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"The hag is a child-eating creature of human appearance, though likely to have more warts than the average witch."
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection[src]

A hag is a savage being that looks like an ugly, old witch but has more warts.[4] They possess rudimentary magic, similar to that of a troll.[5] Little is known of them, though it is thought that they are what Muggles think are witches and are therefore popular in Muggle literature.

History

In the 14th century, hags were "gliding about in search of children to eat" at Burdock Muldoon's failed meeting of the Wizards' Council welcoming any two-legged Creatures as beings.[6]

Quirinus Quirrell supposedly had a "nasty bit o' trouble" with a hag sometime in 1991 during his Grand Tour.[7]

Sometime in or before 1992, Gilderoy Lockhart published a book called Holidays with Hags; whether the book was one of Lockhart's fictions, in which case it would be useless, or one of the stories he stole from other, memory-charmed wizards, is unknown.[8]

In 1993, Harry Potter thought he saw a hag ordering a plate of raw liver from behind a thick balaclava.[9]

A hag sent in "A Word in Support of Hags" to the Daily Prophet, offering babysitting services.[10]

Ministry classification

The Ministry of Magic classifies hags as beings, a fact that causes centaurs and merpeople to desire the classification of beast.[3]

Known hags

Habitats

Bethany Harrison's painting

Hags are what Muggles would recognise as "fairy tale witches": the above is Muggle child Bethany Harrison's impression of witch Winifred Whittle

Hags can occasionally be encountered in Diagon and Knockturn Alleys, as well as Hogsmeade[9]; however, some hags like Annis Black live in caves.[2]

Diet

Hags are said to eat children[2] and raw livers,[9] although it is possible that those are false descriptions to defame them.

Behind the scenes

  • The hag is a creature from English folklore. Originally used a way to explain the then-unknown condition of sleep paralysis, the "Old Hag" was a spirit that sat on a person's chest while they slept and gave them nightmares. The concept later evolved to be used for any malevolent and ugly old woman.
  • According to W.O.M.B.A.T, hags might only have four toes on each foot.[5]
  • Whether any male hags exist is unknown.

Appearances

Wiki
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Notes and references