"The contents of Harry’s potion vanished; he was left standing foolishly beside an empty cauldron."
Professor Snape vanishes Harry Potter's Draught of Peace[src]

The Vanishing Spell[1] (Evanesco[2]) is a Transfiguration spell used to vanish both animate and inanimate objects "into non-being, which is to say, everything".


In 1992 when Colin Creevey was taking his picture and asking him to sign it, Harry wished he knew a good Vanishing Spell to escape the embarrassment. In 1993 Neville used this spell by mistake on one of the legs of his desk when McGonagall announced that, in spite of the attacks on students and the suspension of Albus Dumbledore and Hagrid, students would still be given their end of year exams. Fifth years at Hogwarts had to practise the Vanishing spell for some of their first piece of Transfiguration homework that year, they started with snails and then working their way up to mice.


The Vanishing Spell is one of the most complicated spells taught at Ordinary Wizarding Level[3].

It becomes more difficult with the complexity of the animal to be vanished; for instance, a snail, as an invertebrate, is rather simple, whereas the mouse, as a mammal, presents a great challenge[1]. The greatest challenge, however, is the vanishment of a kitten, which Hermione Granger managed to do by mid-year[4].

Minerva McGonagall stated in May of 1998 that Vanished objects go "into non-being, which is to say, everything".[5]

Certain objects can be enchanted to resist Vanishing Spells, such as fireworks. For example, Fred and George Weasley charmed their fireworks so that if anyone attempted to Vanish them, not only would they remain but would multiply by ten each time.


Professor Minerva McGonagall introduced this spell in her very first Transfiguration class with the fifth year students, giving them a lecture and then setting them on vanishing snails[3].

When none of the students except Hermione Granger could perform the spell properly, Professor McGonagall told the students to practise the spell overnight, for a fresh start the next day[3].

In their second lesson, the students were given questions on the Vanishing Spell for homework[3]. On the 6th, however, the students were given a break from this spell and instead were given a long and difficult essay on the Inanimatus Conjurus Spell[6].

Later on in the year, Professor McGonagall returned the class to Vanishing Spells, this time working to make mice disappear[1]. However, in the week leading up to the Gryffindor-Slytherin match, she abstained from giving them homework so that the Gryffindor Quidditch team could practise[7].

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Bill Weasley August 1995 Bill used this spell to make a stack of scrolls disappear while cleaning up after a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix during Harry's first night at number twelve, Grimmauld Place.
Severus Snape 1995 Snape used this spell to get rid of Harry's less-than-perfect first attempt at a Draught of Peace.
Harry Potter June 1996 Harry vanished the whole of an iguana during his practical Transfiguration O.W.L.
Fifth years One task on the practical Transfiguration O.W.L. was Vanishment.
Newt Scamander December 1926 Newt vanished the glass window of the jewelry shop in which his Niffler was hiding.

Known practitioners


The incantation "Evanesco" is a Latin word meaning "vanish" or "disappear"[11].

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head)
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot)
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 19 (The Lion and the Serpent)
  8. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
  11. Evanesco on Google Translate
  12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
  13. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  14. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot"

Transfiguration (class)
Branches of Transfiguration
Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration
Known practitioners
Emeric Switch · Circe · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell
Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts
Change of hair colour and style (Crinus Muto) · Hardening Charm (Duro) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Reparifarge · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Switching Spell · Vanishing Spell
Transforming Spells
Animal to Water Goblet (Vera Verto) · Beetle Buttons · Cat to Cauldron (Felifors) · Chair to cat · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Match to needle · Meddling Man to Monkey · Mice to Snuffboxes · Owl to Opera Glasses (Strigiforma) · Porcupine to Pin Cushion (Hystrifors) · Small Child to Rat · Small Object to Dragon (Draconifors) · Snail to Teapot · Target to Bird (Avifors) · Target to Rabit (Lapifors) · Teacup to Rat · Teapot to tortoise · White Rabbits to Slippers