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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Mar 27, 1996; "goosebumps," a screamingly popular children's book series, is under fire from a Spokane parent who wants the books out of...