Death potion was a black potion contained within the Death Cell at the Magical Congress of the United States of America. It was used to carry out executions in the 1920s, especially in 1926 with the failed death sentence of Porpentina Goldstein.

Prisoners were taken into the Death Cell and had their memories extracted by an executioner, which were subsequently placed into the potion, which "replays" memories similar to a pensieve. During this process, the prisoner would have become gleefully mesmerised and susceptible to suggestion, before being strapped into a chair hovering above the potion and lowered into it. When the Chair nears the surface, the prisoner is encased in a sphere and then would be ignited by the potion and be killed.


In 1926, Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein were sentenced to be executed in this fashion by Gellert Grindelwald (disguised as Percival Graves) for violating the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. Tina was nearly swallowed by the potion but was saved thanks to Newt and his Swooping Evil.[1]


Behind the scenes

  • The potion shares similarities with the Draught of Living Death as it was portrayed in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince due to both being able to disintegrate objects on contact, and in the later instance, Horace Slughorn stated that Harry Potter's version of it was "So perfect, I dare say that one drop would kill us all.", implying that the film version of it was capable of killing or that he was exaggerating his statement.
  • The potion is also able to burn wands.[2]
    • Burning was once a common method to execute witches.
  • It is unknown why this method is used as opposed to a Killing Curse as it would be more efficient than brewing a potion. Perhaps Unforgivable Curses are not widely practised in the United States of America or because use of a Killing Curse can damage the spell caster's soul.
  • The use of a chair in Executions may be based on the No Maj United States of America execution methods of Electrocution, Gas chambers and Firing squads. Perhaps this was meant on the author's part to be a cross between Gas chamber and Electrocution.
  • The recipe for this potion would presumably be highly classifed.

Notes and references