Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

The Screaming Staircase: Lockwood & Co., Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Exciting ghost-hunter series start is very, very scary.

The Screaming Staircase: Lockwood & Co., Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

Loved it but scary (especially the first book) not for sensitive kids.

I got this book at the recommendation of another family for my middle son. I read it myself to be sure it wasn't too scary. I decided it was 1) definitely too scary for him and 2) completely engaging. I read the entire series on my own. My less sensitive oldest red it at age 13. Not sure when I'll suggest it to my more sensitive middle son.
age 18+

Very scary

Only for adults into gothic genres

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (14 ):

Get out your iron chains and metal filings and lavender and whatever other ghost wards you can think of before you open THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE: This is scary stuff! And great fun for kids who are really ready for it. (Not 8-year-olds -- geez, publishers. This is not Goosebumps. And that's definitely a compliment.) Rooms look like they're oozing blood, ghosts with curling toenails come at teens ready to give them the dreaded "ghost-touch," and, yes, a staircase really screams in a super creepy old monastery. Let's all stay the night!

Even without the scares all the other elements are there to make a fabulous mystery. Mainly the three teen ghost hunters; all very talented, especially Lucy, who narrates. And there's Lockwood, full of pride, smarts, cheeky remarks, and bravado, giving off a definite Sherlock Holmes vibe. You never know what's going to happen with the dreaded locket until the end, and they never even get to the source of the Problem: why is the world suddenly full of dangerous Visitors? Readers will have to throw on the iron chains and crack open the sequel to find out.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate