- "I entered a leafy glade, only to be confronted by a pair of prowling Gytrashes. These large dog-like spirits barred my way and so, whipping out my trusty wand, I cast Lumos to illuminate its tip, whereupon the Gytrashes retreated from the light and I was free to pass through the forest unmolested."
- —Gilderoy Lockhart[src]
The Gytrash is a large, vicious, nocturnal white dog, possibly an animal ghost. This very fast brute runs wild throughout woodlands, such as the Forbidden Forest of Scotland and the New Forest in England. It has a very strong sense of smell.
Gytrashes will usually run in packs of two to six members, and will co-operate in the hunting of larger prey such as humans. They blend into the darkness until they are mere feet away from their prey, at which point their very dim silvery glow can be made visible. They will lunge very quickly and bite the prey, and then retreat before making another attack; two or three bites can prove fatal to a twelve-year old.
Luckily, the Gytrash is very sensitive to light and a simple Wand-Lighting Charm, a spell taught in the first year of most magical schools, can be used to temporarily hold the Gytrash at bay; holding the wandlight close enough will cause the Gytrash to disappear entirely.
At least four Gytrashes reside on the Hogwarts grounds; two in the Forbidden Forest and two near Hagrid's Hut.
Behind the scenes
- The Gytrash is a creature in English folklore, and is described as a black dog, that also sometimes took the form of a spectral mule. It is similar, and possibly related, to the Grim.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Gamecube/Xbox/PS2 Version only) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (GBA, GBC, and Gamecube/Xbox/PS2 versions only) (Appears on a Bestiary)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Folio Bruti (GBA version only)) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)