When reading the Pottermore writing on Azkaban, I took away the following highlights (emphasis mine):

TL;DR - Did Ekrizdis create Dementors?

  • The fortress upon it was originally home to a little-known sorcerer who called himself Ekrizdis. Evidently extremely powerful, but of unknown nationality, Ekrizdis, who is believed to have been insane, was a practitioner of the worst kinds of Dark Arts.

  • Those who entered to investigate refused afterwards to talk of what they had found inside, but the least frightening part of it was that the place was infested with Dementors.

  • Others were afraid of what might happen to the Dementors infesting the building if they deprived them of their home. The creatures were already strong and impossible to kill; many feared a horrible revenge if they took away a habitat where they appeared to thrive. The very walls of the building seemed steeped in misery and pain, and the Dementors were determined to cling to it.

  • The fortress was therefore left abandoned for many years, a home to continually breeding Dementors.

  • Experts explained to him that the only reason the Dementors were (mostly) confined to the island was that they were being provided with a constant supply of souls on which to feed. If deprived of prisoners, they were likely to abandon the prison and head for the mainland.

My feeling is that it is possible that Ekrizdis created the Dementors. However, the way the text uses tense and wording it could go either way. It seems that if they were not created on the island that the vast majority of them were hanging around there. Is there any other evidence to confirm the Dementors were created by Ekrizdis rather than just "existing" and being drawn to the island?

Related, but does not touch on initial creation and possible link to Ekrizdis: How are Dementors created/born?

It would not be the first time a dark creature were created; Herpo the Foul created the first Basilisk. Although, a Basilisk is a physical creature, while a Dementor is more of spirit/embodiment.

  • 2
    @Skooba You need to state what you want answered clear enough so the question is not closed. Dementors are always a good topic since there are no canon explanation how they were created. We only know they are attracted to depression and grow fungus-like. Rowling's writing on Azkaban and Ekrizdis is not clear about Dementor creation. I always thought they were attracted to the sorcerer's dark magic. Because the writing says "Place was infested with Dementors." Not "Place was infested with unknown dark creators." They already knew what a Dementor was. So, no. Ekrizdis didn't not create them.
    – burcu
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 10:19
  • 1
    "impossible to kill" "continually breeding" Wow, so i guess we know how the Potter-verse ends, with hoards of Dementors overrunning the Earth.
    – Jonathon
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 3:50
  • @JonathonWisnoski would places that are excessively sunny be as vulnerable to the dementors that aren't? Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 17:34

4 Answers 4


No, they existed elsewhere at about the same time

Book of Spells is a two hundred year old book which describes an "ancient story" about Dementors.

The strange power of the Patronus, and its peculiar qualities, are well illustrated by the ancient story of a shy, poor orphan boy called Illyius, whose Patronus went down in wizarding history.

Illyius lived long ago in a mountain village, which was surrounded by a dense forest in which a Dark wizard called Raczidian lived in a black castle guarded by Dementors. These evil, faceless, hooded creatures, which cast fear and despondency all around them, suck the very souls from humans whom they succeed in weakening.

For many years, Raczidian left the villagers, who were fellow witches and wizards, in peace, and they avoided the part of the forest where his castle was situated. Knowing that Dementors roamed the forest, they took care to teach every new generation the Patronus Charm, the only spell that worked against these evil creatures. Many were unable to master the difficult spell, but there had always been just enough Patronuses in the village to stand guard against the Dementors, in case Raczidian ordered an attack.
(Wonderbook: Book of Spells - Chapter 5)

Also, we know that the Patronus Spell has been around even longer, (although that does have other uses).

It is clear from ancient woodcuts and scrolls that the Patronus Charm has been in existence since earliest times. Many attempts have been made over the centuries to find an easier way to produce a Patronus, or some similar shield against Dark magic, but none have been successful. If you seek the best protection magic can afford against evil creatures, your only choice is to perfect the Patronus Charm.
(Wonderbook: Book of Spells - Chapter 5)

So, while inconclusive, it would appear that Ekrizdis did not create the Dementors.

  • 2
    Another circumstantial fact that hints at Dementors not being wizard-created is that Rowling has stated on several occasions that they are a literary representation of depression which, after all, is also not man-made but has existed always. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 4:41
  • Nice find, I thought it said Ekrizdis was ancient too, but after reading again it says 15th century.
    – Skooba
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 20:38
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    @Skooba - If they were invented by someone, my guess would be on Herpo the Foul, because of [insert some troup here]. (I'm not interested in spending my next several hours on tvtroups finding it.)
    – ibid
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 20:48
  • 4
    @ibid ...how can you be not interested of spending hours in TvTropes? Afraid, I understand. But not interested?
    – xDaizu
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 11:13
  • 1
    @xDaizu - Sorry. Poor choice of words.
    – ibid
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 11:48

This is very difficult, but I'm going to suggest that if they were created by wizards, no wizards know of it now.

In the writing by JK Rowling on Pottermore about Boggarts, she relates them to Dementors and calls both 'strange non-beings.' Here is the quote:

Like a poltergeist, a Boggart is not and never has been truly alive. It is one of the strange non-beings that populate the magical world, for which there is no equivalent in the Muggle realm. Boggarts can be made to disappear, but more Boggarts will inevitably arise to take their place. Like poltergeists and the more sinister Dementors, they seem to be generated and sustained by human emotions.

This writing certainly does not disprove the idea that they were made by someone, but I think it is enough to form an opinion that they occurred organically through magic, if not quite naturally. If they belong to the same category as poltergeists then they are ghost-like, and I think we can be pretty sure that no one created ghosts. Similarly, Boggarts are a traditional or mythological creature, an idea that goes back beyond JK Rowling. I don't think she would then write a story about how a wizard first bred one.

Add to this the fact that they were never alive and are generated by human emotion, I feel there can hardly be a recordable moment in which one was first created.

Therefore, I think it's somewhat clear that Rowling thinks of them as occurring naturally. If they were supposed to be created by a wizard, perhaps it was a prehistoric or otherwise unrecorded event.

  • 1
    nice find on the relation to boggarts and poltergeists!
    – Skooba
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 3:43
  • @Skooba - Thanks. Funny where links can take you when researching.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 7:00

We don't know.

Literally the only canonical information available on Ekrizdis is the Pottermore article you've linked to and quoted from. The article on Azkaban was part of six new pieces of writing released by JK Rowling in 2014 as a Halloween gift to her fans, and she's never elaborated on the story, not even via Twitter. Your best chance of finding out more about Ekrizdis is probably to send a tweet to JKR, but don't hold your breath waiting for a reply!

As for Dementors, we know from the question you linked to that they're not "bred" in any conventional manner but rather sprout like fungi wherever there is misery and despair. Quoting from the accepted answer there:

Dementors do not breed (No, there'll be no sweet sweet love in Azkaban tonight!) but rather grow like fungi under certain conditions. They multiply by feeding off human despair, unhappiness, hopelessness, and are akin to depression. They are pretty insidious creatures. Dementors have no soul themselves, thus their constant drive to suck the souls from others. According to J.K. Rowling: You cannot destroy Dementors, though you can limit their numbers if you eradicate the conditions in which they multiply, ie, despair and degradation.

The Dementors on Azkaban definitely appeared there because of Ekrizdis's dreadful deeds, but whether or not this was his conscious intention remains unclear. It's also unclear whether these were the first ever Dementors (in which case, it seems more likely that he created them) or whether Dementors have always been lurking in places of misery.


My first theory - where they came from: It could be that Dementors are created by negative energy that comes from wizards/the magical world. That energy has to go somewhere, so it manifests and creates Dementors, unintentionally, a side effect if you will.

Second theory: They reproduce by the empty shells of people whose souls they suck. The bodies of said wizards turn into Dementors over time after the Dememtor's kiss?

They also may come from another dimension and a dark wizard summoned them to the physical world but didn't know how to send them back?

  • 2
    Answers are better received if they are based on the source material, rather than speculation.
    – Blackwood
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 17:42

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