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The Spook's Apprentice

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The Spook's Apprentice
The first edition cover of The Spook's Apprentice published by Bodley Head


Joseph Delaney



Horror, Thriller


  • Bodley Head (UK Hardback)
  • Red Fox (UK Paperback)
  • Greenwillow Books (US Edition)

Release Date

July 1st 2004


  • 352 Pages (UK)
  • 384 Pages (US)

Place in Book Series

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book One

Narrated by

Thomas Jason Ward

Preceded by

The Spook's Tale

Followed by

The Spook's Curse

The Spook's Apprentice is the first novel in the children's book series The Wardstone Chronicles written by English author Joseph Delaney.

The Spook's Secret
The first edition cover of The Spook's Secret published by Bodley Head


Joseph Delaney



Horror, Chiller, Children's Book, Mild Fantasy, Weird Fiction


  • Bodley Head (UK Hardback
  • Red Fox (UK Paperback)
  • Greenwillow Books (US Edition)

Release Date

July 6th, 2006

Place in the series

Book One


  • 464 (UK)
  • 512 (US)

Preceded by

The Spook's Curse

Followed by

The Spook's Battle

Publishing Information

The novel was originally published on July 1st 2004 by Bodley Head in hardback but since then it has been released in paperback (published by Red Fox) and reprinted in a new-style cover.

The book was also released in the US as The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch due to 'spook' may be viewed as a racist term to some of the American population. The Spook's Apprentice is currently being adapted into film with the name The Last Apprentice.


Book Description

Thomas Jason Ward (Tom Ward) is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook (John Gregory). The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. One day, he meets a young girl called Alice who tricks into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins.

After Mother Malkin is released, Tom manges to kill her but unfortunately she is strong enough to return from the dead. After her death, Tom is captured however Alice frees him and they develop some amount of frienship. Tom returns to the farm for a while. There after a few days Mother Malkin possesses Snout, the pig butcher. Tom uses salt and iron to end the possession. Mother Malkin tries to escape but takes a wrong turn and is eaten by the pigs which is one of the only ways to stop a witch from returning from the dead. In the end Tom takes Alice to her aunt and resumes his apprenticeship with the Spook. 

Book Chapters

  1. A Seventh Son
  2. On the Road
  3. Number 13 Watery Lane
  4. The Letter
  5. Boggarts and Witches
  6. A Girl with Pointy Shoes
  7. Someone Has To Do It
  8. Old Mother Malkin
  9. On the River Bank
  10. Poor Billy
  11. The Pit
  12. The Desperate and the Dizzy
  13. Hairy Pigs
  14. The Spook's Advice


  • Thomas Jason Ward
  • John Gregory
  • Alice Deane
  • Bony Lizzie
  • Mother Malkin
  • Mam
  • Dad
  • Jack Ward
  • Ellie Ward
  • Mary Ward


  • The Spook's House
  • Chipenden
  • Brewer's Farm


Character Killed By Cause Of Death Circumstances
Tusk John Gregory Hit on head with the Spook's rowan wood staff. In defense of Tom during chase
Mother Malkin Tom/Alice/Pigs Chased away with fire and eaten alive, including heart, by pigs. Mother Malkin tracked Tom to his home for revenge.

Film Adaptation

On May 23rd 2008, Joseph Delaney announced on his author blog that his first book in The Wardstone Chronicles, The Spook's Apprentice will be adapted into film. Joseph Delaney sold the rights for production to Warner Bros. Pictures. At this point, the film was schedueled for release in 2009. Before long, it was revealed that Kevin Lima, director of the 2007 Disney children's film Enchanted will be the director of the upcoming film adaptation. Delaney's reaction to this was “I’m thrilled and delighted to hear that the creator of the excellent Enchanted is to direct the film adaptation of my book. It’s brilliant news!”. Kevin Lima, is a fan of The Wardstone Chronicles. As well as this, Matt Greenberg, writer of several different screenplays for horror films, including Stephen King's 1408, will be writing the screenplay for the film adaptation. But for this, no other news has emerged concerning the film.

JordanLangston 03:31, July 12, 2010 (UTC)

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