It's said that Dementors are blind. If someone escaped from Azkaban and the Dementors went looking for them, how would they know if they find the person they're looking for?

1 Answer 1


They still have ways of recognizing people.

When Barty Crouch escaped, he had his mother using Polyjuice Potion covering for him.

“The Dementors are blind. They sensed one healthy, one dying person entering Azkaban. They sensed one healthy, one dying person leaving it. My father smuggled me out, disguised as my mother, in case any prisoners were watching through their doors. ‘My mother died a short while afterwards in Azkaban. She was careful to drink Polyjuice Potion until the end. She was buried under my name, and bearing my appearance. Everyone believed her to be me.”

They do have ways of “seeing”, despite their blindness.

It’s also the job of the Ministry, more than the Dementors.

The Dementors might not be able to track down and recognize a specific escaped prisoner - however, it doesn’t matter because the Dementors aren’t solely or mainly in charge of finding and returning escaped prisoners to Azkaban. When Sirius Black escaped, it was the Ministry of Magic who were in charge of recapturing him.

“They still haven’t caught him, then?’ he asked.

‘No,’ said Mr Weasley, looking extremely grave. ‘They’ve pulled us all off our regular jobs at the Ministry to try and find him, but no luck so far.”

  • Um, I'm afraid to ask, but how did Barty's mom smuggle in enough Polyjuice to keep her transfigured until she died? I'm assuming they don't allow any form of magic in Azkaban, including potion making, and there are probably wards against it even if you tried. So it must've been brought in. Mar 6, 2018 at 18:35
  • Also, I didn't know the effects of Polyjuice carry on after death. That's pretty interesting. Mar 6, 2018 at 18:35
  • Your first quote seems to suggest that the Dementors can't identify people. I'm not sure, though. They seemed to have no problem identifying Sirius at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. Mar 6, 2018 at 19:48
  • @dcopTimDowd In a simple flask, probably. Remember, the Ministry is pretty corrupt, and Crouch is a high-ranking, respected official who fought brutally against Voldemort (and sent his own son to prison, so why would he try and break him out?). They probably allowed him and his wife in without any searches.
    – DavidS
    Mar 7, 2018 at 14:29
  • it's really late, but it's also implied that she was on the verge of death - the visit being more of a dying wish being fulfilled than anything else - visits to Azkaban are not common. She wouldn't have needed much. @DCOPTimDowd
    – Baldrickk
    Jul 24, 2019 at 15:16

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