Apart from reading the books, watching the films, and perhaps playing the video games as well, you’ve also probably been to — or dream of going to — any of the Harry Potter filming locations. True Potterheads, aren’t we?
Well, as a true Potterhead, you most likely know at least ten Harry Potter spells and charms off the top of your head.
My favorite is the Wiping Spell (see item #109). What about yours? Are there spells that you wish you could use at work or school? Or use it on friends, significant others, or Deliveroo (or Uber Eats) riders to have them arrive at your door faster?
From Accio to Waddiwasi, from charms that conjure orchids from the tip of your wand to a curse that will kill you if you break a promise, here are the Harry Potter spells and charms to make you want to read the books or watch the films again (and again).
The most recognizable Harry Potter spells and charms
First, let’s have a refresher on some of the most popular Harry Potter spells — because they are the ones most Potterheads would love to be able to use in their daily Muggle lives if they could.
That, or these spells, are often used in the books or are in some of the memorable scenes in the films.
This is the summoning charm that fetches an object for you if you are too lazy to get it, granted that it’s located within a certain distance. You’ll best remember this in the Goblet of Fire, during the first Triwizard Challenge, when Harry uses Accio to summon his broomstick.
A charm that may as well be useful for bank robbers or if you simply forgot the keys to your flat. The Alohomora is an unlocking charm that will help you to open any lock. We first read it in the Philosopher’s Stone then regularly made an appearance in the later books.
3. Expecto Patronum
Probably one of those incantations that any Potterhead remembers the most, because how cool is it to easily conjure an animal-shaped spirit to fight off dementors, right?
This is also known as the Patronus charm, and Harry first learned about it in the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Expelliarmus is one of the most well-known Harry Potter spells. This disarming charm forces the victim’s wand to fly out of their grasp. This spell became a trademark for Harry and was used to kill Voldemort.
5. Horcrux Curse
Although the incantation isn’t explicitly stated, the Horcrux Curse allows the user to divide their soul and trap a piece within an object. Since their mortal bodies cannot be destroyed, this effectively makes them eternal until the Horcruxes are destroyed.
This was the curse that Voldemort used that made him immortal.
The light switch of spells. Say this to light the tip of your wand.
7. Petrificus Totalus
This is the spell that paralyzes the target completely. We first encounter this full-body binding charm in the Philosopher’s Stone when Hermione Granger casts this spell on Neville Longbottom.
A Harry Potter spell we wish we could all have! This spell wraps a magical shield or force field around the one who says it, which makes them untouchable (or “unspellable,” if that is a word), so nothing happens if anyone casts a spell.
This is a popular and most commonly used defensive spell.
In the series, this is one of the most common dueling spells that is also one of the most effective. Stunned four times in the Half-Blood Prince, Professor McGonagall must heal in St. Mungo’s Hospital.
10. Wingardium Leviosa
First of all, you must learn to pronounce this spell correctly: “It’s leviOsa, not levioSA.” A spell that causes an object to fly, is one of the first spells learned by first-year students at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter spells: the unforgivable curses
Not every spell is encouraged in the wizarding world. Some are deemed too dangerous and horrific, and are therefore outlawed. There are three Unforgivable Curses, namely:
11. Crucio (The Cruciatus Curse)
This spell puts the victim in immeasurable pain. This was the spell used by the followers of Voldemort to torment Frank and Alice Longbottom until they became mad.
12. Imperio (The Imperius Curse)
This is a spell used by the followers of Voldemort to turn witches and wizards to their side. This spell puts someone under another person’s control.
13. Avada Kedavra (The Killing Curse)
As the name implies, this is a spell that kills instantly and irreversibly. In the series, it is only Harry Potter himself who has ever survived this killing curse.
Harry Potter spells: dueling spells
These are the spells designed for use in wizarding duels and fights. Some of these spells are offensive, while others are defensive.
A spell that causes fireballs to blast from the wand (of the one who said it).
This spell makes a person confused or disoriented. In the Order of the Phoenix, this is the spell that Hermione used on Cormac McLaggen so that Ron beats him during the Quidditch tryouts.
This is a hex that makes the other person’s teeth become longer. Draco Malfoy used this spell on Hermione, which caused her distress.
A spell that propels an object with a powerful blow.
A Harry Potter spell that slices through things like rope, or splits things into two.
The Medusa spell, since it turns objects or people into stone.
A spell that causes an object to violently explode.
Fiendfyre is a curse that unleashes enchanted flames of enormous size and heat capable of killing practically anything in their path, assuming the appearance of massive fiery monsters such as serpents, Chimaeras, dragons, and birds of prey that seek out living targets.
In the Deathly Hallows, Crabbe cast it during the Skirmish at the Room of Requirement, during the Battle of Hogwarts.
A general-counter spell designed to overturn some minor damage.
A spell that causes painful bumps to appear on the other person’s skin.
A spell that freezes an object or person.
A spell that temporarily slows an approaching object.
This hex binds and wraps the victim in thick ropes.
27. Jelly-legs Jinx
A spell that makes the victim’s knees wobble like jelly, so he/she won’t be able to walk.
This Harry Potter spell suspends the victim by their foot in the air. This jinx was created by Severus Snape and was later used against him by James Potter, as depicted in a flashback in the Half-Blood Prince.
This is the antidote to Levicorpus, as it returns the victim to the ground.
30. Locomotor Mortis
A spell that paralyzes the other person’s legs. This is also the milder version of Petrificus Totalus, which is a full-body-bind curse.
If you use this spell along with Avis, the victim gets attacked by a flock of birds. You may recall Hermione Granger using it to attack Ron Weasely in the Order of the Phoenix.
32. Piertotum Locomotor
A cool Harry Potter spell that brings suits of armor and statues to life, so they would fight on behalf of the caster. Professor McGonagall uses this spell during the Battle of Hogwarts.
33. Protego Horribilis
A type of Protego spell that protects against dark magic. This is used by the Hogwarts teachers during the Battle of Hogwarts.
34. Protego Maxima
Another variety of the Protego spell, but more powerful. This spell is also used by the Hogwarts teachers during the battle.
35. Protego Totalum
Another Protego spell that shields a specific area instead of a person.
A spell that shoots solid objects to the side. In the Order of the Phoenix, it was divulged that Ginny Weasley can cast Reducto so intensely that it destroys objects.
This is the tickling charm that causes the other person to laugh until their side aches. During their duel in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry uses this hex on Draco Malfoy.
This is a spell used to defend against a Boggart. Ridikkulus forces the creature to take on a shape that is amusing to the caster, neutralizing Boggart’s capacity to terrorize. Boggarts are defeated by laughter, thus forcing them to take on a funny appearance is the first step toward defeat.
39. Salvio Hexia
A spell that staves off hexes.
This spell was invented by Severus Snape and one that slashes the victim when cast. It is used by Harry Potter on Draco Malfoy in the Half-Blood Prince.
A spell that conjures a snake that attacks the other person. In the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy uses this hex on Harry Potter during their duel.
42. Slugulus Eructo
This is the slug-vomiting curse, which makes the victim vomit slugs uncontrollably. In the Chamber of Secrets, Ron Weasely attempts this spell on Draco Malfoy but he ends up accidentally cursing himself because his wand was broken.
43. Stinging Jinx
This hex makes the victim swell up beyond recognition. In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione Granger uses this jinx on Harry to protect him from the Death Eaters.
A fun hex that makes the victim’s legs dance uncontrollably.
A useful hex if you want to sticks objects. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin uses this spell to remove chewing gum from a lock.
Other Harry Potter spells
This is a collection of spells that don’t fit into any other category but are nonetheless amazing:
Thirsty? Use this spell to conjure clean, drinkable water from your wand.
Not sure if you can properly do a Heimlich maneuver? Use this spell instead to un-choke a person by eliminating whatever’s blocking their airway to make them breathe again.
Apparition is a powerful spell used by fully-trained witches and wizards to vanish from one location and reappear almost quickly in another. The individual who casts this magic is known as an apparator. Typically, an apparition is cast nonverbally.
49. Arresto Momentum
This spell either slows or breaks a person’s fall. In the Prisoner of Azkaban film, Dumbledore uses this spell to prevent Harry from falling to his death when he passed out on his broom.
A spell that moves an object upwards.
A spell that summons a flock of small birds.
A spell that causes an intense explosion.
53. Bubble-head Charm
A lovely spell that’s the magical equivalent of an oxygen tank. This spell creates a bubble of air around the user’s head, so they can breathe underwater. Cedric and Fleur use this charm during the second Triwizard challenge so they can swim to the bottom of the Great Lake.
54. Caterwauling Charm
This is a charm that compels a magical curfew on a certain area; anyone who violates the charm by leaving their dwelling, apparating or disapparating, causes a loud wailing.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione appear in Hogsmeade in the Deathly Hallows, they set off a caterwauling charm.
A spell that locks doors. Hermione uses the charm in the Order of the Phoenix to try to lock out the Death Eaters that stalked them through the Ministry of Magic.
56. Cushioning Charm
A charm that cushions a fall.
Also called the Eradication Spell, Deletrius is a charm that could disintegrate specific items and works as a counter-charm to the Reverse Spell, removing the wand’s shadow.
A charm that creates a hole in the floor of wherever the user is standing. Hermione uses this charm in the Deathly Hallows, to flee Lovegood’s house.
A spell that moves an object downwards.
60. Disillusionment Charm
The Disillusionment Charm is a spell used to hide the target. The charm causes the spellbound to act like a chameleon, blending into the color and texture of everything around them.
A truly magical spell that opens a particular hidden passageway in Hogwarts.
A spell that makes an object or person swell to a tremendous size.
A healing charm used for minor injuries like broken noses, split lips, or sprains.
A spell for campers, which pitches a tent automatically.
A spell used to make things disappear.
A useful Harry Potter spell that conjures bandages and binds them around an injury automatically. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ron Weasley’s broken leg is bandaged using this spell.
67. Fidelius Charm
This is a rather complex and very old charm. It entails concealing facts in the mind of a living person. The chosen individual, or Secret-keeper, is the only person who can now divulge the protected information to others, regardless of how many previously knew it.
Flagrate is an incantation for a charm that allows you to write or draw with fiery lines in mid-air. The shape persists for a while. Hermione Granger uses this charm in the Order of the Phoenix to mark doors.
69. Flying Charm
This is the charm that enables broomsticks to levitate.
The Doubling Charm (Geminio) is a charm that can duplicate an object, making an exact copy of it. It can also be used to curse an object into repeatedly multiplying when touched.
A fun spell that makes stairs flat, effectively turning them into a slide.
72. Homenum Revelio
A spell that you use in case somebody else is around or approaching.
73. Hot Air Charm
A spell that conjures a jet of hot air from the wand.
74. Hover Charm
This spell causes the target to hover in mid-air for a short time. It is one of the Levitation Charm’s numerous minor modifications, and it operates on both objects and people.
75. Hurling Hex
The Hurling Hex is a hex that can be cast on a broomstick, causing it to attempt to hurl its rider off.
This cool Harry Potter spell conjures a kind of shield around objects. For example, Hermione casts Impervius on Harry’s glasses to protect them from rain.
A spell that produces fire from the user’s wand.
78. Intruder Charm
This is the Hogwarts equivalent of a Muggle home’s security alarm. This spell alerts the user when an intruder has entered a house or a particular location.
A spell invented by Severus Snape when he was a student at Hogwarts, Langlock glues the person’s tongue to the roof of their mouth.
This charm allows the user to look into another person’s mind, just as long as they’re not skilled in Occlumency (which protects their mind from invasion).
A spell that moves objects.
82. Lumos Maxima
This summons a ball of light to appear on the user’s lit wand.
83. Meteolojinx Recanto
Meteolojinx Recanto is a counter-charm that causes weather effects generated by Weather-Modifying Charms. Hermione suggested that Ron try this spell to stop a Ministry employee’s office from raining.
A spell to shut someone up, or at least render them so tongue-tied they couldn’t speak.
A spell that’s similar to the Locomotor Hex, which moves objects.
A spell that moves a person or body.
A sinister spell that invokes the Dark Mark, which is the symbol of Voldemort and his followers.
A spell against eavesdroppers. When this is cast, the air is filled with a buzzing sound.
The counter-charm to Lumos, this spell extinguishes the light in the wand.
A spell that wipes the victim’s memory. In the Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart loses his memory after this charm backfires on him.
A hex that summons a blindfold that darkens the other person’s vision.
A pretty spell that conjures a bunch of orchids to the user’s wand-tip.
Another cool Harry Potter spell that creates red sparks from the tip of the owner’s wand.
94. Permanent Sticking Charm
This is a Harry Potter charm that magically adheres one object to another indefinitely. It is unclear how, if at all, this charm might be removed, leaving an object stuck eternally.
In the Deathly Hallows, we learn that Sirius Black stuck posters to his bedroom wall with a permanent sticking charm, so that his mother wouldn’t be able to take them down.
95. Point Me
A spell that works like a compass, as this causes the wand to spin in its hand to point north. Harry uses this spell in the last Triwizard challenge to help navigate the maze in the Goblet of Fire.
This spell transforms an item into a Portkey, which is a magically charmed artifact that transports the user from one location to another.
97. Priori Incantatem
This hex reveals the last spell that a wand cast.
This is the counter-charm to Sonorous, which quiets the caster’s voice after being magically amplified.
This is the counter-charm to Engorgio, as this one reduces an object’s size.
This one is a spell that allows one object to be released from another object that is trapping it, such as chains.
This Harry Potter spell makes a person return to consciousness after being stunned or knocked out.
A spell that fixes a broken item.
In the Philosopher’s Stone, Hermione repairs Harry’s glasses while on the Hogwarts Express using Reparo. This is one of the first spells to be identified and used in the series.
103. Repello Muggletum
This is a charm that keeps Muggles from seeing or entering a particular region. Any non-magic person who comes too close to the enchanted area will remember something important to accomplish and flee.
A spell that shows hidden objects, messages, or writing.
This spell could make our lives easier! Scourgify is a spell that cleans an item. In the Order of the Phoenix, Tonks uses this spell to tidy up Hedwig’s cage.
An amazing spell that makes an animal or person unable to make a sound.
A spell that amplifies the user’s voice. This is the spell used by Ludo Bagman while commentating on the Quidditch World Cup in the Goblet of Fire.
108. Teleportation Spell
A spell that moves items from one place to another. The exact incantation is never revealed, but this spell is used by Dumbledore to transfer Harry’s trunk and owl to the Burrow.
109. Tergeo (Wiping Spell)
A very useful Harry Potter spell, Tergeo cleans items and siphons liquids, grease, and dust.
110. Trip Jinx
A hex that makes the victim trip.
111. Unbreakable Vow
This is a form of binding magical contract cast between two persons that, if violated by either party, will result in the death of whoever broke the pact. The incantation for this is unknown.
112. Undetectable Extension Charm
A spell that makes an object expand on the inside while remaining the same size on the outside. Arthur Weasley uses this spell on his car to fit his entire family in it as they drive to King’s Cross Station.
113. Vulnera Sanentur
This is a song-like incantation of a healing spell and a counter-curse to Severus Snape’s Sectumsempra Spell. While Snape created Sectumsempra, Vulnera Sanentur is frequently misattributed to him as well.
All these incredible Harry Potter spells are, of course, thanks to J. K. Rowling. 🥳