"First, and understand this, Harry, 'coz it's very important... Not all wizards are good. Some of them go bad. And a few years ago, there was one wizard who went as bad as you can go."
Rubeus Hagrid to Harry Potter[src]

A Dark Wizard or Witch is any magical person who primarily studies and/or practises the Dark Arts, otherwise known as Dark Magic. They often retrieve or create some dark objects like Horcruxes, or partake in the illegal breeding of Dark creatures.

In recent history, two dark wizards of particular notoriety were Gellert Grindelwald and Lord Voldemort. Grindelwald sought the Deathly Hallows to become the master of death and to establish a global wizarding order that would dominate muggles all for "the greater good", while Voldemort sought to gain unmatched power, immortality and to impose pure-blood supremacy on the wizarding world.


Some of the magic Dark wizards have been known to practise includes use of the three Unforgivable Curses, creating or brewing dark potions, putting to use/using dark objects, animating Inferi[1], and attracting all kinds of Dark creatures to make huge armies and command them to attack their enemies[2]. Noted Dark wizards and witches include Herpo the Foul, Raczidian, Morgan le Fay, Emeric the Evil, Salazar Slytherin, Merwyn the Malicious, Ekrizdis, Yardley Platt, Barnabas Deverill, Loxias, Gellert Grindelwald, and Lord Voldemort, as well as the latter's followers, known as Death Eaters. According to Rita Skeeter, in a list of Most Dangerous Dark Wizards of All Time, Grindelwald would miss out on the top spot only because Voldemort arrived, a generation later, to take his crown.

Types of wizards

Others who might be considered Dark wizards are the owners and customers of shops such as Borgin and Burkes, and arguably students of Durmstrang Institute, as the curriculum there teaches much of the Dark Arts[3]. Many Dark wizards and witches appear to believe in the importance of blood purity and to hate Muggles, though there is not necessarily a connection.

In Great Britain, many well-known Dark wizards and witches came out of Slytherin house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, though this is not universal. For example, Peter Pettigrew was in Gryffindor, yet he betrayed the Order of the Phoenix and joined Voldemort[4]; Quirinus Quirrell, a Ravenclaw also allied himself with the Dark Lord; and (albeit only in an alternate timeline) Cedric Diggory from Hufflepuff would become a Death Eater[5], whereas Slytherins such as Horace Slughorn, Regulus Black, Andromeda Tonks and later Severus Snape opposed the Death Eaters.

Known Dark Wizards and Witches

Dark Wizards and Witches

Fictional Dark Wizards and Witches

Possible Dark Wizards and Witches

Behind the scenes

  • In the Harry Potter films, most Dark Wizards appear to Apparate differently than other wizards. Dark Wizards Disapparate by turning into a whirlwind of black smoke and flying into the air, and then spiralling back down to the desired spot. Meanwhile, other wizards can just pop and disappear, or similarly can disappear in a whirlwind of white smoke. The ability to conjure this whirlwind may reflect an advanced wizard or witch.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and its sequel LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, only Dark Wizards can use magic on items that are black and glitter with red sparks, symbolising Dark Magic.


See also

Notes and references