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"It was the gloomiest, most depressing bathroom Harry had ever set foot in. Under a large, cracked, and spotted mirror were a row of chipped sinks. The floor was damp and reflected the dull light given off by the stubs of a few candles, burning low in their holders; the wooden doors to the stalls were flaking and scratched and one of them was dangling off its hinges."
— The inside of Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom[src]

The second-floor girls' lavatory, more commonly known as Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom,[3] was situated on the second floor of Hogwarts Castle, just above the Great Hall.[3] It had been out of order ever since a student named Myrtle Warren was killed there.[1][2] Myrtle had haunted the bathroom ever since the Ministry of Magic stopped her from haunting Olive Hornby who had been teasing Myrtle just before her death, leading it to be a place most students did not want to enter.[4]

This bathroom held the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. To get in the Chamber, a person needed to say "open" in Parseltongue, which would cause the tap with a snake on the side (a tap which incidentally, never worked) to move into the floor, revealing a tunnel which led downwards into the Chamber.[2]


Founding of Hogwarts

First floor bathroom.jpg

Hogwarts Castle and this bathroom were built by Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin. It was built inside a turret.[5] According to an ancient legend, Salazar Slytherin was responsible for the construction of the Chamber of Secrets beneath Hogwarts dungeons. The Chamber contained a Basilisk which could only be controlled by Slytherin's true heir, and use it to purge the school of all muggle-born students. Before being forced out of Hogwarts by the other founders, Slytherin hid the entrance to the Chamber.[1]

Several centuries later in the 1700s, a direct of descendant of Slytherin, Corvinus Gaunt, further concealed the passageway behind a bewitched sink that could be only opened by someone who spoke Parseltongue.[6] For centuries, the Castle was thoroughly searched and no such Chamber was found until one of Slytherin's descendants set foot in the Castle in the late 1930s.[1]

1943 Chamber of Secrets opening

Moaning Myrtle haunting the bathroom

In 1938, Tom Riddle (best known by the alias "Lord Voldemort") started his education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In his fifth year, he learned of his Slytherin ancestry and discovered the existence and entrance to the Chamber of Secrets and tamed the Basilisk which dwelt within.

As the Heir of Slytherin through his mother's family, Tom was able to open the Chamber of Secrets and started purging the school "of all those who were unworthy to study magic" — in Riddle and Slytherin's eyes, those were Muggle-born students. Many students were attacked in 1943. The attacks eventually stopped with the murder of a student named Myrtle Warren inside this bathroom.[7][8]

Myrtle's ghost

After her death, Myrtle Warren's ghost (or Moaning Myrtle, as the students usually call her) haunted Olive Hornby, the fellow student who forced her into the bathroom that evening. When the Ministry of Magic refrained her from doing so, Moaning Myrtle returned to the bathroom, haunting it from that day on.[4]

1992-1993 Chamber of Secrets openings

Harry Potter: "What's the matter?"
Ron Weasley: "Can't go in there. That's a girls' toilet."
Hermione Granger: "Oh, Ron, there won't be anyone in there. That's Moaning Myrtle's place. Come on, let's have a look."
— The Trio enters Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom for the first time[src]

Hermione Granger brewing Polyjuice Potion in this bathroom

On Hallowe'en night, 1992, Tom Riddle's Diary (one of Voldemort's Horcruxes), possessed student Ginny Weasley and forced her to open the Chamber of Secrets (which had been closed since 1943). She eventually tried to dispose of the diary in the bathroom stall where Myrtle died, but Harry later discovered the book, undamaged.[7][8]

Hermione Granger brewed Polyjuice Potion there in her second year, in 1992. She, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley used it as part of their unsuccessful plan to question Draco Malfoy about the opening of the Chamber of Secrets.[9] Later in the school year, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley discovered where the entrance to the Chamber was and they, along with Gilderoy Lockhart, then-Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, entered the Chamber of Secrets via this bathroom.[2]

Altering history

In an alternate reality 2020, Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter visited the bathroom in search of a way to reach the Great Lake. The pair convinced Moaning Myrtle to show them how to use the pipes to send themselves to the lake as she could.[10]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pottermore - From the story: Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom dead link
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)
  5. (see this image)
  6. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Chamber of Secrets" at Wizarding World
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
  9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12 (The Polyjuice Potion)
  10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Nineteen
  11. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party) - "'She [Moaning Myrtle] haunts one of the toilets in the girls' bathroom on the first floor,' said Hermione."
  12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party) - "'This way,' he shouted, and he began to run, up the stairs, into the entrance hall. [...] Harry sprinted up the marble staircase to the first floor, Ron and Hermione clattering behind him. [...] he ran up the next flight of steps three at a time [...] Harry hurtled around the whole of the second floor, Ron and Hermione panting behind him, not stopping until they turned a corner into the last, deserted passage."
  13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 22 (The Unexpected Task) - "'I suppose there’s always Moaning Myrtle,' he said gloomily, referring to the ghost who haunted the girls' toilets on the second floor."
Second-floor of Hogwarts Castle
Class 31
Gargoyle Corridor · Second-floor corridor
Halls and rooms
Potions storeroom · Second-floor arcade · Second-floor foyer · Second-floor hall · Second-floor secret storeroom · Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom
Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher's office
Other locations
No entry due to flooding - Mr Filch
Portraits, statues and other artwork
Anne Boleyn · Bust of a medieval wizard · Basil Fronsac · Map of Argyllshire · Painting of apples · Temeritus Shanks · Wizarding family
Staircase to the ground-floor · Staircase between the first and second-floor corridors · Staircase to the library corridor · Staircase to the third-floor