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Creature profile
Also known as King of Serpents
Ministry of Magic Classification XXXXX
Appearance green gigantic serpent, large yellow eyes
Origin Greece
Known specimens Slytherin's monster
First appearance in canon The Heir of Slytherin (CS)
Notes made on Harry's copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the book mentions that there have been no sightings of Basilisks in Britain for over 400 years; Harry adds, 'that's what you think'

Basilisks, also known as the King of Serpents, are gigantic serpents that can live for hundreds of years. They are brilliant green and up to fifty feet long. They have huge yellow eyes and the males carry a scarlet plume upon their heads (FBAZ). They are born from a chicken's egg hatched under a toad (CS16). The first Basilisk was created by the Dark Ancient Greek wizard Herpo the Foul ( FW). Since medieval times, the creation of Basilisks has been banned (FBAZ).

Although it is relatively easy to create them, the ban is rarely transgressed because Basilisks are extremely dangerous and can only be controlled by Parselmouths (FBAZ). Their fangs are poisonous; the only known antidote for the venom is Phoenix tears. The venom is one of the few substances lethal enough to destroy a Horcrux (DH6). Furthermore, the stare of its large yellow eyes is fatal; all who look into them directly suffer instant death. However, if someone looks into the Basilisk's eyes through an obstacle - such as a ghost or a camera - or sees a reflection in a mirror or a puddle of water, they will merely be Petrified, a state that can be cured by a Mandrake Restorative Draught (CS9, CS16)<ref>J.K. Rowling did mention in an interview that seeing the Basilisk's eyes through glasses will not save you from death. However, she thought that the idea of seeing a Basilisk through a camera could save you, as this means seeing through many lenses. She agrees that this is argueable (ECR).</ref>. The stare of the Basilisk will even Petrify ghosts (CS11).

Basilisks feed from mammals, birds, and most reptiles (FBAZ). The cry of a rooster is fatal for them (CS16).

All spiders are mortally afraid of the Basilisk. They flee when they sense its presence (CS15).

Chamber of Secrets

Search.png Full article: Chamber of Secrets

Harry and Fawkes fight the Basilisk. Fanart by Ayne.

Salazar Slytherin held a female Baskilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, which could only be opened by Parselmouths (CS16). Tom Marvolo Riddle opened the Chamber during his time at Hogwarts to hunt Muggle-borns. The Baskilisk travelled through the school's plumbing system. Finally, Myrtle was killed (CS16). When security measures around the school were raised, Tom framed Hagrid's pet Acromantula Aragog for the murder and closed the Chamber again (CS13). But he created his diary, which had the power to reopen the Chamber (CS16).

In 1992, the Chamber was reopened by Ginny Weasley, who was possessed by Voldemort's Horcrux inside the diary. Many victims, including four Muggle-born students, the caretaker's cat, and Nearly Headless Nick, were Petrified. Finally, Tom Riddle's memory overpowered Ginny and brought her into the Chamber. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley came to her aid and Harry, aided by Fawkes, defeated the Basilisk with Godric Gryffindor's sword (CS16).


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Wikipedia has an article about Basilisks.
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