Jerry Hawkins

Jerry Hawkins - Piano Lessons Can Be Murder (TV Episode).png

Jerome "Jerry" Hawkins is the protagonist of the thirteenth Goosebumps book, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, and its television adaptation.


Jerry and his family have moved into a new home in the town of New Goshen. Inside the house, the family discovers a piano. At night, Jerry hears a sad melody coming from the piano, but finds no pianist. Jerry is signed up to be taught private lessons by a man named Dr. Shreek, who takes an unusual interest in Jerry's hands. Jerry's lessons continue, and Jerry is eventually invited to continue his lessons at Dr. Shreek's school.

The piano music Jerry hears late at night doesn't stop, so he decides to investigate. He comes across a ghostly woman who warns him to stay away from the piano. When he tries to tell his parents, they don't believe him. One of Jerry's neighbors, Kim Li Chin, tells Jerry about students who went into Dr. Shreek's school and never came out. Jerry is skeptical, but unnerved. He arrives at The Shreek School, and meets its janitor, Mr. Toggle, described by Dr. Shreek as a genius in robotics. Jerry is shown Toggle's workshop which features a plethora of amazing inventions.

Jerry continues to see the ghost in his house, and he convinces his parents to stop making him take lessons. However, he is forced to go for one more lesson before quitting. When Jerry tells Dr. Shreek he's quitting, Dr. Shreek goes crazy, saying he needs Jerry's hands. Jerry is chased by Shreek throughout the school. Eventually, he reaches a recital hall, where he finds pianos being played by disembodied hands. Shreek attacks Jerry but is shut down by Mr. Toggle. Toggle reveals that Shreek is one of his robots. Toggle quickly turns against Jerry and says that he still needs Jerry's hands because he can't make robot hands good enough. Suddenly, the ghost from Jerry's house appears and summons a swarm of spirits to attack Toggle, and they drag him away.

After several months pass, Jerry's life returns to normal. The piano is sold, and Jerry joins a baseball team. Everyone tells him he has great hands.

General information


Jerry describes himself as having a "twisted" sense of humor. He seems to take on the class clown role when he goes to School. He loves playing pranks on his parents, most of which include scaring them. They seem mostly used to his jokes, but his constant pranks cause his parents to be skeptical of his ghost stories. He seems easily agitated, but is determined to prove he's not crazy.

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