Things You Didn't Know About Life In Azkaban

List Rules
Vote up the most sinister details.

The Harry Potter series is known as a family-friendly franchise to most. Even with the presence of Voldemort and the Death Eaters, the perception of the Wizarding World is that it is a happy place to be - Azkaban is a very dark exception. The wizarding prison is arguably the worst place to be on Earth because it is constantly inhabited by the Dementors. While the prison has changed in present times, the popular opinion of Azkaban remains the same as it was during Harry Potter's school days.

It's worth taking a look at how Azkaban has evolved over its many centuries of active status and how life is supposed to be there for inmates, Aurors, Dementors, and anyone else who has stepped foot on the island.


  • 1
    1,068 VOTES

    New Prisoners Are Known To Scream For The First Few Days

    New Prisoners Are Known To Scream For The First Few Days
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The only sounds in Azkaban are the low, raspy breaths of the Dementors and the blood-curdling screams of its inmates. The prisoners who do scream in terror are exclusively the new arrivals because older inmates always go quiet. Prisoners who have served longer sentences become well aware when someone new is present judging by the sounds of their screams.

    Sirius Black is able to take note of Barty Crouch Jr.'s condition when the latter arrives at Azkaban. Sirius listens to Crouch's screams the first few days and realizes he must have perished when Crouch goes quiet. Longer-held inmates can accurately guess when someone is expected to pass away based on their screaming.

  • 2
    648 VOTES

    The Cells Of Prisoners With Heightened Emotions Are Swarmed By Dementors

    The Cells Of Prisoners With Heightened Emotions Are Swarmed By Dementors
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Dementors are supposed to patrol Azkaban in equal measures, but they don't bother to follow the rules placed upon them. As Dementors are creatures of habit, they tend to target inmates who are more animated than others. It all comes down to the food supply the Dementors feel they can get, because people in emotional states carry more potential to feed Dementors.

    Sirius claims in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that the reason new inmates go quiet is that Dementors are around them so much. The prisoners' screams and heightened emotions are too good for the Dementors to resist, so cells of this sort are where the most Azkaban guards can be found.

  • 3
    821 VOTES

    There Is Nothing For A Prisoner To Do But To Remain In Their Cell

    There Is Nothing For A Prisoner To Do But To Remain In Their Cell
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Muggle prisons are more lenient toward prisoners, who are generally allowed to leave their cells at certain times - Azkaban is unlike anything Muggles can fathom. Prisoners in Azkaban have nothing to do but to spend their sentences exclusively in their cells. Inmates are not permitted to exit for any reason whatsoever, and those who are in poor health aren't taken to the hospital - they're left to perish.

    The only activity that inmates have is to watch outside their cells or look out their windows if they're lucky enough to get a cell with a view. The only area in sight is the cemetery, so prisoners are dealt with a constant reminder that their ultimate fate is to perish in their cell.

  • 4
    823 VOTES

    Dementors Don't Generally 'Kiss' Prisoners Because They Want To Prolong The Suffering

    Dementors Don't Generally 'Kiss' Prisoners Because They Want To Prolong The Suffering
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Dementor's Kiss is the most feared move the species can make, to the point where its mere mention strikes horror in every inmate's mind. A Dementor's Kiss isn't a usual occurrence, however, because Dementors prefer to keep the inmates alive as long as they can.

    Dementors want the prisoners to perish of their own accord because it enables them to drain as much of their life force as possible. The Dementor's Kiss is reserved for prisoners who attempt to escape Azkaban - these inmates are effectively allowed to be executed by the Ministry, and Dementors suck out their souls.

  • 5
    1,021 VOTES

    Dementors Bring Food To Prisoners' Cells

    Dementors Bring Food To Prisoners' Cells
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    There's no designated lunch or dinner hour for Azkaban inmates - they are expected to eat when the Dementors want to feed them. Prisoners have no option but to survive on whatever the Dementors have in store, which is unknown, but it's implied to be food that is undesirable to eat.

    Inmates only see their cell doors open when they are served food, because Dementors have no reason to believe they will attempt an escape. Close contact with a Dementor is the worst sensation to feel in Azkaban, and renders inmates distraught as their food is given to them.

    Sirius Black is the only prisoner to ever overcome the horrifying sensation; he launched his escape when a Dementor opened his cell to give him food.

  • 6
    861 VOTES

    Dementors Become Agitated When An Inmate Is Meant To Be Released

    Dementors Become Agitated When An Inmate Is Meant To Be Released
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Dementors are largely sedate in nature while in Azkaban because they are satisfied with the misery of the inmates around them. The only time the creatures become agitated is when they are forced to release a prisoner back outside; the person's heightened emotions tempt the Dementors not to release them.

    Rubeus Hagrid mentions this event in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, claiming the Dementors were very unhappy when they had to let him go and were riled up. Hagrid had spent months in Azkaban on false charges, and his feelings of optimism over his release prompted the Dementors' uneasy state.