Dear reader let us go back on a journey to the past, where the book scene had started to change, in my opinion for the better, and writers like Bruce Coville, Christopher Pike, Lois Duncan, Alvin Schwartz, and of course R.L. Stine emerged with an absolute blazing glory.
A trip back through childhood
These authors among others, made my childhood full of scary stories not only to tell in the dark but to get absolutely immersed and lost in for hours. I mean for me at least I would go through and select a stack of books that were to read that day and what adventures I wanted to take.
For this series of articles, I wanted to take a tour back through the beginning of the Goosebumps series, the first 62 tales of a series that spawned and threaded out like veins to other series that actually grew with us as R.L. Stine wrote.
Fear St. may have been where it all led to and to the Fear families themselves, but Dead House? That is where it all began and so to do this series justice, is where we must begin.
#1 Welcome to Dead House
Welcome to Dead House was the first Goosebumps book in the series and introduced us to the world of R.L. Stine. Goosebumps themselves were individual stories almost the same as the adult versions Tales from the Crypt or Creepshow.
In this first tale we meet two children, Josh (11)and Amanda (12), the story told from Amanda’s point of view on her family moving into an inherited house from a distant unknown relative.
One of the feelings accurately captured is that of a major change when you are young, the fear of the unknown. We see the two children dealing with the angst of leaving the home they have known their entire life and moving to a new home in a small town called Dark Falls.
We are given a palpable visual of an older home with allot of shade, a house with history and personality that needs a bit of work to update it. Before even entering the home Amanda is met with a vision of something that couldn’t possibly be there and shakes it off attributing it to a healthy imagination.
They are greeted by the realtor Mr. Dawes, a nice enough man who shows them the home left by their distant uncle. Amanda, more intrigued than Josh who shows his disdain by refusing to even entire the home and chosses to stay out in the front yard with their dog Petey.
Petey starts to act out of character, but it is quickly forgotten as he and Josh explore the yard. Amanda is quickly taken in by the house when heer and her parents wander through its vastness.
Any apprehension is forgotten as plans start to come together and the planning of moving starts to unfold with all its stress and excitment comingled.
Things are not always what they appear to be however and strange things begin to happen as they try to get settled. Whispers and giggling in the house, things that couldn’t possibly be there, strange dreams that are defintely not for the faint of heart.
The kids in town don’t really shed any more light on the situation as one after another they also reveal having lived in the house at one point or another while living in Dark Falls.
Is it truly just a house with kids using over active imaginations? Or is something more sinister happening in Dark Falls that no one was prepared for?
To Be Continued
Dear Reader, this was one that even after 26 years still held that anticipation that it did the first time I read it as a kid. Even as what could be best described a s a short story by my adult standards, the love for this series was still there. As was the looking forward to the conclusion.
While there have been many other tales with more horrifying twists since this one was read for the first time, I will honestly say that as a kid what was more terrifying than things beyond your control happening and not having your parents believe you?
I am excited to continue on this journey with all of the stories yet to come, next time we will find out why it is safer to Stay out of the Basement!
Until next time, remember it is still okay to check the closet and under the bed a couple of times, promise I won’t tell.