Building the Shrieking Shack

For too long, Hogsmeade seemed somewhat forgotten by LEGO, though the 2004 sets gave us a few buildings to play with. The mid-year 2021 wave of LEGO Harry Potter sets has put Hogsmeade back on the radar, with one of the sets featuring both The Three Broomsticks and Honeydukes. But more buildings could be added. Here is my take on the Shrieking Shack…

The mid-year 2021 wave of LEGO Harry Potter sets may as mentioned have put Hogsmeade back on the radar, but not before I had built my own Hogsmeade MOC (my own creation), which I wrote about in December last year. I’ve shown a photo of it below.

As some will notice, the left most building is a slight redesign of the Elf Club House set which was released in the Winter Village series last year. The two grey buildings were built to match the style. Apart from the centre building being The Three Broomsticks, the other two haven’t really been built to match anything at this point, though I’m thinking the right most building could become Zonko’s joke shop, with a future expansion to include Honeydukes.

“Do you know much about Hogsmeade?” asked Hermione keenly. “I’ve read it’s the only entirely non-Muggle settlement in Britain.”
“Yeah, I think it is,” said Ron in an offhand sort of way, “but that’s not why I want to go. I just want to get inside Honeydukes!”
“What’s that?” said Hermione.
“It’s the sweetshop,” said Ron

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The new Hogsmeade Village Visit set from mid 2021 included two buildings: Three Broomsticks and Honeydukes. It is one of my favourite sets from the 2021 (check my review here), though I haven’t decided yet whether I want to integrate the buildings into my own layout.

But this post is about the Shrieking Shack. So while I have considered adding additional stores to the main street of Hogsmeade (including using parts of the new set to build my own larger version of Honeydukes), building a MOC of the Shrieking Shack, towering at the back of the village, has been on my to-do list for a long time.

LEGO did actually release that in the Shrieking Shack set (4756) from 2004, but it lacks the detail to integrate nicely with my own display.

The 2004 Shrieking Shack set

The 2004 set included the Shrieking Shack as the main feature, along with Honeydukes (almost just a facade) and a small shed for the animagus characters to transform (Sirius Black could turn into a dog and Peter Pettigrew into a rat).

The Shrieking Shack

Before getting to my MOC, let’s revisit the story behind the Shrieking Shack. We initially learn that it is an abandoned house in Hogsmeade. For many years, the local villagers thought it was haunted as they often heard screams coming from the house.

 “…and the Shrieking Shack’s supposed to be the most severely haunted building in Britain.”

Hermione in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In reality, the Shrieking Shack was used by Remus Lupin for his monthly transformations into a werewolf. Madam Pomfrey would escort Lupin to the house before his transformation. To keep him in, the door and windows were all boarded up and the only access was through the tunnel from Hogwarts. The screaming heard from the house on those days was simply Lupin biting and scratching himself while in his werewolf form. Professor Dumbledore did nothing to put the rumours of the house being haunted to rest, to ensure Remus had a place to stay around full moon, safely separated from people he could otherwise harm.

The Shrieking Shack

Building the Shrieking Shack

The Shrieking Shack is both in the movies and fan art typically shown to be on a hill top outside the village itself. For that reason, I wanted to build it on a small elevation. I ended up with a “hill” about four bricks high, but should probably have opted for a few more bricks of height to improve the effect, in particular as my intent is to display it behind my Hogsmeade model, which will block some of the view.

For consistency with my Hogsmeade model, I wanted to build it on an irregular shaped “island”, allowing the model to be positioned freely, and thus improving the flexibility when displaying. So back in June I made a start.

Starting on the model – landscaping first. Yes, all table space was taken up by other models, so this was built on the floor.

A few days later, I could start on the building itself. I wanted to use tiles to represent the wooden boards the building had been constructed of. I quickly ran out of tiles though.

The building time stretched for many months. As noted, I started in June and it wasn’t completed till September as I had to order additional bricks a number of times.  

This is a reflection of my normal build process. I don’t really plan my builds, I just start with what I have and then order as I go. Because of this, I have to pause at times when running out of bricks, but often that trigger new creative ideas to progress with other parts, rather than ordering new. And as I normally have 3 or more projects going at the same time, there’s always something I can build.

A few weeks later, I once again picked up the building, having received a new supply of reddish brown tiles.

A key feature I wanted to capture was the leaning walls. To maintain some degree of structural integrity, they ended up less leaning than hoped, but I still like the effect.

Another must was to have door and windows boarded up.

Finally, around mid August, I got to the top of the building, where completing the roof design took a few iterations.

The completed building

Here are a few photos of the completed building.

If viewed from an angle, the leaning walls show up better, as seen below. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the outcome, having never tried to build anything like that previously.

Here are a few close-up photos of the build.

Finally, here is the Shrieking Shack towering on its hilltop behind my Hogsmeade village.

As mentioned earlier, it would have been good to have the hill a few bricks higher. But overall, this has been a fun build and I am really thrilled with the outcome.

Along with Hogsmeade, it will be on display in just under two weeks, at BrisBricks’ LEGO Fan Expo at Chandler, Brisbane, 2-4 October. I hope that many LEGO Harry Potter fans will come around to have a look (my Diagon Alley model will also be there).

Till then, Build the Magic!

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