The dementors from Harry Potter were inspired by J.K. Rowling’s former battle with severe depression!
Six months into writing the first book in her magical series, Rowling’s mother died. Just over two years later, she found herself a struggling single mother after her short-lived marriage had failed. Living on welfare, she was so depressed that she harbored an irrational fear that her daughter Jessica would surely die at some point. During these difficult times, the woman who would be one day be wealthier than the Queen of England even had thoughts of suicide! Rowling later managed to channel this common human experience into the dark hooded creatures found in the third Harry Potter book. She describes this emotional state as the "absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad."