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All The Keys From 'Locke & Key,' Explained

Updated February 10, 2020 1.8k votes 132 voters 8.3k views28 items

List RulesVote up the coolest keys hidden in Keyhouse and the greater Lovecraft/Matheson areas.

Imagine if you could teleport anywhere in the world, access all of your memories and emotions, turn into an animal, or temporarily become a ghost - all with just the turn of a key and the opening of a door. This is the magical and often nightmarish world of Locke & Key, a comic book series from horror author Joe Hill that tells the tragic story of the Locke family and the magical keys that can alter the very fabric of reality.

The story follows the three Locke children - Tyler, the eldest son, Kinsey, the middle daughter, and Bode, the youngest child - who are forced to move across the country with their mother, Nina, after their father, Rendell, is brutally slain. They all take up residence in the Locke family's ancient estate, Keyhouse Manor, in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. It's there they discover that the mansion - and their ancestors - both harbor dark secrets, and they come across a collection of keys that each have their own distinct magical uses. They also become the targets of a malevolent force hellbent on revenge against the Locke family.

Locke & Key has now been adapted for the screen as a Netflix original series that looks like it will expand on the universe depicted in the comic book's pages. But the exciting and fantastical nature of the story of the many mystically imbued keys makes the comic endlessly engrossing. Here's a breakdown of the powers and uses of every amazing key found in Locke & Key.

  • 1. Anywhere Key

    What It Does: When the Anywhere Key is inserted into any door possessing a key hole, the door becomes a portal of sorts that allows the user to step through any other door in the world, as long as they can clearly visualize the door they want to come out of. (It's remarkably similar to how the doors work in Pixar's Monsters Inc.)

    How It's Used In The Comics: The Anywhere Key was long hidden inside an ornate golden bracelet. The evil Dodge, as the Lady in the Well, uses the Anywhere Key to escape the Wellhouse. As an echo summoned by the Echo Key, Dodge would have ceased to exist had he walked through the front door. But with the Anywhere Key, Dodge is able to leave, as he technically isn't passing through the Wellhouse door. It's used many times throughout the comics, as it's easily one of the most versatile and useful keys out of the entire lot.

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  • 2. Head Key

    What It Does: The Head Key - which itself is adorned with a small phrenology-like model of a human head - can be inserted into the base of the skull on the back of the neck in a keyhole that forms to accept the key. After turning the Head Key, the top half of the user's skull opens and their thoughts, memories, and even emotions can be seen, manifested as real, tangible and animated people and creatures inside their head.

    How It's Used In The Comics: The Head Key is an incredibly powerful object, and is used several times. Most notably, Kinsey Locke uses the Head Key to remove her fear - represented as a grotesque monster - and her ability to cry, which manifests as a sobbing woman in black. This makes her absolutely unafraid of anything, to an almost dangerous and reckless degree, and prohibits her from crying or feeling sad for the most part. The Head Key is also used a number of times to remove people's memories.

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  • 3. Small World Key

    What It Does: There is a dollhouse that is a scale recreation of Keyhouse Manor, filled with scale reproductions of everyone inside Keyhouse Manor at any time. When the Small World Key is inserted, the figures inside move about, matching the exact movements and locations of the real people in the real Keyhouse Manor.

    How It's Used In The Comics: Used in the standalone issue Locke & Key: Small World, a young Jean Locke discovers that anything that occurs to the figures in the dollhouse will also happen to the real people they represent when the key is used to unlock the door. Also, anything that enters the dollhouse manifests to scale in reality. So, when Jean accidentally leaves the door unlocked and open, black widow spiders enter the dollhouse and materialize as giant spiders in the real world. They then begin attacking the Locke family to make them their next meal.

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  • 4. Omega Key

    What It Does: The Omega Key can open the Black Door, which leads to the alternate dimension populated by the Children of Leng. These demonic entities latch onto the souls of humans, which is how they manage to exist in this universe.

    How It's Used In The Comics: The Omega Key is forged by Benjamin Locke in 1775 after the Black Door was accidentally opened, allowing the Children of Leng to enter into this world. After forging a padlock out of Whispering Iron - a seemingly magical metallic substance that the demons turn into when they perish - he crafts the Omega Key to keep the padlock shut. In the modern day, Dodge - a demon who inhabits a human host and is the main antagonist of the series - makes it his primary mission to find the Omega Key and open the door once again.

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