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Nightmare Fuel / Harry Potter

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

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

Spoilers abound. You have been warned.

Franchise entries with their own pages

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

  • "The Warlock's Hairy Heart". A wizard decides he's above the weakness of love and performs some sort of Dark magic to prevent him from ever loving anyone. When he hears his servants laughing at him for being single, he tries to woo a woman to be his Trophy Wife, but she refuses to marry him unless he shows her that he has a heart. During a feast at his castle, he takes her down to the dungeon to show her where he keeps his ACTUAL, STILL BEATING HEART encased in a crystal casket—which, thanks to lack of love, is now twisted and hairy beyond recognition. The witch understandably freaks out and begs him to put the heart back in, so he cuts open his chest and does so, and she then embraces him. Time for a Happy Ending with the wizard saved by The Power of Love, right? Wrong. The warlock's heart is so unused to feeling love that it has deteriorated to an animalistic state, driving the wizard to find a true heart. He does this by cutting out the witch's heart and trying to magic out his own. The dinner guests then find him downstairs, one heart in each hand, with him licking and stroking the witch's heart. When he can't magically remove his own hairy heart from his chest, he vows never to be mastered by his own heart, hacks it out with a knife, and bleeds to death. In the liner notes, Dumbledore even notes that many parents won't tell it to their children "until they're of an age where they won't have nightmares."
    • Beatrix Bloxam, who rewrote a sanitized version of Beedle's stories called The Toadstool Tales, remembers accidentally overhearing the story as a child and being so traumatized that she started sleepwalking and didn't leave her bed for a week.

Pottermore stories

  • From the story of the founding of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
    • The protagonist Isolt comes across a family of wizards that was being attacked by a hidebehind, a monster that preys on human-like creatures. While people-preying monsters aren't anything to bat an eye at as a dangerous encounter in the Potterverse, the circumstance of the attack can be quite chilling. The main reason it got the jump on them is that they were on a trip and the father mistook it for a boggart. Imagine the scenario: You and your family want to go somewhere new and fun, so you go to a different continent for your trip. While there, you encounter something that is scary at worst, and is easily gotten rid of. You try what you think will work on a creature you think you have identified, but it doesn't work. The creature isn't what you thought it was, and it attacks. Isolt and William arrive too late to save the parents, who are about to be disembowelled by the monster near their severely injured children, and if it wasn't for Isolt and William, their kids wouldn't have survived the encounter. How many more wizard families, or even muggle families, have gone on vacations to other countries and met similar fates due to a simple mis-identification of a creature they thought was mostly harmless?
    • When Chadwick Boot sees the silhouette of his evil step-aunt Gormlaith Gaunt sneaking towards his family's home at night after waking up from the warning sound his wand made.
      "Chadwick's dreams had been haunted by the figure of an old witch creeping through the trees towards Ilvermorny. Now he saw his nightmare made true."
  • Ekrizdis was an insane Dark Wizard and the creator of the island and fortress that would later become Azkaban Prison. He would lure Muggle sailors there and perform horrific Dark magic experiments on them and/or torture and kill them just for fun. When the Ministry finally found the place (the charms concealing it lifted at some point after his death), they entered the fortress and found, among the horrors there, Dementors.
    • Given no In-Universe origin has been given yet for the Dementors' existence and no one apparently knows it either, it is possible that the Dementors were created by Ekrizdis himself, perhaps intentionally or they were born as a side-effect of the Dark magic (said to be of the worst kinds) in use there, all the despair and misery his victims endured there or a combination of both. If true, this makes Ekrizdis responsible for the creation of dark creatures (considered among the foulest, if not THE foulest, creatures in the Wizarding World and resemble classic depictions of The Grim Reaper to boot) who feed on misery and despair and if given the chance, can and will consume life.note 
    • Oh, and according to the Ministry officials who found them there, the Dementors were apparently the least frightening thing in the fortress. Which begs the question: What the hell could be scarier than the aforementioned despair-feeding, soul-consuming monstrosities? Perhaps it's best we don't know.

Video games

  • In the soundtrack is a theme called "Dark Hogwarts" which makes certain scenes really unnerving. Also themes called "Quirrell Stage 1-3" are pretty intense and used in the final battle.
  • In the PC version of Philosopher's Stone, Quirrell grabs his head and literally rotates it 180 degrees on his neck so Voldemort can see Harry face-to-face, while making a nasty gurgle.
  • Filch in general. It doesn't help that he can and will chase you in the Forbidden section of the library. Prefects in the PlayStation version count as well, and they can use Locomortor Mortis to tie you in place.
  • When you have finished PS1 Philosopher's Stone, you can have a final look of your wizard card collection. When you exit, the screen goes dark and you hear a creepy, evil laugh which heavily implies that Voldemort will return.
  • Aragog the Acrumantula in the Chamber of Secrets-games is a nightmare even if you don't have arachnophobia. Doesn't help that, unlike in the book and movie, he is a boss fight.
  • In a game full of chests to be unlocked and Beans and Cards to be collected, Peeves finds himself right at home as a Chest Monster to stop quite a few collectors dead in their tracks. His very first appearance is a Jump Scare. And there's no way of knowing which chests he'll jump out of…
  • From Wonderbook: Book of Spells: Raczidian's fate: According to legend, this Dark Wizard tried to conjure a Patronus. For the first time in history, it was revealed what happens when a competent but unworthy wizard or witch attempts the spell: Maggots shot out of Raczidian's wand and quickly devoured him as they engulfed his body. Yikes! However, this may not be true as Dolores Umbridge, a witch who many would consider unworthy or not pure enough of heart, was able to conjure a Patronus without consequence.

Alternative Title(s): The Tales Of Beedle The Bard