The lonely island of St. Finan, in Loch Shiel in Scotland, was used as a film location for the Black Lake scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The uninhabited island is home to nothing but graves, a roofless ruin of a chapel and an ancient bell. Or rather it was home to an ancient bell. A cursed ancient bell. Sometime between late June and early July, nefarious nincompoops decided to steal it.

The spooky island, where famous monk St. Finan died in 661 AD has been used as a burial ground since, and it is easy to see why the location was used in the iconic Harry Potter scene. Near Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, the island oozes mystery with its fog covered rocky soil and crumbling chapel. The bell itself is over 1000 years of age and legend says that anyone who moves the bell from the island will be cursed.

What would possess someone to make their way to a deserted island, one would assume under the cover of darkness, to steal a cursed bell? Will they next be stealing the Annabelle doll from the Warren Museum? Are the thieves rabid Harry Potter fans? Why not simply visit a Harry Potter shop?

‘The bell is of no monetary value, but is of great historical and religious value and has huge significance to the local population.’ said a spokesman.

The bell has been stolen before. It was last stolen by a British soldier in the 1740s but returned after a chase along the 17-mile long Loch Shiel. The thief was flogged severely, and the bell returned by his officers.

Scotland police believe that the crafty crooks / wizard wannabe’s would have needed heavy bolt cutters to cut through the hand-forged bronze chain attaching the bell to the stone altar. Perhaps they used a wand, and the alohomora spell.

The altar where the bell once rested. You can see it on the plinth just to the left.

One hopes that the bungling burglars paid attention in Defense Against the Dark Arts class. They have one heck of a curse to break.


Sidney Fraser
Sidney Fraser

Sidney Fraser is an American transplanted to a new life in London, where she explores fannish and geeky places, events and creations, which she relates in the continuing True and Proper Adventures of Sidney Fraser.