Argus Filch is a mysterious dude. There are certain aspects of his persona and job that are just plain weird. He doesn’t seem to sleep, for instance. Like, ever. Why is that? Today we will be discussing Argus Filch, the Hogwarts caretaker and his mysterious existence…
Argus Filch and his cat Mrs. Norris are quite notorious during Harry’s time at Hogwarts. Skulking around the castle about 24/7, trying to catch students doing things they shouldn’t and constantly complaining about everything. Filch is allegedly a Squib, because Harry finds a Kwikspell course in his office once. So he hates everything and he can’t do magic. This is one unhappy guy. A question that comes to mind is: why doesn’t he leave? Why doesn’t he simply quit his abysmal job? We’ll get to that.
Mysteries of Filch’s job
Filch has a pet cat named Mrs. Norris, about whom J. K. Rowling says is just a regular cat. Not a magical creature, like a Kneazle. Yet Filch has an almost supernatural connection to this animal. When she catches students doing something wrong, Filch is said to turn up immediately. Yet, being a Squib, apparating would be impossible for him. In fact, anything magical is impossible for him. He complains about dirt and mud in the school on multiple occasions, while one of his collegues would be able to remove every drop of dirt with the wave of a wand. Ever heard of Evanesco? Why would Argus Filch have to do a menial job that could have been handled by a witch or wizard (or even a student) in next to no time? Or house elves! Hogwarts employs an army of House Elves, who’s job it is to clean stuff. His job in itself is a mystery. He doesn’t even like kids, which isn’t really handy when you’re working at a magical high school. Basically Filch has to do manual labour during the day, while staying up all night to make sure there aren’t students out of bed. He seems to never sleep. Actually, his whole existence within Hogwarts makes no sense. Or does it?
Filch the Poltergeist
We think the answer may be clear: Argus Filch is a poltergeist. Of course we know about Peeves. This floating menace wreaks havoc in Hogwarts and turns Filch’s life into even more of a nightmare. Poltergeists are quite the opposite of ghosts. While ghosts are transparent and can’t touch physical objects, a poltergeist is quite solid. Peeves destroys a Vanishing cabinet, for example. According to Rowling he is a physical manifestation of all of the wrongdoings and misschieve of the adolescent witches and wizards in the castle. Peeves wants to have fun by breaking rules. Filch is the exact opposite. He is a stickler for rules and he hates everything that makes life fun. You could call them Yin and Yang in this view. It would explain why he doesn’t need to sleep and why he can turn up as suddenly as one of the ghosts. Perhaps Mrs. Norris is so linked to Filch because they are two parts of the very same manifestation! Filch’s first name is Argus, the many eyed entity who never sleeps from Greek mythology. This Argus’ worst enemy was Hermes; the divine trickster.
There have been other caretakers at Hogwarts in the past of course, like Appollion Pringle, when Molly and Arthur Weasley were students. This guy sounded about the same as Filch; bitter and hell-bent on following rules. Perhaps he was a poltergeist as well and he was regenerated as Filch. Why Filch can’t float and do magic is probably because both those things are in itself breaking the rules! The rule of gravity and casting spells to accomplish impossible things. This theory solves all the mysteries of Argus Filch. It explains why he can’t quit his job. He is bound to the castle. It also explains why he never seems to sleep: he doesn’t have to. He is a manifestation of enforcing the rules, the way Peeves is a manifestation of breaking the rules. In that way there is balance.
This theory was discussed by the SuperCarlin Brothers on YouTube. Click here for the video.