A Look Back At R.L. Stine’s Scariest Goosebumps Books

Author R.L. Stine’s second movie, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, will hit theatres October 12. The film, which is based on Stine’s best-selling horror book series, also titled Goosebumps, will pick up where it’s prequel left off; with two boys happening upon a mysterious book that locks away the horrors held within.


Jack Black will continue his role as Stine in the second film, which Sony revealed in its latest trailer. Haunted Halloween will star Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell, and Ken Jeong.


The film has a budget of $35 million and hopes to top the $150 million in box office sales its prequel made in 2015. In preparation for the upcoming film and to celebrate the nostalgic introduction to the horror genre Stine provided to 90’s kids, here are a few Goosebumps books that gave us nightmares back in the day.



Night of The Living Dummy – May 1993


Night of the Living Dummy is the seventh book in the original Goosebumps series. It revolves around two competitive sisters who find a ventriloquist dummy in a dumpster. One of the sisters, Lindy, begins to play with her new toy, which makes her sister, Kris, demand that her father buy another dummy.


Before long they realize that something’s off about the new dummy; it’s speaking and moving by itself. The sisters try to tell their parents that ‘Mr. Wood’ is alive, but the adults don’t believe the girls and actually end up grounding them for lying. As Mr. Wood’s behavior takes an evil turn, the sisters realize that they have to get rid of the dummy themselves.


The Curse of The Mummy’s Tomb – January 1993


The fifth book in Stine’s creepy collection is about a boy named Gabe who is spending his Christmas vacation in Egypt. While on his Egyptian adventure, Gabe is forced to stay with his uncle Ben, a scientist working in the pyramids. While exploring one of the pyramids, Gabe’s uncle unleashes an evil curse that leaves most of his team ill.


The next day, Gabe and his uncle return to the pyramid to investigate, but this time they’re separated. Ahmed, a member of Ben’s team, finds Gabe first and claims that he and his uncle have violated a sacred Egyptian law, for which they must die. Ben and Gabe are forced to fight for their lives against Ahmed, the endless tunnels of Egypt’s pyramids, and mummies who’ve returned from the dead.



The Werewolf Of Fever Swamp – December 1993


This spooky story is the fourteenth book in the Goosebumps series and follows Grady Tucker, a boy who recently moved into a house next to Fever Swamp. Strange things begin happening almost immediately after his family moves in, starting with a deer’s brutal murder near the swamp.


Grady’s father believes that the family’s dog, Wolf, is responsible and plans to take him to the pound to be put down. Grady is positive that there’s a werewolf in the swamp. In an attempt to clear Wolf’s name Grady goes to investigate and finds a creepy old shack lurking in the mist.


Grady hears growling coming from the shack and begins to run, but not before a werewolf attacks him. He ends up being bitten by the creature during the ambush and is ironically turned into the monster he was hunting.



The Horror At Camp Jellyjam – July 1995


Camp Jellyjam gave me nightmares for weeks as a kid; it was seriously creepy. It follows a girl named Wendy and her younger brother, Elliot. As the siblings are riding in a trailer behind their parents’ car, it becomes unhinged and they begin to wildly roll down a hill.


When they come to a stop they find themselves greeted by Buddy, a counselor at a nearby camp called King Jellyjam’s Sports Camp. Wendy and Elliot decide to stay at the camp until they can contact their parents. Wendy immediately notices that there’s something off about the children at the camp; it’s almost like their hypnotized.


After some snooping around, she finds the culprit to be a gigantic, purple, ooze creature that has enslaved the camp’s counselors. It’s up to Wendy and Elliot to free the children and escape King Jellyjam’s grasp before it’s too late.


Stay Out Of The Basement – July 1992


Since Margaret and Casey Brewer’s father lost his job as a botanist at a local university he’s been acting pretty weird. He’s completely obsessed with the plants he’s growing in the basement of the family’s house and since his wife left on a work trip it’s gotten much worse.


This book has a twist that will make your skin crawl even as an adult. When Margaret and Casey’s mom gets back from her trip, their dad is forced to pick her up from the airport. While he’s away from the house the kids sneak into the basement, where they find their real dad bound and gagged. The thing driving to the airport is actually a mutant plant that has cloned itself after Dr. Brewer.


The Girl Who Cried Monster – May 1993


Another one of my personal favorite Goosebumps stories, The Girl Who Cried Monster tells the story of Lucy Dark, a 12-year-old girl who is constantly telling monster stories. This ends up being a good old fashion new-school iteration of the boy who cried wolf, as Lucy finds an actual monster in her local library.


The librarian, Mr. Mortman, turns into a lizard creature when no one’s around and his favorite snack are the flies he keeps for his pet turtles. Lucy tries to tell her parents about Mr. Mortman, but no one believes her. Determined to find evidence that will set the record straight, Lucy returns to the library, but this time she’s caught by the monster and forced to flee.


She eventually has her friend Aaron accompany her to the library and she finally gets the proof she needs. Lucy tells her parents about Mr. Mortman one last time and with Aaron backing her up, they decide to invite the monster to dinner.


When Mr. Mortman arrives and asks what they’ll be eating for dinner, the children’s book takes a darker than expected turn as Lucy’s parents say that they’ll be eating him. The adults suddenly turn into monsters and devour the librarian, explaining to the children that there can’t be too many monsters in the neighborhood or it’ll attract attention.



Say Cheese And Die – November 1992


For some reason, Say Cheese and Die is never listed as one of Stine’s top Goosebumps stories. I beg to differ. This is a dark, twisted, story that follows four friends who find a camera hidden in a supposedly haunted house.


Greg, one of the four friends, begins to take pictures with the camera but finds that each picture mysteriously depicts something horrible happening to the subject of the photo. It starts with his dad’s car, which is totaled after its picture is taken. Next, his friend Doug is hit with a baseball and falls on his neck in the exact fashion the picture predicted he would. They eventually learn that the camera was built by a deranged scientist and cursed by a master of the dark arts.


The friends decide to dump the camera back where they found it before it can be used to hurt anyone else, but as they walk away, two local bullies pick up the camera and snap a selfie. The story ends with the two waiting for their picture to develop.




Photo Credit: Geek.com



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