We know that a Boggart exists even if nobody sees it:

Nobody knows what a Boggart looks like if nobody is there to see it, although it continues to exist, usually giving evidence of its presence by rattling, shaking or scratching the object in which it is hiding.


Now, I can, for example, imagine a situation of an older brother telling horrible stories from Hogwarts to his little brother to scare him.

It could also include a story about this really scary class where the Boggart is taught. This creature which transforms to your biggest fears.

The story would make the little one so scared of a boggart that it would become his biggest fear despite the fact that he didn't ever saw it.

Would his boggart have its natural form?
I don't need to know how the natural form of a boggart looks, but if this is an in-universe way to find it out.

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    My answer to the dupe addresses the Boggart's physical appearance and appearance to those with non-standard fears like this
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 11:58
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    @Valorum What I mean by the correction is: I don't need to know how does natural form of boggart looks, but if this is an in-universe way to find it out.
    – TGar
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 13:28
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    "If they truly had no image in their mind, they would see nothing. But of course, nothing would not be scary to them, so the boggart would cease to be their number one fear. For someone to be scared of a boggart, they must be worried about some aspect of the creature. Since nobody has ever seen a boggart, fearing a boggart's true form is an impossibility. Nobody can fear what they can't contextualize." -reddit.com/r/AskScienceFiction/comments/4r0o6u/…
    – Niffler
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 17:26
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    Anyway, this is really transference -- the person might think that a Boggart is their greatest fear, but it isn't really the biggest. You can only fear one of these because of what it might appear as (BTW there's no evidence it has a "natural" form). Instead the subject has some deep-seated fear they can repress normally - but not if the boggart brings it out.
    – Spencer
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 18:07
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    @Valorum That's kind of the converse of this question. Anyway, I was waiting for you to link to the creature's natural form or possibly this great fear of some.
    – Spencer
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 18:27

4 Answers 4


You would likely see the form the Boggart has chosen.

A Boggart may even be able to stay in a particular form if it feeds on enough emotions. We have two example of famous Boggarts that did this.

the Bludgeoning Boggart of Old London Town (a Boggart that had taken on the form of a murderous thug that prowled the back streets of nineteenth-century London, but which could be reduced to a hamster with one simple incantation)

the Screaming Bogey of Strathtully (a Scottish Boggart that had fed on the fears of local Muggles to the point that it had become an elephantine black shadow with glowing white eyes, but which Lyall Lupin of the Ministry of Magic eventually trapped in a matchbox)

excerpt from Boggarts by J.K. Rowling on Pottermore


I think the logical answer is that anybody who is knowledgeable enough about boggarts to really fear then will also necessarily know that they are not, intrinsically, a threat. If you really have that much trepidation about encountering a boggart, it must be because you know that they are dangerous. And if you know what makes boggart's dangerous, you are already most of the way past being afraid of them. That does not rule out being afraid of boggarts entirely, but I would argue that you cannot fear a boggart more than everything else, if you know that the worst a boggart can do is the confront you with your greatest fear.

If you have heard about boggarts but somehow misunderstood what makes them hazardous, your greatest fear is not really a boggart, but what you imagine boggarts to be. For example, if you think that what makes boggarts dangerous is that they can turn into three-headed, fire-breathing ogres, your greatest fear is really of the ogre, not the boggart. And it therefore a boggart will appear to you in the form of the ogre.

Consider the problem of how the boggart will appear as one of infinite regress. A boggart appears as your greatest fear. If your greatest fear is a boggart, you will see a boggart. But what a boggart looks like your greatest fear. Since your greatest fear is a boggar, that is what you will see. But what a boggart looks like your greatest fear.... It is not possible to break out of this infinite regress, because there is not bottom to the recursion. However, is not really possible to break into it (and become trapped by it) either! Because there is no root fear that is driving the infinite regression.

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    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin Roosevelt
    – RichS
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 21:59
  • @RichS "Nothing is terrible except fear itself" -Francis Bacon's slightly less eloquent version.
    – Buzz
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 22:11
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    Concerning the second paragraph, you may fear that a Boggart can turn into any fearsome thing. So, it may appear to you as an ever-changing creature. You cannot always "rank" your fears. But I agree that logically, many people will be afraid of "the concept of boggart" rather than the boggart itself, so it will appear as what they imagine it should resemble (no need of recursivity). On the other hand, fears and phobia are irrational, so one may be boggartophobic without any reason.
    – Taladris
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 11:23

If you know what a Boggart is, you'd probably be scared from it because you're thinking of what it would turn into, thus being more scared of something else.

If you don't know what a Boggart is and you're genuinely most afraid of a Boggart, I think the Boggart would turn into the looks you'd imagine the Boggart to have.


The answer is straight in the canon.
If one is afraid of Boggart, he or she is actually afraid of fear, since Boggart's scariest ability is to scare.
Professor Lupin told Harry that Boggart turning into a Dementor means Harry is actually afraid of fear.
From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

Harry: Professor, can I ask you something? Prof. Lupin: You want to know why I stopped you facing that boggart, yes? I thought it'd be obvious. I assumed it would take the shape of Lord Voldemort. Harry: I did think of Voldemort at first. But then I remembered that night on the train and the dementor. Prof. Lupin: I'm very impressed. That suggest what you fear the most is fear itself. This is very wise.

So you would also see Boggart in the form of Dementor.

  • 1
    This answer is not that unreasonable as it seems on first sight :).
    – TGar
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 11:53

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