Ah, Hogwarts — the magical place that every Harry Potter fan dreamt of going. Growing up with the books meant childishly hoping for an owl to arrive with a Hogwarts invitation letter, thinking of the hallways and classes and thinking of how enchanting it must be...
It's kind of accurate.
Sure, Hogwarts would probably be enchanting if it existed, but for a school... it also seemed incredibly dangerous. There were a number of things that made it deeply unsafe and yet, year after year, parents sent their children back. We have to ask — what were they thinking?
10 The Forbidden Forest
At the edge of the grounds was the Forbidden Forest. It was said to have harmless creatures such as unicorns, a little more dangerous beings such as centaurs, and basically everything all the way up to werewolves. In 1991, it was even home to Lord Voldemort for a while. Places don't get much more dangerous than that.
And, to the school's credit, it was mostly forbidden. Except when Harry, Malfoy, and Hermione were given a detention in the forest and had to go in there when something clearly dangerous was lurking. Which turned out to be Lord Voldemort. Er... good call, professors.
9 The Third Floor Corridor
In the very first book, the Sorcerer's Stone was kept in Hogwarts. Which makes sense, as Hogwarts was apparently the hardest place to break into and the stone had to be kept safe from Voldemort, but there's one issue with this: they put a three-headed dog in the corridor to guard it.
Yes, the door was locked. But if a first year student can unlock the door via magic, any student could. Literally any student could have gotten curious, wandered into the corridor, and had their face eaten off by Fluffy.
Some questionable planning there, Dumbledore!
8 The Chamber Of Secrets
Ah, finally. One that wasn't necessarily the fault of the professors.
The only thing dangerous enough to make them consider closing Hogwarts was the Chamber of Secrets. Tom Riddle left his diary behind when he disappeared and a version of himself re-opened the Chamber, causing a basilisk to roam through the school and murder students. Considering looking it in the eye will paralyze a person and it can very easily kill... Yes, it's understandable this made them consider closing the school.
Dumbledore also left in the middle of this fiasco because the Ministry told him to, which was not the greatest governmental move.
7 Care Of Magical Creatures
All of the lessons at Hogwarts have an element of danger to them, but none more so than Care of Magical Creatures. Especially when it was taught by Hagrid.
Yes, Hagrid is a gentle giant. Yes, Hagrid means well. But to put him in charge of supervising teenagers around dangerous creatures like Hippogriffs wasn't just misguided, it was insane. Sure, it was Draco Malfoy's own fault he got injured for not listening to instructions and being arrogant, but what teenager listens carefully? This class is set up to have accidents and as lovely as Hagrid is, he wasn't exactly a competent teacher.
6 The Dementors
Another one that wasn't necessarily the fault of the professors was when the Ministry of Magic stationed Dementors around the castle. In theory, this was necessary to catch Sirius Black.
In reality, they didn't care whose soul they sucked out: they just seemed to be hungry.
They swarmed way too close to people and should have been removed immediately — in fact, they should never have been instated in the first place. They cause people to become unhinged in Azkaban, so mass murderer on the loose or no mass murderer, having them guard a school was one of the worst decisions the Ministry made in the series.
(And there were a lot of those.)
5 The Triwizard Tournament
In 1994, the Triwizard Tournament came to Hogwarts. It allowed students over the age of seventeen to participate in a series of tasks for the chance of winning one thousand galleons.
According to J.K. Rowling, this is the equivalent of five thousand British pounds — so less than four thousand US dollars. Is that worth life-threatening danger?
Harry was entered into the tournament at fourteen, and they allowed him to compete. Sure, Harry, you can complete these life-threatening tasks — but no, you can't visit Hogsmeade without a permission slip from your abusive guardians.
4 The Staircases
A more minor one, but probably pretty dangerous nevertheless — the staircases that randomly change. What if a student was stepping from the floor onto one and twisted their ankle as the staircase violently began to move? What if they were returning from a class where Confundus Charms were being practiced on them and they didn't have the best balance?
Rowena Ravenclaw, we applaud the creativity, but this was a bad idea.
3 Hermione's Time Turner
At thirteen, Hermione Granger was given a Time Turner so she could take more classes.
We — what?
Time-bending is clearly a serious thing in the Potterverse, so to give a thirteen year old — no matter how smart — a Time Turner just seemed like a ludicrous decision from the usually sensible Minerva McGonagall. Hermione didn't need those extra classes; she just wanted the extra credit. And even Harry and Ron started to notice something was up when her timetable had two classes scheduled at once.
2 Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy made the castle dangerous for everyone in 1996, when he joined the ranks of the Death Eaters and worked to break them into Hogwarts. He wasn't necessarily evil and was definitely in way over his head, but he put every single student at risk that night and how the fatalities were not extraordinarily high is a miracle. He let some of the most dangerous, wanted witches and wizards into a school full of students and he was smart enough to successfully do it. He was no doubt a danger to everyone in Hogwarts, even if he later regretted his decisions.
1 Harry Himself
Harry didn't mean to be an explosion waiting to go off, but he definitely was. With the darkest wizard in the world chasing him, there was no point where he wasn't in danger or being hunted, and that meant that anywhere he was, anyone around him, was liable to be put in the same fatal danger. Having Harry at the school was necessary for his own protection, but it didn't mean that Hogwarts wasn't made exceedingly dangerous for the other students.