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Caretaker was the title and occupation held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by a witch, wizard, or Squib in charge of overseeing the cleanliness and hygiene of Hogwarts Castle. Aside from this, they could patrol the corridors at night to make sure that no students wandered in the late hours.[1][2][3] In the past, they were also in charge of corporal punishment (e.g. caning)[4] until Headmaster Albus Dumbledore banned it. However, the job did still entail helping to oversee punishments, as in 1992, when Ronald Weasley's detention was to help Argus Filch polish the school's trophies without using any magic.[5]

The caretaker of Hogwarts also possessed some disciplinary powers, being able to award and dock house points. In 1987, Argus Filch reluctantly awarded Jacob's sibling ten house points at the behest of the Gryffindor house ghost, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.[6]


Some duties of the caretaker included:

  • Enforcing hygiene of the school and the students.
  • Patrolling corridors for students out of bed after hours or in forbidden areas.[2]
  • Handing out corporal punishment (formerly).[7][4]
  • Putting students in detention.[8][5]
  • Doing jobs that the Headmaster required.
  • Investigating things such as Dungbombs or mayhem.[9][10][11]
  • Being in charge of security for Hogsmeade trips,[12] mail,[10] and people entering and leaving the castle.[13]

Known caretakers

Hankerton Humble

Hankerton Humble was the first ever caretaker of Hogwarts, appointed directly by the school founders. He often clashed with Peeves.[14]

Rancorous Carpe

Rancorous Carpe was a caretaker who was active at Hogwarts in 1876. He was responsible for a disastrous attempt to remove Peeves, the resident Poltergeist, in which he devised an elaborate trap baited with an assortment of weapons he believed would be irresistible to Peeves and a vast enchanted bell jar reinforced by various Containment Charms, which he intended to drop over the poltergeist once he was in place. The trap failed spectacularly, with Peeves confiscating the weapons, resulting in a three-day standoff. Carpe took early retirement for health reasons.[14]

Apollyon Pringle

"Your father and I had been for a night-time stroll. He got caught by Apollyon Pringle - he was the caretaker in those days - your father's still got the marks."
Molly Weasley to her son, Bill.[src]

Apollyon Pringle was the caretaker at Hogwarts from at least 1961 to 1968. During his tenure, corporal punishment was allowed, and Mr Pringle was entitled to cane any student found wandering the corridors at night. At one time, at about four o'clock in the morning, he caught Arthur Weasley strolling about the castle and caned him while Molly Prewett, who had been with Arthur, escaped. It was said by Molly, in the 1994–1995 school year, that Arthur still had the marks inflicted on him.[4] By 1973, Mr Pringle had retired, died, or left the school, and was replaced by Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs Norris.

Argus Filch

Argus Filch and Mrs Norris

By at least 1973, Argus Filch, a Squib, had replaced Pringle as the caretaker of Hogwarts School. He, along with his cat, Mrs Norris, frequently patrolled the corridors at night and delighted in punishing students; he desired torturous methods for punishments, such as those inflicted by Pringle, but Dumbledore did not grant him such rights. He also waged an endless war with the school's poltergeist, Peeves. He constantly hassled students over the littlest infraction and took delight in the doling out of detention-worthy write-ups.[1] In 1995, when Dolores Umbridge was made Headmistress, Filch was allowed to use corporal punishment on students,[11] though it was revoked at the end of the year. He also continued as caretaker through Severus Snape's tenure as Headmaster, and it is unknown how Filch was treated under the tyranny of the Carrows, given how he was a Squib. Filch remained at the school after their removal.[15]

Behind the scenes


  • Faroese: umsjónarmaður ("supervisor")
  • German: Hausmeister ("caretaker")
  • Greek, Modern: Επιστάτης (superintendent) ("overseer")
  • Hebrew: שרת ("sharat") ("caretaker")
  • Icelandic: húsvörður ("janitor")


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 7 (Mudbloods And Murmurs)
  6. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Player-determined.)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party)
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
  12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  13. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 8 (Snape Victorious)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Peeves" at Wizarding World
  15. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Hogwarts faculty
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Edessa Sakndenberg | Amrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
Heads of House Filius Flitwick | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Brindlemore | Charity Burbage | Camelia | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) | Albus Dumbledore | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | Jakub Gorski | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Arsenius Jigger | Silvanus Kettleburn | Gilderoy Lockhart | Neville Longbottom | Remus Lupin | Mazoni | Minerva McGonagall | Galatea Merrythought | Quirinus Quirrell | Patricia Rakepick | Arif Sikander | Aurora Sinistra | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout | Swoopstikes | Sybill Trelawney | Dolores Umbridge | Septima Vector | Unidentified Potions professor (16th-century) | Unidentified Herbology professor (19th-century) | Unidentified Potions professor (19th-century) | Unidentified DADA professor (1984–1985) | Unidentified DADA professor (1985–1986) | Unidentified DADA professor (1986–1987) | Unidentified DADA professor (1987–1988) | Unidentified DADA professor (1989–1990) | Unidentified Muggle Studies professor (1990s) | Unidentified DADA professor (1998–?) | Unidentified Potions professor (21st-century)
Hogwarts house-elves Bilm | Boil-ridden house-elf | Dobby | Filk | Gimkey | Krafty | Kreacher | Pitts | Retch | Vekey | Winky
Support staff Rancorous Carpe | Argus Filch | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hankerton Humble | Ogg | Irma Pince | Poppy Pomfrey | Prendergast | Apollyon Pringle | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Wainscott | Unidentified Healers