Jonathan Stroud B

If you think you know what to do in the event of a ghost, think again, says Bethany Park. Jonathan Stroud shares his tips on how to become a ghost hunter, based on his gripping Lockwood & Co book series.

So, how can we tackle a ghost?

You have to be brave and ideally have psychic abilities! Make sure you have a ghost-hunting belt and carry silver and iron – ghosts and ghouls hate these. Always hold onto a notebook, sunglasses to protect eyes against the light of some ghosts, and a digital thermometer because whenever it is cold a ghost is near. A magnesium flare, sword and salt bombs are weapons in the books.

How do you make sure the books aren’t too scary?

I am not a fan of stories that are very nasty. I think it is better to simply have it implied so that the reader can make it as scary as they wish.

How did you get into children’s fiction?

I started writing very early. I was always scribbling away, and when I wasn’t writing, I was creating board games and all sorts of other things.

Do you have a favourite Lockwood & Co book?

It’s tough to ask an author which book is their favourite – it is like asking a parent to choose their favourite child. I am proud of them all.

What’s next for the Lockwood & Co series?

A new book will be coming out next year. The movie rights have also been bought by Universal Studios – however movies do take a long time to get made, so I won’t get my hopes up too much just yet.

Jonathan’s Guide To Ghosts:

Cold Maiden: A female ghost with long floating hair that is usually doing lots of wailing. Easy to deal with as they’re too self-absorbed to be a problem!


Changer: This ghost can change its shape and behaviour.


Phantasm: Tough and see-through, so it can creep up behind you easily.


Spectre: 3D ghosts that may look like a real person but are dressed in an old-fashioned way.


Wraith: A terrifying ghost, that usually looks like a rotting corpse or skeleton.


For more from Jonathan Stroud and his ghost hunters, Anthony, Lucy and George, on a mission to investigate some of the deadliest hauntings in London, visit




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