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"Reader beware, you choose the scare."
―The series' slogan

Give Yourself Goosebumps is a horror fiction gamebook series in which the reader chooses the story. All of the books are credited to R.L. Stine, but many of the books were ghostwritten. The books were written from 1995 to 2000, starting with Escape from the Carnival of Horrors, and ending with All-Day Nightmare. There are fifty books in the series, including special editions, and all of them are currently out of print, except for Please Don't Feed the Vampire!, which was made into a Classic Goosebumps book as a tie-in to the Goosebumps film.

Background

After the success of the original series, Scholastic used R.L. Stine's experience in writing gamebooks to make a spin-off series where there is more than one ending, and the reader can be scared more times than they would be in a regular book. The books are very similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books. On the bottom of the page, there is a choice on what page to go to. They are not meant to be read in numerical order or else it will not make sense.

According to Scholastic, R.L. Stine's contract for the series Give Yourself Goosebumps did not stipulate that Stine had to be the sole author of the series (unlike Stine's contract for the original Goosebumps series). While all of the books are credited to Stine, many of the books were ghostwritten by various authors. Since none of the books credit ghostwriters, the actual authors to many of the books remain unknown. The only book that has been publicly confirmed to be ghostwritten is All-Day Nightmare, which was written by Scott Westerfeld.

Premise

There are over twenty endings per book, and the reader often makes choices by flipping a coin, rolling a dice, or other means. If the reader makes the obviously wrong choice, they may be told to go back and pick another option, or they may "die" right there on the spot.

Storyline

The majority of books in the series have two separate stories based around the same plot line that the reader can take part in. One example of this is in Little Comic Shop of Horrors, which will either be about trying to escape from a comic book, or a basement underneath the shop. The books Escape from the Carnival of Horrors and Return to the Carnival of Horrors both focus on either rides, or sideshow attractions.

In some books, the continuity between scenarios is fairly good, but sometimes it is ignored (Lost in Stinkeye Swamp uses the same plot twist in both main scenarios, but with different origins.) Some of the books, also have a third storyline, generally called a "side story", which only consists of a few endings, and is over and done with after not much time. Some of the side stories, actually have no good ending, and must be avoided - the earliest example of this was Trapped in Bat Wing Hall. In some books, the choice leading to the side story actually appears before the "branch" between the two main stories does.

Checkout Time at the Dead-End Hotel and It Came from the Internet! in the main series, and most of the Special Edition books only had one storyline for the reader. The final book in the series, Weekend at Poison Lake, has four full storylines and the reader is a completely different character in each one.

Deaths and endings

Deaths are common and there are usually only a few happy endings per book. Every book has at least ONE positive ending. It is not told directly how you die, but it is implied, and it often ends with the words THE END. Sometimes, it is incorporated into a sentence. Other times, it says simply "END" or has a different phrase all together that makes sense within the ending (like saying "GAME OVER", if the ending involved virtual reality).

There is often an ending which is basically where the reader misses out on his/her adventure, and as such the book will be somewhat insulting to the reader and point out that they have chosen a "boring" ending. The reader will also be ridiculed if they choose an obviously bad choice, and then either demand that the reader turns to the "correct" page, or will end the story there and then.

In some of the books, there is at least one bad ending, which is hinted at throughout, and therefore expected by the reader. This is usually because it is the villain's main intention, but sometimes there will be another reason. Examples include: becoming a monster in Trapped in Bat Wing Hall, shrinking to nothing in Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter, Joanie disappearing in Under the Magician's Spell, the graveyard message being completed in The Curse of the Creeping Coffin, becoming a wax figure, or having your face ripped off in Welcome to the Wicked Wax Museum, using "Guest Shot" too many times, and melting in Little Comic Shop of Horrors (although in the one ending that this kills you in, it isn't actually your fault), being frozen by the Annihilator 3000 in Toy Terror: Batteries Included, getting eaten by Ed the ghoul in Lost in Stinkeye Swamp, captured or eaten by plants in You're Plant Food!, becoming a clown in Trapped in the Circus of Fear, or becoming a picture in The Curse of the Cave Creatures.

Types of endings

Although the endings differed depending on the book itself, the types of endings you can have for each book are of the same environment, although not all books use each type of ending. The types of endings are as follows:

  • Death
  • Permanent transformation
  • Slavery, or loss of control
  • Frozen or transforming into a stationary object (sometimes still aware of surroundings)
  • Suffering a fate worse than death
  • Living Dead, in some way or another
  • Achieving the hinted bad ending
  • Missing out on the adventure
  • Being trapped
  • Winding up in the wrong time and/or place
  • Surviving the adventure, but with something wrong (like you've been transformed, for example)
  • Surviving the adventure, but not really doing that much
  • Surviving the adventure and achieving your goal

While these endings are the most common, there are many more types of endings in each book.

Books

Give Yourself Goosebumps
No. Book Publish date Pages
1 Escape from the Carnival of Horrors July 1995 119
2 Tick Tock, You're Dead! November 1995 135
3 Trapped in Bat Wing Hall December 1995 137
4 The Deadly Experiments of Dr. Eeek February 1996 130
5 Night in Werewolf Woods April 1996 133
6 Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter June 1996 135
7 Under the Magician's Spell July 1996 135
8 The Curse of the Creeping Coffin August 1996 132
9 The Knight in Screaming Armor September 1996 112
10 Diary of a Mad Mummy October 1996 136
11 Deep in the Jungle of Doom November 1996 136
12 Welcome to the Wicked Wax Museum December 1996 137
13 Scream of the Evil Genie January 1997 137
14 The Creepy Creations of Professor Shock February 1997 135
15 Please Don't Feed the Vampire! March 1997 137
16 Secret Agent Grandma April 1997 131
17 Little Comic Shop of Horrors May 1997 137
18 Attack of the Beastly Babysitter June 1997 136
19 Escape from Camp Run-For-Your-Life July 1997 137
20 Toy Terror: Batteries Included August 1997 137
21 The Twisted Tale of Tiki Island September 1997 137
22 Return to the Carnival of Horrors October 1997 137
23 Zapped in Space November 1997 137
24 Lost in Stinkeye Swamp December 1997 134
25 Shop Till You Drop...Dead! January 1998 133
26 Alone in Snakebite Canyon March 1998 137
27 Checkout Time at the Dead-End Hotel April 1998 140
28 Night of a Thousand Claws June 1998 137
29 Invaders from the Big Screen July 1998 137
30 You're Plant Food! September 1998 136
31 The Werewolf of Twisted Tree Lodge November 1998 137
32 It's Only a Nightmare! December 1998 137
33 It Came from the Internet February 1999 135
34 Elevator to Nowhere March 1999 136
35 Hocus-Pocus Horror April 1999 137
36 Ship of Ghouls May 1999 137
37 Escape from Horror House July 1999 135
38 Into the Twister of Terror August 1999 133
39 Scary Birthday to You! September 1999 140
40 Zombie School November 1999 135
41 Danger Time January 2000 135
42 All-Day Nightmare February 2000 137
Give Yourself Goosebumps: Special Edition
1 Into the Jaws of Doom February 1998 135
2 Return to Terror Tower May 1998 136
3 Trapped in the Circus of Fear August 1998 131
4 One Night in Payne House October 1998 135
5 The Curse of the Cave Creatures January 1999 136
6 Revenge of the Body Squeezers June 1999 134
7 Trick or...Trapped! October 1999 135
8 Weekend at Poison Lake December 1999 135

Special Editions

Book #43

GYGB-043

The artwork.

There was going to be a forty-third book in the Give Yourself Goosebumps series set to release early in the year 2000. However, the book was never released; early in the year 2000, all Goosebumps series at the time were discontinued due to R.L. Stine's fallout with Scholastic. The plot details and title are unknown, but the cover artwork by Craig White implies it was arctic themed, and penguins would be involved.

Covers

Tim Jacobus, the illustrator for the original series and Goosebumps Series 2000, illustrated Escape from the Carnival of Horrors; his signature is covered up on the front by Choose from Over 20 Different Scary Endings!, but it is visible on the back. Mark Nagata took over from book two, Tick Tock, You're Dead!, to twenty-four, Lost in Stinkeye Swamp. Craig White illustrated the rest, using computer animation software, from twenty-five, Shop Till You Drop...Dead! to forty-two, All-Day Nightmare and all eight special editions.

Until the twenty-third book, Zapped in Space, the US covers boasted a metallic-holographic prism effect involving a single abstract design repeated on the cover that would change shape or form when it was exposed to different areas of light. All US versions had a single tagline on the back of the book.

In the UK, books until Please Don't Feed the Vampire! had covers that had the majority of their artwork obscured by a slime-like substance.

Trivia

References in other Goosebumps media

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