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The 6 best-loved ghosts (and one poltergeist) at Hogwarts

Muggles might be scared of ghosts, but witches and wizards get used to them pretty quickly.

The Great Hall at Halloween with the ghosts
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At Hogwarts they wandered the castle, taunted the students and in one case, even taught. Here are the six best-loved ghosts (and one poltergeist) that haunted the school...

The Fat Friar

The Fat Friar was a merry soul who loved the students of his house, Hufflepuff. He had a kind, charitable nature and even voted to give Peeves a second chance to attend the start-of-term feast: ‘Forgive and forget, I say.’

How he died: Execution, at the hands of his fellow churchman, who apparently didn’t appreciate him using magic to cure the pox.

Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington

A dashing ghoul with his plumed hat, high ruff and tights, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington was more commonly known as Nearly Headless Nick, Gryffindor’s house ghost. He was desperate to join the Headless Hunt, but unfortunately his head wasn’t properly cut off, which meant they kept turning him down.

How he died: Execution, after an attempt to beautify a lady-in-waiting at the court of King Henry VII caused her to sprout tusks.

Nearly Headless Nick greeting guests to his Deathday party
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The Bloody Baron

The Slytherin ghost had blank staring eyes, a gaunt face, and robes stained with silver blood. He was horrible, and had a dark history at Hogwarts.

How he died: Well, first he stabbed Helena Ravenclaw — killing her in a rage when she turned down his advances. Afterwards, he was so consumed with guilt that he killed himself with the very same knife.

Peeves

Peeves was a real nuisance — especially if you asked Argus Filch, the Hogwarts caretaker. Technically, he was a poltergeist, so Peeves dropped bins on people’s heads, pulled rugs out from under their feet and listened to nobody but the Bloody Baron (and, on one occasion, Fred and George). He was painful and infuriating, but he did step up and play a role in fighting off the Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts.

How he died: Unknown, but as J.K. Rowling herself said, ‘Peeves is like dry rot... If you’ve got Peeves you’re stuck.’

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Professor Cuthbert Binns

Ancient and shrivelled, with a voice like an old vacuum cleaner, Professor Binns was a ghost, but he didn’t howl or haunt or spook. Instead, he taught. Droning on about the history of magic, Binns was extremely boring and possibly the only person who ever stayed awake in his classes – save for Hermione Granger (who also occasionally struggled to keep her eyes open).

How he died: Word is that he died in his sleep in front of the staffroom fire. Then he simply got up the next morning to teach, leaving his body behind.

Binns teaches the class about the Chamber of Secrets
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Moaning Myrtle

Moaning Myrtle — real name Myrtle Elizabeth Warren – was doomed to forever spook the u-bend of the girls’ toilets. Her tantrums left the first floor bathroom flooded, so it was usually left alone. So was she, which may be one reason why she pined for the companionship of Harry Potter. Sulky and miserable, yet very entertaining, Myrtle actually saved the day more than once.

How she died: ‘Ooooh, it was dreadful,’ Myrtle remembered. She was hiding in the bathroom, crying, when she caught the gaze of the Basilisk released from the Chamber of Secrets and died.

The Grey Lady, Helena Ravenclaw

Helena was the desperately sad Ravenclaw ghost. Beautiful and mysterious, with hair that fell to her waist, she stole the Diadem from her mother, Rowena Ravenclaw, one of the founders of Hogwarts. Charmed but unaware of his intentions, she helped Tom Riddle find the diadem (it became one of his Horcruxes). She regretted that later, and helped Harry in his quest to find and destroy it.

How she died: See The Bloody Baron. How did you think he got the name?

Guests dancing at Nearly Headless Nick's deathday party
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.