Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Ghosts of Hogwarts

In Today’s literature, ghosts rarely rattle chains anymore. I miss traditional ghost stories like Marley’s ghost in Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. In my humble opinion, these tales are more exciting.

I think this is why I enjoyed the Harry Potter books —I read them as an adult.  J.K. Rowling’s ghosts are fun.

Moaning Myrtle
Who can resist the miserable ghost-- Moaning Myrtle, who hangs out in a girl’s restroom at Hogwarts, or Professor Binns, a ghostly teacher that comes out of a blackboard to teach the History of Magic?

Professor Binns
Then there is a student-dining hall with a multitude of friendly ghosts flying overhead—with their own table set with rotting food. Indigestion anyone?

Each house at Hogwarts has their own unique ghost.

Nearly Headless Nick—Gryffindor’s house ghost who is a bit of a snob, and a failed wizard, who has a head hanging on by a thread—hence the “Nearly.” He gives Hogwarts’ students advice on death and on whether their loved ones will become ghosts.

Nearly Headless Nick, The Grey Lady, and The Fat Friar
The Bloody Baron
The Bloody Baron is Slytherin’s house ghost. He is covered in silver bloodstains. He murdered Helena Ravenclaw, who becomes The Grey Lady. He wears chains to remind him of this crime.

The Grey Lady is the Ravenclaw house ghost. She is beautiful and was the daughter of Hogwarts’ founder. After stealing her mother’s diadem, she is killed by The Bloody Baron.

The Fat Friar is the Hufflepuff house ghost. He, unlike the other spirits, is mostly cheerful. This friar is always kind and helpful to all the students at Hogwarts. He was executed by his own order for supposedly using magic—he could cure the pox.

Hogwarts also has a resident poltergeist, Peeves, who is a master at creating chaos.

The ghosts in Rowling’s books are not frightening and only slightly ghoulish. They all appear silvery and translucent.

For more insights from Rowing on these ghosts—including a description of a spirit she regrets not using in her books—go to—Pottermore, Hogwarts Ghosts here.

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