If you were anything like me as a kid (which I can assume you are, seeing as how you’re reading a horror fiction blog), you loved and lived for Goosebumps. R.L. Stine was (and still is!) an absolute master of his genre and invited children of all ages into the wild world of horror. So for this article, I wanted to take my wonderful readers on a trip down memory lane with twelve of our favorite classic Goosebumps tales that we might want to go dig out of our parents basements!
Welcome To Dead House
The introduction to the Goosebumps series starts with Amanda and Josh as they move into Dark Falls, into a home that one wouldn’t describe as “cheery”. When Amanda starts seeing children and strange occurrences around the house, she quickly finds out that they aren’t quite…alive. The undead must take the blood of a freshly dead individual for survival and Amanda, as you could have guessed, is their next target.
Spanning over four books (Monster Blood, Monster Blood II, Monster Blood III, Monster Blood IV), this series was one of the first huge hits of the Original Goosebumps. We meet Evan (who appears in all four books) as he moves to his Aunt Katheryn’s house. Aunt Katheryn is an old deaf woman who never learned to communicate. Along with a new friend Andrea (“Andy”), they discover “Monster Blood: A Surprising Miracle Substance” in a novelty shop in town.The book moves on as the two discover what exactly Monster Blood does and the GIANT (see what I did there?) mess it can create!
Stay Out of the Basement
Dr. Brewer is acting funny and it is up to his kids, Margaret and Casey to find out why. They notice that the ex-botanist is spending an awful lot of time in the family’s basement, but are quickly stopped when the go to explore. What they find in the basement is nothing that expected as they realize that the botany that their father studied in the past might not have really come to an end.
Night of the Living Dummy
Slappy is one of the most iconic figures in all of Goosebumps history. He has been the antagonist of three books in the original series, and even more beyond that. If people remember anything from Goosebumps (beyond that spooky green lettering on the covers), it’s Slappy’s face, which has haunted many of our childhood dreams and left us all with a severe fear of dolls and puppets. When twin sister Lindy and Kris, local twins and natural competitors, find Slappy they are quickly appalled by the puppet coming to life, verbal attacking them, and urgently seeking out to create more havoc in their lives.
The Haunted Mask
Carly Beth, upset with her silly duck costume for Halloween, goes to the costume shop to find something a little more…frightening. The shop owner refuses to sell the poor, tormented, shy girl the mask she wants, but she takes off with it anyway, throwing her money to the shopkeeper as she escapes through the front door. The mask turns her voice to a low grumble. It is shocking at first, but she likes the horrifying mask and the effects it has on people. That is, until the mask doesn’t come off. This book is another iconic series of the original novellas in the Goosebumps collection and was a big favorite in the television series that many of us still might have on VHS…somewhere.
The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
Like a lot of the Goosebumps books, Grady and Emily move to a new house. In this case, they are with their scientist parents who want to test a theory about “Swamp Deer” from South America, which they keep penned up in their backyard. They meet Will Blake, the only other kid in town beside the “weird girl” down the street. He tells them how the area became “Fever Swamp” after a breakout disease killed off much of the townsfolk – and those who survived went insane. The book progresses as animals start dying, the swamp hermit comes about, and blame begins to spread around the town that has quite the share of secrets for Grady and Emily to discover.
One Day at HorrorLand
Lost while looking for Zoo Gardens Amusement Park, Lizzie, Luke, and Clay (all being driven by Lizzie and Luke’s parents, obviously) come across the sign for HorrorLand, Where Nightmares Come To Life. The park is only a mile away, and with hope of Zoo Gardens dwindling, they decide to give it a go. They soon discover that the rides are not exactly safe, are a bit more scary than they intended, and are manned by a group of questionable employees known as “Horrors”. These employees scoop up the kids and forcibly set them up on a gameshow in the park…which might be the last thing they ever do!
Attack of the Mutant
Skipper is a heavyset comic book nerd who only reads one comic: “The Masked Mutant”. This character is an arch-super-villain that Skipper simply obsesses over. His obsession turns to reality however when he finds himself inside one of his famed storylines, now fighting to save “The Galloping Gazelle” against all odds. He and Libby, a young red-haired girl with a rather large secret, set out to face the Mutant and finish the comic story once and for all – of course, with a twist!
A Night in Terror Tower
Sue and her brother Eddie set out on their vacation in London. They are taking a tour of the infamous “Terror Tower” when they are separated from the group and almost kidnapped by a man in black who has been following them throughout the tour. Through a fast-paced series of events, the two are transported back in time to when the tower was under the watch of the Lord High Executioner. Sue and Eddie come to find that, in this era, they are Prince Eddie and Princess Sue…and are doomed to face the executions that took place in the Tower centuries ago.
The Beast From The East
Ginger and her twin brothers, Pat and Nat, get lost in the woods. While trying to find their way back, they see that the trees start to appear a bit different and rub off on them in different colors. They come to meet a community of Beasts who immediately let them know they the children are now part of the game they play call “Beast of the East”. Though the beasts won’t explain the rules of the game to the three, they did not hesitate to tell them that if they don’t tag another player by sunset, then they lose the game. And here, losing means getting eaten.