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When Good Ghouls Go Bad

When Good Ghouls Go Bad is a book written by R. L. Stine and was later turned into a movie that aired on Fox Family in 2001. The story is set in the fictional town of Walker Falls, Minnesota, during the Halloween season.

Plot

Danny Walker, and his father have just moved to the town from Chicago so his father can fulfill his dream of re-opening the family chocolate factory. Danny and his father, James, are staying with James's father, known by all as "Uncle Fred". Uncle Fred is apparently crazy and obsessed with Space-Food sticks, Tang, and hotwheels. He is a bit like a child and knows how to drive a go cart, and play video games quite well. He also is into the Apollo space mission and is building a model rocket, and he has a space suit that he frequently wears.

The boy quite dislikes Walker Falls. To him it is a town full of weirdos and no one likes him. The school principle glares at him in the hallways, the janitor makes sure to tip over his bucket of water as he comes past, and the football coach, Mr. Kankle and his son, Ryan, are not much fun either. Ryan is the school bully; stealing kids' desserts at lunch and scaring everyone. The only person who seems to be nice to Danny is Mrs. Taylor Morgan, the school nurse. She went to high school with Danny's father and, by the end of the story, has feelings for him.

Danny is surprised by how few decorations are up with Halloween only a week away. The people of Walker Falls do not seem to be making any effort at all to celebrate the holiday. Sheriff Frady even takes down the decorations that Danny has just put up earlier that morning. But after a run-in with Ryan and his pal Leo in the graveyard that night, Danny soon learns why. As Danny is walking home from school and sees his crush, Dayna Stenson, he is caught up in her good looks and walks right into a lamppost. He looses sight of Dayna and then realizes he is alone in front of a creepy old Victorian style house. It is here that Ryan and Leo push him into the cemetery, lock the gate and tell him that Walker Falls does not celebrate Halloween because of the legend of Curtis Danko. Ryan tells the story.

Curtis Danko was an eighth grade student at the local middle school a few decades ago; Mr. Kankel and Sheriff Frady were in his class. Curtis was an outcast, with bushy black hair and pale skin. He was obsessed but never painted what "normal" people would paint. Instead, he drew pictures of monsters and aliens. A competition was held in Walker Falls that year for all the eighth graders to design a sculpture. While all the other kids worked on their sculptures, Curtis had his covered. After the school was closed, he would come back and work by the light of the fireflies. He didn't take Halloween off. That night he still went to the art room and worked on his sculpture. Coach Kankel and his friends decided to go up to the art room and pay him a visit. When he heard their ladder, Curtis hid in the kiln room and so when the other boys arrived, they did not see anyone. Then they heard the janitor and left in a hurry. According to Ryan, no one knows how the kiln door locked or how the kiln turned on. When Mr. Kankel returned the next day, he noticed the kiln had been on all night. He opened the door and found Curtis's charred skeleton and a message saying that if the town of Walker Falls ever celebrated another Halloween, he would come back and kill them all. Mr. Kankel was blind for three days after seeing Curtis' finished statue.He said it was like being face to face with the devil himself. Everyone in the town believed the legend and, since then, Halloween has never been celebrated.

Danny thinks it is a silly story, though it explains why everyone has been being so weird. Just then, Ryan and Leo try to force Danny to look at the sculpture, but Danny is too quick and he bolts through the bars of the cemetery and races home where Uncle Fred is waiting, dressed as a warrior.

Danny's dad is rarely around, so Uncle Fred has served as a stand-in father for Danny. That night, Mr. Walker is planning to announce his "Halloween Spooktacular" idea to raise funds to re-open Walker Chocolates at the town meeting. Uncle Fred and Danny try to explain the situation, but dad just won't listen. They decide to go to the meeting dressed as women.

At the meeting, Mayor Churney announces his campaign for re-election. Running against him is Micheal Kankle. After the announcements, it is Mr. Walker's turn. He is surprised to find that the people of Walker Falls shudder at just the mention of Halloween. To bring the conversation back on track, his secretary passes out samples of chocolate, but the audience isn't very enthusiastic. The meeting ends after all but a few leave the town hall. Danny's father is very upset when he learns about the legend which has completely ruined his plans. He decides to cancel the "spooktacular" and get funds elsewhere.

Uncle Fred then reveals why no one likes Danny. Uncle Fred was responsible for building the kiln that killed Curtis. That night, Danny dreams he is at Curtis's crypt and sees the cloth being ripped off the statue.

That morning, there is a commotion outside the house. A large pile of pumpkins has been discovered in the town center. It finally looks like Walker Falls might celebrate another Halloween. But when Uncle Fred lifts a pumpkin, the entire pile rolls on top of him, killing him. Everyone in town is at Uncle Fred's funeral and Danny is very sad. As a memento, he lets his grandfather's favorite car shoot down the track and rest in his coffin.

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