I came upon, what I considered to be, a relic from my past upon doing some menial shopping for groceries at my local Costcos'. There, in the mountainous stacks of bundled books, was a Goosebumps collectable box-set with 8 of R.L. Stines' best sellers. I was immediately transported back to a time when my infantile obsession with the horror genre began. I felt the sudden need to bring this much accredited series back to our collective conciousness; A feeling that amplified by one thousand when a very old friend of mine happened to toss one of the chains fan favorites (Stay Out of The Basement) into a Halloween bucket for me to enjoy.
I quickly fell in love once more with R.L. Stines' attention to detail and ability to shine a light on some of the baser fears the we, as children, felt. Stine never once included moral lessons when he wrote his stories, settling on the fact that many kids were extremely impressionable during this time. His captive audience could easily be made to follow teachings that were unnecessary at that age. He instead focused his energy on creating tales that followed young individuals that bested their monsters using wit and imagination: A lesson that we could use more of as adults facing the pressures of modern monsters like deadlines and paperwork, ew.
Starting on a huge path to success in July of 1992, Stine has had 235 books of various prints published, a tv show, 2 movies, and a game made! This beloved collection has sold more than 400-million copies worldwide and is the second best selling series (behind The Harry Potter books) of all time! Generation after generation have come to adore these cheekily creative stories and one can hope that they will continue to do so. I think any author that draws from their childhood fears and feelings, as well as the inspiration from other tv shows like Tales From the Crypt, can guarantee their place on the shelf with the best of them.
There's nothing like a good old-fashioned scare and these paperbacks sure used to do the trick. Now-a-days, horror can be overwhelming or cheesy but Goosebumps became a household name by bringing everyday fears into fightable tales. I look back fondly on the many titles I used to read and know that my young ones will also as they continue to explore their apprehensions about life. Think back on the days when you might have come across one of these titles yourself. Are you filled with curiosity? Nostalgia? There are books that have gone out of publication but many of them are still available online or at your local library. I know this Halloween season I will be curling up with a huge blanket, some hot chocolate, my kids, and reading Stay Out of The Basement while remembering the many great memories that come along with it.
Here are a few titles you can latch onto to satiate your desire for a good spook:
Comment below what your favorite tall tale from Goosebumps was!