Goosebumps is a horror fiction book series created in the 1990s for tweens and teens. The series included sixty-two books authored by R.L. Stine, which later led to a live action television series that included forty-three adaptations of the readers' favorites. While the books are most popular among eight-to-ten year olds, many older children and adults enjoy the scary visuals that the story lines produce. From creepy to just plain weird, the ever-changing plots of the Goosebumps books leave young readers on the edge of their seat. The creepy atmosphere of the books and following television series led to more than three-hundred million copies being sold by 2008. The following resources will provide additional information about R.L. Stine, Goosebumps, its history, and what it is today.
Robert Lawrence Stine, known as R.L. Stine, authored hundreds of horror fiction novels for children throughout the early 1990's until today. He was commonly referred to as the "Stephen King of children's literature" due to favorites, such as "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp", "Legend of the Lost Legend", and "Welcome to Camp Nightmare". Stine developed a passion for writing when he was nine years old. After graduating from Ohio State University in 1965, Stine moved to New York City where he became a writer.
With a flair for writing and his love for creepy stories, R.L. Stine published his first children's horror fiction novel in 1992. "Welcome to the Dead House" features two young children, much like in all the Goosebumps books, that move into a haunted house in a strange town. His work soon boomed among young readers and became one of the most popular children book series of all time. Readers can find Goosebumps books published by R.L. Stine in over thirty languages, all over the world.
The 1990s were R.L. Stine's 'golden years'. Forbes list of "40 Best-Paid Entertainers of 1996 and 1997" included Stine in 36th place with a yearly income of over $41 million. For these consecutive years, USA Today gave Stine the title of America's number one best selling author. Stine received many other awards and titles, including People Weekly's "Most Intriguing People" and the best-selling children series of all time in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also won the 2002 Champion of Reading Award and the Thriller Writers of America Silver Bullet Award in 2007.
Soon Goosebumps merchandise was hitting the shelves, including cereals, toothpastes, t-shirts, posters, mugs, and more. However, 1997 saw a decrease in sales as younger Goosebumps fans moved to Harry Potter and other popular series of that time. Nearly two million copies of Goosebumps books are still sold yearly, as of 2008. Including the various Goosebumps series and reprints, there is a total of over 250 published books.
The popularity of the RL Stine Goosebumps series sparked the interest of the marketing executives and soon came the Goosebumps television show. The series aired on the Fox Kids block on the Fox television network from 1995 to 1998. During that time, seventy-four episodes of Goosebumps were produced. These thirty-minute episodes were mainly adaptations of the books.
Two video games based on the books were also produced for the PC by DreamWorks. These included "Escape from HorrorLand" and "Attack of the Mutant". Although Goosebumps is not a regular television show today, reruns play each October during the Halloween season. The airing of Goosebumps on Cartoon Network is fun for old readers of the series to watch and introduces new readers to the series.
The new horror novella series coming soon to the public is the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. R.L. Stine decided to develop this spin-off to the popular Goosebumps books, "One Day at Horrorland" (sixteenth in the original series) and "Return to HorrorLand" (thirteen in the Goosebumps 2000 series). This new Goosebumps series will bring back characters from the original series, as well as new characters. During this time, Scholastic will be reissuing the original Goosebumps books.
The twelve books will provide creepy and entertaining stories about visitors of the "scariest place on Earth", HorrorLand. Each book contains two sections with the first giving details on the characters and the second telling the stories of what happens while in HorrorLand. The ending of the HorrorLand series will wrap up in the final two books of the series. Stine hopes that the publication of the new books will rekindle the magic of these spooky tales.
Goosebumps books can be found at many online retailers, including Amazon and Borders, as well as many brick-and-motor retailers. Online thrift and auction sites, such as EBay, also carry new and used versions of the original and new series. These are the perfect place to find various series that are no longer being produced.
Goosebumps may not be as popular as it was during the 1990s, but the great stories still remain popular among young readers. With the production of the new Goosebumps HorrorLand series, there's no doubt that new readers will be gladly introduced to the new assortment of stories.