Goosebumps is a popular series of the kids’ horror fiction novellas by a prolific American author Robert Lawrence Stine, better known by his pen name R. L. Stine, and published by Scholastic Publishing.
The stories are based on the child characters, who find themselves in quite scary situations; often involving monsters and several other supernatural elements.
Two prominent themes in the series are kids overcoming evil and kids facing scary or horrid situations and using their imagination and wit to get themselves out of “danger.” Stine doesn’t try to include moral lessons in his novels. His books are “strictly reading motivation.”
“Goosebumps” has been part of our collective lives for almost twenty years now, starting with the first novel of R.L. Stine in 1992, several books which have followed, the TV show and the film. Not even mentioning the nightmares inspired by the franchise.
It has been 35 years since Stine penned his first horror novel, titled Blind Date. Since then, he has developed full horror series, including Goosebumps books that had a long run which lasted from 1992 to 1997.
The Goosebumps series remains popular, even among the present generation of teenagers, since it is delivered in forms which include the 1990s TV show that’s available for streaming on Netflix, and the movie which was released two years ago.
However, with lots of fans from all over the world of all ages, it is still quite difficult to know everything there’s to know about “Goosebumps.” So, we’ll like to share some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Goosebumps.
1. Stine had no idea he would be such a successful novelist. Robert Lawrence Stine, the developer and leading writer for Nickelodeon, had no idea he would become very famous for terrifying the wits out of children around the world.
Initially, he was hired to do only SIX Goosebumps books in the 1990s – and he would never even attempt to write horror fiction novellas before.
2. R.L. Stine began his career in terrifying kids with the ‘Fear Street’ series, published in 1989. After losing his job at Scholastic in New York, he began to focus on writing.
Described as “where your worst nightmares live,” the series elaborated the students’ misadventures at the Shadyside High School. ‘Fear Street’ series developed to include nearly a hundred novels, selling more than 80 million copies all over the world.
3. People have always been trying hard to get Stine’s books banned. Actually, Goosebumps was listed fifteenth in the list of most frequently challenged books (i.e. people have tried to get rid of them) and 94th in the list of top banned/challenged books during 2000 to 2009, on the grounds of being extremely frightening for teenagers and encouraging satanic themes.
4. At first, the Goosebumps series was meant for girls only. But after evaluating his fan mail, Stine soon realized his fan base was divided equally.
5. Stine does not ‘actually’ believe in ghosts. Being a firm believer in science, he’s quite sure ghouls, and ghosts do not exist. Cheers pal, wish we could tell the same…
6. Since the release of the first novel, Welcome to Dead House, the series has sold more than 350 million books across the world in over 30 languages. Certain books in the series have been listed on many bestseller lists, including the New York Times Best Seller list for kids.
7. The Goosebumps series falls under the children’ horror, thriller and fiction genres, though Stine classifies the series as “scary books that are also funny.” Every book features different settings and child characters.
The main protagonists are middle class and can be either female or male. The main protagonists of a Goosebumps story are usually located in a remote location or somehow isolated from typical societal conventions.
This can range from comfortable suburban places to campsites, foreign villages or boarding schools. Books often feature some characters who’re either sent to live with relatives or recently relocated to a new neighborhood.