Sunday, 27 October 2013

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

Halloween is fast approaching. Pumpkins are appearing in shops, costumes are on sale and everyone bookish is discussing their favourite scary reads. With an abundance of skulls and spiders, ghosts and ghouls everywhere, it got me thinking about my own experiences of Halloween and relevant reads. 

Our Goosebumps books!
Nothing to me, reminds me of Halloween in book terms than the Goosebumps books by American author R.L. Stine. They were a huge part of my literary childhood; my sister and I loved the spine tingling tales and collected many of the books. We had stand alone novels, the 3-in-1 collection books, Goosebumps 2000 series, and even a hardback Goosebumps book that wailed when you opened the cover! 

Since the release of the first novel, Welcome to Dead House in July 1992, the books gained immense popularity and commercial success worldwide. As of 2008, the series sold over 350 million books worldwide in 35 languages and has been listed on many bestseller lists, including the New York Times Best Seller list for children. 

Goosebumps Series 2000
Two common themes in the series are children triumphing over evil and kids facing horrid or frightening situations and using their own wit and imagination to escape them. As well as supernatural and horror themes, there was also adventure and humour too. The success of the books spawned a popular TV series and themed merchandise. 

Just the theme song and opening credits of the TV series takes me down memory lane. There is something about this kind of horror that most children love. Ghosts, monsters, pumpkins, ventriloquist dummies, vampires, werewolves; the range of horror and imagination is endless! A fantasy world made of Halloween creatures is dark and thrilling and hugely popular both in fiction and film. 

Well loved Goosebumps Collections
With the Goosebumps books, the brightly coloured covers, with the raised images and iconic slimy font are excitingly appealing. I can’t even pick a favourite because I remember enjoying all the stories in their own right. Although I do remember particularly liking the books where you choose the path of the character and determine the ending. 

Give Yourself Goosebumps
As far as I am aware, Goosebumps books are still growing strong and R.L. Stine continues to have a strong fan base of children and adults alike. My sister and I still have all of our Goosebumps books, even if some are dog eared and worn and I hope to share those stories I loved when I have children of my own. 

If you had any Goosebumps books please feel free to comment. What was your favourite? Were you genuinely terrified by any of the books? Did you ever watch the TV series? Or maybe you buy the books for your own children? Either way I would love to hear from you!



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