Is there a particular significance to the death date of October 31 for J.K. Rowling? I noticed both Nearly-Headless Nick and the Potters were killed on Halloween. Are there any interviews or chats where J.K. Rowling discusses this?


Large, rotten fish were laid on handsome silver platters; cakes, burned charcoal black, were heaped on salvers; there was a great maggoty haggis, a slab of cheese covered in furry green mould and, in pride of place, an enormous grey cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar-like icing forming the words, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington - died 31st October, 1492

Chamber of Secrets - page 102 - British Hardcover


[The headstone] was made of white marble, just like Dumbledore’s tomb, and this made it easy to read, as it seemed to shine in the dark. Harry did not need to kneel or even approach very close to it to make out the words engraved upon it.

James Potter, born 27 March 1960, died 31 October 1981 // Lily Potter, born 30 January 1960, died 31 October 1981 // The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Deathly Hallows - page 268 - British Hardcover

1 Answer 1


Rowling has confirmed on a number of occasions that it's her favourite holiday:

"Halloween, you'd not be surprised to know, is my favorite holiday."


"I doubt if it will come as a surprise to anybody that I love Halloween. I usually hold a big Halloween party for my friends and their children."


However there's not any mention of a special significance besides her delight in it, which makes it somewhat unfortunate to be a death date. I think the main connection to the deaths is All Hallow's Eve having the connotations of witchery and wizardry, and implied connections to death. There's a good essay of events in the books with regards to Halloween. It makes one very good point:

J.K. Rowling used Halloween in the earlier books a lot. It was relatively early in the school year, but late enough in the book for some of the plot to begin appearing. Not only was it at an ideal time, but it was also J.K. Rowling’s favorite holiday.

  • Happy Halloween (6 months early) - +1 and accept :) Apr 26, 2012 at 17:03
  • The link no longer works. Oct 30, 2017 at 20:38

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