This month in Gothic Bite Magazine, I give you one of the Goosebumps Books on the list with number eleven, The Haunted Mask.
The Original 1993 Summary
Face to Face with a Nightmare…
How ugly is Carly Beth’s Halloween mask? It’s so ugly that it almost scared her little brother to death. So terrifying that even her friends are totally freaked out by it. It’s the best Halloween mask ever. It’s everything Carly Beth hoped it would be. And more. Maybe too much more. Because Halloween is almost over. And Carly Beth is still wearing that special mask…
A Glued On Mask!
There is a meme that I have seen recently on Facebook about quicksand. It features all the movies in which quicksand is an element of life that one would just stumble upon in the world.
The meme is a joke reference about how as a kid, quicksand was featured quite often and was something to be feared. For me, The Haunted Mask, had the same effect, only instead of quicksand it was a mask that couldn’t be removed.
I was too ready to believe that somewhere in this world there was a shop with a mask that was searching for a face, later I would discover Aliens and that would change my look on that particular aspect.
There are myths and legends galore that deal with masks, even psychology has quite a bit to say about the reasons for mask. R.L. Stine gave us this trope and did so quite well. Let us join eleven year old Carly Beth as she learns to be more careful about the masks we wear.
Halloween Plans Gone Awry
Carly Beth is tired of being so scared all the time; her friends thrive on terrifying her. Even her best friend Sabrina has gotten in on the shenanigans. Things go a tad far when a few of them put a worm in her sandwich. EW.
I mean I can’t see anyone actively wanting to stomach a worm…that reminds me of another tale… nope, another time. Carly Beth goes home and gets a surprise of her own. Not only has her Mother crafted a Plaster of Paris replica of Carly Beth’s head, she made her a duck costume.
But Carly Beth has made up her mind, she doesn’t want to be something cute this Halloween, she wants to be terrifying. She evens tells her eight year brother Noah he can have the duck costume, she knows of a party place that has terrifying masks for sale.
After another series of pranks to cause fear, she is through and marches her way to find a costume that will scare her friends the way they consistently do her.
There’s Always A Back Room
At the last second Carly Beth makes it to the party store, but none of the masks seem to be as scary as she is wanting. Aisle after aisle of wrong masks, until she finds the back room with two shelves of the most grotesque and real looking masks that she has ever seen.
Of course there is something off about them, as though they are alive. The shopkeeper even warns her away from them. She should have listened.
Mask in hand she gleefully rushes home and it is there that the mask gets its first victim. Noah, who has opted for cockroach over the duck costume, gets the fright of his life when Carly Beth gets him. But things start to get a bit crazy from there. Carly Beth notices how warm the mask gets and how much harder it is each time she tries to remove it.
How the longer she wears it, the more it conforms to her face and the more real the mask look. Perspiration included. She sets out for revenge but will Carly Beth be able to accept the consequences?
This was one of my favorites as a kid and rereading it was an awesome reliving of no only the book but the TV series episode, which was really great. The ending is pretty good and the scenes that it sets up are great. This was definitely as good as I had remembered it.
So readers beware, this one will scare. That is all from The Phantom for this review; join us next time as we delve into “wishful” thinking!