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Hocus-Pocus Horror was the thirty-fifth book in the Give Yourself Goosebumps gamebook series. It was preceded by Elevator to Nowhere and followed by Ship of Ghouls.

On the front cover was an image of a demented, furry green creature wearing a magician's top hat. The creature had a magic wand in between its teeth, and both ends of the wand had snapped off.

It was released in April 1999 and was 137 pages long.

Plot

You attend a magic act with your friend, Zack, which stars the great Mysterio. Zack is enjoying the show, because he thinks magic is real. However, you do not, but you have a motive for attending. You want to stop Mysterio from harming any animals in his act. Soon Mysterio performs a standard magic trick, and asks for two volunteers, causing Zack to volunteer and you are chosen, despite not wanting to do it. After the trick you notice that the Civic Centre looks rundown and old despite how everything new was.  You also notice that Mysterio looks different. He is ghost-white and more evil looking!

Mysterio performs an act which involves him electrocuting a puppy, while asking him various things. This disgusts you but before you have a chance to act, Mysterio introduces his volunteers, adding that you will both remember this act for the rest of your live, which may not be that long...

Stories

A

You and Zack decide to run away, but a puppy named Ralph stands in your way. It does not take you too long to realize he wants to escape. Mysterio begins to shout at you and Ralph. Mysterio hops into a suitcase, but when you look inside, you cannot see him anymore. But you can see a box of “Disappearing Powder”, which actually causes invisibility, not a disappearance. You then take the case and run away. Upon looking at the suitcase, you see the following words; “MYSTERIO’S BAG OF TRICKS. DO NOT OPEN! DANGER!!!”.

This concerns you and Zack, since you worry about Ralph, if you close it. But you really cannot ignore the warning, and what happens, if Mysterio decides he wants his suitcase back...?

B

You and Zack decide to hide, but the only place available is behind the curtains, but when you do, you are eventually forced to peak out slightly for some air. However, this gives you your first look at Mysterio’s audience, and you do not like what you see. Everyone in the audience is a phantom! You return to your hiding place, and overhear Mysterio shout that he wants his “guinea pigs” on stage as soon as possible and you realize you're actually in an alternate dimension! Zoltan, Mysterio’s assistant finds you, and informs you that you are to be part of Mysterio’s act, and if you do well you will be allowed to go home, but if you disappoint him, you’ll become a phantom and be forced to watch his show for eternity.

Side Story C

When you decide to run from the magic act in Story B, but in an ironic twist, it is just an extended method of getting two bad endings, and there are only two choices to make!

tagline: For my next trick... I'll steal your soul!

Bad Endings

  • You run away from the magic show, but decide not to take Mysterio's suitcase (which you think might have Ralph in it.) You're then attacked by Ralph, who has turned invisible - he is angry that you planned to abandon him. Since Ralph is invisible, you're completely defenceless, and it's likely he kills you.
  • You have turned invisible, but Mysterio appears and can somehow see you. He summons a breeze that blows you into the sky, and you drift away like a balloon, because being invisible makes you weightless too.
  • You're attacked and probably killed by an evil rabbit that Mysterio sent after you. Zack has fallen over and broken his ankle, so he can't escape or go for help. (There are two ways to achieve this ending.)
  • Ralph thinks you're his enemy, and attacks you. You try to defend yourself using Mysterio's wand; but this turns Ralph into a demonic monster. It's implied he rips your throat out.
  • You become enslaved to a genie after failing his challenge to spell a word correctly.
  • After being granted three wishes by the genie, you wish for "a ton of gold." But the genie makes it appear right above your head, and it falls and kills you.
  • You and Zack have both turned into giant monsters. Mysterio promises to help you, so you give him the suitcase back. But instead of turning you back to humans, he captures you both to use as an act in his magic show (and you inadvertently helped him catch Ralph again.)
  • When you give the suitcase to a masked impostor (thinking it's Mysterio), the real Mysterio appears. He sends you into an empty dimension and provides you a list to replace all the items that were stolen in his bag. You have no idea how to make anything appear in this dimension, and no way of paying for the items.
  • You and Zack agree to go with a police officer, but he takes you to be put on trial for crimes against magic (stealing from Mysterio.) You're told your punishment is to be put on probation with Mysterio, but it will take an eternity, because you're now in another world where time passes more slowly.
  • A witch turns you into a rat because you refused to give her the suitcase.
  • Mysterio forces you and Zack to take part in a trick where he will chop Zack's head off. But Zack panics and leaps out of the way, so the wooden block that had his head on it gets sliced in half. A fragment from the block hits you on the head and knocks you unconscious.
  • You knock out Zoltan and plan to run for help whilst Mysterio is still on stage. But Mysterio catches you and turns you into a phantom. You're stuck as part of his audience forever.
  • During Mysterio's card-throwing trick, you stay still, trusting him not to hit you. One of the razor-sharp cards slices through a rope behind you, causing an enormous sandbag to fall and crush you.
  • Mysterio's trick causes you and Ralph to switch bodies. But Mysterio hasn't mastered the trick yet, and doesn't know how to change you back.
  • Mysterio makes you take part in a trick where he'll cut off your hand. You try to rub your nose, but you lean forward too much, and Mysterio ends up chopping your head off.
  • A skeletal hand grabs you and drags you into a coffin, apparently squeezing you to death.
  • You run through a pit of snakes, believing they're just an illusion. But they're real, and a poisonous snake bites you, killing you with its deadly poison. (Zack, who didn't dare get into the snake pit with you, is captured by Zoltan.)

Good Endings

  • You throw the box of Vanishing Powder over Mysterio, which makes him and his bag of tricks diappear forever. Then you go home and take Ralph with you.
  • After you and Zack turn into monsters, Mysterio appears and threatens you. But you're big enough to overpower him and force him to turn you back into humans.
  • You have been cornered by Mysterio, and you use his magic wand to wish for him to go away. He vanishes, and you're back with Zack, who has no memory of anything happening. Since he thinks you missed Mysterio's show, you agree to go again tomorrow night. (This is presented as a good ending ... even though you would have to have a death wish to want to get involved with Mysterio again.)
  • You're trapped with a witch and a magical police officer, who both want Mysterio's bag for themselves. But they argue, and fight each other with magic; causing an explosion which destroys them and Mysterio's suitcase. You go to look for Ralph, and find to your delight that he's visible and perfectly safe.
  • You and Zack escape the magic show and then find that Ralph followed you home. It turns out Ralph is magical and can speak. He teaches you and Zack to do magic, and you eventually become rich and famous magicians.
  • Mysterio is so angry that you and Zack ruined his trick, he turns you both into clowns and throws you out of the show.

Cover Art Gallery

Regional

Trivia

  • The character on the front is actually your character, but only for one instance during the story.
  • At one point in the back, it asks "If you believe in Mind Reading". This technically wouldn't count as a qualifying moment in a Choose Your Own Adventure, as you will be forced to lie or else come to a Bad End.
  • There are two ways to achieve the bad ending in which you are attacked by a rabbit that Mysterio sends after you. One way is a straightforward choice and makes sense (you "deserved" a bad ending by choosing not to help Ralph.) The other way happens if you meet the genie, and is just for the sake of cruelty, since in this case you did the "good" thing (wishing to help Zack.)
  • This is one of the rare times that "You" show a compassionate side, in which the story is mainly about saving Ralph/an animal.
  • The prologue of the book seems to imply that both you and Zack are fans of magic shows, but the book clearly states you’re not.
  • The monster on the cover resembles a spider-like mutant. 

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