Dresden Files
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Black magic is essentially any mortal magic that breaks any of the Laws of Magic. It usually involves the cost of life and/or free will. 


Magic is black when it is directed toward destruction and harm.[1][2]

It's so easy to use because Magic come from the heart, from your feelings. Black Magic comes from lust, fear, and anger—things that are easy to feed and make grow. Dresden's magic was harder because came from a deeper truer and purer source—harder to tap, harder to keep but more elegant and powerful.[3] Belief in magic and confidence in oneself are essential to making magic work, otherwise it will fizzle out. This is particularly true for actions like killing someone with magic.[4]

Anastasia Luccio, Captain of the Wardens states that to gain control over others and gathering great power to oneself, there's no greater tool than black magic.[5]

The worst kind of black magic gives off a nauseating, greasy almost empty feel.[6] Fire could be a purifying force in its non-physical aspect—fire could consume and destroy dark magic if used with that intent. It was the weapon of choice for most Wardens.[7]

In the series[]

Fool Moon[]

In Fool Moon, Harry Dresden dons a wolf belt, and later he describes it as pure evil.[3]

Blood Rites[]

In Blood Rites,

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In Backup, a member of the Stygian Sisterhood messes up Thomas Raith's face instead of killing him. When discussing this with Bob, he notes black magic leaves traces. Had she killed him, Harry Dresden would have been able to sense it on her.[8]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Molly Carpenter knowingly uses psychomancy to forcibly change the way her friends Nelson Lenhardt and Rosanna Marcella are thinking, breaking the Fourth Law.(reference needed)

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, Harry Dresden and the Wardens fought the Grey Men on Demonreach with fire spells for its purifying effect.[7]


In Changes, Bob looks at photos of a shipment of Metacapacitors, which is code for ritual objects. He says that they're objects of dark and dangerous magic, which is obvious from angles and the imbalance, they are meant to be destructive. They are meant for Human Sacrifice. The slaughter of an innocent. The Red Court is planning a destructive act of high Black Magic.[9]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story, Harry Dresden recalls his first encounter with Black Magic the day he came home early from school, he sensed and energy that hung in the air like "cloying, oily perfume". It felt wrong. Elaine Mallory was sitting still, quiet, Justin DuMorne stood at the kitchen doorway. There was a straightjacket on the table next to his copy of The Hobbit. Justin ordered him to sit, and when he didn't, Justin sent a blast of Kinetomancy at Dresden who used the force to propel him through the window for an escape.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ghost Story, ch. 30
  2. Fool Moon, ch. 9
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fool Moon, ch. 33
  4. Blood Rites, ch. 34
  5. Turn Coat, ch. 28
  6. Dead Beat, ch. 81
  7. 7.0 7.1 Turn Coat, ch. 42
  8. Backup
  9. Changes, ch. 9 and 10

See also[]