Mary Keay is a recurring character in The Magnus Archives. She is not exclusively loyal to any of the Entities, but she does use their power when it suits her. She is the mother of Gerard Keay.


Mary is descended from Albrecht van Closen through his descendant Elsa von Closen, who moved to England and in 1920 married Michael Keay. The couple had a daughter, Mary Keay, in 1924. (Whether this is the Mary Keay is unclear, as in MAG 62, Mary states she was 9 years old in 1955.)

Sometime before 1955, her father committed suicide by slitting his throat with a straight razor, which was left to Mary. Mary claims this was the only good thing he ever did for his family. (MAG 62) Mary's mother worked part time for the Archives, which did not pay well enough to support the family; she also worked at a factory on Globe street to make ends meet. In her spare time, she instructed Mary on her "true studies," and young Mary spent much of her time scouring secondhand and antique shops for paranormal artefacts.

In 1955, Mary watched Dr. Margaret Tellison murder an unnamed patient; soon after, Mary committed her first murder, slitting the doctor's throat. She admits to Gertrude that she enjoyed watching the doctor commit the murder more than she enjoyed killing herself. Mary stole the two paranormal books the doctor kept in her safe, one made of human skin and used to trap spirits , and one full of poems about dying animals written in Sanskrit.

She spent the next several years mastering the flesh book, and learned Sanskrit.

Her son, Gerard Keay, was born in the 1980s or early 1990s, as he was a teenager in 2002. (MAG 35) His father is not currently known.

Career Edit

At some point, Mary opened 'Pinhole Books,' a shop in Morden, London that specialized in rare and antique books.

Jurgen Leitner first visited Pinhole Books in 1993. He is known to have purchased several books from Mary, including the dead animal poem book.


Sometime in 2008 she was found dead of a supposed overdose; although she had been partially flayed. Pieces of her skin were hanging nearby, covered in Sanskrit. Gerard was tried for her murder, but he was acquitted when an important piece of evidence was ruled inadmissible.

As explained by Gerard in MAG 111, Mary's death was self-inflicted, as she died while attempting to complete a ritual to take control of the skin book. After Gerard's arrest, Mary manifested and somehow removed the book from the evidence lockup, while contaminating all the rest of the evidence against Gerard. Through this ritual, she was able to project herself into the world, and "continue her work."

Pinhole Books closed after her death.

Further Sightings Edit

In 2012, Dominic Swain came into possession of the book Ex Altiora. Eventually he found Pinhole Books, which was staffed by an old woman, with a shaved head and sporting numerous tattoos of words all over her body, presumably Mary Keay.