I haven't eaten for nearly five hundred years. I don't need to, of course, but one does miss it. I don't think I've introduced myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower."
-- Nearly-Headless Nick (PS7)
When did House Ghosts become a recognized part of life at Hogwarts?
Nearly-Headless Nick celebrates the 500th anniversary of his death in Chapter 8 of Chamber of Secrets. In the following chapter, Professor Binns states that Hogwarts was founded more than a thousand years earlier. Chapter 31 of Deathly Hallows reveals that the Grey Lady and the Bloody Baron have been ghosts since almost the very beginning of Hogwarts. Nick, then, has only been around for half that time of these other two ghosts. Did Nick replace another house ghost? Were house ghosts only adopted within the last 500 years or so? Or was there another Gryffindor ghost before Nick?
And what about the Fat Friar? He couldn’t have been the Hufflepuff ghost before the 1200s, since there were not such thing as “friars” before that time. Incidentally, he is probably an Augustinian friar. Of the four main Orders of the Catholic Church, the Augustinian ideals seem to most closely match those of Hufflepuff. Augustinians are described this way: “they do not seek out the exceptional or exclude those who are marginalized in society. They seek to build community founded on love and respect for all.”
That certainly sounds like Hufflepuff.
I would love to know all about when, how, and why ghosts became associated with specific house. One more Potter mystery to solve!
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In the Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast you’ll hear the voices of our editors sharing some of the many little things which delight us about the Wizarding World. In each podcast, one to two minutes in length, we’ll talk about anything from cool trivia and interesting canon passages to the latest Wizarding World news. We hope you’ll join us! And we’d love to hear from you as well. Feel free to use the comment section on the blogpost for each podcast to post your thoughts.
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