Think about how the kids react when they see Nearly Headless Nick; they only care if he take his head off. They must see ghosts so often that it really is a non-event. Old John Cleese wanders up more see-through than usual and they’re pretty much all “Clear off, grandad. There’s a cave troll in the girls bathroom.”
With that said, rather inexplicably, Ron seems to be scared of that shrieking shack from the third book/film, despite clearly having a proclivity for being so nonchalant with ghosts that he offends them.
And then Hermione, a girl who would have found out she was magic around a month earlier, had the audacity to not only not be phased by there being a ghost in front of her, but question the validity of a clearly derogatory nickname that he didn’t even give himself.
So ghosts are essentially second-class citizens to wizards (the world of Harry Potter is actually very problematic when you apply any thought to it) and that’s probably why, when filming in an apparently real-life haunted house, the people making Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part One chose not to mention the ghosts.
When I read the headline to this, I thought you were going to be able to stay in the Shrieking Shack from Prisoner of Azkaban, but it turns out that Harry’s house – the one his parents were killed in – in Godric’s Hollow not only exists in real life, but has ghosts within it walls.
To be fair, the house does feature in one of the scarier scenes from the franchise, but the “actual” ghosts that inhabit De Vere House are enough to bend the bones of the most seasoned horror aficionados.
The Suffolk-based, Grade 1 listed from the 14th century has housed Jane and Tony Ranzetta for over 20 years, but as they have it, there haven’t been alone.
Tony explained as he spoke about J.K. Rowling lifting inspiration from his house for her stories, saying:
“J.K. Rowling was well acquainted with the village and we know her friend stayed here whilst she was in the process of writing the books, it was surely in her mind when she created Godric’s Hollow.
“The house is often referred to as ‘The Harry Potter House’ by locals and in the media, and a huge picture of our front door can be seen at the Warner Bros’ exhibition on the making of Harry Potter.
“The whole story is quite peculiar really. Just after we first moved into the house, Jane saw a uniquely dressed man walk through the kitchen wall and into the garden beyond. She was obviously taken aback but understands that a house with this much history must surely hold echoes of the past.“
There’s Sir Francis De Vere, apparently, who going by his portrait, dresses very similar to the aforementioned Nearly Headless Nick, as well as the hilariously named “Becky” who likes to move things around and hates it when nuns or priests come to stay…
“She’s taken wedding rings and other keepsakes before now – but she’ll usually return them if we ask her nicely. She has to be treated like a child. We’re quite lucky, usually poltergeists are malign but Becky doesn’t seem to be.
“Usually somebody becomes a poltergeist if they’ve been subject of a witch’s curse or similar, so we think Becky was probably thrust upon a former homeowner and now just hangs around, shutting doors and turning the TV and radio on and off, just being mischievous rather than dangerous.“
She sounds like a right hassle, to be honest.
To stay at De Vere House, you’ll only be expected to hand out £110-a-night, which seems more or less worth it if that’s your kind of thing. Check it out here…
It’s not mine. I don’t want to go to Suffolk, but live and let live.
Images via Warner Bros., DeVereHouse
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down.Follow