The amazingly magical world of Harry Potter is full of incredible and scary creatures and we, here at Paladone, want to celebrate that fact with a look at 5 of the scariest beasts in the wizarding world. These creatures are all classified as ‘Beasts’ according to the Ministry of Magic, so regardless how scary they might be there will be no Beings, Spirits or Non-Beings on this particular list. Nonetheless, there will be plenty of horrifying creatures which one should avoid at all costs.
Imagine being confronted by a humongous dinosaur-like reptile with a taste for flesh and a bad temper. Scary, right? Now give that monstrous reptile wings and the ability to breathe fire and you can see why Dragons are one of the most fearsome beasts in the whole of the wizarding world. With their ability to breathe fire developing as young as six months and first flight occurring at around one-year-old, Dragons quickly go from small creatures to destructive tyrants. Most species of Dragon are typically fully matured by two years old, leaving many years of potential destruction and chaos ahead of them.
The breeding of Dragons is strictly prohibited, but rare hybrids are known to exist through natural interbreeding of the recognised 12 pure-bred species. Of the 12 known breeds, the 52nd edition of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” lists ten and the remaining two are referenced in notes concerning the book, “Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit”.
The worst nightmare of arachnophobes, Acromantulas are ginormous spiders with a leg span measuring more than 15 feet long. They have a known appetite for human flesh but are equally happy putting their giant chelicerae to work eating their dead kin. For those not dead when an Acromantula decides to eat them, a dire fate awaits, as the Acromantula’s fangs contain a highly toxic venom – but don’t worry they’ll probably be chewed to death before it does any damage.
Acromantulas have a degree of sentience and are capable of human speech, which at least gives you a chance to negotiate. Given the chance, quickly befriend the eldest member of the Acromantulas group – they are the leaders of their colonies and well respected. An example of this is Aragog, who prevented his colony from eating Hagrid, despite their instinctive nature to do so.
Yet another oversized behemoth, Three-Headed Dogs are a rare, but dangerous species. With a terrifying bite this big dog should certainly be avoided. Thankfully, Three-Headed Dogs suffer one major weakness – an inability to avoid falling asleep to music. With the absence of music, Three-Headed Dogs can be very vicious, but like most pets, are known to be more docile around certain people, such as their owners.
Merpeople are certainly one of the scariest beasts in the wizarding world. They were offered Being status, but refused, not wishing to share the same category as Vampires and Hags and leaving them with Beast status, alongside the other creatures on this list. They may not initially strike you as particularly scary beasts, but much like sharks, they are the ultimate predator in their own environment and anyone that comes face to face with them in their own habitat is at a distinct disadvantage.
There are three subspecies of Merpeople; Sirens, Selkies and Merrows. Sirens, like in muggle folklore, are described as beautiful and use their singing to lure unwary sailors to a watery grave, whilst Selkies reside in the water as seals and shed their skin before going onto land in search of human lovers. Merrows are the least human-like in appearance and more closely resemble the mermaids found in the mythologies of some European cultures.
The Basilisk is a creature born of magic and is so ferocious that the breeding of them has been banned since medieval times. A giant serpent measuring 50 feet in length when fully grown, a Basilisk has a highly powerful venom with only one known and rare antidote – phoenix tears. However, the Basilisk’s deadly venom and overwhelming size are not its most terrifying features; that lies with the fact that anyone who looks the Basilisk directly in the eye, dies instantly. Those who look indirectly, such as through a reflection or a ghost, are merely petrified. The Basilisk can live for over 900 years, is recognised as a known, Wizard killer, and cannot usually be domesticated. However, Basilisks can form a connection or fall under the control of a parselmouth, depending on the relationship between serpent and individual.
Which of these scary beasts would you least like to encounter? It’s hard to decide which is the scariest or most dangerous, as they all pose a huge threat to the lives of anyone, (magical or muggle alike), who gets in their way. Maybe the best way to find out would be for them to all fight it out, although the Acromantulas’, eight eyes and the Three Headed Dogs’ six, might put them at a distinct disadvantage against a Basilisk. Would a Siren’s singing send a Three-Headed Dog to sleep and how would a Dragon fare against a Basilisk? Just a few questions we’ll leave you Potterheads to ponder…