Goosebumps is a middle-grade horror series that originally began serialising in 1992. These were some of my favourite books as a child and had a profound effect on me as a reader. I began to enjoy reading and began to love books because of this series. Half-way through last year, I began to collect the original editions of this series. I knew it was something that I wanted to own so I could share it with my (future) kids one day, and I also thought it would be quite delightful to revisit old stories and all of the memories associated with them. I will be sharing my adult-ish thoughts about these tiny little terror-treats here on BiblioNyan.
Since there are over 40 books in the original series, I will be reading and reviewing them in bulks of ten. All of the reviews will be super short with brief snippets of the overall synopsis and my initial reactions in a couple of sentences. There really isn’t much depth to each of the novels, so there’s no need for me to prattle on and on about each and every single one of them. I hope you all enjoy!
#1: Welcome to Dead House
A couple of kids move into an old house that’s very spooky. Convinced it’s haunted, they try to tell their parents, but they don’t listen. Deciding to check out the neighbourhood instead to make some new friends, the kiddos quickly learn that the house isn’t the only spoopy thing around. It’s got a slow start with a gradual build of suspense, which is good for newbie readers. The climax is quick and the creepiness is soft. Overall, it’s the perfect introduction to Stine’s serial. 3/5.
#2: Stay Out of the Basement
Live plants…dead people?!
A creepy scientist does plant-testing in his basement. When he begins to develop plant-like tendencies, his kids get freaked out and worried for their pa. This book was the main reason I refused to eat leafy greens as a child. It’s definitely gross and weird, to say the least. But overall, it’s pretty mediocre. 3/5.
#3: Monster Blood
Blood, blood everywhere!
A bored kid buys a can of monster blood from a local toy store near his house. However, the more that he plays with it, the more the happenings become unusual, especially as the blood grows and grows and grows! It’s an icky, sticky story that mentions 8-legged things that is better left alone. Aside from that it was actually a bit boring. 2.5/5.
#4: Say Cheese and Die!
Every picture tells a story!
A curious kiddo finds an old camera. He starts taking tons of pictures–of his friends and family–but for some reason they’re coming out all wrong. This has more of a scare factor than previous instalments. It also picks up quicker in regards to plot progression. It’s definitely cheesy to boot. 3.5/5.
#5: The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
Something dead has been here…
Gabe gets lost in a pyramid while visiting his uncle in Egypt. After wandering around, something creepy and unfamiliar finds him before he can find his family. This had much more suspense, but it was decidedly not a horror story, but an adventure one. There is very little use of magic and supernatural elements that’s akin to Stine’s series. Nothing overtly horrific occurs, even as we embark towards the finale. 2/5.
#6: Let’s Get Invisible!
Disappearance can be deadly.
The birthday boy discovers an old mirror in his attic that turns out to be magical! It can make him go invisible. But the longer he stays invisible and the more he uses it, it takes him that much longer to become visible again. Plot points occurred more frequently in this volume, but it was difficult to enjoy or appreciate given how whiny our birthday boy was. It kind of killed the suspenseful aspects. 2/5.
#7: Night of the Living Dummy
He’s no dummy!
A pair of twins discover a ventrilogquist’s dummy in a dumpster. One of the twins ends up getting jealous of the other, after deciding she had no interest in the dummy. One night she’s determined to steal it away, but then dark and evil things begin to occur, making her question the new-found toy’s mortality. I vehemently dislike dolls and doll-like creatures, so I did not like this book. It’s definitely sinister and scary, but just not my cup o’cocoa. 2.5/5.
#8: The Girl Who Cried Monster
She’s telling the truth… but no one believes her!
After crying monster one too many times, no one believes Lucy when she discovers a real, bonafide monster! Determined to prove herself, she decides to catch him in the act of doing monsterly things. Everything’s going swell until she gets caught! This was the best one so far! It was so grotesque and nasty. The suspense was gripping and great. 3.5/5.
#9: Welcome to Camp Nightmare
Those scary stories about camp are all coming true.
A kid gets dumped at a summer camp only to realise that things aren’t as copacetic as he initially believed. Hands-down my favourite of all the ones I’ve read thus far. There is a good amount of tension and perplexity. The settings are atmospheric and it had a finale I didn’t see coming. 4/5.
#10: The Ghost Next Door
How come I’ve never seen you before?
Hannah’s bored out of her mind during her summer vacation. Learning of new neighbours, she tries to befriend the new kid. But the more that she hangs out with him, the more peculiar he seems. This was bad. It was painfully boring and predictable, and rather uneventful all around. 1/5.