The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1)

Author(s): Jonathan Stroud

Young Adult

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .


For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.


Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.


Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

This is a really good book. It is all about an alternative London, where there are ghosts about and people need agents for protection. The agents, who are all children, track ghosts down to their source and then surround it with iron and salt, which ghosts can't stand. It all starts when Lockwood & Co put an advertisement in the paper for a very sensitive agent. Lucy, the main character, applies and the story starts twisting and turning its way through the pages. This book shows how exactly ghosts could be, and how seemingly reliable people could even be murderers. The mystery starts with Lucy and Lockwood waiting for the people who have hired them to come and unlock a house so they can cure it of a type one ghost (these are just shades) - or are there type twos (that can actually hurt you) just round the corner? Tension is high. It is very scary and gets scarier and scarier. It is often funny too. I think it is written better than Harry Potter. If you enjoy The Screaming Staircase, then you won't be able to wait for the next book in the 'Lockwood & Co' series. - Cosmo (10)


This is the most exciting new children’s book I have read in ages, and finally it has arrived in the shop!! Much excitement. The first in a series, Lockwood & Co, this is going to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Lemony Snickett and Cornelia Funke. This is set in London, but not quite as we know it –  there’s a problem – a ghost problem. This isn’t a ghoulish kind of horror, this is sophisticated haunting. The ghosts have been coming back over the last 50 years and the only people who can quell or appease them are agents or Sensitives - children under 15 who have a sixth sense and special abilities. Lucy, our very excellent heroine, applies for a job as an agent with Lockwood & Co. She wins the job and joins a small company that comprises the raffish (and sometimes foolhardy, but always brave) Lockwood and the intelligent but bumbling, George. And then the fun begins…. this is very scary and very funny. (And oh, it’s also well-written.) - Stella



The old cliché, 'I couldn't put it down', totally resonated for me. I was too terrified to put it down!  For more than 50 years England has been plagued by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts, and to fight this outbreak, teams of psychic investigators have sprung up. Lockwood & Co, the agency consisting of Anthony, Lucy & George, make a disastrous mess of one of their cases, and decide to accept an offer to do better by spending the night in the most haunted house in England. I just kept reading until the small hours to find out what happened next, and was pleased to find it's the first in a series. Harry Potter's legions of older admirers will enjoy it too. - Jan



This clever, funny and very scary horror novel would appeal to older kids, young teens and discerning adults alike. Don't read it alone at night! - Lucy



I absolutely loved Lockwood & Co. - The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, and can't wait to read it again - I'm sure there are some things I missed. It's scary, funny and very well written. - Lucy


Product Information

The book sensation of the year from global bestselling author, Jonathan Stroud.

Winner of We Read Award 2015 and Hampshire Book Award 2015 and Hampshire Book Award 2014. Shortlisted for Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: Simply the Book Category 2015 and North East Book Award 2015. Long-listed for Inky Awards: Silver Inky 2015 and Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2014.

"This story will keep you reading late into the night, but you'll want to leave the lights on. Stroud is a genius at inventing an utterly believable world which is very much like ours, but so creepily different. Put The Screaming Staircase on your 'need to read' list." Rick Riordan "The book is genuinely spooky and suspenseful, with appealing characters and great dialogue, and all shot through with Stroud's dry wit." Guardian "A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls" Kirkus "Stroud (the Bartimaeus series) shows his customary flair for blending deadpan humor with thrilling action, and the fiery interplay among the three agents of Lockwood Co. invigorates the story (along with no shortage of creepy moments)." Publishers Weekly "In a world overrun by evil spooks, can Paranormal Detection Agency Lockwood Co do anything about the ghostly problems besetting London? Suspenseful, supernatural adventure." Metro

Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford in 1970. After studying English Literature at York University, he moved to London, where he worked as an editor in a publishing firm. He is the author of the best-selling BARTIMAEUS sequence, which is published in 35 languages and has sold 6 million copies worldwide, and also of four other novels: HEROES OF THE VALLEY, THE LAST SIEGE, THE LEAP and BURIED FIRE. Jonathan lives in Hertfordshire with his family. He has yet to see a ghost, but is keeping his eyes open.

General Fields

  • : 9780552566780
  • : Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • : Corgi Childrens
  • : May 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : February 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jonathan Stroud
  • : Paperback
  • : 814
  • : en
  • : 823.92
  • : 480