Ray Gordon is the main protagonist of the eighteenth Goosebumps HorrorLand book, Slappy New Year! as well as the narrator for the nineteenth book, The Horror at Chiller House. He is the older brother of Brandon Gordon.
Slappy New Year!
Ray and Brandon were spending their first trip at HorrorLand, looking around the park. Ray had been on the Doom Slide and the A-Nile-Ator coaster, but didn't think either of them were scary enough. And Brandon didn't make most of the fun easy by saying that he didn't want to do the scary stuff, due to being afraid of everything, something that Ray constantly teased him about. Ray tried to persuade Brandon to try the scariest ride and see if he liked but to no avail. Ray then dragged Brandon to one of the Horrors and told him that they would like to go on the scariest ride that would scare even Ray himself. The Horror told them that he could take them to their test area to try out a new ride called Test Track - The Shocker, in which they drive cars and have to be careful to stay in their own lane and that they would be the first kids to try it out. Ray was delighted at this, but Brandon was uneasy. The ride was awesome at first, with Ray enthusiastically thinking that it is like being a NASCAR driver, but he soon lost control and when he got into Brandon's lane, he got a powerful shock that rocked his whole body. This happened three times in a row and when the car stopped, Ray called out to Brandon that he can't stop shaking because the shock was too much. Brandon (who thought the ride was horrible) raced over to help, but Ray revealed that he was faking to scare his big hulk of a brother, causing Brandon to angrily shove him to the ground. Ray and Brandon were reflecting on the ride when a man with a mirrored face hurried over. The man introduced himself as Seymour Winn-Doe and he had been told that Ray and Brandon wanted to see something really scary.
Winn-Doe told them that he had just finished building a new attraction, which is a Hall of Mirrors and led the two brothers to it with Ray totally pumped that they were about to see parts of HorrorLand that no one has seen yet. When they entered the Hall of Mirrors, Ray and Brandon were put into darkness and then dim lights flickered on. To his astonishment, Ray saw dozens of his and Brandon's reflections but he couldn't see Brandon or himself! And then the reflections all started to laugh, causing Ray to scream. Then the lights were turned back on, Ray and Brandon were able to see themselves and they were back outside. Winn-Doe greeted them and asked if they liked it. Ray and Brandon asked him how he made them invisible and their reflections laugh, but Winn-Doe didn't seem to know anything about to the brothers' shock. Winn-Doe wanted them to prove it to him, but neither Ray or Brandon wanted to go back in there, so they took off to get away from him and the Hall of Mirrors. They lost Winn-Doe in the crowd and went into Chiller House to hide from him. The brothers examined a few items in the shop and when Ray looked out the window for Winn-Doe, he noticed a ventriloquist dummy sitting on a table across from him. Ray was about to pick up the dummy when it told Ray to get his clammy hands of him. Ray was surprised at first, but then an old man revealed himself to pulling the strings and asked if Ray really thought Slappy was talking. The man introduced himself as Jonathan Chiller and he asked Ray if he liked Slappy. Ray thought that Slappy was cool and thought that maybe he could start a dummy collection, as he does like to collect things. So, in spite of Brandon's protests, Ray bought Slappy and was given a little Horror to take home with him and Chiller told Ray that he can pay him next time, leaving Ray puzzled. Brandon was afraid of Slappy of course and was not happy that Ray bought him, but Ray told him to grow up and not to be a total jerk and teased Brandon all the way back to their parents.
After their first day at HorrorLand, the Gordons cut their trip two days early, due to Brandon being too scared to handle what the theme park had in store. Ray was very annoyed that the trip to HorrorLand had ended early and was even more annoyed with Brandon about it. So later one morning, Ray woke up and sneaked in Brandon's room with Slappy and gave Brandon a scare with the dummy and raced back to his room to make it look like he didn't do anything. But Mr and Mrs Gordon can easily tell that Ray had scared Brandon again and demanded to know if Ray bought Slappy just to torture Brandon, but Ray told them that he was going start a dummy collection, much to his mother's dismay because her son has so many collections that she can't ever clean up his room. Mrs Gordon warned Ray that he better change his attitude or there will be no New Year's Eve party, for Ray and his friend, Elena Shear, had arranged a special party on New Year's Eve for their whole class for two reasons: One is because adults forget about their kids on New Year's Eve and the other is because it will make the two of them very popular (apparently Ray had never been very popular in school). Ray protested that everyone in his school is counting on him and Elena, so his mother told him he has to earn it and suggested that he should make a list of New Year's resolutions, with number one being that he won't scare Brandon and Ray made his parents laugh by making Slappy say that he is nice now.
Later that day, Ray was working on his New Year's resolutions, when Brandon wandered in and asked him to get rid of Slappy. Ray retaliated by telling his younger brother to make his own New Year's resolutions, with number one being to grow up and be brave when a horrible screech filled the air, with Ray crying out that it is Slappy. It turned out to be a neighbor's cat wanting to get inside, making Ray tease Brandon that it frightened him and Elena walked in told Brandon that he is a big strong guy who shouldn't be afraid of kittens. Brandon was dismayed that Elena had heard everything and angrily stomped out of the room. Ray and Elena have been friends since they were babies, as their parents are best friends and he thought Brandon had a crush on Elena, that's why he was upset that she was there. Elena asked about getting their basement ready for their New Year's Eve party and told Ray that she had bought him a present, with Ray guessing that it is something to do with his collection of antique bottles. Then Elena noticed Slappy and noticed a piece of paper in Slappy's pocket alongside the little Horror with ancient words to bring him to life. Elena was about to read them when Brandon rushed in and stopped her. Ray and Elena laughed at Brandon for thinking that the words can bring Slappy to life, angering him when Brandon thought he saw Slappy blink and ran from the room screaming. Elena realized that Ray made the eyes blink to scare Brandon and showed her the controls. Elena told Slappy that he Brandon running scared and Ray replied that Brandon deserved it for ruining his trip to HorrorLand. They were about to discuss their plans for the party, when Mrs Gordon stormed in and demanded to know if Ray scared Brandon with Slappy again, to which Ray replied that he just made his eyes blink. Mrs Gordon asked Elena to tell Ray to be nice to his brother, which Elena does. Mrs Gordon told Ray to stop picking on Brandon and be nice to him, to which Ray replied that it is on his resolutions list. His mother hoped that Ray meant these resolutions, but Elena assured her that she will make sure that Ray sticks to them as she wanted to throw that party. Elena then told Ray not to mess up and went home and Ray continued to think of more resolutions, but then decided to try reading the ancient words to bring Slappy to life, when he got called by his father to come with him to the hardware store.
The next day, Ray was helping his father rearrange some paint cans from his store that went out of business in the basement, when they heard Brandon screaming in his room. They raced up to find that Brandon's room had been trashed, with paint everywhere and Christmas paper he created torn to pieces and Slappy sitting by the mess. Seeing Slappy made Mr and Mrs Gordon accuse Ray of making the mess, with Ray protesting that he didn't do it, but seeing he was outnumbered three to one, he had no choice but to apologize to Brandon and clean up the mess and was most upset and confused. While Elena was over the next day to discuss what to do about their New Year's Eve party, they heard Brandon scream again and this time they had found some maple syrup poured all over his T-shirts and Slappy perched on top of the dresser. Mrs Gordon, once again thinking that Ray was the culprit, told him that she should cancel the party, prompting him and Elena to beg and plead her to give him another chance. Mrs Gordon did but warned Ray that if one more incident happens, she will cancel it for sure. Ray then put Slappy back in the closet and Elena accused him of paying Brandon back for ruining his trip to HorrorLand, to which Ray was most astounded at. Ray then told Elena that he read most of the ancient words and that Slappy could be alive, causing Elena to leave, but not before telling him not to do any more tricks with Slappy as they really wanted to throw their party.
That night, Ray was thinking about the past few days' events and trying to sleep when he heard someone moving past his past his bed and open the closet door. And then Slappy came in front of Ray, pulled himself closer to him and said not to mess with him. Ray got hold of Slappy and was tugged out of bed. While he was holding the dummy, Ray turned on the light, revealing Brandon holding Slappy! Ray suddenly realized that it was Brandon doing those horrible things in his own room to get him in trouble, and Brandon explained that he wanted Ray to get rid of Slappy as he thought Ray only bought the dummy to scare him. Not only that, but Brandon wanted to pay Ray back for his tricks as he was very angry with him about them and how he embarrassed him front of Elena. Brandon apologized and admitted that what he did was wrong and he begged Ray not to tell their parents. Ray, secretly impressed that his cowardly brother came up with such a bold plan, agreed but managed to have his own revenge by reading all the ancient words this time. When Slappy didn't move, Brandon realized that it was a dumb joke and laughed and teased Ray that he fell for it, and Ray retaliated by threatening Brandon that he will tell their parents if he doesn't go back to bed. Brandon did so but not before declaring that he wasn't afraid of Slappy anymore. And Ray put Slappy in the closet, thinking that his troubles were over.
Later, on Christmas Day, the family got ready to go to the Shears' house to spend Christmas with them. But when they got there, Elena noticed Slappy sitting behind Ray on the stoop and Mrs Gordon demanded to know why Ray brought him along. Ray accused Brandon of bringing the dummy, creating an argument between them until Mr Shear came over and everyone stepped into the house. The Christmas party went really well at first, but then Mr Shear asked Ray if he could put on a show with Slappy and then the dummy insulted Elena and her parents, making it look like Ray was saying them. Mr. Gordon angrily attempted to take Slappy from his son but Slappy hit him on the head and ran up the Shear's Christmas tree with Ray chasing after him to stop him, but only to make the tree fall over and break. Ray struggled to explain what had happened, asking Brandon to tell them about the ancient words but his brother was too shocked to say anything. As a result, Mrs Gordon cancelled the New Year's Eve party. Elena was furious at this, thinking that Ray had ruined Christmas and New Year's Eve for everyone. Ray seeing that no one was going to believe him unhappily gave up and picked up Slappy, who gave him a bite on the nose. When they got home after that, Ray told Brandon that he was right to be afraid of Slappy and that they should get rid of him, with Brandon wondering how they will do it.
The next morning, Ray was going snowboard on steep hill to help clear his head about Slappy, when Elena encountered him and berated him for ruining the party for everyone else. Ray tried to explain what really happened at her house, but once again, Elena didn't believe him. Seeing Elena reminded Ray that he had a real problem at his house, so he went home to deal with Slappy. While he was thinking, a man came over and told Ray that he has something that belongs to him. Thinking that it is Slappy, Ray brought him down to the man, but it turned out that he was looking for a pet dog and that he had the wrong address. When the man left, Slappy came to life and told Ray that he will do what he is told if he wants his family to survive. Ray attempted to put Slappy back in the closet, but then Slappy got hold of a valuable vase belonging to Ray's great-grandmother and heaved it across the room. Ray tried to catch it but missed and the vase crashed on the coffee table. To make matters worse, Ray's family had returned just in time to see it destroyed.
Furious about the ruined vase, Ray's parents grounded him and Mr Gordon hid Slappy away in the garage. The next morning, Ray and Brandon were told to shovel the driveway, when they realized that Slappy was behind the door. Brandon offered to look first as his New Year's resolution was to be brave. When he did open the door, Slappy appeared with their father's heavy hedge clippers. Slappy almost cut Ray's head off with the clippers, but Brandon slapped them away. Both brothers got hold of Slappy and carried him over to a garbage truck nearby. There, Slappy broke free and almost heaved Ray into the back of the grinding truck, but Brandon managed to save his brother just in time. And Ray pulled Slappy off of Brandon and heaved him into the grinding truck. After that, they danced back home in victory, with Ray remarking at how brave Brandon was. And they entered the house beating their chests like gorillas, with their parents thinking that they have gone snow crazy.
Ray then called Elena and apologized for earlier and she appeared after lunch. And after a whole load of begging and pleading for a lifetime, the New Year's Eve was able to take place once again. The party was going swimmingly at first, until Slappy appeared all ruined from his adventure in the garbage truck and started wrecking havoc in the party. Elena, finally believing Ray managed to get the other kids out of the basement, while Ray and Brandon battled the evil dummy. The two brothers managed to get hold of the paper with the ancient words on but because it was covered in paint, Brandon didn't think they could read it properly. But Ray was able to do so, and defeated Slappy by reading them out loud, putting him back to sleep. Then Mr and Mrs Gordon came in and found the mess. Ray and Brandon thought they were going to be in serious trouble and Ray told them that the party got out of control and offered to clean it up. But because it is New Year's Eve, their parents decided to let it slide, much to their sons' relief. The next day, Ray was going to meet Elena and some other friends to go snowboarding when his mother told him that she put Slappy back in his room, to which Ray replied that he doesn't want him anymore. And his mother also found a sheet of paper with words that were very hard to pronounce, and Ray frantically asked he if she read the words out loud.
The Horror at Chiller House
Later, the little Horror that Ray brought home with Slappy glowed with a very bright light and teleported him back to Chiller House in HorrorLand. There, Ray met Andy Meadows, Sam Waters, Jessica Bowen, Meg Oliver and Marco Gonzalez, who also had horrifying adventures with some souvenirs that they bought at the shop. They looked around for Jonathan Chiller when they noticed some photos of each one of them with arrows drawn through their heads. And then Chiller himself appeared and Ray and the others bombarded him with questions. Chiller told them that they have not paid for their souvenirs and now payback time has arrived. After giving a hideous riddle of a spider and a fly, Chiller explained that they are going to play a scavenger hunt game to find some little Horrors in red chests hidden throughout HorrorLand to take them home. To make the game easier, Chiller gave each kid a Helper card with their Helper's picture on it and the Helper will guide them to their chest's location. And to add excitement to the game Chiller and some friends of his will be hunting the kids with crossbows, much to Ray and the others' horror. Chiller fired one and Ray saw a suction cup at the end, much to his relief. And then he and the others left the shop to look for the chests. But not before Ray noticed Chiller talking to his father with a foggy look on his face.
Outside, Meg told Ray and the others that this game may not be so bad as Chiller brought her back prior to this and he played fair with her, but Ray declined, saying that they can't trust Chiller, as they all have stories because of him. He then suggested that they can just walk away through the front ask if they can borrow a phone to call for help. But when Ray tried to go through the gate, he got a really powerful shock. He then realized that Chiller put a sensor in each card to keep them from escaping, so Marco collected all the cards and put them all in a drawer of a food cart. But the gate closed before they could get out, so they took the cards back from the food cart. Since none of them wanted to go by themselves and that going together would make it easy for the Hunters, Ray suggested that they should go in pairs and meet back at Chiller House if any of them is in trouble. So Ray was paired up with Sam and they went to the Spear-It Cafe to see Chef Belcher, who is Ray's Helper. Belcher told them that he can't get the chest for them, but he can lead them to it. The Chef lead the two boys to Wolfsbane Forest, with Ray and Sam feeling very uneasy as they might run into werewolves. They lost Chef Belcher along the way, but they managed to find a chest that was heavily guarded by wasps. Ray managed to get the chest from the wasps and opened it, only to find that it is a Jack-in-the-Box with a note tied to it saying You Lose. Ray and Sam hadn't gone very far when they were ambushed by werewolves. But an arrow shot out before the werewolves could attack and Chef Belcher yelled out to Ray and Sam that there is a Hunter nearby and he means business. After narrowly escaping, Ray and Sam began to think that Chiller may not be playing fair and went to warn the others.
Ray and Sam went to the Haunted Theatre to find Jessica and Marco, as they were looking for Marco's Helper, Murder the Clown. After being directed by a sad-looking clown and being grabbed at by what felt like ghostly hands, Ray and Sam managed to find their two friends and Murder himself. Ray and Sam told Jessica and Marco about the Jack-in-the-Box and that Chiller may not be playing fair and the four asked Murder to lead them to a treasure chest. So Murder led them to one on Quicksand Beach and after a struggle through the quicksand, the friends managed to recover. Marco opened the chest and found what appeared to be a little Horror and squeezed it, only to discover that it is actually chocolate. Murder called out that this is the trouble with playing games with Chiller and that he cheats. Then more arrows started flying at the kids and they barely managed to escape. They caught with Murder and found a crossbow at his feet and the Clown explained that the Hunter dropped it and ran away. And to his horror, Ray saw that there was a pointed end and that the arrows were real! So the four went off to warn Andy and Meg, who were trying to find Meg's Helper, Madame Doom.
Ray and the others managed to find Andy and Meg and told them what had happened. After Meg had a struggle to pull a fortune card saying the real Madame Doom could help them, the friends went to her house. When they got there, Andy suggested that he should go in case of a trap and went inside. After a while, Ray and the others heard him scream and rushed inside and found him with an arrow in his back and Madame Doom standing beside him with a crossbow in her hands. Then Andy sat up, revealing the arrow to be fake and told them that Madame Doom made him do it so that he can go home. Then Madame Doom revealed that Chiller gave them Hunter cards and that she, Belcher, Murder and all the other HorrorLand characters are the Hunters, much to Ray and his friends horror.
After narrowly escaping from Madame Doom, Ray and his friends were trying to decide what to do when three of the Monster Police appeared and demanded to know what the kids were doing wandering around HorrorLand at this time of night. Ray and the others told them that they were sorry and that would leave the park if they let them go. This idea was working perfectly until one of them, a Gold Badge asked where their parents were. The kids tried desperately to cover it up, but to no avail. So the Monster Police decided to take them to the security office to locate their parents. On the way, as Ray and his friends were debating about whether to tell them about Chiller and his game, they looked in a window of Chiller House, they saw Madame Doom sitting in a dressing room taking her wig and make-up off, revealing Jonathan Chiller underneath! It turned out that Chiller had played every one of the HorrorLand characters and he kept the real little Horrors in the shop. After Jessica distracted the guards by throwing her voice, Ray and the others ran into Chiller House to confront Chiller.
After Chiller told the guards that he will take care of the kids, Ray ordered him to give them the little Horrors and told him that they won the game by finding out he is all alone. Chiller was very upset at this as he never got to have any friends in childhood as he had been forced to stay in his room and study. While he was in his own thoughts, Ray and the others tried to get past him to the red chests, but Chiller stopped them just in time, saying that he doesn't like to lose at his games. Meg, Marco and Jessica tried to distract Chiller by being interested in his toys, while Ray, Sam and Andy raced into the back room to get the chests, only to find them empty. As Chiller told them that they will be playing new games that they will not like, Ray took out the Murder the Clown costume and dressed up in it. Sam, Jessica and Meg joined in by dressing up as Chef Belcher, Madame Doom and Mondo the Magical respectively and they started chanting "Good-bye Jonathan Chiller" in unison. This drove Chiller crazy as he couldn't bear to have anyone turning his friends against him. This also meant that Ray and his friends have won the game, so Chiller gave everyone the little Horrors so they can go home.
After a strong pull from a yellow-green light and being part of a fireball flying through space, Ray was teleported back to his bedroom, where he was greeted by Brandon. Ray asked Brandon if he missed him, to which his surprised brother replied by asking if Ray went somewhere.
Ray is said to be the tough one in the Gordon family. He can be real daring and is a real thrill-seeker who is very brave. Of course, Ray really likes scary movies and other horror stuff, but not when they are happening to him in real life. Ray had proven to be a bit of a joker and has a tendency to be smart and also be argumentative. He was often annoyed that he couldn't do scary things in front of Brandon as he was afraid of everything and always played tricks on his brother to scare him and sometimes tried to toughen him up by showing him that scary things can be fun and that there is nothing to be afraid of. But Ray can be very sensitive at times and he often worried about what people thought of him and can be real hurt when people think negatively of him (this was proven when he tells the reader that some people thought he was weird with his collections and that he never was very popular). And this makes Ray determined to show everyone what a good person he is.
Ray is twelve years old, Caucasian, short and thin with curly blond hair, blue eyes and freckles across his cheeks. Since Brandon is twice his size, everyone they meet think that Ray is the younger brother.
- It is unknown if Ray was going to appear in the Goosebumps Gold version of Slappy New Year, as the plots do not match in spite of the same title.
- Ray has the very same name as the character in A Nightmare on Clown Street.
- Ray is the first protagonist in a Slappy book to be injured, as Slappy clamps his nose so hard, that it starts to gush blood.