The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: London :, Doubleday Children's,, 2013.
Branch Call Number: OLDER FICTION
Characteristics: 452 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm.
Series Volume: 1.


From Library Staff

Great spooky mysteries, totally recommend.

ChristchurchKids Dec 23, 2014

The Screaming Staircase is one of the most exciting books I’ve read this year. Jonathan Stroud had me on the edge of my seat, anticipating a ghost to jump out at me around every twist and turn of the plot. Jonathan has created such a chilling atmosphere in the book that you hear the creaks and g... Read More »

ChristchurchLib Nov 27, 2013

"Out of all the agencies that protect the citizens of London from deadly spectral Visitors, Lockwood & Company isn't exactly the most professional. In fact, they messed up their last job so badly that they set a house on fire. Now, to save the agency from bankruptcy, teen ghost hunters L... Read More »

From the critics

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Mar 09, 2021

Book #1 (of 5) in the 'Lockwood & Co.' series.

Feb 16, 2021

Excellent series. I have read Lockwood & Co. several (4-5) times through. If you haven't tried the audiobooks, I highly recommend them. The narrator is wonderful and adds to the characters and story. I hear her voice now when I read the series in print, lol.

Dec 28, 2020

Marcella - 11,12

Oct 08, 2020

After Lucy Carlyle left her previous position under less than happy circumstances, she lands a job at Lockwood and Co., a small Psychic Detection Agency where she joins Anthony Lockwood and George Cubbins in detecting and eradicating ghosts and other specters. In recent years, "The Problem" has created many such agencies to pop up in London whose agents are all under 20 years old. Only young people have the psychic abilities to be able to deal with the spirits of the dead. Lockwood finds himself in financial trouble as he and Lucy accidentally destroyed a house while exterminating a violent ghost and are being told they must pay for the damage they caused. As a result, Lockwood and Co. takes a job offered by John William Fairfax, a wealthy business owner in London, who offers to pay their debt if they find the source of an infestation at a notorious mansion that has already claimed the lives of several other agents. As they venture inside for the first time, Lucy, George, and Lockwood realize that this job may be the end of not only their agency but also their lives.
The Screaming Staircase, though written for and advertised as being for young people, could easily be an adult novel. The characters are well-developed and the backstory is fully fleshed out. The suspense is spine-tingling as the possibility of physical harm rises and more and more secrets are revealed. Overall, this is a very good story with scary supernatural elements and quirky characters.

Sep 24, 2020

I LOVED the series and I always have them stocked at my bookcase. Pity there was only five books, however. I would have loved to read more. The books are just so suspenseful, creepy and funny! Five stars whole series

Jul 19, 2020

A good and entertaining read for what it was. I actually checked this book out twice before really getting into it--read most of it during most of shutdown-mode, spring 2020 while COVID was going rampant (proved a good and amusing mental escape). The main characters, Lucy Carlyle, Jonathan Lockwood and George Cubbins, all had good, if not modest, developments and intriguing chemistry. Centering around ghosting predicaments and situations in modern London/U.K., The Screaming Staircase was a quick and gripping sort of read. I especially liked how Stroud (author) incorporated his various Glossary-included terms and other randomly-selected vocabulary to entice the story. I'd recommend this title, not just for the Juvenile age group its intended, but anyone who just wants something to read while passing time.

Dec 04, 2019

What a fun book! Great cast of characters!! I loved them all. What could be better than kids on their own without adult supervision ... and loads of doughnuts? The balance of humor/storyline/action was perfect! I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Dec 13, 2018

I love it< it was entertaining

Nov 20, 2018

A solid start to a new series. I will read more of these books.

Mar 17, 2018


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Age Suitability

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black_butterfly_704 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Mar 18, 2017

abbaluke thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 13, 2015

Reyna_Avila_Grace thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 18, 2015

BookNerdoftheWorld thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

zackids Oct 17, 2014

zackids thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 21, 2014

Padfoots_puppy thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Quote
Aug 04, 2016

"May I present to you once again our host and patron, Mr. john William Faifax - Chairman of Fairfax Iron and noted industrialist, onetime actor and, of course, the murderer of Annie Ward."

Vanshika Makkar
May 24, 2016

No I just think you are deluded

JCLChrisK Feb 27, 2014

Just because, a sample of Stroud's fluent, eloquent writing:

"The caretaker was certainly very ancient, a tight and desiccated thing from which all softness and moisture had long since been extracted. Where Mr. Fairfax had been bullishly vigorous despite his age and infirmity, this man was more like the ash tree by the house: gnarled and twisted, but holding tenaciously to life. He had a shock of gray-white hair, and a narrow face that disintegrated, as he drew near, into a web of lines, a limestone surface with bumps and fissures. His clothes carried an air of somber correctness: he was dressed in an old-fashioned tail coat of dark black velvet, from the sleeves of which gray, liver-spotted fingers protruded. His striped pants were incredibly thin, his shoes as long and pointed as his nose."


“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.”


“In fact, it wasn’t at all an ugly hallway; in bright sunlight it might have looked quite pleasant. But not so much now, with the last light from the door panes stretching out like skewed coffins on the floor in front of us; and with our shadows neatly framed inside them..”


"With his glasses off, his eyes looked small and weak – blinky and a bit baffled, like an unintelligent sheep that’s taken a wrong turn. But when he put them on again, they went all sharp and steely, more like the eyes of an eagle that eats dumb sheep for breakfast.”


“..George Cubbins, handsome as a freshly opened tub of margarine, as charismatic as a wet tea towel lying scrumpled on the floor.”


Add Notices
Jun 21, 2019

Coarse Language: Very mild swearing

Aug 13, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: A few intense scenes and slightly scary scenes. I'm a young teen and I though they were fine but I wouldn't recommend it for anything younger than a 10-year-old

Aug 13, 2015

Coarse Language: D--n, d--ned, how the h---, what the h---, why the h---, and bloody were each used once


Add a Summary
Vanshika Makkar
May 20, 2016

A girl named Lucy works at a company, "Lockwood and C.O.", with co-workers Lockwood and George. They all work as ghost catcher. One night they encountered a ghost nameed Anne Ward. While catching her a fire begins in the house. The owners ask them to pay €60,000 for repair, but the company does not has that much money! Will they be babble to pay off the depth and find the truth about Anti Ward?


It all began with The Problem. One day, for no apparent reason, the dead started to walk amongst the living. Not just walk, but really wreak some serious havoc. Here are the facts of the matter. 1. If you see a ghost, run. 2. Don’t let a ghost touch you, or you’re dead. 3. Only kids can see ghosts. What are we to make of these facts? Well, it’s no surprise when ghost-busting operations hiring children start cropping up. Enter Lockwood & Company. Run by the charming Anthony Lockwood alongside his two compatriots Lucy and George the ramshackle operation is barely scraping by. Enter a job that goes particularly wrong when the kids accidentally burn down their employers’ home, and it would take a miracle to save the agency. Fortunately, a miracle shows up in the form of a very rich and powerful man. He’s hiring the three to take on the most haunted house in all of Britain. The catch? No one’s ever gotten out of it alive. Will our intrepid heroes take on the job, or is there more at work here than meets the eye?

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