If you were an early horror buff or just interested in not sleeping through the night you probably had a hardcore interest in R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps TV anthology, the show that brought all those spooky short novels to life. Though one could argue if it was scarier than Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark , you can’t deny that the series could give you serious wiggins in you had an active enough imagination. And hell, there are plenty of freaky episodes of Goosebumps that could still bug you out, even in the throws of adulthood.
Now, let’s be realistic before we go any further: this is a children’s show from the ‘90s that relies very heavily on low-budget special effects and wonky prosthetics. The show is not a sophisticated psychological thriller or a gore-rich slasher. Still, even the most subtle of sounds or egregious of monsters could be enough to blast you back to your worst childhood nightmares, or even tap dancing into tangible, real-world adulthood fears. So maybe you safely sleep through the night this time around, but that doesn’t mean these episodes won’t have you pulling up the covers a little higher than usual.
In case you dare to see what we mean, scroll down for some of the creepiest entrees in the Goosebumps catalog.
1. The Haunted Mask
The mask in question is enough to freak you out, especially as it takes a life of its own. However, I feel like this episode is best credited for scaring an entire generation off those latex Party City horror masks, for fear it would bind to their skin eternally. I won't do it, guys. Wigs only.
2. Night Of The Living Dummy II
Ugh, freaking Slappy. That thing parallels way too closely to Chuckie, and should not be allowed anywhere near this franchise, let alone be the face of it.
3. The Ghost Next Door Part 1 And 2
Not to get all spoiler-y, but while this episode may not be exceptionally terrifying, it has a hell of a Sixth Sense twist. Very before it's time, this one.
4. The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight
The Scarecrows themselves are a bit too clunky in these modern times, although the idea of being chased into a barnyard with a bunch of those hay-stuffed creatures is definitely unpleasant. And if nothing else, this episode truly summarizes one of many reasons why I will never move to the Midwest.
5. Say Cheese And Die Again
Oof! It's suffice to say the image of Greg as a pile of gigantic lumps is more unflattering than any unflattering group photo left over from your freshmen year of college.
6. Go Eat Worms
Not just a cute title, there are legit worms in this. No thank you.
7. How I Got My Shrunken Head
The green-eyed, floating little guy definitely makes some seriously uncomfortable noises during this entire adventure.
8. The Girl Who Cried Monster
Oh my God. This episode teaches us to fear Mr. Mortman, a librarian/monster that is terrorizing our protagonist Lucy. But without giving everything away, let's just say that there are plenty of other horrifying things lurking in the dark... and it results in a seriously delicious ending.
OK, whatever, I'm talking about cannibalism, I don't know how it was allowed in any context on this show.
9. Welcome To Dead House
Your standard wholesome-American-family-moves-into-a-Zombie-town story. Truth be told the zombie make-up isn't really dramatic here, but as the Walking Dead asserts, strength in numbers. Strength. In. Numbers.
10. Chillogy Part 1: Squeal of the Pig
Oh hey, here's a freakish anthropomorphic pig that you never asked for, -5 for making my post-Chipotle fears come to life.
11. How To Kill A Monster
Not very instructional, yet it does feature the deeply unpleasant screeches of a Jurassic Park reject, and also some chick with no eyebrows. Can you imagine the horror of not being on fleek?
12. You Can’t Scare Me
Actually, the tarantula is more than enough to scare me, and it only gets worse from there.
Images: 20th Century Television (1)