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Ghost

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Ghost-pottermore
Ghost
Species information
Sentience

Sentient

Eye colour

Greyish-silver

Skin colour

Greyish-silver

Hair colour

Greyish-silver

Related to

Wizards and witches

Distinction(s)
Affiliation
Status

Spirit

"A ghost, as I trust that you are all aware by now, is the imprint of a departed soul left upon the earth... and of course, as Potter so wisely tells us, transparent."
Prof. Severus Snape discussing ghosts in 1996.[src]

A ghost is the disembodied spirit of a once-living wizard or witch. Only magical beings can become ghosts. Many ghosts take up residence within Hogwarts Castle. These fleshless spirits were either afraid of death or have some extraordinarily strong connection to the locations they haunt.

In their paranormal state, ghosts are unable to have much physical influence. They are visible, and appear as a greyish-silver apparition of their former (living) selves. They pass through solid objects without damaging themselves or the material, but create disturbances in water, fire and air. The temperature drops in the immediate vicinity of a ghost. Their appearance can also turn flames blue.[1]

In passing through an object, they may impart a sensation of icy coldness. However, they are apparently moved by gusts of wind, as demonstrated when a petrified Nearly Headless Nick was wafted to the Hospital Wing by a large fan, although this may have been possible due to his petrified state. Ghosts are either capable of, or pretend to be capable of, almost being able to taste rotten food.

Ghosts also appear to celebrate their deathday, as Nearly Headless Nick did so on October 31st in 1992. They tend to be very sensitive concerning the circumstances of their death, often showing great hesitancy when asked by others how they died.

They are also weightless and may fly in any direction. Ghosts cannot be destroyed, however, they may be petrified with the gaze of a Basilisk. This can be reversed by a Mandrake Restorative Draught, although the method of administration is unclear.

Sir Nicholas: "Not everyone can come back as a ghost."
Harry: "What d'you mean?"
Sir Nicholas: "...Wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the earth, to walk palely where their living selves once trod... But very few wizards choose that path."
Sir Nicholas and Harry Potter discussing ghosts.[src]

In 1996, after Sirius Black's death, Harry had a conversation with Nearly Headless Nick in which he asked if Sirius could come back as a ghost like others and Nick himself. Sir Nicholas explained that only wizards who fear death are likely to become ghosts.

As ghosts are imprints of souls of the said deceased wizards and witches, they are unable to move beyond the veil, and are forever trapped in the world of living as intangible beings. Due to this, few would choose this path. Depending on the conditions of the person's soul, they may not be able to return, as Tom Riddle's self-mutilated soul is trapped in limbo for eternity and cannot become a ghost.

The Ministry of Magic seems to have at least a degree of power and jurisdiction over ghosts, as Moaning Myrtle was forced to return to her place of death, which was Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, when she disrupted the wedding of the brother of Olive Hornby.

House ghosts

"About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years."
—Harry's first experience viewing ghosts at Hogwarts.[src]

Each House at Hogwarts has a patron ghost. Each of these ghosts once belonged to their corresponding House. They apparently serve as a representative to their House, as well as serving the role of messenger or guide to those who are still unfamiliar with the House they were sorted into. It is unknown for how long they may retain this title.

Gryffindor

"I know nothing of the secrets of death, Harry, for I chose my feeble imitation of life instead..."
Sir Nicholas

The Gryffindor house ghost is Nearly Headless Nick. He is known as a friendly ghost who was nearly beheaded, but the job was poorly executed, which was how he obtained the nickname of "Nearly Headless Nick". He prefers to be addressed as "Sir Nicholas". His real name is Sir Nicholas De Mimsy-Porpington.

Hufflepuff

The Hufflepuff ghost is the Fat Friar. He is known for being friendly and jolly to all. He also frequently suggests that Peeves should have a second chance, whether or not he deserves it.

Ravenclaw

The Ravenclaw house ghost is the Grey Lady, also known as Helena Ravenclaw. She is renowned for being instrumental in assisting Harry Potter in the search for the Horcruxes.

Slytherin

The Slytherin house ghost is the Bloody Baron. He is well known for being extremely unsocial and many students, including those of his own House, are known to be slightly afraid of him. The Baron is also the only one known to be able to control Peeves. The Bloody Baron is responsible for the death of Helena Ravenclaw as well.

Known ghosts

See also

External links

Behind the scenes

The Battle of Hogwarts

The Grey Lady, Ghost of Ravenclaw

Appearances

Notes and references

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