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Many people compare R. L. Stine’s literary brilliance to Stephen King because of the richness and diversity of his stories. Stine chose an interesting (and possibly more daunting) task of writing horror stories for children. Somehow he was able to look inside the minds of the teenagers and show them that horror can be quite thrilling. Over the years, he’s written thousands of stories, with his most famous series being the 62 original Goosebumps books. In case you’ve never read them, here are all Goosebumps books you need to get you started.
Welcome to Dead House (#1)
You should probably start with the first book he released in July 1992 called Welcome to Dead House. All Goosebumps books follow a similar pattern. The main characters are two children that encounter strange and inexplicable things. In this story, the Benson family, on their quest to find a new home, arrive in a creepy little town called Dark Falls. While their parents are oblivious to the imminent dangers found in this town and their spooky new house, the children Amanda and Josh, as well as their dog Petey sense something’s wrong. At first, it’s the house that seems threatening, but as they explore the rest of the town, the children realize it’s something much more complex.
The Cuckoo Clock of Doom (#28)
The next story you should give a shot is the Cuckoo Clock of Doom released in 1995. Interestingly, the story doesn’t feature any monsters or evil beings but shows that true horror is in one’s mind. The main character in the story is a 12-year-old boy, Michael, who accidentally stumbles upon a time machine hidden in an old cuckoo clock. He goes back to his birthday a couple of days ago and tries to make a couple of things right. One of his main problems is his younger sister who somehow always manages to screw things up. He quickly realizes, though, that going back in time isn’t as great as it seems.
Ghost Beach (#22)
One of the classics you absolutely need to read is the Ghost Beach from 1994. For many fans out there, out of all Goosebumps books Stine had written, this one might be the most disturbing. Two siblings, Terry and Jerri are the main characters in this story. Their parents send them to visit their relatives who live on the beach but, of course, that’s where the creepiness kicks in. Exploring the beach, the pair of them stumble upon three children who seem to have the same last name as them. They are informed of a nearby ghost in a cave and asked for help to trap him. However, when they actually meet the strange old man in the cave, they realize that truth is not what it seems.
One Day at Horrorland (#16)
Yet another family is the center in the One Day at Horrorland story. It’s the Morris family, who are on a road trip to find the famous Zoo Gardens Theme Park. However, on their way there, they manage to get lost and, accidentally, stumble upon an entirely different theme park called Horrorland. While it’s obviously not as popular as the real thing, Horrorland is quite appealing due to the fact that the admission is free and there are no queues anywhere. It is only after a couple of rides that the family starts to notice the fact that there’s something extremely weird about the theme part. The absence of people is actually starting to get to them.
The Horror at Camp Jellyjam (#33)
Finally, there’s the Horror at Camp Jellyjam. The two kids (again, obviously), Wendy and Elliot are on a trip with their parents. However, because of the careless driving of the mother, their trailer gets attached and the two children get lost somewhere in the wild. Before they even get the chance to panic, the kids encounter a man who works at a nearby summer camp called Jellyjam and he offers them to stay there till they reunite with their parents. At first glance, the camp is just a regular sports camp filled with enthusiastic children and overly kind staff. However, the camp hides a deep secret that Wendy will uncover eventually.
These are all Goosebumps books you actually need to read to get hooked on this fantastic, horror world R. L. Stine has created. Which one is your favorite?