Almost every 90s kid remembers staying up late each Friday to catch the newest episode of Goosebumps—based on R.L. Stine’s equally as memorable paperback franchise by the same name. The spooky anthology haunted young minds from 1995 through 1998, but only a few left chills that remain decades later. To us, four particular episodes stand out as the scariest of all.
‘The Haunted Mask’
Redditors overwhelmingly chose this episode, which happens to be the series opener, as the scariest of all.
The Haunted Mask follows Carly Beth Caldwell, a young girl who is constantly bullied and tormented by her brother and classmates. As Halloween nears, she sets out to find a horrifying costume in hopes of getting some scare-revenge. After stumbling into an eerie shop, she discovers a terrifying mask that gives her exactly what she wants—and more.
The installment packs a perfect lesson about taking the moral highroad and reminds kids how hatred and revenge can be all-consuming. The Haunted Mask was so popular that it earned a follow-up episode in Season 2.
‘Say Cheese and Die’
Another Season 1 gem, Say Cheese and Die, gave kids a frightening glimpse at superstar Ryan Gosling in one of his first-ever roles.
Gosling’s second screen side credit, which followed his performance in the equally popular Are You Afraid of the Dark, shows him as Greg Banks. One day, Greg and his friends take a mysterious man’s camera and realize it has supernatural powers. Its photos either show horrible events destined to happen or, even worse, cause them to happen. In order to break the curse, Greg realizes he has to right his wrong and return the camera to its original owner.
‘Welcome to Dead House’
Welcome to Dead House was Stine’s first published addition to Goosebumps. The story served as the series’ Season 2 opener and gave audiences classic horror vibes.
While many of Stine’s works are cautionary moral tales, this two-part episode is simply a fun, scary story filled with the undead. In it, the Benson family moves to the spooky Dark Falls. They soon realize that the entire town was hit by a chemical fallout, and their new neighbors are secretly zombies.
‘Night of the Living Dummy II’
This list would be incomplete without an episode featuring the face of Goosebumps, Slappy the Dummy.
In Night of the Living Dummy II, Slappy returns to the screen to terrorize the unsuspecting Amy Kramer, a shy grade-schooler who only wants to find a hobby in ventriloquism. After her father gifts her the creepy dummy, she discovers a card in his case that reads “Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano.” Amy recites the words out loud, which, unsurprisingly brings Slappy and a band of evil dolls to life.
‘Goosebumps’ Gets a Reboot
If you’re looking to dive back into the nostalgic series, you can watch all the episodes on Netflix. And for those who don’t know, a reboot is dropping on Disney+ and Hulu on Friday, Oct 13. Freeform will pick up the series shortly after its big debut.
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