Moaning Myrtle said she made sure Olive Hornby was haunted by her memory of finding Myrtle's body until Olive's dying day. Olive had to seek help from the Ministry of Magic in an effort to be free of the spirit, so the Wizards there knew a witness (Myrtle's ghost) to the 1943 murder had become available. After the Ministry of Magic exorcised Myrtle, she was relegated to Hogwarts, generally haunting the same stall in the same lavatory she died in. The powers that be knew where she was

What does JKR say about why no one at the Ministry of Magic, or any of the Hogwarts Professor's, asked Moaning Myrtle about her death?

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    It seems during most of the series, ghosts aren't widely considered to be reputable sources of information, at least not by higher ups. No one knew anything about Rowena Ravenclaw or the Bloody Baron until Harry asked her. Nov 2, 2012 at 22:39
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    @GabeWillard : I agree. We can at least hope that human witnesses give reliable information, by two major causes: 1. possibly because of their conscience as mortal humans believing in afterlife or at least the well-being of society, and 2. they are susceptible to punishment if they are caught lying. Neither of those two can be applied on ghosts.
    – vsz
    Nov 2, 2012 at 22:45
  • Are ghosts sentient right after their deaths too? Maybe Myrtle's ghost wasn't 'together' enough during the investigation... so maybe she wasn't available at the time to be questioned. Nov 3, 2012 at 19:25
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    The ministry doesn't seem to put much stock in child witnesses at all. While other reasons were also cited, Harry's witness to Cedrik's death didn't account for much to the ministry either. The living children can't speak on Sirius' behalf in PoA either. Why should a child ghost be any different than a living one and be asked about her own death? Still begs the question, "Why didn't Dumbledore ask?" though. Dec 22, 2013 at 1:13
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    @balancedmama - I doubt it's the age. If it was Draco Malfoy, spouting Fudge line, I'm sure he'd be heard! Mar 9, 2014 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


J.K. Rowling hasn't said anything about why no one at the Ministry of Magic questioned Myrtle in her own murder.

I don't think Myrtle would have been able to tell them much.

Basically, she was in the loo crying, she heard a male voice and a strange, kind of made up language, and when she popped out of the cubicle to tell whoever it was to GO AWAY, she saw a great big pair of yellow eyes and ... died.

The biggest clue was the great big yellow eyes. I don't know if the Ministry would have put two and two together and come up with the Parseltongue aspect. Myrtle didn't see Tom Riddle, if I recall correctly (surely she would have known who he was -- Head Boy, handsome, brilliant, mysterious ... ) For that matter, would the Ministry have concluded the yellow eyes were a Basilisk's?

The Ministry had already accepted the story that Hagrid was responsible for opening the Chamber of Secrets and releasing whatever it was that killed Myrtle. Sometimes bureaucracies prefer a closed case over a properly solved one.

  • @GabeWillard - Thanks! Having previously worked in a bureaucrat environment, I know this much is true. ;) Nov 3, 2012 at 2:00
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    I also think that the ministry had no obvious need - they had found a "culprit" to the opening of the chamber in Hagrid, and the monster in Aragog, whom Tom Riddle had revealed to them. Thinking they had caught the culprit, there was no real need to investigate the matter further I guess. Why the school professors didn't ask Myrtle more about the Chamber of Secrets is more of a mystery... :)
    – Nick Shaw
    Nov 3, 2012 at 22:58

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