With the new Goosebumps TV series recently announced, I thought it’d be a good time to look back at the original book series. We all read and loved these classics as a kid… but do any hold up today?
After a nostalgic trip down Goosebumps Lane, these are my picks for the top three ultimate novels in the original series.
3. Welcome to Dead House
The first pick on my list is actually the first in the series. With a whopping 62 books in the original series, we’re far away from the obvious ghost writing and unnecessary sequels down the road.
Welcome to Dead House is actually (and very surprisingly) a suspenseful little ghost story to kick off the series. Considering this is a series made for children, you don’t expect anything too serious out of the plot. But even with its trademark goofy moments, the horror parts are actually pretty memorable, especially for kids.
2. Night of the Living Dummy
It’s no Night of the Living Dead, that’s for sure. But Slappy being Slappy is pretty memorable nonetheless. This classic story spawned way too many spin-offs and cameo appearances in the recent film, but I can forgive that considering how well done the original novel was.
It finds the perfect balance between goofy and frightening, a trope that the series established as early as Welcome to Dead House. And sometimes in the Goosebumps universe a memorable character is more important than a perfectly constructed story. That’s definitely the case here, with Slappy deservingly becoming the face of the series. Disney has Mickey Mouse. Goosebumps has Slappy.
1. Welcome to Camp Nightmare
Admittedly, there’s only one or two things about each book that I still remember all these years later. But with “Welcome to Camp Nightmare,” I remember pretty much the entire book. Especially that classic ending.
Goosebumps books are known for their twist endings, making the “Twilight Zone but for kids” description actually kinda accurate. But the important part about that definition is the “for kids” part. Because of that, a lot of the books’ endings can be pretty cheesy or ridiculous.
Case in point: Welcome to Camp Nightmare. I won’t spoil the ending, but even though it’s the most ridiculous in the series, and borderline laugh-out-loud crazy, it still has a special place in my heart. I remember the first time reading it thinking “no way!” To this day, it’s still my most cherished Goosebumps book. And it’s the only one where I can remember the entire plot. That’s saying something for a book I read like ten years ago.
What are your favorite Goosebumps books? Let us know in the comments!