GOOSEBUMPS! The Ghost Next Door

This month in Gothic Bite Magazine our Monster of the Month is Ghosts, going along with that palette of horror I give you one of the Goosebumps Books on the list with number ten, The Ghost Next Door.

Ghosts Among Us!

This choice is just slightly out of order for our books, but given the subject matter, I feel it fits quite well. So Readers beware, as always you are in for a scare! Let’s take a walk with some ghosts, shall we?

Original 1993 Summary

Hannah’s neighborhood has just gotten a little–weird. Ever since that new boy moved in next door. But when did he move in? Wasn’t the house empty when Hannah went to sleep the night before? Why does it still look deserted? She’s not getting any answers from her new neighbor. He just keeps disappearing in the oddest ways. And he’s so pale… Is Hannah being haunted by… …the ghost next door???

Nightmares

We come into the novel meeting Hannah, a twelve-year-old girl who is having a dream of smoke and fire. Watching wallpaper curling away from the wall and her reflection silently screaming in horror as the rising smoke chokes her voice. Waking from a nightmare like that floods her with adrenaline and relief, her heart calming from the fear and her mind clearing with relief that none of it was true.

It being a dream certainly puts her in a good mood, and the book moves to meet her family, Father at work, Mother cooking breakfast, and twin six-year-old boys Bill and Herb happily annoying their Mom.

Hannah is mostly alone in her small town of Greenwood Falls as most of her friends are either at Summer Camp or on Family Vacations. She has been doing an excellent job of occupying herself and is on the brink of a bike ride when a crash changes things. Danny Anderson the new neighbor, at least that is what he says, states he didn’t see her, and that was what caused the crash.

Strange Signals Coming Through

As the days of summer continue to pass by more and more strange things, keep happening, from being in the same grade but not knowing any of the same people while attending the same school, to Danny mysteriously disappearing all the time.

It is enough to make Hannah wonder just what is going on. Why didn’t anyone in her family notice them moving in? How does he already have friends when they just moved in? Many things just are not adding up. One big one comes in the form of no one being able to see Danny even when he is right next to her.

Goosebumps Novels by R.L. Stine
Goosebumps Novels by R.L. Stine

More and more things don’t add up, and as Danny starts to make bad choices with his friends, Hannah is left to watch and figure out just what is going on with the new kid in town. The biggest question is at the end of everything, once the questions have answers, will Hannah be able to handle what they are, what they reveal to her.

Conclusion

This one is one of my favorite R.L. Stine Goosebumps books. It is a straightforward story. The end, however, is very well done, and the entire story comes together in one neat bow.

So for this one, it gets an 8 out of 10 for me. I just wanted more out of the specter we see following Hannah, and that is my only complaint. I feel the specter could have been used in a better way. Aside from that, a wonderful tale of Ghostly proportions and an enjoyable read.

Kendra Hale


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