5. Bellatrix Tortures Hermione – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Whilst this scene wasn’t necessarily ‘scary’ in the traditional sense, it is arguably the most distressing scene in the whole series. To see any character, least of all one as beloved as Hermione, subject to the impulses of a character as unhinged and undoubtedly evil as Bellatrix Lestrange is always bound to be unpleasant. Like so few scenes throughout the movies were able to do, we were once again pulled away from the magical world and thrust into a very real-world sense of terror.
And if watching it wasn’t bad enough, hearing Hermione’s sobs and screams as she was tortured was something that no viewer will be able to easily forget.
4. Bathilda Bagshot/ Nagini – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Does this even need an explanation? Bathilda Bagshot was murdered and then her corpse was possessed and re-aniated by Voldemort’s snake Nagini to wait for Harry Potter on the off chance he returned to Godric’s Hollow. This whole scene was utterly horrifying.
3. The Grave Yard Scene/ Voldemort Returns – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
From the moment Harry and Cedric Diggory are transported by the Triwizard Cup, this already dark film takes its most sinister turn. The masked Death Eaters return to Voldemort, Wormtail slices off his own hand with an agonising scream and, most tragically, Cedric is murdered. We get our first glimpse of Voldemort since he abandoned Professor Quirrell to his crumbly demise in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and he appears as a creepy, baby-like entity. However, it’s not long before he is returned to his physical form in a horrifying transformation of fire, smoke and slime. Finally, Harry is face to face with Voldemort in the flesh… and it is terrifying.
2. The Inferi – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
After six films, we had already been introduced to a vast number of creatures in the Harry Potter universe, from Thestrals to Grindylows, but one thing we never really expected to see was re-animated corpses.
Yet, that’s exactly what we got in Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince.
This scene fits the outline for every horror film ever. Its dark and eerily silent. Harry is slowly reaching down towards the black water. Viewers are practically screaming at him not to, “Doesn’t he understand? He does not want to be touching that stuff!”. But, apparently Harry has never taken a lesson from any horror film, because he just goes and does it. Then BANG! Cue jump scare. A hand reaches out of the water to grab him and it all goes downhill from there. Unlike Harry, we knew something was coming when he approached the water, yet it doesn’t fail to make us jump every single time.
1. Follow The Spiders – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
So here it is, the scariest moment in the Harry Potter movies.
It’s not a ghost or the murder of a favourite character. Nor is it a howler from an enraged Molly Weasley.
Well, firstly because Aragog, the leader of the Acromantula colony, was the size of a small elephant and WAS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES! But mostly, because the majority of us don’t have to worry about being the enemy of a powerful dark lord or having someone try to kill us each year. No, here J.K. Rowling played on one of the most common fears around: the spider (or, in this case, an army of spiders). Watching the entire spider scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will make your skin crawl, because an entire sequence about giant spiders that eat human flesh is never not horrifying!
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