I remember having to get a note signed by my parents in order to be able to borrow and read any of the Goosebumps books from my grade school library. I was only in grade 2, but I still wanted to be able to scare myself with these (now classic) kids books.
My kids are almost at the age where I am comfortable reading them the stories that I grew up on, and when that day comes I am going to very excited. If you’re in the same boat, here at the 10 Goosebumps books I recommend that you start with in order to give them a right proper scare.
1. Welcome to Dead House (#1)
R.L. Stine created his masterpiece on the first try. A family moves into a new house in a new town, where unbeknownst to them, the entire town is already dead. It definitely made my skin crawl the first time I read it.
2. The Haunted Mask (#11)
This is a story that all kids can relate to; going out on Halloween dressed as a spooky monster. Except in this case, the costume you decide to wear takes over and turns you into a monster yourself. The young lady in this book finds a terrifying mask in the backroom of a costume shop, but she soon finds out that she can’t take it off.
3. The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (#14)
This was my favorite of all the Goosebumps books. It was scary not just because it dealt with a monster as terrifying as a werewolf, but because of the setting; a small town on the edge of the swamp, it gives the reader a deep feeling of isolation and a fear of the forest/swamp. The episode of the Goosebumps show dealing with this particular story was quite scary as well.
4. Night of the Living Dummy (#7)
Dolls are scary enough, especially ventriloquist dolls. Stine capitalized on both by giving life to Slappy, the haunted dummy that Lindy and Kris Powell find in a dumpster at a construction site near their home. Jealousy takes over and the horror begins. This is the children’s version of Annabelle.
5. Ghost Beach (#22)
If the cover of this book doesn’t scare your kids, I don’t know what will. The story centers around a haunted grave yard near a beach. Two kids are spending time with distant relatives in an old east-coast town when they start hearing stories that ghosts rise out of the graveyard on full moons, and of the ghost that lives in a cave near the beach. A wild twist at the end leaves even the staunchest child hiding under their covers.
6. The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight (#20)
When two kids go to visit their grandparents on their farm as they have most every summer, they find things are much different this time around . For one, their grandparents are scared of their new farmhand. Secondly, the scarecrow seems to come alive at night but no one wants to talk about that. One of the few times the adult characters are shown to be scared throughout the series really lays it on for the kids.
7. The Curse of Camp Cold Lake (#56)
Wow, that cover page… A young lady is forced to head out to summer camp by her a parents, a summer camp dedicated to water sports, and the young lady hates everything about the outdoors and doesn’t like swimming. She pretends to drown and then all hell breaks loose. If your kids aren’t scared of swimming in a lake, they might be after reading this story.
8. The Headless Ghost (#37)
This was one of my favorites, it had it all, ghosts, haunted houses, and the terror of being locked inside said haunted house without any ability to escape. Their mission, to find the head of the headless ghost and return it to him before time runs out.
9. Welcome to Camp Nightmare (#9)
Billy’s parents leave him at a camp where they have one very important rule, “stay out of the forbidden bunk.” Something is roaming the camp, causing campers to disappear, potentially dead. Added to that, there is one camp counselor who refuses to let Billy go home.
10. Deep Trouble (#19)
Nothing scares kids quite as much as not knowing what is swimming below you under the water. The cover may be a bit misleading, but when William Deep Jr. goes on a science expedition with his uncle, things start to get a little crazy.
What was your favorite book from this iconic series?