• Headlines and advertisements Is Anyone Safe? is a headline from the magical newspaper The New York Ghost in 1926, referring to the dangerous criminal Gellert Grindelwald being on the loose in Europe (WFT). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Symbols The 1920s No-Maj fanatical group known as the New Salem Philanthropic Society displayed a banner showing hands snapping a wizard’s wand in half over some red and yellow flames, invoking the memory of the Salem Witch Trials and witch-burnings of earlier centuries (WFT). Podcast:… Read More
• Churches and graveyards A “dingy” church in New York City where anti-magic fanatic Mary Lou Barebone held meetings of the New Salem Philanthropic Society in the 1920s (WFT). Barebone and her three adopted (and abused) children lived upstairs. The downstairs included a long table where orphans came to eat soup and receive pamphlets… Read More
• Organizations American No-Maj group seeking to expose and destroy witches and wizards in the 1920s led by the extremist Mary Lou Barebone, a descendant of Scourers, and her three adopted children. Their meeting place was the “dingy” New Salem Church in New York City where they ran a soup kitchen for… Read More
• Character Muggle Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India, from June 1837 to until her death in January 1901. She served longer than any other monarch of the royal family, and her reign was known as the Victorian era. Podcast:… Read More
• Schools School plays a big part in the story of Harry Potter as be became the Chosen One and faced Voldemort. Harry attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there not only learned magical skills but also gained friends who became his allies in his quest against the Dark Lord. Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Where is the Burrow—Harry’s second home (his first is Hogwarts, of course, not Privet Drive!)? Ottery St. Catchpole The books give the Burrow’s location as just outside the village of Ottery St. Catchpole, but give no direct clues as to where this is. The similarity of the name to Ottery St. Mary, in Devon has… Read More
• Rules and laws A specific and very serious type of MACUSA law violation that risks exposure of the magical community. Tina Goldstein arrested Newt Scamander for a Section 3A when she learned that he had not wiped the memory of a No-Maj (Jacob Kowalski) who witnessed magic. Podcast:… Read More
• Character Henry Shaw Jr. was a United States senator from New York in the 1920s. He was killed by an obscurus at a campaign event in 1926 (WFT). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Character Henry Shaw (Sr.) was a powerful 1920s media titan based in New York (WFT). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:38 — 27.7MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Character Langdon Shaw was the younger son of newspaper magnate Henry Shaw Sr. Langdon was an excitable young man with a proclivity for wild ideas. He was frustrated by living in his elder brother’s shadow (WFT). Podcast: Play in new window… Read More
• Buildings An impressive Art Deco building in New York City, Shaw Tower is the headquarters of Henry Shaw Sr.’s massive media business. It includes a busy newsroom, elevators, and and Shaw Sr.’s large penthouse office, which offers an excellent view of the city (FB). Podcast:… Read More
• Place In Diagon Alley: Apothecary Eeylops Owl Emporium Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor (closed in 1996) Flourish and Blotts Gambol and Japes junk shop the Leaky Cauldron Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions Magical Menagerie Obscurus Books Ollivander’s (closed in 1996) Quality Quidditch Supplies Twilfitt and Tatting’s Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes WhizzHard Books… Read More
• Creature A magically-created species of saltwater fish, found in the Atlantic Ocean, which is covered in spines and which deliberately seeks out and destroys Muggle fishing nets. The first shrake were supposedly created in the 1800s by a group of wizard fisherfolk who had been insulted by Muggles. The shrake, by… Read More
• Magical objects Shrinking keys are an example of a mundane object enchanted by unscrupulous wizards for “muggle-baiting.” The keys are sold to unsuspecting Muggles, who then can’t find them anywhere (CS3). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Spells Hagrid gave eleven-year-old Dudley Dursley a pig’s tail in Hut-on-the-Rock (PS4). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:38 — 27.7MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Event Sir Nicholas inadvertently caused the teeth of a noblewoman to grow to the size of tusks with a misfiring spell. His penalty was beheading, but the execution was botched, leaving the head attached by only a small amount of skin and sinew. Sir Nicholas died but became a ghost rather… Read More
• Historical events In 1777, MACUSA President Elizabeth McGilliguddy presided over the “Country or Kind” debate during which North American wizardry decided not to officially interfere in the Revolutionary War between Britain and the thirteen colonies. However, many witches and wizards secretly helped protected their No-Maj neighbors (Pm). McGillicuddy sent a message to the… Read More
• Houses and addresses A small stone house in Budleigh Babberton (HBP3). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:38 — 27.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Schools Vernon Dursley’s alma mater, and now Dudley’s school. The Smeltings uniform includes (PS3): maroon tailcoat orange knickerbockers straw boater hat knobbly stick for hitting things (and people) with Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Muggle life Smeltings School’s uniform includes knobbly or Smeltings sticks. The students use them “for hitting each other” while the teachers aren’t looking; it is “supposed to be good training for later life” (PS3). Dudley puts his Smelting stick to good use while at Privet Drive, using it in a fight… Read More
• Character A muggle/wizarding family who lived in Cokeworth. Notable members include: Tobias Snape Eileen Prince Snape Severus Snape Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:38 — 27.7MB)… Read More
• Houses and addresses This brick row house is almost certainly where Severus Snape grew up, and then lived alone for most of his adult life. Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange sought him out here in 1996, when he made an Unbreakable Vow to Narcissa that he would kill Dumbledore if Draco failed to… Read More
• Character Tobias Snape was the Muggle husband of Eileen Prince Snape and father of Severus Snape (HBP13, HBP30). Tobias was verbally and possibly physically abusive towards his wife and son, and the memory of his abuse and the Snapes’ generally unhappy homelife in the run-down Spinner’s End neighborhood of… Read More
• Character Snickerton was a Muggle tailor in fifteenth-century London, and the rival of Delfina Crimp. Snickerton infiltrated Crimp’s shop and spied on her using magic at night, and then exposed her as a witch.  Crimp escaped, and henceforth, any clothing Snickerton produced was shredded to ribbons overnight.  He died insane, believing… Read More
• Sports and competitions Hunting the tiny, highly manoeuvrable, magical Snidget birds was a popular Wizarding sport from the early 1100s until the practice was banned in the mid 1300s. A tapestry in the Museum of Quidditch shows witches and wizards engaged in Snidget-hunting using nets, wands, and even bare hands. The tiny… Read More
• Wizarding culture “The Can’t-Spells” was a term for non-magical humans (CG). This was one of the names for Muggles mentioned by Gellert Grindelwald when he rattled off a list of such terms while speaking to the pure-blood audience in the underground auditorium in Paris (CG). Podcast:… Read More
• Streets, alleys, and lanes Spinner’s End is a street in Cokeworth, a dark industrial Muggle town in the Midlands of England (Pm). It is on this street that Snape’s house sits, and down which Narcissa Malfoy ran – with Bellatrix Lestrange in pursuit – to seek him out (HBP2). Severus, Lily and Petunia grew up… Read More
• Magical identities A Squib is a non-magical person born to at least one magical parent (Pm). They are much rarer than Muggle-born witches and wizards (CS9).   Podcast: Play in new window | Download… Read More
• Character Blenheim Stalk is a well-known expert on Muggles and the author of several books, including Muggles Who Notice (FB, FW). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:38 — 27.7MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Schools St. Brutus’s is a boarding school, presumably somewhere in England, that we know absolutely nothing about aside from its name (and that might not even actually exist). We know the name because Vernon Dursley tells neighbours and relatives that it’s the school Harry attends, so they don’t wonder about his… Read More
• Character James Steward was the Muggle husband of Isolt Sayre. He was instrumental in creating Ilvermony and naming house Pukwudgie He was the adoptive father for Webster and Chadwick Boot and the blood father of Martha and Rionach Steward. He was the Headmaster of Ilvermony for many years. He lived to be… Read More
• Trivia The real village of Stinchcombe, where the Potter family originated according to the new information on Pottermore, is just over the hill from the town of Dursley in Gloucestershire. Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Churches and graveyards A church in Godric’s Hollow. It is small, but “magnificent”, and it’s graveyard is purportedly very haunted (DH16, CC4.3). It provides a good view of Godric’s Hollow from multiple directions (CC4.8). The sanctuary has both clear windows that one can easily see through (CC4.9) and stained glass… Read More
• Schools The public high school serving Little Whinging, Stonewall High is the school to which Harry would have been sent had he never received his letter for Hogwarts. Dudley would not have joined him; he instead attended Smeltings, a private school (PS3). The uniforms for Stonewall High are a drab… Read More
• Character Billy Stubbs was another child at Tom Riddle’s orphanage. Billy Stubbs had chickenpox at the time of Dumbledore’s first meeting with Riddle. According to Mrs. Cole, the day after Tom and Billy had had an argument, Billy’s pet rabbit was found hanging from the rafters (HBP13). Podcast:… Read More
• Books and Literature A Study into Muggle Suspicions About Magic is a Ministry of Magic report warning against the dangers of underestimating how much magic Muggles notice (DP1). Professor Phoebus Penrose headed a committee which produced this report about Muggle suspicions about magic. Among other magical examples, it notes that… Read More
• Place Though hiding from Death Eaters usually meant little or no food was available, Harry and Hermione did manage one night to camp not far from a Muggle town, where Hermione snuck into this supermarket under the Invisibility Cloak to snag some spaghetti Bolognese and tinned pears. She didn’t steal the… Read More