Defense Against the Dark Arts 101 Textbook by taekwondofizz

written by Taekwondofizz

Need help in DADA 101? Don't worry. That's why this book is here.

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Chapter 8

A ghost is, for lack of a better definition, the essence of a person that is left behind after the person dies. They are weightless, transparent, have no physical form (though they do hold the image that their living body had), and cannot do much to affect the physical world around them. They are incapable of touching objects or making the object move. In fact, the only noticeable influences that ghosts have is that, when a living person walks through them, the person suddenly feels a chill.
Due to their transparent and overall nature, ghosts have the ability to become invisible, so a person may not even know a ghost is in the area unless they walk through the ghost. As a rule of courtesy, you should try to avoid walking through ghosts when possible, though it is unavoidable in some cases. Not only is the chill that you will feel uncomfortable, but the ghost may also become offended, since it is seen as rude to flaunt the fact that the person is dead by just walking through them.
Muggles frequently tell stories about ghosts, but they get them quite wrong in many accounts. We will look at some of the key characteristics of the Muggle ghost and explain why they are wrong.
First, Muggles seem to have this idea that anyone can become a ghost and haunt the living, causing fear and chaos wherever they go. The truth is that only magical people can become ghosts. Ghosts also are not malevolent, that is to say they have no ill-intent towards the living, in any sense of the word; they will, however, hold grudges towards other ghosts for incidences that happened when they were alive. Some ghosts will be grumpier than others, but for the most part, ghosts are actually extremely friendly and will gladly stop and chat with you if you have a few minutes. However, there are a few courtesy rules to remember when talking to a ghost:
NEVER bring up the topic of their death. It is rude to ask about how the person died unless they bring up the topic first.
NEVER draw attention to the fact that the ghost is no longer among the living. Even mentioning something like eating or drinking could cause the ghost to become offended.
ALWAYS thank the ghost for their time. They like to feel appreciated.
Beyond that, the best way to determine how to handle a ghost comes down to an individual level. Some ghosts will be touchier than others about certain subjects, so it is best to know what each ghost prefers talking about. For example, you would be best informed never to bring up the Headless Hunt when talking to Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, otherwise known as the Gryffindor House ghost, Nearly Headless Nick.
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