In the books, we can find the reasons behind the names of the Ghosts.

For example Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington is called Nearly Headless Nick (for obvious reason).

Helena Ravenclaw is called The Grey Lady, but why?

Canon answer will be more useful if possible.

3 Answers 3


In the wikia it says that she was serene, white is usually seen as serene but since she is a ghost she is instead grey. That is one theory.

She carried herself in a serene manner http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Helena_Ravenclaw

The next is that she is a ghost and that could be the reason.

Another is the fact that it has something to do with her character or some fact about her life. Since all ghost have some reason they are named, like the Bloody Baron, Peeves the Poltergeist, and Nearly Headless Nick.

Below is the definition of "Grey Lady" after I googled it:

grey lady- (Grey Ladies) ghosts of women who supposedly died violently for the sake of love or pined away from loss of love. The name comes from their frequent appearance as ladies dressed in grey. Variations include ladies in white such as the one that frequents Spangler's Spring in Gettysburg, PA.https://www.google.com/?#q=grey%20lady%20meaning

So see she did indeed die because of a violent cause so that could be the reason.

Here are some quotes from the wikia:

Many Grey Lady ghosts are known in various locations throughout> England and Wales.

Having fallen fatally ill and on her deathbed, Rowena desperately asked the Bloody Baron, who was deeply in love with Helena, to find her daughter and bring her back to her so that she could see her one last time. Helena tried to hide from him, but the Baron managed to track her down to a forest in Albania. When she heard the Baron blundering through the forest toward her, she hid the diadem inside a hollow tree. Helena refused to come with the Baron and rejected his affections and he stabbed her in a fit of rage. After seeing what he had done, remorseful of his action, he stabbed himself to death. http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Helena_Ravenclaw

This one shows that she suffered a violent death.

  • 2
    Your research is good , but if there is some canon proof then it will be confirmed.And yes,I am not sure but I think peevs's not a ghost.
    – Rajan
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 16:59
  • 1
    Yes, Peeves is a Poltergeist.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 22:17
  • I don't think Peeves is a ghost, I think poltergesit are different than other ghost. But I was using it to show the naming trend. Because he usually "Peeves" people, peeve is a word I don't know if it is spelled like that but I think it is.
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 22:57

Perhaps her name is a reference to the historical Grey Lady of Glamis Castle, Scotland (not far from Hogwarts); accused of witchcraft in 1537 and condemned to death by hanging. It is said that the family at Glamis Castle in Scotland (the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kingmore) still holds services in the castle chapel; a chair is kept empty for the Grey Lady, which no on is allowed to sit in, as she from time to time visits the castle.


Somewhere along The Deathly Hallows volume, when Harry & crew were looking for the tiara containing Voldie's last piece of soul, Helena Ravenclaw was presented to be a reclusive, melancholic ghost , thus her name.

In life, She stole her mother's (Rowena Ravenclaw, Hogwarts co-founder) diadem and ran to Albania, where she stood until being visited by the Bloody Baron, who eventually killed her.

  • 7
    That does not address the question, which is about her name...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 12:37
  • 3
    Whoever made the anonymous edit, the change still doesn't address the question unless you make some comment of how being a "reclusive, melancholic ghost" ties to her being named "The Grey Lady". You'd might as well say, "Harry Potter was presented to be an adventurous boy, thus his name".
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 14:17
  • Sorry, I accepted it because I thought it made it clear enough. In my point of view, seeing someone as reclusive and melancholic bestows a greyish color upon this person. Unlike adventurous and Harry Potter.
    – Eric Wu
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 14:20
  • This is my assumption, too - that the color grey refers to her emotional state and personality.
    – LAK
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 13:52

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