The Keys of the Locke family are variety of magical keys that are found hidden throughout the Locke family home, Keyhouse Manor. The original Keys were crafted by Benjamin Locke during the eighteenth-century Revolutionary War. After Benjamin, many more keys were made by others, including: Harland and Tyler Locke, even Hans Riffel.
During the war in 1775, soldiers discovered and opened the Black Door in the Drowning Caves, thereby releasing demons. In order to seal the door shut, Benjamin crafted a padlock and a key from Whispering Iron — which he claimed had been tempting him. He later crafted numerous other keys, as did many of the Lockes that came after him; these keys remained with the Locke family and were often used by them.
It is implied that the Children of Leng whose bodies were used to make the Keys are still alive in some way, because the Keys can still whisper when they are lost and want to be found. Chamberlin Locke believed that the Children of Leng that have been turned into Keys want a human to use them as weapons.
In the Netflix series, the keys must be willingly given to a demon such as Dodge, who, for unknown reasons, cannot take the keys from the Locke children by force. This was exclusive to her as Sam Lesser took keys from the Locke children, and Dodge took the same keys from him. Most likely this came from Dodge being a demon while Sam was still human.
It's revealed that the creation of the keys is done via alchemy and that only the person hearing the whispering from the Whispering Iron can make the key because "making a key is a conversation between the Whispering Iron and the key maker." Duncan reveals that he had learned it from the ghost of Chamberlin Locke. While teaching Tyler how to make a key, Duncan tells him that "a key gets its magic from the intention of the key maker" and that he needs to close his eyes and focus on the intention of what he needs the key to do. While the Whispering Iron is from the demon world, its power can be reshaped to bring about the darkest evil or the greatest good "and you as the maker get to decide." Once the key maker has focused their intention for the key, they add their blood to the melted-down Whispering Iron before pouring the molten metal into the key mold. Once its in the mold, the key can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours to harden as every key is different. He also tells Dodge that the blood used to make the key must be Locke blood for it to work. This may because they are descendants of Benjamin Locke, the first person to create the keys who showed no sign of magical talent before making the Omega Key and in fact needed his sister's help to figure out the alchemical process.
- indicates that the key solely appears in the Netflix series; they are not mentioned nor appear in the graphic novels.
- indicates that the key appears in the graphic novels, but was redesigned and/or renamed in the Netflix series.
- indicates that the key first appeared in the Netflix series, but was later integrated into the graphic novels.
These keys have not made an appearance in the official comics but appear in merchandise, promotional tie-ins, and/or non-canon materials.
These keys can be seen in art but were unused. Note that the names are not official.
- Yin-Yang Key
- Toy Key
- Illuminati Key (Seen in the Glass Ceiling and Welcome to Lovecraft 6)
- Freemason Key (The bow of the key is decorated with a Freemason Square and Compass, in the center is a flower instead of a "G", outlined in a laurel wreath. Appears only in the Glass Ceiling)
- Scepter Key
- Compass/Star Key
- Two other keys of unidentifiable symbolic design
Locks that hint at potential Keys
These are locks that are seen in the art that could hint at the existence of potential Keys. Names are not official.
- Radio Key (lock seen in Dog Days). A keyhole shape can be seen on the old fashioned radio that the two sons of Mary Locke listen to with their dog.
- Stained Glass Key (lock seen in Omega 2). Assuming the keyhole on the Glass Ceiling is an actual keyhole and not just an image. Much like how the keyhole for the Giant Key was also a glass window.
- Cat Key (lock seen in Small World). A lock can be seen on the collar worn by Jean and Mary Locke's pet cat, Tiberius.
- Snow Globe Key (lock seen in Golden Age 4: "In Pale Battalions Go #1" & Golden Age 9: "Hell & Gone #2"). One of the items that Chamberlin Locke locks in the Vault of Shadows is a Snow Globe with a miniature Keyhouse inside. At the base of the Globe (although it's hard to make out) there appears to be a keyhole/lock. It is seen again in the Harlequin Wardrobe in 1927.
- The Keys to Omega Doors #1-#10 (locks seen in Crown of Shadow #2: "In the Cave" & Clockworks #4: "The Whispering Iron"). While exploring the Drowning Caves, Kinsey Locke and her friends encounter an Omega Door marked with a #1 that they cannot open.. This is shown to be a door separate from the Black Door, as the Black Door is deeper in the caves and is marked with a #11. This door reappears in a flashback to Rendell Locke and the Tamers of the Tempest on their way to the Black Door. Omega Doors marked with a #5 and #3 are also seen. This implies that there are at least 10 Omega Doors (not counting #11) in the caves which may have their own Keys. It is unknown if the Omega Key has anything to do with these doors.
- Penny-farthing Key (lock seen in Golden Age 9: "Hell & Gone #2"). One of the items in the Harlequin Wardrobe in 1927 was a Penny-farthing bicycle with Keys as its wheel spokes and a lock on its handle.
- Locke & Key: Clockworks #1, "The Locksmith's Son". July 20, 2011
- Locke & Key: Clockworks #4, "The Whispering Iron". February 1, 2012
- Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys. November 23, 2011
- Locke & Key, Episode 1: Welcome to Matheson
- Locke & Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go... #1. August 26, 2020
- Locke & Key, Episode 5: Family Tree
- Locke & Key, Season 2 Episode 7: Best Laid Plans
- Locke & Key, Season 2 Episode 8: Irons in the Fire
- Locke & Key, Season 2 Episode 9: Alpha & Omega
- Locke & Key, Season 2 Episode 5: Past is Prologue
- Audible Key bookmark
- Biblio Key on Skelton Crew Studios. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017.
- Alpha #2 (Jetpack Key Edition)
- Jetpack Key Giveaway
- Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #2, "In The Cave". December 16, 2009
- Locke & Key: Hell & Gone #2. September 28, 2021