|Ministry of Magic Classification||
The Lethifold (also known as a Living Shroud) is a carnivorous and highly dangerous magical creature. Its appearance resembles that of a black cloak roughly half an inch thick, although it gets thicker if the Lethifold has recently digested a victim. It glides along the ground and other surfaces in an unknown form of locomotion, in search of its prey, humans. It attacks its prey at night, when the target is asleep, and suffocates and digests it in its bed.
The Lethifold is a very rare species, and can only be found in the tropics.
The first recorded survivor of a Lethifold attack was a wizard named Flavius Belby. Belby was on holiday in Papua New Guinea, and he managed to escape because he was not fully asleep at the time. He repelled the Lethifold with a Patronus Charm, something other people are unable to do because they are either asleep or Muggles (or both). It is impossible to determine the number of Lethifold victims, as they leave no clues of their presence.
Much easier to calculate is how many people have faked a Lethifold attack, for their own reasons. One known case of an individual attempting to fake a Lethifold attack was Janus Thickey, who disappeared in 1973, leaving behind a note reading "Oh no, a Lethifold's got me, I'm suffocating". Because of this and his empty bed, Thickey's wife and children began mourning him. However, he was soon discovered living five miles away with the landlady of the Green Dragon.
"Lethifold" comes from two roots: lethum, variation of letum, which is Latin for "death", "annihilation", "ruin", and fold, which possibly pertains to the creature's cloak-like appearance. Lethi- is also similar to Levi-, which is reminiscent of levitation (an ability of the Lethifold) and levis, a Latin adjective, meaning "light" (a quality that Lethifold also possess). It is possible that the Ancient Greek lethe, the name of one of the rivers of Hades and meaning "forgetfulness", is also a point of origin, since mortals touched by its waters forgot their lives, ceased to struggle, and (generally) drowned.
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