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10 Great Goosebumps Books to Get You in the Mood for the Movie

The much-loved children’s horror series Goosebumps has been scaring the pants off of readers since 1992. Just in time for Halloween, the franchise has hit the silver screen, starring Jack Black as eccentric author R.L. Stine. While not based on one particular book, the film is filled with monsters and references from all across the Goosebumps series. If you need a refresher course, here are 10 of the series’ most iconic spooky novels.

Night of the Living Dummy

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Let’s start this list off with easily the most iconic Goosebumps book — the work singlehandedly responsible for making generations of kids never look at a ventriloquism dummy the same way again. When two girls discover wooden dummy Slappy, he soon becomes sentient and causes mayhem in their lives. 

The Haunted School

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One of the reasons the Goosebumps series was so memorable was because of how it made the most everyday things in children’s lives seem terrifying. One of the most effective targets for this kind of treatment was middle school (as if it wasn’t terrifying enough!) Here, a student finds a hidden elevator in his school that takes him to an alternate dimension where a class from 1947 are trapped and never aged. 

One Day at HorrorLand

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HorrorLand is another Goosebumps staple, having received multiple spinoff books, video games, and TV specials. The book that started it all released in 1994, telling the story of a family who visits the titular evil theme park and finds themselves trapped. Believe it or not, 72-year-old Stine is still writing stories about his eerie theme park, and the already-confirmed second Goosebumps film will center around it. 

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp

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Right on its cover, this bestselling story asks us the enduring question: “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” But it also asks us, what if WE were the big bad wolf? With plenty of twists and intrigue, this story keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Welcome to Camp Nightmare

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This famous Goosebumps story tackles another seemingly banal kids topic: Summer camp. Camp Nightmoon has all the trappings of a typical summer camp, including baseball, canoeing, and wood cabins. But it also has ferocious creatures lurking in the shadows, and nothing is as it seems. 

A Night in Terror Tower

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Not to be confused with Disneyland’s Tower of Terror, this excursion finds two teen tourists visiting the Terror Tower in London, being chased through time by mysterious figures. This is one of the notable Goosebumps books to be somewhat based on a true story; King Richard III’s two nephews were brought to the Tower of London and never seen again. 

Why I’m Afraid of Bees

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Even as an adult, it’s easy to be terrified of bees. Just ask Nicolas Cage. Stine takes full advantage of that fear in all of us for this story. In a body-switching experiment gone wrong, young Gary finds himself trapped in the form of a bee! 

The Haunted Mask

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You really can’t talk about Goosebumps without at least mentioning The Haunted Mask. It’s the story of a Halloween mask that won’t remove itself from a little girl’s body and begins to change her personality. With terrifying cover art from Tim Jacobus and a bone-chilling concept, this novella made a huge splash on bookshelves. Proving it wouldn’t be going anywhere soon, the The Haunted Mask received several sequels over the years as well.

Calling all Creeps!

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A practical joke backfires when a boy makes a listing for “all creeps” to call his newspaper editor’s phone. Soon, literal monstrous creeps begin calling him instead, and they won’t seem to leave him alone. Also, this book features probably the coolest cover of the series; who wouldn’t want to hang out with those lizard dudes? 

Say Cheese and Die

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A little less subtle about the scariness level than some of the other stories, Say Cheese and Die doesn’t play around. A group of friends finds a cursed camera in an old house, and find that the pictures they take depict the people in them as dead! This premonition concept has been used in horror before and since, but Stine’s unique spin on it has made the book a fan favorite. 

 

Goosebumps is in theaters now. What book monster do you hope to see in it? 

 

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