Books and Comics have always made for great springboards of many wonderful TV shows and Locke and Key is yet another. The series, based on the comic book by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, starts out with the Locke family, who relocate from their old home into their family home, Key House, after the father’s murder. As they settle into the new house, they discover a set of magical keys that can open doors that at first seem like a fun addition to their lives.
However, as the Locke children explore the different keys and their unique powers, they realize quickly that a mysterious entity is also after the keys and will stop at nothing to get them.
We of course know nothing can replace Locke and Key, but it doesn’t hurt to try out a new TV show now and again. So, If you’re on the hunt for TV shows that combine elements of horror, fantasy and family drama, this is a list of 15 shows like Locke and Key for your viewing pleasure.
List of TV Shows like Locke and Key
1. Stranger Things (2016)
If you liked Locke and Key and you haven’t seen Stranger Things yet, then you need to put it at the top of your list, immediately! Considerably the crown jewel of Netflix streaming platform, Stranger Things is another coming-of-age story set in the 80s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. The science-fiction horror series is about three boys that discover their fourth friend, Will Byers, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Alongside his parents and the law, they do everything they can to search for him. Then they meet Eleven, a strange girl, a day later and they are convinced it’s not a coincidence and uncover a mystery involving secret government experiments and frightening supernatural forces. Stranger Things has a lot of what Locke and Key has, including paranormal activity, supernatural powers and horror. And like shows similar to Locke and Key, it has a gripping story that doesn’t let go.
2. Shadowhunters (2016)
Shadowhunters is based on the young adult book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, similar to other series like Locke and Key. Much like how the pilot of Locke and Key had itself suffered a delayed start, before this Netflix’s adaptation to series, there had been a film adaptation that was a flop. But this show was the answer to those woes.
This show follows Clary Fray, a young woman thrust into a world of fantasy and mystery as she tries to find her missing mother and discovers that she is descended from a long line of demon hunters called Shadowhunters, a human-angel hybrid who hunts demons. Clary maneuvers the dangerous Shadow World while uncovering family secrets and fighting evil forces.
3. The Umbrella Academy (2019)
The Umbrella Academy is a Netflix series based on the comic book series of the same name by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. The show starts out in 1989, around the world random women who showed no previous signs of pregnancy gave birth to 43 babies, 7 of whom were adopted by a billionaire Reginald Hargreeves and trained to save the world forming the Umbrella Academy.
Years down the line, the dysfunctional family of superheroes reunite once more when Hargreeves dies and tensions flare as they try to solve the mystery of their father’s death and all while trying to prevent a looming apocalypse. It’s a great story full of mystery just like a series like Locke And Key.
Also Read: Shows like Sense8
4. Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself (2022)
Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself or Half Bad for short, follows the story of Nathan, a teenage boy who is the illegitimate son of the world’s most feared Black witch father and White witch mother. In this world, witches are divided into two factions and Nathan tries his best to fit in but his father’s legacy constantly casts a shadow over him.
Seen as an outcast by both sides. He is hunted and oppressed, and must fight to survive and discover for himself who he truly is. The show, based on the book series by Sally Green, is the latest in a longline of series to be canceled by Netflix. Half Bad in a similar vein to TV series like Locke and Key had been well received by critics and viewers alike, so its cancellation leaves bittersweet sentiments.
5. Fate: The Winx Saga (2021)
A live action fantasy series like Locke And Key, Fate is based on the popular animated show Winx Club. The story follows Bloom, a teenager who discovers she is a fairy with extraordinary powers and is admitted to a prestigious magical boarding school called Alfea.
As Bloom and her new friends navigate their way through the school’s rigorous curriculum, they uncover dark secrets and hidden plans that threaten to overturn their world. With its drama, characters and stunning visual effects, the wildly loved series traverses topics of friendship, love, and the strife to fit in the world.
6. Lockwood and Co. (2023)
Lockwood and Co. is a Netflix production, also adapted from a Young Adult book just as in series similar to Locke and Key, this time adapting one of Jonathan Stroud’s book series. The show’s premise is in an alternate version of present-day London, Britain where ghosts have risen from their graves, and children are the only ones who can sense them.
A tiny ghost-hunting paranormal agency, run by two teenage boys Anthony and George, a newly arrived, super gifted girl, Lucy. The maverick trio are destined to unravel and fight mysteries and danger are lurking around every corner. With only eight episodes of season one so far, It will be interesting to see how the show handles the development of the characters and the overall story arc.
7. The Magicians (2015)
For fans of Locke and Key who are looking for blends of fantasy, mystery, and adventure. The Magicians is a fantasy TV series based on Lev Grossman’s novel. The story follows Quentin Coldwater, a talented young man who enrolls in Brakebills University, a secret institution where he and his fellow students learn the art of magic and discovers a magical world of spell-casting and fantastical creatures.
The Magicians is similar to shows like Locke and Key for its use of fantasy, magic, and adventure. So, if your favorite part about Locke and Key was the use of powerful magical abilities, then this is a must-see.
8. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)
It doesn’t take much to see how similar A Series of Unfortunate Events is to shows like Locke and Key. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, viewers follow the adventures and misfortunes of the three Baudelaire children as they are whisked off to their distant relative Count Olaf’s house after a mysterious house fire kills their parents.
Neil Patrick Harris delivers a particular grand performance as Count Olaf, whose various wicked disguises make for a comedic and theatrical viewing. His relentless intentions to gain custody is less than virtuous, with his regular attempts to murder the children so as to claim their parents’ fortune. This series is a much more family-friendly TV show with its dark humor and storytelling.
9. The Order (2019)
This is a series like Locke and Key that blends elements of horror, fantasy, and mystery. Jack Morton is a college freshman who is fueled by revenge, he joins a secret society called The Order to uncover the truth about his mom’s death. The more he gets caught up in the world of magic and the supernatural, the more he finds himself thrust in a dangerous battle between witches and rival werewolves.
The Order distinguishes itself with a steady dose of humor that perfectly compliments the drama and intrigue. Despite being canceled after two seasons, the show had gained a loyal fan following for its inventive storytelling and memorable characters.
10. The Witcher (2019)
Much like shows like Locke and Key, The Witcher is similarly based on the titular book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, and the hugely popular video game that followed it. The fantasy drama series follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a mutant with special powers who kills monsters for money.
With the Nilfgaardian Empire’s brutal invasion of the kingdom of Cintra, Geralt’s destiny slowly becomes tangled with that of a young princess named Ciri and a powerful sorceress named Yennefer. As they navigate their way through a war-torn landscape filled with dark secrets and hidden agendas. This show has been lauded for its breath-taking action sequences, complex characters, and a richly imagined world.
Also Read: Shows like The Expanse
11. Dark (2017)
Dark is a German original sci-fi thriller, a first of its kind production on its streaming network. Easily one of the most exciting shows on the platform, Dark takes a more solemn approach to its storyline and characters.
Set in the fictional town of Winden in present day Germany where two young children disappear without a trace.
The ensuing search leads to a mind-bending exploration of four estranged families across different timelines revealing their sinful lives and difficult relationships. Dark, much like shows similar to Locke and Key, is the perfect mix of supernatural, science fiction and mystery and without a doubt one of the smartest series with complex explorations of human nature mixed with parallel worlds and time travel.
12. October Faction (2020)
October Faction is a supernatural mystery that is also based on comics and is just as equally focused on family. Adapted from a horror comic series by Steve Niles and Damien Worm, October Faction follows a monster-hunting husband and wife Fred and Deloris Allen who travel the world killing monsters.
They return to their hometown when they learn about the death of Fred’s father with their teenage twins Geoff and Viv as they strive to hide their vocation from their new neighbors. The Netflix series ran for just one season with each episode revealing more and more of the dark secrets of the Allen Family and monsters playing their new town. This is a must watch if you are looking for a show similar to Locke and Key.
13. Raising Dion (2019)
The plot of Raising Dion spans two seasons and is centered on the story of a young fatherless child Dion Warren and his superpowers which are beginning to manifest. This show however is as much about Dion’s mother, Nicole, as much it is about him.
Nicole, a widowed mom, will do everything within her power to keep him safe from the world and from those who would want to take advantage of his newfound powers. This is perfect for those who love how shows like Locke and Key feature supernatural elements and explore themes of family, loss, and growing up.
14. Once Upon a Time (2011)
If you’re a fan of series like Locke and Key, you will definitely enjoy Once Upon A Time. There’s nothing quite like this fantasy drama series that reinterprets classic fairy tales in a modern context. imagine all your favorite fairy-tale characters in one magical town, exciting right?!
At the beginning, a bail bonds collector Emma Swan is approached by her son, Henry, with a belief that she is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming who was sent faraway before the Evil Queen could cast a spell, trapping them in time till present-day Storybrooke, Maine.
15. Shadow and Bone (2021)
Imagine Game of Thrones, but for teens that’s what critics Shadow and Bone have described it as. With a dark tone reminiscent of shows like Locke and Key, the adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s YA fantasy novels, Shadow and Bone. Jessie Mei Lei is a formidable lead as Alina Starkov, a young mapmaker who learns that she’s actually a Grisha with magical powers.
She is no ordinary Grisha but the Sun Summoner prophesied by many to undo the divide between East and West known as the Fold, an evil darkness created by the Darkling, filled with flesh eating monsters known as Vulcra. From beautiful costumes to its impressive worldscape, the critically-acclaimed Shadow and Bone sparks a breath-taking adventure for fans of shows like Locke and Key, as well as newcomers.
Here are more shows like Locke and Key that didn’t make the list which you can watch regardless:
- The Haunting of Hill House
- The Haunting of Bly Manor
- Warrior Nun
- Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities