19

In Hogwarts we learn about the 4 House ghosts. The Fat Friar, Nearly-Headless Nick, the Bloody Baron, and the Grey Lady. Also, we’re introduced to Moaning Myrtle, Professor Binns, and Peeves (if you could count him) but there are supposed to be at least 20 ghosts at Hogwarts.

Then something happened which made him jump about a foot in the air – several people behind him screamed.

‘What the –?’

He gasped. So did the people around him. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to each other and hardly glancing at the first-years.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 7, "The Sorting Hat"

Who are the other ghosts mentioned here? Does anyone know? Could the Headless Hunt be there as well?

  • 4
  • I want to say there is an article on Pottermore but I am not sure it names them all. Peeves is a poltergeist but the funny thing is geist is German for ghost. But Rowling sees them as having a distinction. – Pryftan Mar 11 '18 at 17:13
  • 4
    Ha. Looked away a moment and Valorum links it to you. Not at computer though so all the better. – Pryftan Mar 11 '18 at 17:14
  • Possible duplicate. This question already has an answer here. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/166931/… – RichS Mar 11 '18 at 22:34
  • @RichS - I'd say it isn't a dupe. OP is asking for ghosts besides the ones listed in that answer. – ibid Mar 12 '18 at 7:46
26

They weren’t named in the books - but JKR said she had more.

The only ghosts actually named in the books are the four House ghosts, Moaning Myrtle, Professor Binns and Peeves (though he’s a poltergeist, not actually a ghost, and not considered as one by the Hogwarts ghosts either). However, JKR did have names for a few other ghosts who were never mentioned in the books or movies.

In the very earliest list of ghosts I ever wrote for Hogwarts, I included Myrtle (initially named ‘Wailing Wanda’), Professor Binns, the Grey Lady (then called ‘the Whispering Lady’) and the Bloody Baron. There was also a Black Knight, The Toad (which left ectoplasm all over its classroom), and a ghost I rather regret not using: his name was Edmund Grubb, and the notes beside his name say: ‘Expired in the doorway of the Dining Hall. Sometimes stops people getting in, out of spite. Fat Victorian ghost. (Ate poisonous berries).’
Hogwarts Ghosts (Pottermore)

In the books, though, none of those names are used - the other 14 (or 13 if counting Peeves the Poltergeist) are unnamed, similarly to how we don’t know the names of every student at Hogwarts, though we know there are more than the named ones.

They seemed to be residents - they were arguing about Peeves.

The about-twenty ghosts who were talking amongst themselves were talking about Peeves, and what they should do about him. This doesn’t seem like something the Headless Hunt, or other visiting ghosts, would be discussing.

“He gasped. So did the people around him. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to each other and hardly glancing at the first-years. They seemed to be arguing. What looked like a fat little monk was saying, ‘Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance –’

‘My dear Friar, haven’t we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he’s not really even a ghost – I say, what are you all doing here?”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)

Since the ghosts all seem to be arguing about Peeves, a problem unique to Hogwarts that visitors likely wouldn’t care enough to be arguing over, it seems likely that the ghosts involved in that conversation were residents of Hogwarts.

  • 5
    Ogliarchy at work: the names of twenty ghosts becomes more important to readers than the names of many more living but otherwise unremarkable students. – can-ned_food Mar 11 '18 at 20:09
  • Last I checked, Professor Bonn's was named in the books, yet you haven't included him. – caird coinheringaahing Mar 11 '18 at 23:03
  • 3
    @can-ned_food There have been questions about some of the unnamed students as well. – Bellatrix Mar 11 '18 at 23:04
  • @cairdcoinheringaahing He’s already mentioned in the question as being named in the books, the OP knew about him already. – Bellatrix Mar 11 '18 at 23:05
  • 1
    @cairdcoinheringaahing Ah, you mean my list of the ones mentioned in the question! I could have sworn he was in there. Oh well, I’ll add him in! – Bellatrix Mar 11 '18 at 23:48
18

While they never appeared in the books, three more ghosts are mentioned in Rowling's drafts.

  • Black Knight

  • The Toad - "left ectoplasm all over its classroom"

  • Edmund Grubb - "Expired in the doorway of the Dining Hall. Sometimes stops people getting in, out of spite. Fat Victorian ghost. (Ate poisonous berries)."

In the very earliest list of ghosts I ever wrote for Hogwarts, I included Myrtle (initially named ‘Wailing Wanda’), Professor Binns, the Grey Lady (then called ‘the Whispering Lady’) and the Bloody Baron. There was also a Black Knight, The Toad (which left ectoplasm all over its classroom), and a ghost I rather regret not using: his name was Edmund Grubb, and the notes beside his name say: ‘Expired in the doorway of the Dining Hall. Sometimes stops people getting in, out of spite. Fat Victorian ghost. (Ate poisonous berries).’

Pottermore - Hogwarts Ghosts

enter image description here
CBS 60 Minutes - J.K. Rowling - September 1999

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.