|“||This spell asks you to tap into dark places. Places of temptation. Places you can't handle.||”|
Dark Magic, also referred to as the Dark Arts or Black Magic, is a powerful form of witchcraft that draws on malevolent powers, and may be used for dark purposes that deliberately cause harm in some way (e.g. to injure or kill, to cause destruction or misfortune, or for personal gain without regard to harmful consequences). In popular usage, the term "Dark Magic" is often used to describe any form of magic that goes against the Balance of Nature.
Despite its power, dark magic is known to corrupt the practitioner by distorting the human perception between right and wrong and most practitioners of dark magic become malefic over the course of time. Alaric explains that it gets inside the heart and it poisons the mind.
The Vampire Diaries
Dark Magic was first mentioned by Esther Mikaelson after she explained how she used Dark Magic to create the Original vampires. Abby also used Dark Magic when she desiccated the Original vampire, Mikael.
Bonnie would eventually turn to the dark arts in order to desiccate Klaus. Later, Bonnie Bennett resorted to using Dark Magic again, in an attempt to help her friend after the Spirits turned against her. However, after Bonnie is warned about the dangerous consequences that come with Dark Magic from her Grams, she plans to quit the Dark Arts for good. Though is quickly forced to use Dark Magic yet again by the infamous Klaus to place his spirit back inside his original body and subsequently having the spirits punish her through her Grams.
Over a millennium ago, Esther sought out her sister Dahlia to make her fertile. Dahlia used dark magic to perform the fertility spell. Dahlia also used Dark Magic over the following years to link herself to Freya; perform the century slumber spell, channel Freya, make herself and Freya invulnerable and sense the newborn of each generation's magic. It is also possible that Dahlia used Dark Magic to link herself to Klaus and channel his immortality.
Like her sister Dahlia, Esther is also very skilled in the Dark Arts. Esther promised that if Dahlia took Freya, she would return to the Dark Arts and take revenge. Many years later, Esther used Dark Magic to perform a variation of Qetsiyah's immortality spell to turn her family into vampires. She then preceded to use Dark Magic to place the Hybrid curse on Klaus. Over a millennium later, Esther used Dark Magic with help of the Bennett witches to link all of her children together.
Like other members of her family, Hope Mikaelson is no stranger to dark magic and is versed in various spells that utilize it, such as locator spells and an death spell - the former in which she used to track down Landon and the latter which she intended to use on, though instead used against a fully transformed dragon.
Josie Saltzman is also tapped into dark magic on several occasions, first of which helping Hope with her locator spell to track Landon and other times to to harm students, whether intentional or not. Specifically with Josie and Lizzie, when one twin uses or is exposed to dark magic, they both suffer physical symptoms such as vomited "black goo" or horrible rashes. Unlike other practitioners of dark magic, Lizzie and Josie are the only known witches to suffer physical consequences of using such magic.
Many dark witches have appeared throughout both The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. The term "dark witch" refers to any witch who has tapped into Dark Magic, either to perform something they weren't strong enough to do with Traditional Magic or as a means to empower themselves with far greater strength.
- Dahlia: Dahlia is one of the darkest and most powerful witches in history.
- Esther Mikaelson: While not as powerful as her elder sister, Esther is still one of the most infamous and powerful dark witches in history, notably known for creating the Original Vampires.
- Freya Mikaelson: While under the guidance of her aunt, Freya is well-versed in Dark Magic and its use.
- Céleste Dubois: Céleste Dubois was a powerful witch who belonged to the French Quarter Coven almost 200 years ago. Upon her death, she used Dark Magic to continue living, via possession, in the bodies of different witches throughout the next two centuries.
- Annie La Fleur was one of the witches Céleste possessed, circa 2010. She was described as a good girl, but after her possession, she was shunned by her coven for practicing Dark Magic, of which they had proof. After she was shunned, Céleste drowned herself in the Mississippi seeking to possess her next host, Sabine.
- Valerie LaMarche: Valerie LaMarche was a very powerful witch who use Dark Magic to gain more power. Eventually, this obsession with Dark Magic caused Valerie to turn to the darkest form of magic known to man; Expression.
- Davina Claire: Following her shunning from the New Orleans witch community, Davina joined a powerful coven of dark witches, known as The Sisters.
- The Heretics: As a group of siphoner-turned vampires, the Heretics practice Dark Magic by siphoning the magic from their vampirism, a creation of Dark Magic.
- Tremé Coven: The Tremé Coven are hardy witches of New Orleans known for making the majority of the witch community's known Dark Objects and producing famous dark witches such as Eva Sinclair and the Griffith Family.
- The Kindred: The Kindred are a coven of dark witches obsessed with necromancy and immortality spells which eventually got them imprisoned into the Asylum.
- Cassie, the former Harvest Girl, eventually sided and perished alongside the Kindred.
- The Sisters: The Sisters are a coven of witches that solely practice Dark Magic and work as the personal coven for the Strix.
- Hope Mikaelson: While under the guidance of her aunt, Freya, and accessed to her grandmother's grimoires, Hope is knowledgeable in various spells that require dark magic, even one as dangerous as that of a "death spell".
- Josie Saltzman: A bright young witch with a penchant for magic, Josie has delved into dark magic on several occasions with the intentions for good; however, the allure of using dark magic is twisted, so much so, that she believes that she wanted to hurt someone willingly. Despite saying she was going to give it up, she continues to use it for what she believes as the right reason.
Former Dark Witches
Many Dark Witches are temped by the power and lose themselves to it, while other witches can utilize it for a single purpose or spell and remain pure.
- Abby Bennett: At some point in time, the Original vampire, Mikael, came to Mystic Falls looking to kill the doppelgänger as a means to prevent Klaus from breaking his curse. Knowing that Elena Gilbert, the daughter of her best friend, Miranda, was the doppelgänger, Abby lured Mikael out of town and performed a spell that required Dark Magic to desiccate and imprison him inside of a crypt. Due to the spell, leaving Bonnie and/or punishment from Nature, she lost access to her magic.
- Bonnie Bennett: Bonnie Bennett is a very powerful witch. While Bonnie originally used Dark Magic to help her friends, like most witches, Bonnie became tempted by the Darkness and began to use this power more and more to protect her friends and family. She even went against the Spirits in an attempt to save Elena and was punished by the Spirits. Afraid of what she had done, Bonnie eventually turned to the darkest form of witchcraft in creation, Expression, just like Valerie LaMarche, though she had darker intentions.
Spells and Rituals
- Main article: Spells and Rituals
- Dahlia †
- Esther Mikaelson †
- Freya Mikaelson
- Céleste Dubois †
- Genevieve †
- Bastianna Natale †
- Papa Tunde †
- Valerie Tulle
- Mary Louise †
- Nora Hildegard †
- Malcolm †
- Beau †
- Oscar †
- Malachai Parker
- Valerie LaMarche †
- Abby Bennett (Formerly/Undead)
- Eva Sinclair †
- Bonnie Bennett (Formerly)
- Davina Claire
- Cassie †
- The Sisters †
- The Hollow †
- Hope Mikaelson
- Josie Saltzman
- *† indicates deceased
- In Night Has A Thousand Eyes, Freya mentions how sacred ground that's been stained in the blood of the innocents that were massacred creates a place of "dark power", based on her revelation it would be safe to say that such a place serves as a source of Dark Magic as well.
- Dark Magic allows a witch to circumvent the common rules of witchcraft that apply to other forms of magic. Such examples include:
- A dark witch's ability to reach the purgatory for supernatural beings by inducing death in themselves while returning to life is powered by the sheer force of will.
- A dark witch's ability to access the Ancestral Plane despite not being an ancestral witch.
- A dark witch's ability to return to life following the performance of a suspension spell depending on a life link despite that link being broken. This is powered by the witch's force of will as well.
- Spells of possession are considered to consist of dark magic, though not all spells are out right stated as such.
- While Bonnie's Spirit Transference Spell, and likely Maddox's, specifically requires dark magic, as seen with the blackened veins that occurred with Bonnie, we can speculate that other spells related to possession equally use or is at least combined with in order to achieve the spell's purpose.
- This is most notable with Davina and Vincent's Ancestral Plane Transcending Spells, both of which called for the caster's death, though they utilized Ancestral Magic. This spell can be considered a 'sister-spell' (or similar) to The Other Side Transcending spell, originally cast by Bonnie, both of which achieved the same purpose, to travel to a spiritual dimension with the caster's temporary death. When Jeremy states what kind of magic would let her die, in order to bring someone and herself back, she told him that she had found a new source of power, which was later revealed to be Dark Magic.
- Such an example is Lenore's Soul Branding Ritual which called for Sacrificial Magic, the sacrifice of a python, which is a subsection of Dark Magic.
- Another example is the Traveler's passenger spell, which is rooted in possession, though it is never accurately stated that they've used dark magic specifically. This is the most likely case though as they sacrifice multiple people on several occasions to fuel their most potent spells.
- Expression is an extremely powerful source of Dark Magic; it isn't even credited as magic by witches.
- Shane states Expression is neither good nor evil.
- Nandi LaMarche (in regards to expression) states that the magic her mother practiced was "unnatural". In We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street, when Stefan (and Damon) asks if it is like 'Black' Magic, to which she replies that its worse than Dark Magic.
- Many years prior, Nandi's mother, Valerie LaMarche states to Damon that the magic he sought was 'dark' and 'powerful' and that dark magic draws power from dark places. Casting the spell he needed would require the sacrifice of 12 human souls.