Goosebumps is a series of children's horror fiction novellas created and authored by R. L. Stine. Sixty-two books were published under the Goosebumps umbrella title from 1992 to 1997, the first being Welcome to Dead House, and the last being Monster Blood IV. Various spin-off series were written by Stine; Goosebumps 2000 (published from 1998 to 2000), Goosebumps Gold (which was never released), Give Yourself Goosebumps (1995 to 2000), and Goosebumps HorrorLand (2008 to a planned 2009 finish)
The signature cover illustrations for the Goosebumps, Goosebumps 2000 & Goosebumps Gold were done by artist Tim Jacobus. The covers for the later Give Yourself Goosebumps series (#25 onwards and all Special Editions) were done by Craig White. Goosebumps HorrorLand's cover illustrations are created by Steve Scott and Brandon Dorman.
The controversial Goosebumps series was often challenged in American libraries for their sometimes-violent content; the novels were fifteenth on the American Library Association's list of most frequently challenged books from 1990 to 1999. They are scary stories for children aged twelve and under, and include references for adults to enjoy.
The success of the series led to the creation of several adaptations. The series inspired three board games produced by Milton Bradley, "Terror in the Graveyard", "A Night in Terror Tower" and "Escape from Horrorland", two PC games produced by DreamWorks Interactive entitled "Goosebumps: Escape from HorrorLand" and "Attack of the Mutant", and a TV series.
During the height of the series popularity, the two-part Gooflumps parody series appeared exclusively in the United States, written under the pen-name of R.U. Slime.
In his autobiography, It Came From Ohio!, Stine explains that his interest in horror and his inspirations came from his childhood in the 1940s. By his own admission, many of his plots are based on classic sci-fi/horror movies, TV shows, and stories. For instance, one of the most popular books in the series, Night of the Living Dummy, was inspired by Stine's reading of the original Italian version of Pinocchio, while taking its title from the film Night of the Living Dead. The book It Came From Beneath The Sink! took its title from the 1955 science fiction film It Came from Beneath the Sea, though plotwise there is little resemblance between the two. The two-part Series 2000 book Invasion of the Body Squeezers is an obvious parody of the classic science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Phantom of the Auditorium is a clear parody of the french novel The Phantom of the Opera. Many books also resemble episodes of the original television series, The Twilight Zone, including Say Cheese And Die, Welcome To Camp Nightmare, Be Careful What You Wish For, and The Haunted Mask and its sequel, to name a few. A Give Yourself Goosebumps book, Welcome to the Wicked Wax Museum, was based on the film House of Wax. Another Give Yourself Goosebumps book, Zombie School, is based on the movie They Live, and features the same subliminal advertising as the movie.
Popular books and characters
Stine named the original Night of the Living Dummy
as his favorite Goosebumps
book in his autobiography. The main character of the book Slappy the Dummy
has earned the reputation of Goosebumps' most popular antagonist. He will be featured in the first book of Goosebumps HorrorLand
, Revenge of the Living Dummy
. The Monster Blood
series is also very popular among fans, albeit not to the extent of the above. There were three sequels, and a new Goosebumps HorrorLand
book Monster Blood for Breakfast!
. The book One Day at HorrorLand
proved to be so popular that R.L. Stine wrote a sequel titled Return to HorrorLand
and later the entire Goosebumps HorrorLand
series. Two games spun off from the book both named Escape from HorrorLand
, one version a boardgame, the other a computer game. The Haunted Mask
and its sequel The Haunted Mask II
proved so popular that both were made into TV episodes. Stine planned a sequel for the nonreleased Goosebumps Gold
series called The Haunted Mask Lives!
, and there was even a reproduction of the Haunted Mask sold in certain stores. Ultimately, The Scream of the Haunted Mask
was released as the fourth part of the Goosebumps HorrorLand
series. A new series of graphic novels has been released featuring some of the most popular books, including The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight
, and The Abominable Snowman from Pasadena
Some of the most popular characters of the book are Cuddles the Hamster from Monster Blood II, Slappy the Dummy, the HorrorLand Horrors, the Abominable Snowman from The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, Amaz-O the bunny magician from Bad Hare Day, Prince Khor-Ru the mummy, the Mud Monsters, the Egg Monsters from Mars (also being some of the most benevolent monsters), the "Beasts from the East," and Curly the Skeleton. Curly, while having no appearance in any of the books, became the spokesperson and mascot for Goosebumps and has been illustrated in various Goosebumps memorabilia, along with being featured on the cover of five of the Tales to Give You Goosebumps anthologies. Amaz-O from Bad Hare Day and Evan Ross from the Monster Blood books would be featured as guest stars in Return To HorrorLand. Goosebumps HorrorLand draws off popular Goosebumps mini-series and features the return of many classic characters and situations.
Stine has also named Brain Juice and Invasion of the Body Squeezers (both from the Goosebumps 2000 series) as two of his favorite books.
Overall, the series itself was so popular that it helped spawn a number of children's horror book series in the 1990s, including Fright Time, Spooksville, Spinetinglers, Shivers, Deadtime Stories, Bone Chillers, Graveyard School and Goobumps.
The primary protagonist(s) of a Goosebumps story is often situated in a remote location or somehow isolated from typical societal conventions. This can be as simplistic as comfortable suburban areas, or as exaggerated as boarding schools, foreign villages, campsites, unfamiliar relatives' homes or oversea areas. The books in the Goosebumps series usually feature semi-homogenous plot structures with normal kids being, frequently indirectly, involved in scary situations; chapters end in cliffhangers
, and after the central conflict has either been or appears to have been resolved, there is often a twist ending
. Also, in his autobiography, R.L. Stine has stated that he often ends chapters in a state of suspense, like a cliffhanger. Following the conclusion of every Goosebumps book, Stine includes a 1-3 chapter draft preview of the next book in the series.
Many books feature a twist in the end, similar to the format of those like The Outer Limits
and The Twilight Zone
, such as Night of the Living Dummy
, where the protagonists spent most of the narrative fighting a murderous dummy, only to be confronted with a second creature at the end. Another book in the series, The Girl Who Cried Monster
, which was based on the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf
, also has a twist at the end; the main character's parents transform into monsters to protect her from the villain. Welcome to Dead House
ends with a sadistic real estate agent, thought to be dead, turning up on the last page, seen in the distance by the main characters. A Shocker on Shock Street
ends with the two main characters revealed to be robots
, and in Attack of the Jack O'Lanterns
it is revealed that two kids are aliens.
In some of the books there is a completely happy ending, as in Piano Lessons Can Be Murder and Why I'm Afraid Of Bees, in which the protagonist actually comes out better from his experiences (although in the latter he retains some traits from his transformation). In one book, The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom, the twist ending actually benefits the main character, as his bratty sister disappears due to his tampering with the space-time continuum.
List of books
In September 2006, Scholastic began releasing Goosebumps comic books. Titled Goosebumps Graphix
, each is based on three Goosebumps books.
Each book is approximately 135 pages in length, and each of the stories are illustrated by a different artist, producing several different unique art styles.
- The first book in the series, released September 2006, is titled Creepy Creatures, and contains The Abominable Snowman of Pasedena, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, and The Werewolf of Fever Swamp.
- The second, released in May 2007, Terror Trips, contains Deep Trouble, One Day at HorrorLand, and A Shocker on Shock Street.
- The third, released in July 2007, Scary Summer, contains The Horror of Camp Jellyjam, Ghost Beach, and Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes.
R.L. Stine is writing a twelve-book series entitled Goosebumps HorrorLand
. The series, based on One Day at HorrorLand
and other popular Goosebumps mini-series, is the first Goosebumps series where each book is part of the same plot:
The new series will be an immersive storytelling experience welcoming fans to HorrorLand, a vast theme park which R.L. Stine describes as "the scariest place on Earth." In a Goosebumps first, the new series will be a serialized adventure, and the story won't end on the final page of book #1. Instead, the spine-tingling and funny bone-tickling adventures will continue on the Internet and in books #2-12, each of which can also stand alone. The first nine HorrorLand books all will feature a combination of frightful new faces as well as the vilest villains from the original Goosebumps series. Ordinary kids are being summoned to HorrorLand-but why? Readers are in for the ride of their lives as the cast of characters trapped in the theme park grows larger with each book, and their situations become more and more perilous..
Books #10-12 will take place entirely in HorrorLand. Who-or what-is behind the evil plot to assemble these kids? The answer will be revealed in the final book. Soon after the debut of books #1 and #2 in March 2008, Scholastic will begin to reissue original Goosebumps books-ten bestselling titles that tie in with each new story as it unfolds in HorrorLand.
Scholastic will launch HorrorLand with a dedicated website that, with the publication of each book, will further the narrative and provide corresponding clues to help readers unlock the secrets to HorrorLand. In addition, the web site will offer readers original HorrorLand material not available in the books-including ten free internet-only related stories, bonus downloads, interactive games, and more.
Scholastic maintains two tie-in websites for the series. The website EnterHorrorLand.com is a "gameplay experience which immerses fans in HorrorLand itself which opened on February 20, 2008. The website EscapeHorrorLand.com is a "serialized, story-driven, fact-finding experience" hosted by Lizzie and Luke Morris, the protagonists of One Day at HorrorLand.
A popular television series was made, based on the Goosebumps books and the spin-offs. It ran for four seasons from 1995 to 1998 on Fox Kids
VHS and DVDs
In the mid-late 1990s, several Goosebumps VHS tapes were released. DVDs of the series have also been released, many of which were contained episodes previously released on VHS. The DVDs run at approximately 44 minutes each, and include no special features or menus. Some include two separate episodes as opposed to a single two-part episode.
- Released on September 7th, 2004: "Welcome to Dead House", "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp", "The Haunted Mask II" and "Night of the Living Dummy III"
- Released on April 12th, 2005: "Cry of the Cat", "Deep Trouble" and "How I Got My Shrunken Head"
- Released on September 6th, 2005: "Chillogy" (the first and only disc with three episodes on it, and with a story that's not based on any Goosebumps novel or short story), "The Ghost Next Door" and "Scary House".
- Released on September 5th, 2006: "A Shocker on Shock Street", "My Best Friend is Invisible" (also includes "An Old Story" [based on a short story by R.L. Stine]), and "Perfect School" (based on a short story by R. L. Stine).
- Released on September 11th, 2007: "Night of the Living Dummy" (contains "Night of the Living Dummy II" and "Bride of the Living Dummy"), "Say Cheese and Die" (also includes its sequel, "Say Cheese and Die - Again"), and "It Came From Beneath the Sink" (also includes the TV adaptation of the short story "Strained Peas")
- Released on September 16, 2008: "A Night in Terror Tower" (also includes "Stay Out of the Basement"); "Monster Blood" (also includes "More Monster Blood", "How to Kill a Monster" and "The Girl Who Cried Monster"); and "One Day At HorrorLand" (also includes "Welcome to Camp Nightmare"). These DVDs, unlike previous releases, will include 4 episodes each as opposed to 2.
As of September 16, 2008, 45 of the show's 74 episodes have been released in DVD format. The entire fourth (and final) season, consisting of only 8 episodes (4 separate 2-part episodes), is now currently available on DVD, in 4 separate releases.
has acquired rights from Scholastic to create a Goosebumps
film. As of August 2008, writing duo Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander are in negotiations to write. Neal Moritz and his Sony-based Original Film shingle is producing as is Scholastic Entertainment's Deborah Forte, who also produced the television series.
Two Goosebumps video games have been created for the PC, both for by DreamWorks Interactive: A 1996 game entitled "Goosebumps: Escape from HorrorLand", a sequel to the book One Day at HorrorLand, and "Attack of the Mutant", which was based on the book Attack of the Mutant but was a re-interpretation rather than a sequel.
Scholastic has planned a new Goosebumps video game for the fall of 2008. Based on the Goosebumps HorrorLand series, it will be available for the Wii , PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. Goosebumps HorrorLand is currently scheduled to be released on October 28, 2008.
Goosebumps in other languages
books were also popular worldwide.
- In Afrikaans as Grillers, literally something that gives you goosebumps.
- In Arabic, the title is "صرخة الرعب" which means "scream of horror".
- In Bulgarian,the title is "Гуусбъмпс".
- In Catalan, the title is Pànic, meaning "Panic".
- In Chinese, it was known as 雞皮疙瘩 (referring to the action of the body when afraid).
- The title in Danish is Gåsehud, a direct translation of the word "Goosebumps".
- The Dutch translation is Kippenvel, which is Dutch for goosebumps. (However, the Dutch word originates from "chicken skin" instead of "goose bumps.")
- In Finland, the title is Goosebumps.
- In French, the translation is Chair de Poule (literally "hen flesh", the French phrase for goose bumps).
- In German, the title of "Goosebumps" is the direct translation "Gänsehaut"
- In Greek, the series is called Ανατριχίλες.
- In Hebrew, the title is "צמרמורת". which means "Goose-bumps".
- In Icelandic, the series is called "Gæsahúð", literally "goose skin".
- In Italian, the title is Piccoli Brividi which means "small shudders".
- In Japanese it was known as 鶏の皮 (which in English would mean, "Chicken Skin".)
- In Norway, the title of the series is Grøsserne, meaning/defined as "Novel which uses horror effects", "Thriller" or "Chills".
- In Polish, the title is Gęsia Skórka.
- In Brazilian Portuguese the title has been maintained while each story's title was translated. (Say Cheese and Die for instance turned Sorria e Morra).
- In European Portuguese the title is Arrepios (literally "Shivers").
- In Russian, the title is Ужастики, meaning "Chillers". The TV series is entitled Мурашки, which is Russian for "goose bumps", though the word originates from "little ants".
- In Slovenian language, the translation is Kurja polt, a direct translation of the word "Goosebumps".
- In Spanish, it was known as Escalofríos (literally "Goosebumps") in Latin America, and Pesadillas (literally Nightmares) in Spain.
- In Swedish, the title is Kalla Kårar.
- In Thailand, the title is "ชมรมขนหัวลุก" which means "Scary Club".