If there is an important element in the Harry Potter series that really emphasizes the concept of magic, it’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. JK Rowling likes to say that Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home, and that’s definitely something the fans and characters appreciate. The magic castle fills everyone with awe from the moment the protagonist Harry Potter first set foot there.
Hogwarts is more than just a school. It’s a place full of magic items, creatures, and mysteries. It has 142 moving staircases, rooms that tend to shift position, and adjoins a forbidden forest that is home to centaurs, unicorns, and acromantulas. But perhaps the most notable element of Hogwarts’ unique nature is its ghosts. The imprint of the soul of a once-living wizard or witch, spirits have a strong connection to Hogwarts. Many of them become important to Harry’s journey to defeat the Dark Lord.
8 Professor Binns’ boring teaching makes history lessons unbearable
Hogwarts staff aren’t always the most qualified, with the most notable cases being the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers. But other courses don’t always do better. Such is the case with the History of Magic class, which is taught by the ghost Cuthbert Binns. A teacher in life, he dies at Hogwarts, then continues his previous activities without even acknowledging his own disappearance. While freshmen originally believe learning history from a ghost is fascinating, they soon realize that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not only is it incredibly boring, but it tends to focus a lot on Goblin Rebellions, giving less information on other topics related to wizarding history. It provides students with background information about the Chamber of Secrets in Harry’s second year, but is so boring as a presence that this element is left out of the movies altogether. Professor Minerva McGonagall gives the explanation for her.
7 Duncan Ashe has a tragic history at Hogwarts
A character from the Android game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Duncan Ashe is an intriguing addition to the school’s ghost roster. The friend of the protagonist’s brother, Jacob, Duncan is prone to mischief. According to Rubeus Hagrid, he is so notable for this trait that he even outclasses the Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks.
He is killed after being coerced by Organization R into concocting an erumpent potion. While angry with Jacob for taking the blame for R’s actions and presumably joining them, he helps Jacob’s brother win the approval of poltergeist Peeves. Its intriguing yet tragic story adds an extra dose of weight to the protagonist’s journey to uncover the mystery behind his brother’s disappearance.
6 Myrtle Warren points Harry in the right direction
Duncan isn’t the only student to die at Hogwarts or the first to turn into a ghost afterwards. One of the most notable ghosts in the series is Myrtle Warren. A Muggle-born student killed when the Chamber of Secrets was first opened by Tom Riddle, she haunts the bathroom where she first saw the Deathly Basilisk. After Hermione Granger deduces the nature of the creature, Myrtle points Harry and Ron Weasley in the right direction as they rush to the rescue of Ron’s sister, Ginny.
Myrtle also helps Harry solve the riddle of his golden egg when he is enlisted as a candidate for the Triwizard Tournament. A lonely child and bullied in life, Myrtle has a tendency to take advantage of other people’s misfortune and flirt outrageously, but she is as much a victim of her circumstances as Harry.
5 Fat brother is friendly but not really relevant
The ghost of Hufflepuff House, Big Brother is among the first spirits to appear in the series. As the group of first years arrive at Hogwarts, he greets them jovially, hoping to see them at his old home. Its friendly temperament suits the welcoming home of badgers.
He certainly doesn’t deserve to have been executed by suspicious Muggles. Likewise, he probably deserved a little more time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, the brother, while a likeable presence, isn’t very relevant to the plot, and his first appearance is truly his most notable.
4 Nearly Headless Nick is best known for his failed beheading
The friendly ghost of Gryffindor House, Sir Nicholas De Mimsy-Porpington was a courtier in the royal court of King Henry VII. Unfortunately, following a failed spell, he is arrested and executed in a gruesome manner – with a blunt axe. Even the forty-five blows needed to kill him weren’t enough to decapitate him completely, leaving him “almost headless”.
Sir Nicholas often socializes with the students of his household and is on good terms with Harry Potter, whom he actually invites to his Deathday party. That same year, he was petrified by the basilisk released by the possessed Ginny Weasley. Fortunately for him, he is only petrified, since he is already dead. Nicholas remains a strong presence at Hogwarts throughout the series, and on one occasion Harry even approaches him, wishing to know if Sirius might return as a ghost after his death.
3 The horrific story of the bloody baron adds a real dose of dread to the story
The Bloody Baron was one of the first generation of Hogwarts students, alongside Rowena Ravenclaw’s daughter Helena. When a jealous Helena stole her mother’s precious tiara and disappeared, Rowena sent the Bloody Baron to bring Helena back to Hogwarts.
But the Bloody Baron had unrequited romantic feelings for Helena, and when she rejected him, he killed her in a fit of rage. Once he realized what he had done, he committed suicide out of remorse. Symbol of his guilt, his clothes remain stained with Helena’s blood and he wears chains. After his death, he became the ghost of Slytherin house. He is the only person, besides Albus Dumbledore, whom the poltergeist Peeves respects.
2 Peeves’ mischief is sadly excluded from the movies
Peeves is different from other Hogwarts spirits in that he is a poltergeist, not a ghost. Poltergeists have some sort of physical form but have never lived before. Spirits of chaos, they thrive on creating as much chaos as possible. A present at Hogwarts since the school’s inception, Peeves can be a real threat to both the students and the school’s enemies.
He detects Harry and his friends when they are not in bed and is happy to cause them trouble. He also likes to taunt and prank students and completely ignores prefects. Even so, he is loyal to Hogwarts, as evidenced by his strong stance against Dolores Umbridge and the aid he provides in the Battle of Hogwarts. It’s really a shame that his presence was excluded from the films.
1 The Gray Lady provides Harry with vital information about Horcruxes
The Ghost of Ravenclaw House, the Gray Lady is far more aloof and aloof than other ghosts. She has a great reason for not being so talkative. Her true identity is that of Helena Ravenclaw, the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw. Jealous of her mother’s intelligence, she stole Ravenclaw’s tiara and fled to Albania. While she was mortally ill, her mother sent the Bloody Baron to retrieve her, hoping to see her one last time. Rowena’s good intentions backfired, as the Bloody Baron killed her, and then himself.
After his death, Helena returned to Hogwarts as a ghost. But his identity was exploited by Tom Riddle during his time at Hogwarts. He tricked her into revealing the location of her mother’s tiara and then turned the priceless artifact into a Horcrux. Decades later, Harry Potter unveils the truth behind his story and, with his help, manages to uncover the location of the Horcrux Diadem, taking another big step in defeating Lord Voldemort.
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