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Nightmare Fuel / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

From The Book

  • The Lethifold sneaks up on unsuspecting victims and smothers them in their sleep. And digests them on the spot and leaves no evidence of their demise. They also have a deceptive cunning to boot which, coupled with the fact that they can blend in with a fairly large range of things, means that they could be anywhere. And they can only be driven off by a Patronus, which is extremely difficult to summon. And even that might not help, because it habitually attacks the sleeping so it can smother and eat a victim before they could reach their wand. The footnote even points out that it's nigh-impossible to count just how many people were eaten by Lethifolds, with an easier number being people who fake Lethifold attacks for one reason or another. Hell, Lethifolds could be a Beethoven Was an Alien Spy explanation for real life disappearances from tropical locations that left no traces. And considering the habitat, imagine how many of these disappearances would have been a dark, tragic turn to a nice vacation. Still feel like taking that trip to Cuba?
  • The Pogrebin, a Russian demon, will follow you, staying in your shadow. If you don't notice it doing this for a few hours, you'll start to get a sense of despair, and when it gets too much and you fall on your knees "to weep at the pointlessness of it all", it'll eat you. Luckily, it can be chased away by a wide variety of spells and even kicking, but its effects are still too similar to the Dementors (who, reading this book, sound like a lovechild of the Lethifold and the Pogrebin).
  • The Nundu, which resembles a leopard, is said to be utterly silent, gigantic, and able to wipe out entire villages just by breathing due to the diseases on its breath; it's so dangerous that the only successful kills have come from one hundred wizards working in concert. For comparison, that's ten times as many wizards as it takes to subdue the average dragon.
  • Ashwinder eggs can burn down a building in minutes, and Ashwinders are only born when a magical fire is allowed to burn unsupervised for too long. So it's possible that, if you were a wizard and careless with fire, you wouldn't know you had Ashwinder eggs in the building until your house was in flames.
  • Bundimun ooze a substance that can rot away at your house.
  • Puffskeins are harmless balls covered in soft fur and beloved children's pets, but Ron mentions Fred and George used his for Bludgers - beating it to death with their reinforced Beaters' bats.
  • The Manticore, a Shout-Out to classical Greek Mythology. It has a man's head, a lion's body, and a scorpion's tail, and its sting causes instant death. If that wasn't enough, its skin is nigh-invulnerable to magic. Not to mention it can speak intelligently and croons while it eats its prey. And Hagrid possibly crossbred one.note 
  • The entry of the Chimera, another Shout-Out to the same, points out it has only been defeated once and even then the poor wizard who did it fell from his flying horse to his death.
  • Then there's the Quintapeds. According to legend, they were once a family of wizards before they were transformed into monsters by a rival wizard family, who were in turn eaten by the beasts they created. Whether or not the legend is true, these carnivorous five-legged human-eating beasts rate five Xs, and are so dangerous the island they live on has been marked completely hazardous and enchanted so it can't be placed on maps. God help us all if those things are capable of breeding.
  • The Hidebehind specifically has it in for humans, because it was born of an abused and trafficked Demiguise and a stowaway Ghoul.
  • Small potatoes compared to the others, but the Fwooper is a small, colorful bird whose song, though pleasant at first, will slowly drive its listener to insanity. It's also never explained how or why the song does this. Fortunately, this can be avoided by placing a Silencing Charm on the bird, though the charm wears off after a while, requiring monthly reinforcement.

From The Film

  • The film opens with news of Gellert Grindelwald's terrorist attacks in Europe, with the modern parallels being very clear.
  • Graves sentences Newt and Tina to death. The means of execution is a pool of silvery magical dissolvent. To make sure the convicted won't panic or fight back as they are plunged in it on a magically hovering seat, the hangwoman takes a happy part of their memories and drops it in the pool, which then works exactly like a pensieve to keep them hypnotized. The dissolvent itself can rise to surround and engulf the condemned at some point.
    • What makes it worse are the attendants who are about to deliver a horrible slow fate to their prisoners yet seem genuinely cheerful about it. It's been theorized that Graves/Grindelwald had them under the Imperius Curse, which is little better.
    • If Tina realistically sobbing and hyperventilating knowing she's about to die doesn't freak you out, the way that she suddenly turns calm and smiley as the hangwoman takes her memory will. She almost looks like a child — not helped by the fact that the hangwoman talks to her like she is one.
    • Also, note that there's seating installed above the preparation area; these kind of executions usually have spectators. This seems reminiscent of "dunking" or ordeal by water associated with the 16th and 17th century witchhunts where an accused witch was tied to a chair and if she sank was considered innocent but they drowned, while floating indicated witchcraft.
      • The seating is for witnesses, for proof that the deed was done; this still occurs (in America, at least). It is not for gawkers—okay, well, it's not intended for gawkers.
    • Poor Newt has to watch Tina be enchanted and sent smiling to her doom, knowing full-well he's going to be next. Thank God Pickett was still in Newt's pocket!
  • Obscurials. Young wizards and witches, no more than ten years old, who try to repress their magic. Deprived of a healthy outlet and without any teaching to control it, their magic twists and warps into its own parasitic entity known as an Obscurus. They're invisible, incorporeal, and much more powerful than any child could hope to control, spending most of their time dormant and exploding outward if their host becomes too upset. These outbursts kill, maim, and destroy anything the Obscurus encounters, growing in power as its child host does. Eventually, as the child's power develops to the point where they would normally become capable of standard magic, the Obscurus becomes too strong and kills its host.
    • The fact that the last official Obscurial was centuries ago, but Newt found one only a few months prior. How many others have slipped through over the years unnoticed? How many children lived in fear of themselves, hurting others and eventually dying as their parasite grew, for short painful years without a single wizard to even try to help them?
    • Don't forget: Magical children of British Muggles get their Hogwarts acceptance letters at age eleven. By that time, any who suppress their magic intensely enough to become an Obscurial will have already died of it.
      • Happily and thankfully averted in Britain; as soon as a child with magic in Britain is born, their name is immediately written down by a book in Hogwarts, so they can have an eye kept on them and the situation can be averted.
      • Though given what Harry went through despite Dumbledore supposedly keeping an eye on him, I would bet there were some kids who didn't fare as well. Though as noted below, the Muggle-borns wouldn't know they were doing magic, so this would only apply to, say a half-blood who had a magic-hating parent.
    • Even worse, who is perhaps the first wizard you think of who suffered lots of abuse during childhood and thus could have become an Obscurial? That's right, Harry Potter himself. According to Word of God, the sole reason he didn't was that he wasn't told that he was a wizard until later on, meaning that he didn't learn to associate the abuse with his magic. So basically, The Hero was that close to being consumed by a rampaging demon growing from within himself, but wasn't because he was abused in just the right way.
    • The transformation an Obscurial undergoes to unleash the Obscurus is made as unnatural and painful-looking as it could be, with writhing/seizing and a vague liquid effect before the force bursts out.
      • While Harry may not have been an Obscurial, Arianna Dumbledore was, after she was attacked by the Muggle boys.
    • The death of Henry Shaw, Jr. is particularly horrifying. Mid-speech, the lights in the hall go out, the room is torn apart, and Shaw is lifted and slammed down by the invisible Obscurus, before his campaign banner is sliced to pieces. At the end, the camera shows his body, which gives us a brief view of his dented head.
  • Credence. Years of forced inner repression of magic and physical abuse from his adoptive mother made him grow to become the most powerful Obscurial Newt has ever seen. The effects of his attacks on no-majs are horrifying.
  • Gellert Grindelwald disguised as Percival Graves already is quite a chilling character in his own right. He's a soft-spoken but clearly extremely powerful wizard with no qualms about extreme measures to carry out his goals, such as manipulating Credence in a manner disturbingly reminiscent of a sexual predator, talking about the potential "uses" for an Obscurus, or sentencing Newt and Tina to a summary execution without trial.
    • Grindelwald's power and abilities without the Elder Wand and holding back alone is already formidably dangerous, reminding us exactly why he was considered by Dumbledore himself to be very nearly on par with him. Grindelwald uses powerful magic with just his bare hands and no incantations at this point, can easily overpower Tina and Newt while clearly being bored and irritated that they're both getting in his way and also being unable to pose any actual threat to him, and when he decides to reveal more of what he is capable of, while clearly still not going all-out, he takes on and overwhelms an entire squadron of Aurors rapidly, and it's only due to Newt's surprise attack that he is defeated at all.
      • After having subjected Newt to such a one-sided battle it's more of a Hopeless Boss Fight, with Newt barely able to block Graves spells and apparently only stuck defending without being able to even launch a single attack at all, Graves attempts to kill him by electrocuting him. The electrocution is neither quick nor painless, leaving Newt writhing in pain and struggling to just put up enough of a magical shield to protect himself as Graves refuses to let up.
      • We also have to remember once more that Deathly Hallows has been pointing us to the possibility that Voldemort being deemed more dangerous was because he was much more evil than Grindelwald, especially with Dumbledore admitting that in their primes, he was only ever a shade more skillful than Grindelwald and in terms of power with the Elder Wand Grindelwald rivaled him. Now that Grindelwald has arrived to demonstrate his power, from what we've already seen, even without the Elder Wand, he's already able to use magic and duel at a level above that of Voldemort, taking down an entire squad of Aurors while Voldemort only ever took on 3 accomplished wizards and witches simultaneously. When Grindelwald eventually escapes, life will get a lot harder for a lot of people.
    • As ridiculous as it may look, there's something distinctly off-putting about Grindelwald's pale, color-less appearance and having one violet and one black eye.
    • Grindelwald's plot: To manipulate an Obscurial into becoming a weapon for him. Had he succeeded, the previous generation's Voldemort would have had his own Eldritch Abomination to loose on his enemies or even just hapless bystanders caught in the crossfire. And at the end of the second movie, this is exactly what happens!
      • Which brings us to the last bit of horrifying information: Tom Marvolo Riddle/Lord Voldemort is not yet here in the world. The wizards and witches all likely think stopping Grindelwald will be it. They have no idea what's coming.
  • The probable fate of the real Percival Graves is pretty horrifying to think of. Either he was killed by Grindelwald anything up to a year before the movie takes place, or he's still locked up somewhere, slowly dying of hunger and dehydration as he comes to the realization that he has outlived his usefulness. It's possible that a thorough search might find him, depending on where Grindelwald is operating out of in New York, but whether that will be before he's starved to death, and what sort of mental state he'll be in if he's ever found, is anyone's guess.
    • Unless there was never a real Percival Graves and Grindelwald was always secretly inside the magic government of the entire United States.
      • Honestly, that's kind of the worst thing. We have no idea what is happening regarding the real Percival Graves. Is he alive and captured? Alive and just away somewhere obscure on some wild goose chase? Non existent? A willing follower of Grindewald that let him take over his identity? Until the other movies comes out, we can only guess.
      • Highly unlikely. His ancestor Gondulphus Graves was one of the first twelve Aurors of MACUSA, and there's no way Grindelwald was infiltrating MACUSA for enough years to work his way up through an entire career and become Head Auror. It was Polyjuice Potion, which requires there be an original.
      • According to J. K. Rowling, no, it wasn't. It was a powerful transfiguration spell, hence why Revelio worked on him; he could have been infiltrating MACUSA for decades, since the early 1900s.
      • He could have been, yes. But he probably couldn't do that while orchestrating the reign of terror in Europe that is mentioned at the start of the film, at least, not without someone noticing that Graves had gone missing for weeks or months at a time.
  • Perfect camouflage? Check. Lightning-fast venomous strike? Check. Capable of incapacitating one of the most powerful wizards on the planet in one move? Check. Eats its prey's living brains? Check. The Swooping Evil would be terrifying if it weren't on Newt's side.