Characters / Harry Potter Ghosts

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    Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington a.k.a. Nearly Headless Nick
Played by: 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.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Only in the movies, in which he disappeared after the second film.
  • Headless Horseman: He wants to be one, but the fact that his head isn't completely detached makes this impossible.
  • Hidden Depths: Nick is very philosophical about the nature and condition of being a ghost and how cowardly it is and what a poor option it is to the unexplained wizarding afterlife. He starts to say to Harry that he sometimes wishes he had not chosen to become a ghost, but cuts himself off and doesn't elaborate further.
  • Hollywood Costuming: Wears a ruff (useful for hiding his severed neck) despite dying a good fifty years before the ruff was commonly worn.
  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Isn't killed by the basilisk's gaze due to already being dead.
  • Off with His Head!: Well, not quite all the way off.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He prefers to be known as "Sir Nicholas".
  • Overly Long Name: His real name, though not as long as Albus Dumbledore's.
  • Torso with a View
  • What Could Have Been: J.K. Rowling's website includes a song explaining how he died, which was cut from the second book. (Long story short: a noblewoman hired him to fix her teeth. He accidentally gave her tusks. She wasn't happy.)

    Myrtle Elizabeth Warren a.k.a. Moaning Myrtle

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. And her full name is Myrtle Elizabeth Warren.
  • Alliterative Name
  • 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.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: On her final appearance in the second movie, having developed her humorous crush on Harry, she greets him rather more sweetly than she has acted throughout the rest of the film.
  • 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...
  • The Eeyore
  • 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
Played by: 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.
  • 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.
  • Woman in White

    The Bloody Baron
Played by: 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.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Helena Ravenclaw, the Grey Lady, back when they were both alive. Judging from the way she talks about him, she didn't like him that much.
  • Alliterative Name: His nickname, Bloody Barron.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first PC game, the Bloody Baron appears a couple times as a minor enemy whom you have to avoid. It's not a huge role, but it's still more interaction than Harry ever had with him in the canon.
  • Chained by Fashion: He chains himself in an attempt to atone for his murder on Helena.
  • Continuity Cameo: His only appearance in the films is in a brief shot during the opening feast from the first movie. Not that he appeared much more than that in the books anyway.
  • Driven to Suicide: He killed himself after he killed Helena.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction after he killed Helena.
  • Noodle Incident: Why is Peeves so afraid of him?
  • Not Good with Rejection: He killed Helena in a fit of rage because she rejected him. He immediately regrets it afterwards.
  • Odd Friendship: He seems to at least be an associate of Professor Trelawney for some reason.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name has never been revealed, even when his past was.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Severus Snape. Being one of the four ghosts assigned to houses, he's the one of Slytherin, and is sinister and unfriendly, much like the corresponding Head of house. Also, a member of House Slytherin who has an unrequited love for a woman, gets her killed and spends the rest of his life (or in his case, his afterlife) in remorse. His nickname is comprised of a noble title and a blood epithet, like the one of the Half-Blood Prince.

    The Fat Friar
Played by: 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. A scene with him had been filmed for the first one, but it was left out.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: He certainly peeves the staff and students of Hogwarts.
  • 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". Rowling claims he is "an indestructible spirit of chaos."
  • 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: 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.