With over 60 Goosebumps stories and over 200 children’s horror books published, Mr. R.L. Stine is considered one of the best children’s horror writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Goosebumps has been a stepping stone for many children’s favorite reads, and his ability to create such a detailed horror world that connects to younger audiences is quite astounding.
Just in time for the Halloween season, let’s look back at R.L. Stine’s creepiest monsters from Goosebumps! I asked friends who are readers from the book community what Stine monsters have stuck with them most and picked the top mentions. Continue on to take a trip down memory lane and awaken some monster memories we all hoped to keep hidden in our brains forever!
Slappy – Night of the Living Dummy
This dummy was no joke the scariest part of my childhood. I consider myself to have thick skin in terms of horror books, but Slappy has sixteen books following his spooky storyline. SIXTEEN BOOKS, making Slappy no force to be reckoned with. His eerie presence and his power to re-appear to torture another family is extremely unsettling, especially if he brings a few other dummy friends to the table. I prefer to write a small piece on him out of pure fear that Slappy will somehow read this and make me his next victim.
Over sixteen copies of scary tales, Stines Slappy series follows an abandoned ventriloquist doll who is thrown around various households and causes pure terror anywhere he goes. Slappy’s rage, jealousy, and cleverness haunt whoever hands he falls into. The first book follows two siblings and their battle against Slappy. When a new ventriloquist doll comes into the sibling’s household, Slappys’ jealous personality arises and causes chaos for the family. I recommend starting with this book to get the scary Slappy appeal, however, all the book titles stand alone so you will not get lost if you miss a few of the series. Give Slappy a read, or ELSE.
The Gnomes – Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes
That’s right, for all you non-Stine readers out there, you read that correctly. The Gnomes from R.L. Stine’s Revenge of the Gnomes made it one of the creepiest monsters. Before I wrote this article, I asked previous readers of the Goosebumps series what monsters stuck with them the most while growing up. Surprisingly, The Gnomes were a top answer by most of the readers. (However, some included the television version as countable!).
Joe’s worst nightmare comes to life after his father decides to add new fake gnomes to his poorly designed yard. Though his father loves his tacky garden decorations, the gnomes push it too far for Joe. Suddenly, very strange things begin to happen, and all the blame points to Joe. The gnomes expose their abilities to Joe, and trick him into being a prisoner for their family of six hundred other gnomes! I will not spoil the ending, however, I can understand how six hundred gnomes who come to life could be quite scary for a child to read.
The Blob – The Blob that Ate Everyone
The title of this book explains it all. Of course, any child who would read something about a blob who ate everyone would be afraid! Similar to the classic 1958 horror movie The Blob, which follows a town being overrun by a man-eating blob from space, this book follows a battle between a group of friends and a mysterious blob causing danger wherever it appears. Though I consider this book a bit more slow-paced than other titles from Stine, the blob monster is not. That is a pure nightmare of a creation.
This book follows Zackie, an aspiring writer, who is given an ancient typewriter by the local antique shop clerk. While messing with the typewriter accompanied by his best friend Adam, the two discover the typewriter can create anything just by typing it out. To prank Zackie, Adam writes that Zackie’s made-up blob monster will appear in the basement. Unfortunately, terror unfolds, and Zackie must do everything in his power to stop the monster from eating the town whole. The ending is very creative and has a bit of a plot twist, too. I refuse to spoil it, I recommend reading the book and experiencing the blob yourself.
The Eggs – Egg Monsters from Mars
Of course, it sounds ridiculous. Who could be afraid of some wee little eggs? Well, I would say any person who had to experience reading Egg Monster from Mars. This book was mentioned by only one previous reader, however out of curiosity, I looked back on the plot, and I completely understand why this stuck with them. The cover art is so grossly detailed, that even that would scare me too much to not read it. The gooey eggshell monsters seem to be very smart, quick, and prone to recreate. I consider them so spooky because of their originality. Stine really did think outside of the egg box for this monster, and I give him a virtual standing ovation for his creativity.
The plot follows Dana and his discovery of a green egg at his sister’s birthday egg hunt. Dana decides to hide the egg from his parents, and when the egg hatches while under Dana’s supervision, he brings it to a local scientist for help. The scientist exposes Dana to his collection of alien eggs, and Dana begins an unusual journey with the hatched gooey aliens. The ending gives a similar essence to The Blob that Ate Everyone, I recommend reading it just for that shock value.
The Werewolf – The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
We have all heard of the classic werewolf, a person who transforms into a wolf from the glow of the moon. This could be too predictable of an answer since werewolves are one of the most popular known urban legends. However, this book was one of the first introductions many of us had to werewolves. I remember reading this book for the first time having no idea what a werewolf is, and I could not sleep for days. Because this was such a huge introduction to fearing werewolves for many children, this werewolf made it one of the scariest Stine monsters.
Grady and his family move to a swampy town in Florida for his scientist father’s work in studying deer. Grady discovers a wolf-like stray and convinces his family to keep him. However, when his father finds one of his work deer dead, the blame falls on the stray, and Grady must do everything he can to prove his new stray’s innocence. This book was a nail-biter when I was younger, and I remember being so shocked by the twisted ending. Though I have not re-read it for years, I would hope the ending is just as shocking as it was when I was younger!
R.L. Stine’s flawless collection of children’s horror will be read and cherished for generations to come. If you are curious to read more of his work, check out his other children’s horror series such as Fear Street.
Do you like R.L. Stine? Us too! Click Here to find articles on R.L. Stine and more!