The Head Key is one of the oldest Keys created by Benjamin Locke.


The Head Key allows the user to open someone's head so that thoughts and memories can be inserted or removed from the subject's mind.

Thoughts and personality traits seem to be removable, as Miranda and Kinsey Locke removed their fears, becoming much more confident afterward .[1][2]

The Head Key can be used to "share" memories between people by taking them out of one person's head and placing them into another.[3]

Using the Head Key, items and knowledge[4] can be directly placed into a person's head and later retrieved.

If a subject is injured whilst present inside someone else's memories using the Head Key, the injuries are reflected in real life.[5]


The memories themselves are not always accurate and can be affected by the subject, particularly their state of mind. For example, Bode Locke's recollection of the Lady in the Well was inaccurate.[6]

Though many memories seem alive, they are seemingly invulnerable to dying, or at least drowning.[7][8]

As Erin Voss was being completely emptied out, her mental state degraded and her hair became white.[9]


The minds of many characters have been seen with the Head Key. The following are some highlights.

Bode LockeEdit

  • Sam Lesser and Al Grubb
  • Bode as a construction worker
  • the Moth
  • a phone number with a Californian area code, presumably the Lockes' old phone number
  • Space Invaders
  • Tyler as a caveman
  • Bode as a stick of dynamite

Tyler LockeEdit

  • Sam Lesser telling Tyler that he killed Rendell because Tyler asked him to
  • Rendell, with the bullethole where his right eye should be
  • Kinsey, Bode, and the paint cans Tyler stepped in that Sam used to follow Tyler
  • Shep Martin being arrested after crashing his car and injuring Kinsey
  • Tyler holding a mask with Sam's scars
  • Three Tyler's doing the gestures of the Three Wise Monkeys
  • The hatchet Nina used to kill Sam
  • The gun Sam used to kill Rendell
  • His teacher dominantly lecturing him while he's naked
  • The well, where he's locked up his own fear in shape of The Dark Lady, as well as all other negative emotions.
  • His Bravery looking like he probably did as a kid, with a big hook he got from his dad.
  • Many naked women.

Ellie WhedonEdit


  • Inside of Kinsey's head is never fully shown in the graphic novel, but it looks hollow and Kinsey's Fear and Tears are shown.
    • In the Netflix adaptation, her head is a Mall with each shop-front presenting a different memory.
      • Some include memories of her father and her father's death.
  • Erin Voss had everything plucked out of her head. When she later made new memories they would disappear nearly instantly.
  • According to Zack, Duncan Locke's inside is full of colors, which is unusual for adults unless intoxicated. This might be because he's an artist.
  • Rendell Locke probably hid the Omega Key inside his head, as Tyler would later do.
  • After being possessed by a demon, Dodge's head is full of gruesome manifestations of his friends being murdered, several figures of himself and the black door.

Trivia Edit

  • The keys have worked differently for Rufus Whedon, including the Head Key which Zack Wells attempted to use on him; not allowing him to alter Rufus' memories.
  • In the graphic novel, the Head Key caused the subject's head to open, however, this was deemed too unrealistic for the Netflix adaptation and changed.[10]
  • When asked what his favorite key was. Gabriel Rodriguez stated that the Head Key was the key that always "stood out to him", regarding it as the most dangerous key.[11]


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