All The Darkest Spells From Harry Potter, Ranked

Featured Video

The magical and colorful world of Harry Potter is synonymous with childhood for millions of people across the world. Created by J.K. Rowling, the novels were adapted for the big screen with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson portraying the golden trio. The unprecedented success of the first movie made the franchise a global phenomenon with seven more movies being released in the subsequent years. Starting off with a relatively lighter tone, the later movies quickly delved into the darker themes of loss, sadness, and death. And with each movie, fans were also introduced to much darker spells, hexes, and curses. Here are all the darkest spells from Harry Potter, ranked in order.


Related: 30 Deleted Scenes From Harry Potter Movies That Fans Wish Hadn’t Been Removed


1. Cruciatus Curse

Harry Potter

Incantation: Crucio

One of the three Unforgivable Curses, the Cruciatus Curse became widely notorious during the First Wizarding War as Lord Voldemort and his followers used it ruthlessly against the members of the Order of the Phoenix and even innocent muggles. The curse gained its prominence when Bellatrix Lestrange drove the Longbottoms insane by repeatedly using it during interrogations. When used, the victim feels the pain of being stabbed by a hundred knives at once.


2. The Killing Curse

Harry Potter

Incantation: Avada Kedavra 

The ultimate killing curse, Avada Kedavra is a dazzling green burst of Unforgivable Curse that causes instant death. Mostly used by Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Killing Curse backfired heavily when the Dark Lord tried to kill the infant Harry.


3. The Imperius Curse

Related: Brilliant Small Details That You 100% Missed In The Harry Potter Movies

Incantation: Imperio


The final Unforgivable Curse, the Imperius Curse enables the user the gain complete control over his/her victim for a limited time. During the First Wizarding War, many people had claimed that they were under the cast of the Imperius Curse, which forced them to commit many horrific crimes for the Dark Lord. Nonetheless, gaining absolute control over someone’s mind is a terrible power to possess.

4. Sectumsempra

Harry Potter

Related: Harry Potter: 5 Times Draco Malfoy Proved He Isn’t A Villain (& 5 Times He Was A Hero)


Created by Severus Snape, this dark spell was discovered by Harry Potter in his sixth year at Hogwarts. Despite having specific instructions to only be used on enemies, Harry lost his control and used the spell on Draco Malfoy. As a result, deep gashes appeared on Draco’s face and chest, leading to extreme blood loss. Fortunately, Snape arrived in time to reverse the effects and save Draco.

5. The Transmogrifian Torture

Related: Fantastic Beasts 3: Here’s How Hagrid Joins Harry Potter Prequel Series


Incantation: Transmogrify

A simple transforming spell, the Transmogrification spell can deform the body of the user’s opponent. From growing a pair of wings to a tail, this is a fairly simple spell with rather devastating effects.

6. Maledictus Curse


First appeared in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Maledictus Curse is a blood curse that passes over to the next generation. Only applicable to females, this curse can permanently change a human to an animal. Voldemort’s loyal pet and Horcrux, Nagini, is a result of the Maledictus Curse.

7. Horcrux

Considered to be one of the vilest dark magic to exist, creating a Horcrux is extremely complex magic that divides one’s soul into fragments and binds them to anything the user wishes. As a result, the soul stays attached even after the body is destroyed. But to create a Horcrux, the wizard/witch has to commit the unforgivable act of murder.


8. Fiendfyre

An extremely powerful curse capable of summoning a raging inferno, the Fiendfyre curse is one of the few weapons to destroy a Horcrux. Unless cast by an accomplished user, the Fiendfyre can quickly engulf the user as the flames gain some sort of sentience to destroy anything in their path. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Crabbe used the spell which ultimately led to his death and the destruction of a Horcrux.

9. The Memory Charm


Incantation: Obliviate

Not an extremely advanced charm, the Obliviate Charm erases the victim’s memories. Used by the Ministry of Magic whenever any muggle came across a magical being or an enchanted artifact, the Memory Charm was mostly used by Gilderoy Lockhart to wipe out the memories of people after he stole their works and published them as his own.

10. Legilimency

Harry Potter


Incantation: Legilimens 

A fairly advanced spell, Legilimency allows the user to read anyone’s mind, and in some cases, even plant ideas. Due to its highly intrusive nature, it is rarely taught in Hogwarts. Lord Voldemort is often considered to be the greatest Legilimens of his time, having the ability to torture people by invading their minds. Advanced users can perform Legilimency without a wand.

11. The Snake Summon Spell


Related: Prisoner of Azkaban : 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Harry Potter Movie

Incantation: Serpensortia

One of the easiest transfiguration spells, the Snake Summon spell can conjure a living snake to threaten or attack opponents. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy uses this spell against Harry Potter during their duel.


12. Protego Diabolica

Remarkably similar to Fiendfyre, Protego Diabolica is an extremely advanced form of magic used by Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald to protect himself and his allies from Aurors. When cast, this spell creates a massive ring of black fire that burns the user’s enemies to ash, if comes in contact. Interestingly, the flames are harmless to people who pose no threat to the user who cast the spell.

13. Full-Body Bind Curse


Related: Harry Potter: 15 Most Interesting Facts From The Books That The Movies Missed Out On!

Incantation: Petrificus Totalus

One of the first curses taught to students at Hogwarts, the Full-Body Bind curse petrifies the victim temporarily. Despite being immobilized, the victim’s ability to feel and understand remains intact. Though a basic spell, the Full-Body Bind curse is an extremely effective spell during duels.




Written by Akash Senapati

Articles Published: 373

Akash is the Lead Content Strategist for FandomWire. Having started as a writer for FandomWire back in 2020, he now manages a global team of writers who share the same passion for motion arts, from Martin Scorsese to the latest MCU flick. He loves DC Comics, Anime, Pink Floyd, and sleeping in no particular order. His favorite graphic-medium writers are Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, Christopher Priest, Garth Ennis, and Eiichiro Oda. Prep time > Aliens.