From HP COS, and related to this question:

“Oh, it’s you,” she said when she saw Harry. “What do you want this time?”

“To ask you how you died,” said Harry.

Myrtle’s whole aspect changed at once. She looked as though she had never been asked such a flattering question.

“Ooooh, it was dreadful,” she said with relish. “It happened right in here. I died in this very stall. I remember it so well. I’d hid- den because Olive Hornby was teasing me about my glasses. The door was locked, and I was crying, and then I heard somebody come in. They said something funny. A different language, I think it must have been. Anyway, what really got me was that it was a boy speaking. So I unlocked the door, to tell him to go and use his own toilet, and then —” Myrtle swelled importantly, her face shining. “I died.”

“How?” said Harry.

“No idea,” said Myrtle in hushed tones. “I just remember seeing a pair of great, big, yellow eyes. My whole body sort of seized up, and then I was floating away. . . .”

So basically she saw the eyes, died, and then turned into a ghost. But how was it that she didn't see the basilisk after her death, or even got petrified à la nearly headless Nick?

Edit: I 'm asking on why she doesn't remember seeing the basilisk after she dies. If someone has a good reason to think that she didn't become a ghost immediately so that the basilisk had time to go somewhere else, it would nice to have some references to support it (I found none). Or maybe the basilisk evaporated after killing her.

  • 2
    The Basilisk had no reason to go after her when she was already dead.
    – CHEESE
    Dec 12, 2016 at 22:16
  • 1
    She remembered everything up to the moment of her death.
    – Valorum
    Dec 12, 2016 at 22:17
  • 2
    @DarkPurpleShadow Pipes
    – CHEESE
    Dec 12, 2016 at 23:39
  • 1
    She will have been in limbo first (her personal King’s Cross) before she decided to return as a ghost.
    – chirlu
    Dec 13, 2016 at 1:02
  • 3
    Don't write "Edit:... Edit2:...", just put the new info in. And Nick got petrified because he didn't see the basilisk directly, he saw it through one of the other ghosts. (No idea what would have happened if he did see it directly - would he die again?)
    – Adeptus
    Dec 13, 2016 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


I think your question is an interesting one, but there is no evidence to suggest that there is anything more to it than:

Myrtle opened a door to be greeted by enormous yellow eyes.

The power of those eyes killed her instantly.

She became a ghost, but not instantly.

She began her existence as a ghost, which was surely quite an absorbing experience - and the Basilisk was long gone.

How long it took to become a ghost I don't think is ever explained (and it does seem to be quite quick based on Professor Binns who died in his staffroom chair but rose from that spot to go to his lessons) but I don't think it is absolutely instantaneous.

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