What Would a Boggart Turn into if Your Worst Fear Was Heights?

By Susanna Dodds

ABSTRACT: This essay describes a flaw in a boggart. 5 in 100 people suffer from acrophobia (the fear of heights) so how does a boggart represent that? There are many things that people fear that isn’t a thing but a feeling. Heights aren’t a thing, they are a sensation.

Boggarts, as we know them, are shape-shifting creatures that take on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.

Well, what if the viewer’s worst fear was heights or drowning? What would it turn into?

For heights, supposing it would turn into a high building or a cliff edge, how is that going to scare you? Besides the fact that the building or cliff edge would be in miniature (proved by the fact that Professor Remus Lupin’s boggart was a miniature full moon) you are clearly not standing on a high area so why would you be scared? Being afraid of heights doesn’t mean you will be afraid of high areas if you aren’t even on them. It may show you in miniature falling off a high area but again how would that scare you? You aren’t really falling and you do not feel the sensation of falling.

For drowning, the boggart might present itself to the viewer as a body of water. But how is that going to scare them? The viewer isn’t afraid of water; they drink the stuff every day. They are afraid of the sensation of drowning. Of not being able to breathe or knowing you are about to die. An image of you drowning again, I think, wouldn’t scare you as you do not feel the drowning you are just watching it.

Maybe it would turn into your second worst fear, but then that defeats the purpose. The boggart is supposed to represent the viewer’s WORST fear. Not second worst.

Lupin’s boggart was the full moon. His fear was not the full moon but what he became when the full moon was out. He was afraid of when the time would come for him to go through the painful transformation of turning into a werewolf. Thus the boggart grasped onto the closest physical emblem of that fear as it could. The moon. The boggart, I think, never frightened Lupin, as a miniature moon was never going to change him. Lupin was able to brush the boggart aside with a quick ‘ridikulus’. Considering others in class, such as Ron Weasley, whose boggart turned into exactly what he feared, a giant spider, it seems as if he actually had to work harder than lupin. The same situation occurred with many of the other students including Harry Potter, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnegan, Parvati Patil, Lavender Brown, Molly Weasley and Neville Longbottom. Hermione Granger is also a funny one. She fears failing. This is a fear of a feeling but it can be translated into a physical being (Professor Minerva McGonagall saying she had failed everything.) It terrified Hermione to the point of tears. Making it one of the few sensation fears to transform into a boggart the user actually fears.

This is the end of my essay but I would like to leave with a question, if your greatest fear was a Bogart, what would you see?