Characters: Harry Potter Ghosts

Nearly Headless Nick (John Cleese)

The resident ghost of Gryffindor House. Known in life as Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, he was beheaded (well, nearly) on Halloween in the year 1492. As per Jacob Marley Apparel, he is now stuck spending eternity with his head just barely connected to his body by a thin strip of flesh. This makes him ineligible for the Headless Hunt, much to his chagrin.

Nick is occasionally proud and pompous, but is nevertheless always a friendly mentor to young Gryffindors. He appears in all the books, but in only the first two movies.

Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson)

The ghost of a Muggle-born girl who attended Hogwarts at the same time as Tom Riddle and Rubeus Hagrid. She was murdered by Riddle, via the basilisk, and he used her death to create the diary Horcrux. After spending some time haunting the Alpha Bitch who tormented her when she was alive, the Ministry of Magic forced Myrtle to go haunt the place of her death instead. This was the bathroom containing the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets and she has remained there ever since.

She is, as Hermione tactfully observes in the second movie, "a little sensitive". "A little sensitive" means that she is an insane Large Ham with a Hair-Trigger Temper. In Myrtle's mind, everyone is constantly making fun of her and talking about her behind her back. Of course, this behavior causes people to make fun of her and talk about her behind her back. She also develops a humorous crush on Harry, although he generally finds her annoying.

In the books, Myrtle appears in Chamber of Secrets, Goblet of Fire, and Half-Blood Prince. In the films, her appearance in Half-Blood Prince was removed.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Harry.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: A lesser-known example. The one or two descriptions and chapter-lead pictures we get of Myrtle show she was fairly significantly overweight and "doughy", which fits in with all the bullying she received. Shirley Henderson, meanwhile, was depicted as being a little "round of face" and perhaps a bit "mousy"note , but not even remotely unattractive; her Myrtle is downright cute (if a little... well, see below) in certain scenes of movie-Goblet.
    • Her voice is also nowhere near as abrasive as Myrtle's is described as being - in the books her namesake moans are a namesake because they're by turns ear-splitting and intensely depressing, and she's unpleasant to listen to in general, while in the movie her plaintive cries do little more than pluck at heartstrings.
    • Granted, unlike some of the other examples in the franchise, this can work just as well - Myrtle wasn't being teased for being ugly, she was being teased for being on the cusp of being very attractive despite not even putting a lot of effort into it, and the other girls likely felt intimidated by her. Movie-Myrtle probably would've been knocking the boys dead in a few years had she not had her life cut short.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Much less whiny and more flirtatious in the films.
  • All There in the Manual: In life, Myrtle was a Ravenclaw.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/Beware the Quiet Ones: When we first see her, she comes off as either a massive woobie or an astounding parody thereof, but when describing to Harry and Ron how she died, she reveals that she spent a good chunk of her time as a ghost tormenting her childhood bully for many, many years out of spite.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She appears throughout the second book, but it's only near the end that Harry and Ron realize that she's the girl the Heir of Slytherin killed fifty years before.
  • The Confidant: In Half-Blood Prince, she becomes one for, of all people, Draco Malfoy. It's hinted she may have switched her affections from Harry to Draco.
  • Covert Pervert: Shy and mousy as she is, she still has that hobby mentioned below.
  • Dawson Casting: Being in her thirties both times she played the role, Shirley Henderson is the oldest person to play a Hogwarts student in any of the movies.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Okay, Olive Hornby was a bully, but did she really deserve Myrtle's ghost Gaslighting her all that time?
    • Well, Myrtle may not have ended up a ghost if she hadn't been in the Chamber of Secrets entrance bathroom crying as a result of Olive's bullying...
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Among her other neuroses and insecurities, she has an extremely short temper regarding them. She especially gets upset when she's feeling excluded.
  • The Peeping Tom: A pastime of hers, as revealed in Goblet.
  • Nerd Glasses
  • Noodle Incident: Why, exactly, does she have so much vitriol against the living mermaid portrait in the prefects' bathroom?
  • Really 700 Years Old: Being a ghost, she has remained physically (well, metaphysically) a teenager for over fifty years.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: For some reason, she really hates the living mermaid portrait in the prefects' bathroom.
  • Wangst: Played for Laughs invoked
  • Who's Laughing Now?: See Disproportionate Retribution and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing above.

Helena Ravenclaw, the Grey Lady (Kelly Macdonald)

The daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw herself. Jealous of her mother, Helena stole her mother's diadem and was subsequently killed by the man who would become the Bloody Baron. Centuries later, she was effectively manipulated by the charms of one Tom Riddle. She revealed the location of her mother's diadem to him and he turned it into a Horcrux.

  • All There in the Manual: Prior to Deathly Hallows, Word of God provided the only indication that she existed. She does have a cameo in the first book, but this was only identified by Word of God.
  • Berserk Button: Mention of Tom Riddle using her mother's diadem as a Horcrux has her go from withdrawn yet dignified to screaming rage about how Voldemort defiled it with Dark magic.
  • Brainy Brunette
  • Color Character
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She was jealous of her mother and stole the diadem because she wanted to make herself more important.
  • The Other Darrin: In the first film, she was played by Nina Young in a Continuity Cameo. Although she didn't have a single line, her role in the first movie was still larger than her role in any of the books prior to Hallows.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Both the books and the film portray her with long dark hair and pale skin. Fitting as she is not only the patron ghost of Ravenclaw, but Rowena Ravenclaw's own daughter.
  • Shrinking Violet: She is rather reclusive, not talking much to people or other ghosts, and she was shown briefly spending time in empty classrooms taking notes. The only person she does speak with regularly is Luna.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of Riddle/Voldemort.
  • What Could Have Been: For Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the role was offered to Kate Winslet, but her agent rejected it.
  • Woman in White

The Bloody Baron (Terence Bayler)

The resident ghost of Slytherin House. In life, he was infatuated with Helena Ravenclaw. Some time after Helena had run away with her mother's diadem, Rowena was dying and sent the baron to find her daughter. He found her, but killed her in the struggle to bring her back. Realizing what he'd done, he then killed himself. As per Jacob Marley Apparel, he will spend eternity covered in blood, hence the nickname.

During the time frame of the series, he is regarded as cold and mysterious, even by the other ghosts. For some reason, he is the only individual, other than Dumbledore, who can control Peeves.

The Fat Friar (Simon Fisher-Becker)

The resident ghost of Hufflepuff House. He seems to be cheerful and comical in personality, but nothing else is known about him other than the fact that he was evidently a friar when he was alive. Well, it is Hufflepuff House, after all.

Peeves the Poltergeist

A poltergeist who haunts Hogwarts, making mischief wherever he can. He's not considered a ghost by the "other" ghosts, but he's often classified as one for convenience. However, it's worth noting that Peeves is not white or transparent, but is rather solid-looking and often dressed in loudly-colored clothes. Rowling defines Peeves as "an indestructible spirit of chaos" and that he "came with the building."

Peeves has no agenda, no motivation, no goals other than to create as much chaos as possible because It Amused Me. He is rude, crude, fond of practical jokes, and takes orders from no one other than the Bloody Baron, though he also shows some respect to Dumbledore and the like-natured Weasley Twins. Peeves and Filch are constantly at war with each other, a conflict Harry and his friends generally do not involve themselves in.

Although Peeves has a sizable role in all the books and some of the video games, he never appears in the movies.

  • Adapted Out: From the movies.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Argus Filch.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While Peeves is very much a troublemaker, he takes his pranking Up to Eleven during Order of the Phoenix, wreaking complete havoc during Umbridge's reign. During DH, he causes havoc among the Death Eaters, and composes a rude song to commemorate the defeat of Voldemort.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: In one of his most famous scenes, he tried to cause this during his attacks against Umbridge. McGonagall tells him he is unscrewing it improperly.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When McGonagall summons Peeves for help, you know this is the final battle.
  • Gold Fish Poop Gang: His role in the video games.
  • Hidden Depths: He shows respect for Dumbledore and the Weasley twins, saluting the latter two when instructed to make Umbridge's life a living hell. He also actively fights for Hogwarts in the final battle with much gusto.
  • It Amused Me: Pretty much the only reason he does anything.
  • Jerkass: Half of his actions. Justified as he is the embodied entity of adolescent stress, adolescents tend to be jerkasses when stressed.
  • Poltergeist: As revealed by Pottermore, he follows the definition of embodied entity of adolescent stress.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: Most notably in that Peeves is not a ghost exactly. He looks quite different and doesn't give any indication that he was ever "alive".
  • Trickster Archetype: He loves tricking people with some Exact Words in his deal, like "Not saying nothing" unless Filch says "Please." Upon Filch saying "Please" Peeves replied "Nothing."
  • Troll: Hoo boy...Peeves loves chaos, and his every scene involves him pranking or causing trouble in some form. He never backs down from an opportunity to make fun of a student.
  • What Could Have Been: A scene with Rik Mayall of Drop Dead Fred fame as Peeves was shot for the first film, but was left on the cutting room floor and has never even been featured as a bonus feature on the DVDs. As is, Peeves never makes any appearances in the films.