, which then pounces on him.
    • In "The Bard", a hack writer named Julius Moomer buys a book of black magic called Ye Book of Ye Black Arte at a secondhand bookshop in order to research a pilot script. He accidentally summons the ghost of William Shakespeare, who writes a television film script for him entitled The Tragic Cycle.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Cold Reading", Sol acquired a real voodoo artifact for the radio writer and director Nelson Westbrook, who always insists on his dramas being as realistic as possible. Westbrook dismisses it as nothing but a dime store novelty. He then says that if he had one wish, it would be that every sound effect in his latest script for Dick Noble, African Explorer would come from something real. His wish comes true and proves to be more than he bargained for.

  • "Black Magic" by Little Mix is about a tetrad of girls who sell magical potions that put the boys of their clients' dreams under their control. In some fictional works, this is referred to as "love magic", but in truth, it is still using mystical forces to alter the thoughts and/or feelings of another for one's own gain, which is, by definition, black magic. Little Mix seem aware of this. Oddly enough, they rarely (if ever) seem to use black magic in the music video (they're not even seen selling anything to anyone).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • During the systems of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons through the end of 3rd Edition, some spells were aligned to the Character Alignment subsystem, and used the [Evil] descriptor. Such spells were most commonly designed to subvert or counter [Good] spells, torment or exploit others, or require truly nasty things to operate—primary [Evil] spell components include mortal souls and body parts.
    • 3rd Edition-specific examples:
      • The "Dread Necromancer" of 3rd edition is able to choose spells, but most of their choices involve the Death, Destruction, Evil, and Fear tags. Their capstone ability at level 20 is to turn into a Lich, complete with Soul Jar.
      • The Book of Vile Darkness was a Sourcebook dedicated to options for Evil characters. It included black magic spells, Prestige Classes, and new domains for cleric-cultists. It is also an artifact in-game that grants magic powers to the reader.
      • The Warlock class gains their powers from a Deal with the ____ bargain (though sometimes an inherited one). The Player can choose which entities, but Devils are always a classic (and some of the warlock's basic class abilities are fiend-themed). In this edition, level advancement in the class would modify your character’s appearance in minor ways.
      • The Geomancer Prestige Class, released in Complete Arcane, is a spellcasting progression class that is defined mostly by the need to choose a new appearance trait to be added to the character. Options included wings (leather or feather), horns, tails, and scales.
    • 4th and 5th Edition Warlocks, while not at all inherently bad, mind you, got their powers from a Deal with the ____ bargain. Such entities tend to be amoral, if not outright malicious. Though the player can choose to avert this by having their warlock draw power from a more benign entity, the three options available by default are Fiends, The Fair Folk, and Eldritch Abominations.
    • Arcane casters in the Dark Sun setting can choose to be "Defilers", which allows them to reroll the results for any spell they cast at the cost of further desertifying the world, or at least the portion of it they're in. This makes them about as popular as witches were in 17th century Salem, MA.
    • In the Ravenloft setting, any spell that contacted the dead had a chance the character would be noticed by the Dark Powers.
    • In Forgotten Realms, Most spellcasters, whether good or evil, draw their spells from the Weave. Then one of Mystra's rivals, Shar, created an anti-Weave called the Shadow Weave, which is chiefly used by evil spellcasters.
  • According to TSR's Marvel Super Heroes RPG, Mind Control was considered a villain's power, and if a hero ever controlled another character's mind, he would lose Karma (the game's equivalent of hero points and/or Experience Points), not only for the act itself, but for any negative actions committed by the controlled character. Sadly, most player characters had randomly generated stats and powers.
    • Amusingly, the Marvel Super Hero named "Karma" has the power of Mind Control (called Possession—but it works like mind control, really).
  • Shadow of the Demon Lord: Spells belonging to the Blood, Curse, Death, Demonology, Forbidden and Necromancy Traditions are considered Dark Magic and cost Corruption to learn and cast.
  • Shadowrun's world is absolutely full of this. Earlier versions made the use of such magics automatically turn a PC into an NPC; even now, DMs are strongly advised to not let players use them.
  • The power of Chaos in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 is definite Black Magic.
    • Actually in Warhammer all magic comes from the domain of Chaos. Whether it's Black or White Magic depends on how you use it.
    • The Dark Elves and Wood Elves in Warhammer Fantasy get the Lore of Dark Magic, which contains powers of the body-freezing and soul-stealing sort. The Vampire Counts' and Tomb Kings' Lore of Necromancy (or whatever it is called) also qualifies.
    • Strictly speaking, the term Black Magic in Warhammer only applies to acts of illegal magic performed in the Empire, by people without Diplomatic Impunity. It covers magic powered directly by one or more gods whose worship is forbidden in the Empire (usually Chaos, but Khaine and others pop up occasionally); Necromancy (not to be confused with Death Magic); witchcraft; spells powered by more than one Wind of magic (which can include both Dark and High Magic); daemonology; virtually everything to do with warpstone and any arcane magic performed by someone who doesn't hold at least an apprenticeship in one of the 8 Colleges of Magic. Outside the Empire, it's more of a colloquialism.
  • Magic: The Gathering's black cards dip into this, although considering that the game is all about wizardly duelling and we consequently see mainly the martial aspects of any of its colors this is mostly a matter of flavor. (Black does, however, have something of a monopoly on discard effects—implied to be actually harmful to the target's sanity—as well as ones that reduce the opponent's life total directly without technically inflicting 'damage', sometimes allowing the caster to gain those life points for him- or herself vampire-style.) However, any colour has the potential to be good or evil—black can be classically "evil", white can be fascist, red can be chaotically destructive, blue can be immorally detached from reality (think Josef Mengele), and green can be cancerously uncontrolled.
    • On the subject of sanity-damaging magics: Memory Erosion, Sanity Grinding and Traumatize are all blue, while spells that directly hurt both you and your opponent, possibly along with any creatures in play, are red.
    • To expand a bit: Black magic is considered to be "destructive and costly" instead of outright evil. The difficulty is that many evil beings go straight for it. It has a variety of effects (dipping into turf owned by most colors) and often requires sacrificing your life… or somebody else's… Black cards tend to be greedy or selfish, but no more so than, say, Capitalism. It embraces both the best and worst aspects of self-interest. However, this trope is partly averted in that many Black creatures and spells are not evil, just aggressive or unhelpful, and there are many unpleasant beings associated with other colors.
      • Toshira Umezawa was created specifically to be a black-aligned main character. While he wasn't the most good protagonist, he tended more towards selfishness than evil. Wizards explains that black's "good" aspects (in terms of Western values) tend towards capitalism and other forms of competition.
  • Mage: The Awakening has a morality system that heavily penalizes certain acts, such as using mind control and ripping away a person's soul. Then there's using the Abyss to fuel your magic, which basically means paying favor to something that is to reality what anti-matter is to matter. Finally, there are the Left-Handed Paths, Legacies that involve incorporating magic that is both destructive to others and, ultimately, yourself into the very pattern of your soul. Such Left-Handed Paths include people who worship the Abyss, necromancers who maintain immortality by feeding on people's souls, Knight Templar psychics who project themselves into the minds of Abyssal beings in order to find out what they fear, and devout individuals who see nothing wrong with subjecting mortals to Mind Rape in order to get a glimpse of the "angels" who predated existence.
  • Princess: The Hopeful has the Calignes, black spells drawn from the All-Consuming Darkness. Learning them requires that you kill or torture an innocent, and they let you do things like heal your wounds using flesh taken from other sapients, transform innocents into magically controlled Creepy Dolls, or cause someone to doubt his friends' loyalty to him.
  • Dark Thaumaturgy from Vampire: The Masquerade is a demonic offshoot of the regular Tremere Discipline of Thaumaturgy (vampiric blood sorcery) that used to be practiced by the Tremere Antitribu of the Sabbat before they were all destroyed. Quite simply, it is Thaumaturgy learned from the demons of Hell. Vampires who mess around with the stuff are called Infernalists, and they range from fools who think they can outsmart the devil, fools who want a quick path to power, and those too weak to resist infernal temptation. Infernalist unlife expectancies are rather low, both due to the inherent dangers of dealing with the infernal and because the Sabbat Inquisition is ruthless about dealing with those who truck with demons in general.
    • This is slander on the Tremere Antitribu. Most of them were as fiercely opposed to Dark Thaumaturgy as anyone else—if not moreso, because Dark Thaumaturgy practitioners were muscling in on their unique schtick. While there were a few Dark practitioners among the Antitribu, most of the real Dark practitioners were of the ruck and run of the Sabbat, and the Sabbat had its own inquisition to hunt them down.
    • Although regular Thaumaturgy is still pretty close to Black Magic (and is definitely Blood Magic). For reference, one of the very high powered rituals in Thaumaturgy is "Blade of the Forbidden Flower". It involves forging a sword and sacrificing a vampire to bind his soul into it for all eternity, while permitting the wielder to draw on the supernatural abilities of that soul. Other fun Rituals include Nectar of the Bitter Rose, which allows multiple participants to partake in diablerie and reap the benefits, and Innocence of the Child's Heart, which allows a Thaumaturge to cover diablerie stains in their aura by... well, look at the name and take a guess.
    • The real example of this in Masquerade is Daimonion, practiced by the Baali. A discipline which features a ritual called "Summon the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds" can hardly be anything else.
  • Black Magic—defined primarily by source—typically isn't available to Player Characters in Deadlands. After all, you're supposed to be fighting pawns of darkness, not helping them. There are PC-approved "Gray Magics" that can be used; wily Hucksters make Bets With The Legions of Hell, with the caveat that they never intend to lose. Syncretic religions like voodoo and the Aztec-Catholic blend Anahuac have adherents that can do unseemly things with a death motif, but the practitioners aren't necessarily bad people, just… very different. Then, there's Whateley clan blood magic. (That last one can still cost you your soul if you're not careful.)
  • GURPS: Magic Black Magic is addictive, has Body Horror effects on a Critical Failure and slowly destroys your ability to use magic without the help of demons.
  • The anthropomorphic RPG Ironclaw has the Necromancer class, specializing in bringing about a Zombie Apocalypse, energy draining, Mind Rape, and other nasty things. However, this class is hidden in the back of the book with a warning to Dungeon Masters not to let players pick it arbitrarily. Why? Because if a Necromancer rolls three sixes in any of their tests, the DM is encouraged to think of random disasters to befall them.
    • Some Druid spells carry the same risk, though not all since the spirits they deal with are apparently somewhat more willing to grant them power. While the Lutarist deities require complete non-violence from their priestesses and will inflict the penalties of Unholy magic if they cast spells offensively.
  • Sorcery in Blue Rose is roughly defined as "any magic that alters the will or form of another being without their consent." Using too much of it deteriorates your physical and mental health until you go insane or waste away from sickness… unless you give in to the corruption, in which case you become more fit and powerful than ever but also become evil.
  • In the Star Wars d20 RPG, characters with at least one level in a Force-using class can choose to call on the Dark Side to augment their abilities, and some Force powers are inherently "dark," such as Force Lightning. Characters who have "fallen to the Dark Side" automatically use Black Magic every time they tap the Force.
  • Exalted has Necromancy, which is exactly The Underworld's equivalent of Sorcery and was developed by delving into the nightmares of dead titans. Virtually all Necromancy spells require either: 1) dead body parts, or 2) destruction of someone or something, or 3) special metal created by melting the souls of the dead.
  • Legend of the Five Rings has maho, blood magic that ticks all the boxes. Its power source are evil spirits, it typically spreads The Corruption in you when used, it often involves blood sacrifices and the spells generally have very nasty effects. The worst thing is that it is very easy to learn and will literally steal your soul if you overuse it. Best case scenario? Become a free-willed Humanoid Abomination. Worst case? Well…
  • The Unofficial Hollow Knight RPG: Dust magic is this. Aside from being this setting's equivalent of Necromancy, dedicated to inflicting pain, hunger, and undeath, it also originates from the Lord of Dust and causes the wielder to slowly turn evil. Just knowing it transformed the peaceful and pastoral crickets into the endlessly ravenous locusts, and it's the reason why his Battle Thralls are so loyal - they're just as twisted and evil as he is.

    Video Games 
  • The Final Fantasy series is an aversion. Black magic is just offensive magic, and users tend to be no more than any other characters. Black Mages, such as Rydia, Vivi, and Lulu tend to be nice people (Lulu is a little cold, but entirely wholesome).
    • Final Fantasy XIV plays this straighter than in other games. While Thaumaturgy is a benevolent art that traces its origins to funeral rites, true Black Magic is considered a forbidden art because of the role it played in the Sixth Umbral Calamity, the dangers to the caster, and the practice of many Black Mages of sacrificing innocents to fuel their spells. The Player Character gets a pass, though, considering they're The Hero.
  • Riku of Kingdom Hearts struggles with true Black Magic throughout the games. He argues that the ends justify the means and using Dark magic for good reasons is okay, and this has different results in the different games.
    • It can be convincingly argued, however, that overall it was far more trouble than it was worth and he was much better off avoiding it, especially as he would have gotten "Light Side" powers of comparable potency for much less grief.
      • Eventually he decides to use both, which changes his rather evil sword into a Keyblade. The Keyblade has both "evil" and "good" symbols, like a devilish wing and an angelic one. The balance between light and dark is called Twilight.
      • It's implied that "twilight" is closer to the dark side. At the end of Chain of Memories, DiZ asks Riku if he is taking the road to twilight and downfall, after Riku refuses to take the road to light or darkness. In reply, Riku states that he is taking the "Way to Dawn" (or road to dawn in the English translation, but it was supposed to be Way since it worked as a double meaning with taking the actual path as well as taking the Keyblade "Way to Dawn.") As of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], it seems to be worth it, as his resistance to Darkness enables him to save Sora and become a true Keyblade Master first.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Fel energy in Warcraft. It fuels the Burning Legion's destructive crusade, gives warlocks their power, and when mortals overuse it, they tend to mutate, becoming over-muscled and violent caricatures of their former selves who only crave more power. It also has a nasty effect on the environment, turning the landscape into a Garden of Evil or simply killing flora & fauna.
    • However, in World of Warcraft, the playable warlocks can be as good as they like, while every other raid boss's insanity is explained with a "he used fel magic and went insane".
      • Similarly, death knights spread diseases, summon undead, and similar necromancy-based techniques, but they aren't necessarily bad or evil. However, there are quite a few undead enemies, some of them even being death knights themselves. The player death knights regained their own free will after being betrayed by the Lich King.
      • It's notable that both the above classes, lore-wise, are hated by pretty much everybody they meet. NPC's generally don't mention it because their dialogue doesn't vary that much between different players, but to give a hint, a Gnome warlock will be sent to Stormwind to train because their leader was kicked out of Ironforge, and then if you ask a Stormwind guard where the warlock trainer is he replies that nobody like that would be allowed in the city, but that there has been some demonic activity around one tavern (where the trainers are hiding in the basement).
      • After the Wrath Gate incident, the Undercity's abominations are replaced with Kor'kron Overseers who if you ask for the location of the warlock trainers in the Undercity they will give the response "You'll find the warlocks in the Magic Quarter's main building, but I better not hear of any trouble that comes of this." Unless you are undead then you can get a message that is even more filled with malice"You have guts asking me about warlocks. Go to the Magic Quarter's outer ring and get out of my sight." It is makes a lot of sense though considering demons were very much involved with the reason why they're there watching over the undead.
    • Mages are also susceptible of corruption, but to a lesser extent than warlocks. The poster boy for this is Malygos, the patron dragon of magic. He is working on eradicating magic-users, because reckless use of the powers can result in megalomania, weakening of the space-time continuum and eventually an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. To stop this, he tends to use his powers recklessly.
      • Malygos gets a free pass there as he is the Aspect of Magic and thus immune to its corrupting effects due to having complete and total control over it, killing him would be extremely bad for all Arcane magic (and its users). His decision to kill everyone who uses Magic is an overreaction to the situation, since the last time he remembered mortals running around using magic Sargeras very nearly invaded the planet. Being immune to Arcane Magic corruption and being in charge of its usage, he's allowed decide how it's used since arguably he's the only creature on Azeroth who actually knows what he's doing.
      • Arcane is more of a mixed example, as more benevolent entities such as Elune and the Titans are also associated with it. Arcane is a force of order to contrast the chaotic fel, which is its opposite, Arcane energies being vulnerable to the fel.
  • In Soul Nomad & the World Eaters spellcraft that uses Crimson Tears (basically the condensed souls of particularly strong-souled individuals, created through their deaths) is considered Black Magic. Yet, because only Crimson Tears grant the power necessary to do things like fusing humans and gods together, resurrecting the dead and creating barriers capable of imprisoning the World Eaters, they are heavily used by most powerful magicians, including some of your allies. They have no side-effect apart from the ghastly material component.
  • Street Fighter has the Satsui No Hadou, or "Surge of Murderous Intent", a dark power which can be used for deadly moves like the Shun Goku Satsu. Akuma and Evil Ryu represent characters who have succumbed to the power of The Dark Side.
  • In Florensia, the Saint class can change to a Priest who focuses on "light" magic such as healing, resurrection, and defensive spells, or a Shaman who uses "dark" magic mostly consisting of offensive and weakening spells.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, black magic is pretty much synonymous with necromancy, and hence evil.
  • Dominions has death magic (about half of its spells fall under this) and blood magic (every single spell requires human sacrifice). One death magic global enchantment, Well of Misery, subverts the trope by concentrating a portion of the worlds negative energies into a single source. In essence, the caster gets an income of twenty death gems per turn while crop yields increase all over the world.
  • Blood Magic is considered Black Magic by the Circle of Magi in Dragon Age. Many non-magi (and even some mages) consider all magic to be Black Magic.
    • Worse than blood Magic is the Darkspawn Taint. While blood magic is dangerous, there are ways to use it safely and beneficially, if only in small amounts. The Taint does not roll that way, there is no "safe" amount to use it. It is inherently malicious and corruptive power that twists and destroys everything it touches. Any would-be user will eventually be consumed by it, leaving nothing but a sickly, monstrous ghoul if they're unlucky enough to survive that long.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Played with in general. Any type of magic being considered uncouth largely comes down to philosophical disagreement. While some people consider, for example, necromancy or Daedric rituals evil, it does not involve any direct corruption like black magic does in many other settings. In this setting, magic is neither good nor evil, it is a tool and depends on how you use it. More specifically:
    • Necromancy: Necromancy is in fact legal within certain reasonable limits under the Third Tamriellic Empire. It considers bodies and souls to be personal property, able to be willed away by the deceased. Those who legally possess these bodies or souls may do with them as they please. Additionally, it is tolerated within the Mages Guild, though not openly. Beyond the temporary summoning of undead or lesser Daedra which fall into the accepted school of Conjuration, the Guild typically does not openly teach true necromancy. In Morrowind, as part of the Armistice which joined Morrowind to the Empire as a Voluntary Vassal, the Tribunal Temple retains the authority to enforce their religious laws in some cases even if they conflict with the laws of the Empire. Given the significance of ancestor worship among the Dunmer (Dark Elves) people, necromancy is considered blasphemous, entirely illegal, and punishable by death. One Mages Guild necromancer will rant about the hypocrisy of the natives, who ban philosophical necromancy, yet summon their own ancestors' ghosts and various undead to guard tombs. The natives do judge necromancy by subject: working with your ancestors is fine, disturbing unrelated dead is a crime. This conflict was meticulously hand waived in one of the in-game books in Oblivion. It is a description of the lengthy debate by senior Mage's Guild members on banning necromancy, and when one of the defenders pointed this out it was decided that while some schools technically overlap, the practicing of necromancy itself required the user to go too far. During the actual Mages Guild questline, one has to deal with the Order of the Black Worm, led by the infamous/legendary necromancer and Lich, Mannimarco, whose numbers have swelled with outcast members of the Mages Guild who wish to still practice necromancy.
    • Daedric rituals and summoning: Daedric rituals and summoning can be considered this, depending on where you are in Tamriel and which Daedra you are trying to summon. Summoning the generally nastier Princes (like Mehrunes Dagon and Molag Bal) pretty much ensure that something bad is going to happen after the fact. Several of Skyrim's Daedric quests require Human Sacrifice, either directly or indirectly, including Molag Bal, Mehrunes Dagon, Boethiah, Mephala, Namira, Hermaeus Mora, and Vaermina. In exchange for completing the quest, you are rewarded with some of the most powerful legendary artifacts in the game.
    • All Enchanting magic requires the use of Soul Gems, which trap the souls of creatures and use them to power the enchantments in question. While most Soul Gems only trap the souls of animals and monsters, Black Soul Gems, which are frequently used by necromancers, can capture the souls of people, and use of them in enchantments is very much considered Black Magic. It doesn't help that the remnants of the poor souls that get trapped in these gems wind up in the Soul Cairn, which is not a nice place to wind up at all.
    • Using the powers of the divine may come closest to true black magic, given the Reality Warping effects that power usually has one the world. Examples include use of the Numidium, the Elder Scrolls themselves, or anyone tapping into the Heart of Lorkhan.
    • The Greybeards consider the Dragonrend Thu'um Shout to be this. It forces the immortal, Aedric dragons to briefly experience mortality, which leaves them so disoriented that they cannot fly or use Thu'um shouts for a time. Being under the effects of Dragonrend is the only thing which makes Alduin vulnerable.
  • City of Heroes has multiple "Dark" themed Powersets in Melee, Ranged, Defensive, and Support flavors. These powers typically involve sapping the lifeforce out of foes or doing other spooky things, but they're available to heroes as well as villains.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura:
    • Black Magic is one of the available schools. That's pain and necromancy with all the prejudice from the general population, although the school doesn't own the game's strongest destructive spell.
    • Worth noting is the fact that Dark Necromancy is not necessarily evil. The healing school is called white Necromancy.
  • Nearly all of the Functional Magic in BlazBlue qualifies, since it's powered by The Corruption left behind by the Eldritch Abomination that nearly destroyed the world a hundred years ago. While the spells known as Ars Magus can be used with relatively few risks, the strongest weapons powered by seithr are all Artifacts Of Doom that take their toll on their wielders and that's not even getting into the fact that each of those weapons was forged by sacrificing thousands of souls.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In the original Super Mario Bros. the Koopa are (apparently) highly skilled in Black Magic. While this is dropped in later games Magikoopa and Bowser retain their ability to use magic.
  • Wizards and Mages in Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen. What they use is basic fantasy magic, involving blasting targets with elemental spells (of any element except Light, including Physical). Nonetheless, this is one case where wizards are indeed evil, or at best Noble Demons: Wizards and Mages must have a low alignment to take the class (but not too low), and can recruit demonic units to their side. Furthermore, being a Mage is a prerequisite for becoming a Sorcerer, which is the game's term for a Necromancer.
    • Sorcerers and Liches also use Black Magic and upgraded versions of Mage attack magic, but they lose the ability to deal with demons. Instead, they raise undead to fight for them.
  • Dark Magic in Might and Magic is not necessarily entirely evil (the game that introduced it pointed out that it is how you use it that is most important in deciding the morality of it), and there doesn't seem to be real difference in source between it and Light Magic, but otherwise it fits—most users are evil sorts (but there doesn't seem to be any corrupting effect involved, more a correlation between being evil and being the sort attracted to using Dark Magic), the spells do things like drain the life-force of everyone in front of you, sacrifice a hireling for health, animating the dead, throwing a cloud of death at your enemy…
  • Dark Souls:
    • Normal sorcery is this, especially the higher level spells you get from Big Hat Logan. The game doesn't state what exactly is going on here, but sorcery was invented by an insane undead dragon and is closely related with the power of souls somehow.
    • The Artorias of the Abyss DLC goes a step further by having there be literal black magic, which is implicitly linked the the Dark Soul and is strongly linked to humanity.
    • The black magic introduced in Artorias of the Abyss is officially named Hexes in Dark Souls II and is split off from Sorcery. Hexes are powerful Darkness elemental spells that require investment in both Intelligence and Faith. The stronger ones actually consume souls.
    • Dark Souls III gets rid of Hexes as a separate magic practice, instead each of the three types of magic have "Dark" spells that can be learned, resulting in Dark Miracles, Dark Sorcery, and Dark Pyromancy. They are invariably among the most powerful spells, but finding someone to teach them to you can be difficult, as even among the Undead, there are few willing to channel the Dark so strongly.
  • Soul arts are derided as vile black magic by miracle practitioners in Demon's Souls. They believe that soul arts are a dangerous power that consumes souls and threatens the world. Practitioners of the soul arts think the miracle practitioners are hypocrites since they believe the miracles aren't any better. They are both right.
  • As a rule, pretty much any magic used by demon cultists and summoners in the Diablo universe will be some form of Black Magic. The Dark Coven led by Maghda from Diablo III, for example, uses human suffering through Cold-Blooded Torture and Human Sacrifice to their demon master Belial to fuel their magic, which ranges from summoning demons to even creating illusions.
  • Byakuren Hijiri of Touhou Project uses black magic. Noticeably her scroll, her chief offensive weapon, was formed from the environment of a toxic realm of demons. She's anything but evil, though.
  • The magician in Mystery of Mortlake Mansion, being the epitome of Evil Sorceror, wields this, but only to hinder your progress (or so it seems).
  • Oleander from Them's Fightin' Herds is a unicorn who uses and studies (forbidden) Dark Magic to try and save the world, and is the only one of her clan that believes it can be used for good just as much as Light Magic. It did have some consequences though as reading too much from The Unicornomicon turned her coat and mane darker, and doing so made the other unicorns shun her.
  • The Defiler in Nexus Clash runs on copious amounts of Black Magic, usually powered by Mana Drain of their hapless victims and focused on nastily debuffing whoever they're fighting at the moment. If promoted to a Dark Oppressor, the Defiler can debuff most things into being a few steps from death unless they make shaking off the black magic their top priority.
  • All magic in Ys I, II, and Origin is this because it is sourced from the Black Pearl. Whenever the Black Pearl and other artifacts made of black emelas are used as a source of magic by anyone other than beings made of white emelas like the Eldeen, demons are generated as a side effect.
  • Black magic is used to defeat some of the Seven Deadly Sins in Sacra Terra Angelic Night. You must feed Gluttony a cake poisoned with an Evil Wind potion (leading to a literal case of explosive gas), create a Magic Mirror that amplifies emotions to trap Wrath, and summon a succubus to entice Lust back to Hell.
  • Songs of Conquest: The creation of undead is antithetical to life itself, blighting the land and killing plants. It's stated to have been outlawed in Arleon for a long time — and with good reason.

  • In Sluggy Freelance Gwynn has a number of magical abilities. However, since she got those abilities from "The Book of E-Ville" and a subsequent possession by a world devouring demon, she doesn't use them that often since there's a lingering fear they'll bring the demon back again.
  • Black Magic in TwoKinds is far more powerful, able to bring the dead back and rip souls apart, however it's very hard to control, drains the life around the user, and tends to drive said user crazy (and casting a spell can kill the user) but nothing Laser-Guided Amnesia can't fix.
    • Its ability to resurrect is only theoretical. In practice, it takes much more power than can be successfully channeled by even the most competent magicians.
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • Necromancy: Animated corpses and human sacrifice. Though, it's not automatically evil, speaking to the dead for instance is okay.
    • Infernomancy: By making a contract with a demon lord, an Infernomancer gains powers that vary from demon to demon in addition to the standard Hellfire. An otherwise unnamed Infernomancer in the early chapters, prior to breaking free of his contract, bound to the Demon of Wounds, is immune to physical damage except for the self inflicted Eye Scream. An infernomancer bound to the Demon of Greed works with ambitions and desires; an infernomancer bound to the Demon of Treason works with seduction, corruption and betrayal. Large-scale infernomancy by those bound to the Demon of Poison creates results similar to nuclear fallout over a country, and would ultimately allow a Demon Lord to physically manifest in the world.
  • Black Mage in 8-Bit Theater. His Kamehame Hadouken is powered by love. Because it drains the world of love every time he uses it! This is to be taken literally, the divorce rate increases measurably every time he casts it.
  • In Homestuck, black magic is the specialty of Rose Lalonde. Played with later on in the story. As the Seer of Light, it's her job to see the most victorious path and use her visions to excel in combat, though her use of black magic only brings her harm.
  • Miranda Io, Lilith, and the Lilim in No Songs For The Dead all use black magic, and are partially infused with it, and it's source, The Primordial.
  • In Zokusho Comics it's best to watch out for half-price clerics. On the other hand Rotting Johnny can now switch his rotting body body parts for new ones.
  • In Zodiac, Ghoul seems to be a master in this discipline.
  • Eridan of Homestuck gets a Literal-Minded inversion in that he learns to weaponize "white science". Though it functions the same as black magic (in that it's bright white tendrils of death meant to destroy all hope), Eridan is a Flat-Earth Atheist who insists his newfound power simply must be a science. The inversion is justified due to the fact that Eridan and the others of his kind are beings that are more comfortable in the dark and are physically harmed by significant amount of light; thus their version of light magic is treated as more dangerous and weapon-like than typical depictions of white magic.
  • In Dragon Mango, black magic is nothing more than destructive magic. Given that it's useful in a fight, it's a perfectly accepted practice.
  • In Plume, the last king of Auru is said to have used this in his attempts to make the city flourish. Instead, it went to hell within eight years and the magic seems to have somehow made the king's worst fears come true.
  • Crystal Heroes plays with this. What is commonly referred to in-universe as black magic is the RPG kind, just meaning any sort of offensive magic, as opposed to being drawn from some evil source. However, it is generally still viewed as this trope purely because the story takes place in modern society, where people tend to disapprove of people being able to shoot out fireballs or shards of ice from their own body. Isaac, the primary black mage character, does not seem particularly evil, himself.
  • In Splitting Image, Black Magic spells are powerful facsimiles of Elemental Powers, that can turn the user's eyes red in time. The main character, Mortimer, can only use black magic after it replaced his normal magic entirely.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons seems to have its own version of the black arts, whose exact nature is only described briefly in The Rant and points towards the Demiurge Incubus being a user. It involves corrupting one's Atum with alchemical processes and using Vampiric Draining on others, amongst others. Notably, Deals With Devils are not seen as inherently black magic in the KSBD-universe: Devils are so common that devil-kissed are found practically everywhere, although most people with an ounce of sense realise that making deals with devils is generally unhealthy for you in the long term despite the short-term power boost.

    Web Original 
  • Most of the Castle Crew mages dabble in this, but Curls is the most invested and Krauzer is the most likely to murder someone with it.
  • Lich magic in Angel of Death requires one to devour human souls to use it.
  • Played with in Tales of MU. On the one hand, necromancy is considered a legitimate speciality for aspiring wizards as long as they follow the rules. On the other hand, the only necromancy student we ever meet is Steff, who hates most of the world and plans on going off to live with an ogre prince, where she won't have to follow any regulations and will also act as his official torturer. At one point, she mentions the possibility of having sex with Mackenzie's reanimated corpse should Mackenzie die prematurely. On the third gripping hand, in many other ways Steff is given a very sympathetic portrayal.
  • We see Hekate doing this in the Whateley Universe. She's got the whole thing down. She does a spell that summons a demon, requires the soul of one of the people in the circle, gains three boons from the demon, and ALSO forces the survivor in the circle to do three things Hekate will ask for in future. Whew.
    • What's worse? She gets it from Cthulhu and friends! If there's ONE thing worse then 'demons from hell'…
    • The Whateley Universe also features the Necromancer (who's just as bad as one might expect, has his own cosmic connections, and is also Carmilla's uncle), and the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom, basically a modern-day guild for villainous 'black' magicians.
  • Skippy's List has examples:
    3. Not allowed to threaten anyone with black magic.
    4. Not allowed to challenge anyone's disbelief of black magic by asking for hair.
  • Random Assault: Mitch's backstory is that he's well-versed in The Dark Arts, and may very well be a god of insanity and chaos. Fitting.
  • Dreamscape: Melinda is the master of deadly curses and evil forces. In "The Mystery of Melinda", she used them to nearly bring about The End of the World as We Know It.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, bloodbending is the darkest and most powerful of bending arts. It is also the only outlawed form of bending.
    • Katara learns to control another human being through "blood bending". The witch that taught her this used it almost exclusively for evil, but Katara was forced to use it for good (or neutral) in order to save Aang and Sokka. However, it could easily be argued that it did corrupt her, as later in the same season, she used blood bending on a Fire Nation officer that she mistook for her mother's killer.
    • By The Legend of Korra, bloodbending has been completely outlawed through the efforts of Katara. A crime boss named Yakone used it to terrorize Republic City, but soon has his bending removed by Aang. Yakone escapes to the Northern Water Tribe where he starts a family and teaches his sons, Amon (born Noatak) and Tarrlok, how to bloodbend. Amon eventually leaves his father while Tarrlok stays behind. Years later Amon figures out how to use his bloodbending to take away bending, while Tarrlok becomes the Northern Water Tribe representative in Republic City. Both use their bloodbending to subdue their opponents.
  • Raven of the title group of Teen Titans (2003) was taught 'dark magic' from her Unseen Pen Pal Malchior, and experienced no negative effects until she lost control of a spell and endangered a child. Then she freed Malchior from his can, and she saw that it was not so good, so for the rest of the show she didn't use nearly as many spells as she did in that episode. Not the blackest kind of Black Magic, as the negative consequenses were mostly a matter of application, and control always was a big issue for Raven, though her being half-demon could have been a factor.
  • In the third season premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle has to duplicate the spells used by King Sombra, the cruel and heartless once-ruler of the Crystal Empire, to find where he hid the Crystal Heart. Every time she does, her magical aura turns pitch-black and roiling instead of its regular color, and it takes her more effort than usual. That said, Twilight's teacher never gave her even a slight caution or warning about using it, and while that magic uses negative emotions, it has shown no sign of affecting morality, with it only having the special property of controlling certain crystals.
    • In the third season, the term dark magic is only used to refer to a trap laid by King Sombra, rather than his magic in general. The fourth season eventually uses it as a catch-all term for destructive magic.
  • One antagonist from The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show attempted to use black magic on Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy in an attempt to turn them into monkeys.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Dark Magic is used for Casting Ashadow, to form Tendrils of Darkness, and to absorb/copy other forms of magic.
  • Dark Magic in The Dragon Prince is drawn from the life force of magical creatures, and its discovery ended up getting the entire human race exiled from Xadia. It also corrupts the body with long term use, and at least one Elven mage refuses to even call it magic.

    Real Life 
  • Historically speaking, belief in black magic was a major cause of the European witch hunts of the late Medieval and early modern periods. Referred to as maleficia, the vast majority of witchcraft prosecutions throughout Europe during this time were related to allegations of magic being used to cause harm. The areas with the worst hunts—such as modern-day Germany and the remote regions of France and Switzerland—tended to believe strongly that witches gained their powers through a Deal with the Devil.
  • Belief in some form of Black Magic is nearly universal, and even a cursory examination of cultures will reveal endless variations. Just to give you a modern example: the United States in the '70s and '80s entered a period called the Satanic Panic, where Satanists were supposedly everywhere causing possessions, influencing politics, and working evil. Inspired by books like Michelle Remembers and movies like The Exorcist, police departments hunted down a non-existent threat. Belief in this sort of black magic would push for attempts to censor music, art, and games considered subversive. Psychics and religious leaders were on major TV networks and training police departments to hunt down non-existent Satanic cults full of occultists in what can only be called a modern witch hunt. More information at Satanic Panic.


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Alternative Title(s): Dark Magic


Peddlers Disguise

Queen Grimhilde has access to her won dungeon full of dark magic, one spell she uses to disguise herself as an old hag.

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