Nostalgic Scary Books

Mike Matei / May 9th, 2014


  • Artyomd

    May 9, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Got scared at the end.

    • May 10, 2014 at 3:45 am

      yeah that got me. I kind of saw it coming though the moment the heartbeat sound quickened and he started flipping faster and faster through the images. I was like, “oh man here it comes.

  • pickle peterson

    May 9, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I remember seeing those scary stories books as a kid and those pictures gave me nightmares, I had totally forgotten about them, great vid!

    • Hapasan808

      May 9, 2014 at 4:49 am

      I remember these books. Just the covers used to freak me out. In fact, I still have them to this day. The must be buried somewhere in my closet.

      • May 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        I know right! Remember the one were the creepy woman was leaning over the character’s bed, just staring at him? The scariest one was of the bride that got locked in the closet for a long time… ugghh.

  • May 9, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Unless they’ve made another Goosebumps series, the TV series was actually on in the late-90s, early-2000s IIRC. Most were adaptations of the books, but a few had some original stories or modifications of the stories. For example, the Monster Blood ones were pretty damn popular among readers, but there were only two Monster Blood ones on the TV series – one an adaptation of the original and a second, original sequel set on an airplane.

    The books were okay for what they were – while often not exactly the most original material, it served as a great gateway for kids interested in horror. They came out monthly, much like Animorphs or any popular long-running kids’ book series, which probably explains why R.L. Stine did sequel stories often – it’s easy to burn out trying to create original ideas month after month after month, so it’d be easier to do another story featuring Slappy the hellish dummy to make things a bit easier. It’s kind of like horror sequels in its own way. That being said, one of the TV “Night of the Living Dummy” episodes had the best ending ever. Slappy gets thrown out a window during a thunderstorm, but he’s still clinging to the side of the house. He starts crawling up and proclaims, “Can’t you see?! I’M INVINCIBLE!” He is then promptly struck by lightning and explodes. Glorious. =3

    • Internoob

      May 11, 2014 at 4:12 am

      They actually have made a new Goosebumps TV series. It came out recently, its called The Haunting Hour. And its actually pretty damn good. Its literally Goosebumps, but with modern day actors (so unfortunately no more goofy looking 90’s kids).

    • Jacob Dyer

      May 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Are you Linkara?

  • HomingMissiles

    May 9, 2014 at 5:59 am

    You’re probably going to get to those, but it’d be cool if you could talk about your favorite books on filmmaking. You’ve already mentioned some at one time or another, like Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew, but a more in-depth look would be great.

  • May 9, 2014 at 6:10 am

    I’ve never read any of the Goosebumps books, but have those an some of his other series on the pc in PDF format but haven’t read any of those either. I remember reading some of the Scary Stories books when I was a kid an thought they were kinda scary, now I have the boxset on a shelf around here that came from a yardsale for like $2

  • y2j420

    May 9, 2014 at 6:51 am

    I have the complete collection of both the Goosebumps books and the 3 Alvin Schwartz books…

  • May 9, 2014 at 7:05 am

    In case anyone wants to buy these. They’ve reprinted the “Scary Stories” trilogy, but changed the illustrations, due to complaints from parents. Which is bullshit, the illustrations were the best part. So beware of the new additions.

  • callmeRaskolnikov

    May 9, 2014 at 7:07 am

    i hope you continue to do nostalgic book review. it was a good change of pace i think. goosebumps, fear street and scary stories to tell in the dark were all childhood favorites of mine. really a childhood intro to horror 101. when i was in elementary school those scary story books/pictures would give me nightmares.

    but, today they have discontinued the goosebumps show. no more new episodes of that. R.L Stine has created a new show on the Hub Network for kids though, called “The Haunting Hour”. It’s more pre-teen horror, focused i think more for kids who are a little older than the targeted goosebumps demographic. entertaining none the less, some episodes are creepy, others are down right hilarious. might be worth a watch on the ole DVR.

  • Don Skiver

    May 9, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Heh. Yeah, I had my fair share of Goosebumps books. I was kind of a pussy as a kid. I was scared of shit really easily and hated scary movies because I have an eidetic memory and would replay scary parts from movies over and over and over in my head…but Goosebumps was rather tame. I found that I could read and enjoy the chills from those and not be given nightmares from it.

  • May 9, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Thank you James for scareing the shit out of me at the end. Because I hate sleeping peacefully at night…

  • Sammy Schitz

    May 9, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Ah man, I read the shit out of Goosebumps as a kid. I must have watched the first two episodes of the show on tape 50 times.

  • batratspidercrab

    May 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Damn you, James, that jumpscare got me!

  • BladeRunner

    May 9, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I love Scary Stories & Goosebumps, I used to read both a lot when I was younger. Great video James!!

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Now THAT was some scary shit… The last shocker you put in there… And then the chipper music. You Are CRAZY man!

  • torgo367

    May 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I never got into the “Goosebumps” series. They were always derivative and tame for my tastes. I had all of the “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” series, and yes, that artwork was horrifying! If you’re going to pick them up, be sure to pick up the older editions. Parents complained about the artwork being too scary for their kids, so the new editions have extremely toned down, happier illustrations. Yeah, because how dare a child get scared reading a scary book, right? James, another series you might want to look at is “Tales For The Midnight Hour,” by J.B. Stamper. When I was a little kid (I’m 36 now), this series came out, and I bought the first one at my school book fair. Nothing could have prepared me for the nightmares I was going to experience. These are stories about little kids getting scared, and dying in horrible ways! The very first story in the very first book (it is a three book series, btw), is called “The Furry Collar,” and it’s about a little girl getting her head cut off! These books are from Scholastic books! There are a few tamer stories yes, but most of them are totally devastating for a young reader. I’m so glad my childhood had these books in it. They helped make me into the horror hound I am now. I still get chills sometimes thinking about some of these stories. You can get them on Amazon for just pennies now, so give them a shot. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • Taraalcar

    May 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I read the shit out of all of these as a kid. Those illustrations are amazing!

  • uthor

    May 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    There was a rerelease of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books in 2011, but they changed all the artwork. The new art is really tame and nueters the effectiveness of the stories. Damn shame. Glad I kept my old copies and plan on passing them down to my nieces once they are old enough to handle the nightmares.

  • May 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I didn’t have a the Goosebumps books, yet read a few (they were OK), but I owned all 3 “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”. The stories weren’t great, but the pictures were just amazingly good. Yes… even at the time, parents complained about the pictures. As people have stated, they have been released again, but with different pictures, because of the complaints. It’s unfortunate that they were changed.

    • videogamehunter820

      May 9, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Well, okay, the stories weren’t masterpieces, but I still think they’re kind of creepy (especially with the drawings). But that’s just my opinion.

  • videogamehunter820

    May 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I loved Goosebumps growing up. But I love the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark books even more. Personally, I still think that most of the stories in the SSTTITD books still hold up. Now of course there are still some lame, cheesy stories in there. There are even sections in each book that are dedicated to completely comical stories. But a lot of them still have very creepy atmospheres (especially with the drawings) and some grown up content (some of them are pretty violent for a kids book). Various stories still creep me out. Okay, not terrifying but still you get a little chill down your spine. I still love to read them today and I LOVE ya James, but I disagree. I think most of the stories still hold up. Also, I did have nightmares from those disturbing drawings as a kid. They had a big influence on my own drawing/sketches. Man, I LOVE these books!

  • May 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

    if you can at least read “wonderful sausage”. I forget which book its in.

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    They are making a Goosebumps movie. Jack Black is going to play a a “Stine-like author whose scary characters literally leap off the page, forcing him to hide from his own creepy creations.” I have all of those books that you showed haha.

  • RandyPan

    May 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Some of those images look like something out of Creepy Pasta.

    • Griff

      May 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

      that’s because they are, some of these images were later used as Creepy Pasta material

  • Sugalite99

    May 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    In defense of the stories in the Scary Stories books, they were made for a lot younger audience than the Goosebumps books. I remember reading them between first and third grade.

  • michael Hanley

    May 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    theres a story in the scary stories books that my teacher forced me to read to the class in kindergarden cuz we all had to share a page of our book. and the one she made me share was one about a girl who had spider eggs laid in heer cheek and had a very disturbing pic that i showed the class. bitch gave me detention cuz i gave nightmares to have the class. amazing books and the images have been burned in to my mind as well oh god that pigman head. also the goosebumbs show was produced almost if not side by side with the books and he does stil have a show i think two but there not goosebumps anymore 🙁

  • May 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Stuff like this makes me wish I was a few years younger (I’m about 3 years older than James according to Wikipedia). I was into Fear Street but never got into Goosebumps. It almost makes me feel like I’m off by a generation.

  • Pablo1989

    May 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    😀 You wanna good scary stuff, Cthulhu Mythos by HP.Lovecraft thats all.

  • Entrenaturaleza

    May 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I enjoyed it

  • May 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I was such a sheltered child. When I was in like, 3rd grade we were forced to read random books of our choosing. I picked out a book of scary stories for children, but my mother read it when it was sitting out in my room and scolded me for reading books like that. It was something lame like “I met this person but when they left they forgot their sweater, so I went around town to return it but this elderly woman said that person died years before.” I really wish I would have brought home something like that last series to have her freak out about something worth while.

  • May 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I have all the goosebumps books in my basement and they are really collective and i have 2 VHS tapes which are the haunted mask and stay out of the basement. I even watched the TV show and it was scary for me but i love it. I also let my mom take one of my own favorite goosebumps tale “The haunted mask” and she went to one of the local bookstores and she saw R.L. Stine himself so she let R.L. Stine sign on my favorite book. I even have 2 goosebumps graphic novels which each of them carries 3 tales in total back at middle school book sales. Lastly, i have the goosebumps DVD also i got at least like 3 or 4 and the goosebumps horrorland video game on the wii (By the way James rolfe see if you can review that game with mike and james play show). i hope you should do the top ten favorite goosebumps episodes or top ten favorite are you afraid of the dark episodes. i love children’s horror anthology!

  • May 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Well done, James. Very fantastic. After writing this I think I’m gonna change my pants, but first I wanted to say keep it up, I think this is going to be a great new series. Maybe some of the books you feature in future episodes will inspire me for the novels I’m wanting to write. Who knows? in a few years, they might end up on the show! So just keep it going, you’re always great, I’m gonna go have some nightmares.

  • bluehawaii19

    May 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I think I owned a lot, if not all, of the Goosebumps books. I remember when I was 10 and got my tonsils out. My mom bought me the one that had three stories included (one of which was Welcome to Dead House) and when you opened the cover, it made some sort of noise. I read that one a while back and then watched the episode from the TV show and the story was pretty decent but the episode was so cheesy and laughable. Around the same time (11 years old), I got into Stephen King. I think I owned a couple of the Fear Street books.

    • bluehawaii19

      May 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Oh I also liked the choose your own adventure Goosebumps books. Those were always a fun read. I remember doing one for a book report (where you went to an amusement park) but don’t think the teacher grasped the concept that it was a book where you were a character so I think I got a low grade.

  • May 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I use to have every single goosebumps book out… I wish i still had them

  • Christian Fernández

    May 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Hey James, you should try for James & Mike Mondays the new Rambo game on Ps3, Xbox 360 and PC. Try it, the game is Amazing!

  • May 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Don’t watch the show its terrible.

  • May 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Hah, I read tons of Goosebumps as a kid. I think the Mask stories were my favorite… they were the darkest of them all.

    Speaking of scary stories, I hope you cover a few creepypastas floating around out there. As a Godzilla fan, I think you’ll find this one in particular to be chilling (even if the story gets a little cheesy).

  • May 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    The Fighting Fantasy stuff is more my era, but I loved the art you showcased from those young-adult novels. Obviously, movie first, but book reviews would be a great addition to Cinemassacre in the future! Good stuff and thanks folks!

  • May 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    The Goosebumps tv show is nearly 20 years ago too. The show was made while the books were popular. It featured a young Ryan Gosling and Hayden Christensen. How did you miss watching that, James?

  • wcjessen

    May 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Please do more book reviews! There aren’t very many interesting book reviewers out there, and I’m sure you know of some very interesting material.

  • Jonathan Millis

    May 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I have 1-50 of every goosebump book somewhere in a box :). Used to love them as a kid.

  • May 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I just pulled out all my goosebumps (thinking about doing my own reviews of them) I own all three of those black and white scarey stories. Also I have all the animorphs. (really want to review them…)

  • Rick

    May 9, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I had ALL of these 😀 Nice. But, James, this is pretty cool. Cinemassacre could talk about rocks and i’d be right on board!

  • culwin

    May 9, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    The story about the toe was scary as shit.
    I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight.
    A freaking TOE

  • An Heroic Hippo

    May 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Excerpt from Say Cheese and Die Goosebumps episode:
    “There’s nowhere to put the film or… no way to even open it!”
    Excerpt from A Most Unusual Camera Twilight Zone episode:
    “…there’s no place to put the film in. No place to even open it!”

    I kid you not.

  • An Heroic Hippo

    May 10, 2014 at 12:13 am

    There’s also an episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark that has the exact same “evil camera” plot line.

  • An Heroic Hippo

    May 10, 2014 at 12:18 am

    And yup, Stephen Gammell made some ultra creepy artwork.

  • D-Man

    May 10, 2014 at 1:06 am

    As a kid, did anyone else ever think that R.L. Stine was a pseudonym, and that a team of writers was producing the books? When I was reading the books in the early 90’s with no internet to look things up, I thought R.L. Stine was a fake name based on letters that players get at the end of Wheel of Fortune (RLSTNE) and that to produce one book a month would require a bunch of people working rapidly.

  • Dan021

    May 10, 2014 at 1:18 am

    James, something that could be cool would be if you could find some short story to tell in the dark and read them to us like you did with the Megaman Novel, I don’t know why but I would love to watch something like that around halloween or something, I know Monster madness is already taking all your free time around halloween and its awesome, but maybe every Friday the 13… One is coming next November, Cinemassacre could do something like that on those day 😀
    Anyways just an idea and thank you for the video! It was fun to watch!

  • Elias Mochan

    May 10, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I remember I was a kid when the Goosebumps TV show was on Fox Kids (in Mexico, ate least). I remember “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” was on at the same time on Nickelodeon but I always found Goosebumps more scary… but I was easy to scare back then.

    • Tross

      May 10, 2014 at 2:03 am

      I’m sure it has been said many times in previous comments, but the Goosebumps show isn’t a new thing. I watched it has a kid. Well, I tried to get into it anyways. I was more into the books than the show. I recall episodes of the show being adaptations of the books, so I watched it more to see my favorite books come to life, than because I was interested in the story, since I would have already read it. It doesn’t look like you have any of the monster editions. They’re pretty much cheesy, hardcover omnibuses of three books. I had the first one, and may still, since my mom also keeps everything. It also screamed when it was opened, which was cheesy, but amusing all the same.

  • Conner Garcia

    May 10, 2014 at 2:44 am

    My favorite Goosebumps books were those choose your own adventure editions. They were awesome but fucking impossible to actually win at.

  • May 10, 2014 at 2:55 am

    i remember these!! took up so much time as a kid. its like james knows me personally with the movie/games/books now! after all were both from jersey!!

  • May 10, 2014 at 3:30 am

    I’m an avid reader and when i was just little more than a kid (was already an avid reader), 13 i think, i got for my birthday IT from Stephen King. It was scary as hell, then i saw the extra long movie and like 50% of the situations got changed to make it less scary and another 25% was totally cancelled. So we ended up with a movie that didn’t make sense, perfect.

    Then i re-read the book some years later and i don’t know, when i was little i didn’t get some situations, but now i get everything and it made it even worse.

    Then got hooked on Stephen Kings books, i have almost all the good ones, and some bad one, i’m missing only Cujo and Christine of the good ones but i never seem to find them. Misery i searched it for years but then found it.

    With Misery happened this: i saw the movie and wanted the book, then i found the book and after that i rewatched the movie…well i can tell the movie sucks.

    But i read a lot, from Tolkien to Verne passing by Buffalo Bill, Ken Follett and Wilbur Smith just to name a few, yes a few.

    In fact i can’t stand the Hobbit movies, they’re just not even in the style of the book, i’m not even going to see the third one after the addition of that girl in the second one. It’s an insult.
    I know he changed stuff in The Lord of The Rings too, but he did that better.

    But yeah Goosebumps, i got like 10 of them but after King they bored me pretty quickly.

  • May 10, 2014 at 5:08 am

    I’m so glad someone finally recognized those “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” books. Those were in my fourth grade classroom as a kid, and I’d look through them during whatever free time I had and would literally not sleep for nights on end. in particular, the fucked up skeleton girl, the thing, and the big head disturbed me the most. those in particular I still have PTSD over, and that’s what makes them so god damn amazing.

    Also, I see you have Ozzy’s book, that was a great one. I also have Slash Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, and Steven Tyler as well, and fi you don’t have those, I highly suggest them all. I’d love a video on rock star biographies as well if you ever got the chance.

  • Drowkin

    May 10, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Gersberms! Mah fravrit berks!

  • Wendy

    May 10, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Ironic. I never read Goosebumps, and I’m about a year under you, James, but I used to watch the show. lol I have no idea how close the show was to the books. I’m pretty sure I was in my first or second year of high school when the show came out. That aside, I did read the Fear Street series and used to collect those. I loved them.

    Recently, I downloaded a few of the old Fear Street books onto my Nook Color…for nostalgia reasons. The books felt off, like stuff was added in to update them. I’m pretty sure one of them mentioned the kids using cell phones or something. That totally ruined it for me.

    Now Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I used to love reading those back in like Elementary School. Maybe 3rd or 4th grade. I always reread them at the time and I liked the spookiness of the art of the books. To be honest, from what I remember, I found the illustrations scarier than the actual stories. lol

  • May 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Wow awesome vid! Its like your talking about me, this was exactly me as a kid, I was so into the Goosebumps books. I would read them in one night too. I also had all three Scary Story books and read them too, and yea the pictures were always more terrifying then the stories. No one else at school read these books, Im glad Im not the only one.

  • Sharon Ladror

    May 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Where’s my rusty horseshoe?

  • Crabjock

    May 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I made a YT vid quite a long time ago showing most of the artwork done by by Stephen Gammell in the Scary Stories books. When I was a kid, I would practically keep these books out of the library. Eventually, I ended up being able to buy them all.

    I agree, the stories are dull, but the illustrations could pretty much sum up my childhood, and how I developed. His artwork was a big influence to me as a child learning to draw (him and my mother). I even have a tattoo of the artwork on the cover of the 3rd book.

    Great review.

  • mysterywolf

    May 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I had the whole original Goosebumps series- including some of the ‘Choose your own adventure’ style ones- loved them.

    I think R.L Stine went to try to appeal to the college/high school kids as, after Goosebumps, he released a series about kids (I think) in college that die off throughout the series. Kind of like Game of Thrones. Could never get into it though.

    Also read spooky stories. Never remember the pictures, but yeah the stories just reminded me of like “Yeah…it’s kind of spooky, but it just gives that feeling that it’s really old stories.”

    Was raised as a horror kid both in books and movies.

  • May 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I love the idea of reviewing books. Keep ’em coming!

  • Sean McLoughlin

    May 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Those Scary Stories books gave me so many nightmares as a kid. I remember the stories being as genuinely terrifying as the imagery was but I was pretty young when I read them so maybe they wouldn’t be so bad as an adult. The drawings still hold up though, this video gave me chills!

  • May 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    It’s really Great to see that you’re promoting reading James, because it is so important to education. I commend and applaud your new series. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

    Could you do something with Terry Brooks?

  • Bamahut

    May 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I remember reading the Goosebumps books when I was a kid as well, my favorite one was “The Cuckoo Clock of Doom”, loved it so much. Man those drawings in the Alvin Schwarz book are creepy. Good idea material for a scary video game like Amnesia.

  • jefferybuckles25

    May 11, 2014 at 1:17 am

    i remember those scary stories to tell in the dark being the most popular book in our elementary school library. I was always wanting to get it, but was never able to. Finally, i saved up some allowance and bought the entire collection in one book at barnes & noble. Classmates were so envious. I still have it and occasionally read the stories. They aren’t that scary by themselves, but the pictures would always help make them scarier.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:06 am

    The Goosebumps television series is actually from the mid 90s when the books were at their peak. Only I don’t think a lot of kids in the States saw them since it was a Canadian production.

    I never really cared for them much, even though it had more explicitly supernatural stuff, Are You Afraid of the Dark was much better done, and there are a few episodes of the latter that are downright terrifying even to this day.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:35 am

    James, you say the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” aren’t scary, but what you have to remember is that they are meant to be read aloud. It’s not so much for the reader, but for the group of kids being read to. I guarantee that if you were in my scouts group out in the dark woods camping as an 9 year old kid being read these stories with some decent voicing you would have peed your pants! Plus the pictures were always passed around just before the story so it all encouraged a VERY SCARY atmosphere. Plus all of the jump scares, my goodness! -Just my personal experience.

  • akira_akuma

    May 11, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I just signed up to say James, you are awesome, the guys who help Cinemassacre are awesome too (Mike and Kyle and guests) and I am gonna continue checking in for new stuff, because I always get a kick out of your AVGN episodes, movie reviews and pretty much everything; it’s all effin’ hilarious. (Shark Movie Episode made me piss my pants; but not literally…)

    PS: Those illustrations are awesome, even the covers for the R.L Stein books.

    PPS: Good luck (Happiness) with the upcoming “Goblin” (you thought NES was…) and good tidings to you, your wife, and the little guy on the way.

    we all wish you well

  • DON

    May 11, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Great new show, James – it was about time to include books 🙂
    Keep up the good work!

  • May 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Just did a little quick research and it looks like they’re making a Goosebumps film adaption directed by Rob Letterman. Jack Black has been cast as R.L Stine! That should be interesting lol. It’s set to be released Aug 7, 2015

  • Creedswede

    May 11, 2014 at 10:50 am

    There’s a Swedish equivalent to Scary Stories, called Spökhistorier. Written by Dan Höjer and illustrated by Hans Arnold. Dan Höjer’s ghost story books are just like Scary Stories, inspired by and based on ghost stories and folklore. At the end of every story there’s a page explaining it’s origins and it’s real-life locations. Hans Arnold also illustrated the cover-art for Storm Corrosion’s self-titled album and Abba’s greatest hits. He could make any everyday items appear scary and ghostlike. Hans did some illustrations for the fantasy-folklore book series Among Gnomes and Trolls (Bland Tomtar och Troll) that has been released every year since 1907. Like many other illustrators, he was inspired by the works of H.R. Giger. Sadly, Hans passed away in 2010.

  • mason saltalamachea

    May 11, 2014 at 11:02 am

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, in through your mouth and then out your snout…. I’m not an ever defending AVGN fan by any stretch. Much of the content on this site as of late has been lack-luster to me. I’m so surprised to see this review of books I read as a kid. I think it’s great that he’s done a review of these books; few people have covered these classics. I hope that he gets internet hits from this that lead to more people discovering his expansive and entertaining content. AVGN is waning, and that’s only natural, but this man deserves to have revival of “fandom’. He has put out a ton of great and entertaining content that I will always enjoy and never forget. That’s the positive, now please for the love of god, get the movie done. I still have not watched a review of the Atari E.T. game anywhere. That’s loyalty. I’m not the praising type, so, DO NOT DISAPPOINT.

  • Phonoscene

    May 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Read that kind of book as a kid, although they didn’t leave much of a memory in my mind. Always a pleasure to hear about your childhood though !

  • ToadRoad

    May 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Thank YOU! I have been trying to remember what that book with the black and white cover was for a while. I used to read that one all the time.

  • Jackred89

    May 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I remember reading some of Goosebumps books in school. Although I mostly did during high school. Why because there wasn’t anything else? However I did came to like some of them. I seen a couple of episodes from the show. They did a great job following these books. So I do have a personal connection to Goosebumps. As for the other book series never heard of before. I did look them up to confirm you’re right. There’s only three books in this series. Why so little compared to Goosebumps? I don’t know but there’s a few series of Goosebumps? I think you did a great job describing them. The author still has a lot of imagination. More recently has a teen focused spiritual successor going. What’s amazing is how these books inspired people. They may be kid versions of most horror movies. But these books did get kids scared. So you know they are good to constantly do that.

  • erik37

    May 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Books lol
    I havent read a book in over 10 years all the reading i do now is from my phone, tablet, or computer fucking funny.

  • May 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Books are cool.

  • akira_akuma

    May 11, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    oh poop, I realize now I was a little belated in my congratulatory post. James, how is the little tyke? =D

  • penpan

    May 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    you should have read them as a kid, James, the somewhat blase tone the writer goes for is engulfed by the images before the stories. As a kid, I was given the set by a friend at school who had ordered them from a book fair (Ha, remember THOSE?) and they sat in my backpack, for I was too afraid to take them out at home. The images haunted my dreams and my sister and I pretended we weren’t scared, but we were. Then I threw them away at school, thinking the pictures wouldn’t get me somehow. I overcame my fear enough to actually buy these versions as a 19 year old (before they were reprinted with non scary pictures! Really??) and I still have those copies, but they stay hidden on my shelf. The pictures still scare me! I used to keep them in my attic at all times instead of halloween. Last time I went to look for the box in the attic, I had a paranoid moment because the box wasn’t where I left it. I thought “great, the books moved themselves!” Before I found the box 😛 A friend I have from middle school has copies she leaves at work and only at work 😛 Probably so her kids won’t get nightmares….

  • Geo_Seven

    May 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as these children’s books can bring people together? It’s really a powerful and beautiful thing.

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I don’t know about Twilight Zone, but there’s definetely an episode of “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” with the same plot on season 3.

  • caleb ruggeri

    May 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    nice job james i still enjoy reading theese im in college and im still entertained the show was terrible if you want an example look at jon trons goosebump video on youtube it describes alot

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Dude those images are what brought the fear to the ‘eh’ stories… ‘The thing’ and the dead hollow eyed ghost girl (6:15) always particularly freaked me out. I remember all these well so this was a cool video!

  • May 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I remember seeing the Librarian as a monster on TV. I was with my older cousin Mason and his girlfriend he 14 and I was 6, they were watching it and I snuck down to watch it with them since I was supposed to be asleep by then. That episode gave me nightmares and I wouldn’t go to the libary for 2 weeks *Sighs* good times

  • May 12, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Actually they just started filming the Goosebumps movie this month. basic summary: Kid moves to new town, makes friend, finds out friend has R.L. Stine, the famous author of goosebumps at the father figure. R.L. Stine is played by Jack Black. They find out the Goosebumps monsters are real and writing the books keeps them from getting loose, almost a binding spell. Of course the kids accidentally let monsters loose and Jack Black as R.L. Stine has to help capture the monsters to save the day……….. Jack Black monster hunter lol.

    No i am not trolling, google it!

  • May 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I have almost every one of the original series of Goosebumps. I’m only missing How I Learned To Fly & Monster Blood 4

  • Lukas Sprehn

    May 12, 2014 at 11:06 am

    This is actually the kind of video content I’ve been hoping for on for a long time. I am huge book geek, and I want to write them too. I wish you would delve more into filmmaking tips and techniques as well, including storytelling. Not necessarily scriptwriting, but just storytelling in general. Not that I don’t want to hear about scriptwriting. I deifnitely do. A little bit of everything would be fantastic!

    See Chezapocalypse’s Fifty Shades of Green (or whatever they’re calling the show at the moment) for some things about storytelling, about collaborative writing, and about literature, and books in general 🙂 It’s hosted by Lindsay Ellis, aka the Nostalgia Chick, and her best friend Antonella Inserra.

    • Lukas Sprehn

      May 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

      It’d be interesting to see a show like that on Cinemassacre. Where you talk books, writing, etc. while drinking booze, and coming up with a new drink every week that goes with the theme of the episode itself. You should check out the show and its format at I’d love to see you guest star in one of their episodes one day. That would be fun.

  • killer8

    May 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I love the intro piano music. What is it, anyone knows?

  • Jeh-Jeal

    May 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Awesome idea to review these kind of books. The books I would love to see get some attention is Animorphs I was a huge fan of that series and I recently re-read them and got more out of them now that I am older. Keep up the great work James!

  • Night-X

    May 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Remember used to collect Goosebumps books did suck at reading back then.

  • May 13, 2014 at 4:36 am

    In the “Scary Stories” series, some of them are pretty weak, like the toe one. However, many of them are pretty creepy. “Harold” was always my favorite. One thing worth pointing out is that I had the audiobook versions of these. With music and a narrator, A LOT of intensity is added.

  • May 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the memories we all read these books as kids especially scary stories, we had sleepovers with these, mostly for the pictures. DId you ever read the goosebump books that forced you to make choices in the book and whatever choices you made determined if you lived. There was one that took place in an amusement park, never figured out how to live.

  • PresidentJenkins

    May 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Who didn’t love Goosebumps as a kid? Horror and children go hand in hand. There’s just this natural connection between a young mind and those scary worlds. Probably because it’s always right up there as the most taboo stuff and kids just naturally have an insatiable curiosity. Scary Stories was fun as well. The big toe one was actually my favorite as a kid. Probably because of my brother making it more scarier than it was by constantly creeping me out with the lines in the book. Those illustrations were fascinating though. It’s the no. 1 reason why we all remember those stories. Just some brutal stuff that came out of it all. Probably the scariest thing a kid could ever see.

  • roboraygun

    May 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Bah! The ending!!! Yeh those illustrations scared me WAY more than the stories ever did!

  • Ethan Steffek

    May 14, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Vote to review dune as a 20 min review

  • May 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I remember being a huge scaredy cat when it came to these things. I was scared of the Goosebumps show, as well, and I never wanted to watch it but I would read the books. The theme song is ingrained in my mind and I’d have nightmares where it’d play in the background as if I was living some kind of Goosebumps book/episode. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’s imagery should be used into something! If that artist(s) is/are still alive, he/she/they should make a comic book if it hasn’t already been a thing.

  • GM ROS

    May 15, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I don’t know about you all but the story from the first “Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark” called “The Wendigo” scared the hell out of me when I was 12 or so, I mean it’s a demon that whispers your name in your head until you go insane then makes you walk in the snow until your feet turn into bloody stumps. Creeped me out for sure

  • Josiah Montgomery

    May 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I remember in 3rd grade my teacher would read the scary story books. She never showed us the images though. Smart.

  • mario88889

    May 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    i dont remember reading scary stories in the dark. but when i was in high school i would spend time with my friend jakes house with my other friend one night he found them he read them every body got the crap scared out of them i had seen poltergeist the night before and im like bs thats not scary

  • mario88889

    May 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    the next night we watched poltergeist so i could show them and my grandpa walked into the room and he was like “what kinda f**** up movie is this and i explained to him my friends were like who wants to read scary stories in the dark again and im like okay but i just showed the pictures when i read from it everyone shit themselves

  • Stinkoman20X6

    May 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I wonder if anyone else here grew up with Heebie Jeebies. It was like Goosebumps, but for sheltered Christian kids.

  • May 16, 2014 at 1:48 am

    That was great; I would love to see book-themed videos from you more often. I had forgotten about the Goosebumps series! I used to love those books.

  • MetalliCube

    May 16, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Oh man, those goosebumps books.. So much nostalgia. R.L. Stine was like my idol back in the day. As far as the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.. Listen to the audio books if you don’t find the books scary. The dude reading them just creeped me out, his voice and the way he read the stories was just so eerie, and the music was pretty creepy too.

  • May 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    The guy Stephen Gammell in the picture is the guy who drew those pictures and I will tell you what, they are truly terrifying. I have the same problem, they were ingrained in my head a long time ago HAH.

  • chikpee

    May 16, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    James, you didn’t like the actual stories in “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”? I thought they were we scarier than Goosebumps, plus they’re all drawn from folklore and urban legends. I also liked the Sources notes at the end of each book that told you what part of the US the stories came from, different variations on them, regional differences, etc.

    And like many commenters mentioned, I’m really glad I snagged the original editions with the Stephen Gammell nightmare fuel illustrations. Something to scare the bejeesus out of my little boy when he’s old enough to read! >:-)

  • Keenan Van der Griend

    May 17, 2014 at 1:20 am

    It’s weird that you’ve never seen the show, it was a huge part of my childhood, but I guess you must have just missed it, and yeah they were exactly just the books in episodes, just really condensed. What was also pretty funny is that the commercial break was always a cliffhanger that would end in disappointment too. I just wish you would have also talked about the choose your own adventure Goosebumps books, because those were my favourite.

    And whoever the artist was for Scary Stories was brilliant.

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:25 am

    Thank you for not using the woman at 6:15 for the jumpscare. She ALWAYS freaked me out as a kid, and still does to this day. Got a lot of hangups from that bitch. ._.

    But yeah, getting into Goosebumps and Scary Stories! Goosebumps was always good for that cheap scare with the good cliffhanger, and you’re right on the money in saying that the pictures tell a better scary tale than the tales themselves. They were so FREAKY. I look at the one from “The Red Spot” and get chills…doesn’t help I’m an arachnophobe, either.

  • Lazarus Nine

    May 19, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I never read Goosebumps, because I think I was put off by the purple and green colour schemes. I guess I just assumed they were like Sweet Valley High books or something. But damn, those ‘Scary Stories’ books really had me going. There was a version of Ichabod Crane that was particularly memorable. I recall the toe story James mentions, but for me, it was probably the story about worms entering into a rotting corpse that is seared onto my psyche. There was even a little rhyme with it, if memory serves: ‘The worms go in, the worms go out…’

  • May 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    man those books use to scare the shit out of me. nice video james

  • May 21, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Another great kids series is “In a dark dark room”

  • Reimeioh

    May 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I also used to have The Film Encyclopedia book. Definitely a monster of a book about film and I doubt anyone I knew had this. Shame I don’t have much of any space or adequate living for me to have a lot of books in shelves.

  • skwij

    May 30, 2014 at 7:14 am

    I had the first “Scary Stories” book when I was in the third grade, and that picture of the undead lady’s face scared the crap out of me. I think that the creators of Silent Hill got some inspiration from those books. Thanks for the video!

    • skwij

      May 30, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Mr. James, sir? I know there’s a link on the website where you read aloud an F.X Nine Mega Man book, but I think it would be neat if you talked about some more of those. Some of them were OK, and some were really bad. I think that it would be cool if you did a video on “Choose Your Own Adventure” books or adventure books or adventure books like Grail Quest. Thanks for your time!

  • caffeineadvocate

    June 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Bloooooody fingers. Bloooooooooooooody fingers.

    Scary Stories to tell in the dark are amazing. I’m sad you didn’t show the drawing of the spiders hatching from the girls’ face.

    Never got into Goosebumps, myself. I was watching ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ at the time.

  • That Weird Kid

    August 7, 2014 at 12:25 am

    I remember when I was in grade school, our librarian would read stories from the second book shown every Halloween. He was a great story teller, and I was immensely entertained. I miss that guy he was cool lol.

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