In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, after casting Levicorpus, James Potter has to cast a counter-spell to lower Snape back down to the ground:

"...he jerked his wand upwards; Snape fell into a crumpled heap on the ground."

If James had not cast the second spell, would Snape have remained in the air indefinitely?

(Background - This question - Why isn't the Memory Charm (Obliviate) an Unforgivable Curse? made me wonder whether if you disarmed a wizard, Levicorpused them and left them in a room with no water, food etc. would you essentially be killing them?)

  • 5
    Yes, but this would equally apply to handcuffing them to a radiator
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 14:44
  • @Valorum - True, but at least you could try and gnaw your hand off to escape. I'm not sure if Levicorpus keeps you in a fixed position, otherwise you're probably at the mercy of the wind? imagine being blown out to sea!
    – Longshanks
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 14:49
  • There are endless spells that would be (theoretically) lethal if applied to someone left in a room with no visitors such as the various binding spells
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 14:58
  • You sure jerking the wand upwards is anything different than just breaking the connection needed to maintain the spell?
    – user12616
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 17:11
  • Yeah, I wasn't sure if you could just break your concentration or whether you had to specifically cast a spell to lower them. Harry uses both on Ron, so I assumed that one sends you up, and another brings you down. From here: harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Liberacorpus
    – Longshanks
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


First, if there is another wizard, they can cancel your Levicorpus. Like Tonks saved Harry on the Hogwarts Express when Malfoy cursed Harry with full body-bind curse.

Second, I think those binding spells have a time limit. In the first book, Hermione casts 'Petrificus Totalus', which is a Full Body-Bind Curse to Neville and then leaves the room to find the stone and comes one day later. But Neville is fine. (It is also possible that someone from the common room lifted it, so first case.)

Third, this person is only affected by the spell as long as you live. When Dumbledore dies, Harry is freed from his body binding spell. So you can not leave them there forever.

Lastly and the best answer to your question, I think non-wand magic casters (like Voldemort and Dumbledore) can free themselves from the spell, even disarmed.

I know this is not all about Levicorpus but as Valorum stated out, in your example the killing factor is leaving someone in a room without food or water and making them immobile. This can all be done in the muggle world without much effort.(Don't try this at home!!)

Edit: After watching Fantastic Beasts movie, I have remembered another method to get away from this Spell. You can easily Apparate to a safe location and even though you are still under the spell, you can let someone cancel the spell. Of course this does not work in Hogwarts.

  • Nice answer - Makes sense to me, thanks!
    – Longshanks
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 17:33

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