I was easily scared as a kid, so book covers with even a hint of horror had me sleeping with the lights on. Though most children’s book covers were pretty scaredy-cat friendly, the Goosebumps section of the library was another story altogether. I think even now, as an adult, I can say without shame that R.L. Stine's Goosebumps covers were really freakin' terrifying.
As a kid, I was too scared to actually enter the section of the library with the Goosebumps covers — but I was also really curious about what all the new R.L Stine books looked like. I didn't even need to crack the cover to get a feel for the story; the monster was usually right there on the front — whether it was a swamp monster or a haunted dolll.
If you spent a lot of time in libraries as a kid, you probably vividly remember at least one or two Goosebumps covers that sent chills down your spine. Maybe you even had nightmares after looking at the covers, though of course now the thought just makes you laugh.
Or does it?
All of the Goosebumps covers were pretty horrifying, but these 10 are the creepiest of all time:
'The Haunted Mask'
This one is an old favorite. I mean, this girl is totally normal — overalls, pink shirt — but then she's being taken over by an evil mask.
'Night Of The Living Dummy'
OK, this cover alone scared me away from dolls for good.
This cover channels the Jaws poster, but raises the stakes by making the shark even more toothy and terrifying.
'The Horror At Camp Jellyjam'
The worst part about this cover is that there's nothing outright terrifying. No living dummy or sharks or obvious monsters — just an extremely, extremely unsettling camp counselor. The subtlety is what makes it so scary.
'The Curse Of Camp Cold Lake'
What is it about camp that's so terrifying? Finding a skull with red eyes and scraggly hair like this while swimming would be one thing to add to that list.
'Don't Go To Sleep!'
I definitely couldn't sleep after looking at this cover. The perspective doesn't help: it's almost as if you're a second monster, watching from behind the bed.
'Why I'm Afraid Of Bees'
Why I'm afraid of bees: this Goosebumps book.
Speaking of human-animal hybrids that will send shivers down your spine, look at this cover and your dreams will be haunted forever. You're welcome.
'Bad Hare Day'
What is it with Goosebumps and terrifying looking animals? This rabbit is far from your elementary school class pet. Hopefully.
'You Can't Scare Me!'
Most of the Goosebumps covers are at least cartoony, which tempers the terror, but for some reason this cover is extremely realistic. Something about that combined with the lighting affect maximum horror.
'My Hairiest Adventure'
Puberty — the scariest thing of all.