48

This question got me to wonder why Hogwarts ghosts never knew about the Chamber of Secrets.

Some ghosts have been around Hogwarts for centuries. Plenty of time to explore the school grounds, talk to people who might know, or talk to the person killed by the basilisk. "So the last thing you saw was a big pair of glowing yellow eyes over there by the sink? Well, Nick, let's float down through the floor by the sink and see what's there."

They can move through walls, so they can access the Chamber of Secrets without needing to say "Open" in a Parseltongue.

They are immune to or less affected by hexes and charms that would bedevil living residents.

They had many opportunities over the centuries and the means to do it. Why didn't the ghosts discover the Chamber of Secrets?

Please support your answers with quotes from canon sources.

  • 5
    You get the impression that nobody really talked to Myrtle, living or ghost. I doubt any of the ghosts ever asked her how she died or connected her death with the Chamber of Secrets. – The Dark Lord Jul 27 '17 at 22:33
  • 6
    @TheDarkLord I'd find it strange if not one ghost was even mildly curious as to how Myrtle just suddenly went from healthy teen girl to dead in one second. Seems like strange magic is afoot. – RichS Jul 27 '17 at 22:35
  • 9
    I'm not sure that HP ghosts are capable of taking initiative in the way you're suggesting. They generally seem to be kind of self-centered. – Harry Johnston Jul 27 '17 at 22:45
  • 33
    Don't forget if they had found the glowing eyes, they would have been petrified. Under the lake. So they wouldn't have come back or been treated. Perhaps there are petrified ghosts in the Chamber. ;) – Wildcard Jul 27 '17 at 22:51
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    No time to do a proper answer, perhaps someone can flesh this out: Ghosts exist when magical folk die with strong unresolved desires, resentments, or unfinished business. They don't change, and in fact after death do not learn or grow, thus they may resent something that happened centuries ago - they cannot let it go because they themselves cannot change. If they were not interested in exploring sewers in life, they would not be interested in doing so in death. If they didn't chase down every rumor they heard in life, they wouldn't in death. harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Ghost – Adam Davis Jul 28 '17 at 12:04
58

The Chamber of Secrets was described as being far below the school. Likely deeper than the dungeons:

It was like rushing down an endless, slimy, dark slide. He could see more pipes branching off in all directions, but none as large as theirs, which twisted and turned, sloping steeply downwards, and he knew that he was falling deeper below the school than even the dungeons. Behind him he could hear Ron, thudding slightly at the curves.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Chapter 16, The Chamber of Secrets

 

"We must be miles under the school,’ said Harry, his voice echoing in the black tunnel. ‘Under the lake, probably,’ said Ron, squinting around at the dark, slimy walls.
ibid.

It's possible while going between the walls and floors the ghosts may have seen pipes, but they have no reason to follow all the pipes. They likely just assume their all some sort of plumbing or other ordinary things that were added in.

  • 11
    Maybe ghosts have a limited area where they can exist and so the chamber was out of their scope. Still I guess that someone could have talked with Myrtle about her death in the last 50 years already... – Trilarion Jul 28 '17 at 9:59
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    Hmm I believe that's discussed in another question, but what would she have said? "I saw to big yellow eyes?" Ghost/interrogater "Hmm that's interesting, don't know what that is. Maybe she just killed herself cuz she kept getting bullied" – Edlothiad Jul 28 '17 at 10:24
13

If a ghost did go hunting for the Chamber of Secret of his own accord it too might have been petrified.

It was Nearly Headless Nick, no longer pearly-white and transparent, but black and smokey, floating immobile and horizontal, six inches off the floor.

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter Eleven (The Dueling Club).

This might explain why a ghost might not come back trying to find the chamber if it did go looking for it.

As suggested by Skooba, a lack of a ghost returning might tell you something that is dangerous down there, but what it is you might not be able to determine as the ghost would be unable to tell you, being ghost petrified as such.

  • But if ghosts sent to find something specific stopped coming back, wouldn't that alert the staff something was amiss and a more thorough search was needed? – Skooba Feb 22 '18 at 13:14
  • @Skooba I guess i was thinking that a ghost just went of his own accord, If sent I guess there are other things that can hurt a ghost. – JamesD Feb 22 '18 at 13:19
-4

The ghosts of Hogwarts are described as ghosts, and some of them interact with the living as though they are alive.

However, they're not alive and assuming they're just like living people who can also float/walk through walls/etc is an error on the part of the reader.

The house ghosts may exist in an disconnected state where they are not aware of the world around them, and assuming they experience time in the same way as the living is unproved.

TL;DR the eerie-fairies are a bit airy-fairy and not really aware of the living world around them.

  • 2
    Moaning Myrtle, Nearly Headless Nick, Professor Binns, and Helena Ravenclaw all interacted with living breathing people. They all demonstrated awareness of events in the living world. Do you have any quotes from the book which specifically say ghosts are not aware of the world around them? – RichS Aug 11 '17 at 21:17
-10

The Chamber was protected by spells. I don't see why ghosts should be immune to spells... duh!

  • 17
    There actually weren't any spells protecting the Chamber. Just the Parselmouth barrier and the giant Deathray Megasnake. – The Dark Lord Jul 28 '17 at 5:48
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    @TheDarkLord Given that we never saw anyone attempt to access the Chamber of Secrets except by speaking the password in Parseltongue, we can't be sure what other defences it may have had. It's entirely possible that there were spells to prevent ghosts from passing through its walls, for example, and I assume it's covered by the usual no-Apparating-in-Hogwarts enchantment as well (although as we saw, that doesn't prevent phoenix teleportation). – anaximander Jul 28 '17 at 7:57
  • 2
    @The Dark Lord - can you prove it? I don't understand why this answer got downvoted so much. It seems to be a candidate for a reasonable answer even if the language is a bit too casual. – user88577 Aug 19 '17 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Mr.Riddle I can't prove that there weren't spells but there are none mentioned. The onus is on the answerer to demonstrate their points with evidence from the books. This answer didn't do that and hence got downvoted. – The Dark Lord Aug 28 '17 at 6:26

protected by Rand al'Thor Jul 30 '17 at 16:59

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