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Return to Ghost Camp

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Return to Ghost Camp is the nineteenth book in the Goosebumps Series 2000 book series. It was preceded by Horrors of the Black Ring and followed by Be Afraid – Be Very Afraid!.

The cover shows a demonic skeletal spirit rising from a campfire.

Plot

Poor Dustin. His parents are forcing him to go to a sleep-away camp, despite the fact that he would rather not attend. He believes that this camp will be like a prison, despite what his parents try to tell him. His little brother, Logan, then begins to taunt him about it. Chanting that Dustin will be going to prison. Dustin's parents refuse to discuss the issue and his mother writes his name on all his clothes using a Magic Marker.

Before leaving his room for the summer, Dustin stares longingly at a poster. The bus for Camp Full Moon picks Dustin up in front of his house and he notices the bleeding bus driver is revealed to be covered with thousands of fleas. This is soon revealed to be a dream! Soon the bus does pick him up by the curb. On the bus to camp, Dustin immediately befriends the most muscular boy.

The boy, Ari, proposes he and Dustin switch identities as "a practical joke". To which Dustin agrees to and upon arrival, Uncle Lou the head of the camp assigns Ari (as Dustin) to the crummiest cabin, Comanche, and gives Dustin (as Ari) the best cabin, Apache. All of Dustin's new bunkmates enthusiastically greet him, once they hear he is Ari.

While he enjoys the luxuries of his cabin, Dustin feels bad that Ari was made a Comanche. His bunkmates even give him the best bed in the cabin and reveal a trunk of candy just for Ari. At the campfire, Dustin tries to convince himself he is manly and confident like Ari is. Especially troublesome when a bee lands on his hot dog. Uncle Lou regales the campers with a campfire story about a creature called The Snatcher.

Dustin listens very intently to the story. Uncle Lou tells the campers that the Snatcher can take the form of anything, but prefers a fox. Dustin hears whispers about how the Snatcher is real and takes a child every year. Naturally, a fox then attacks Dustin and begins to scratch his clothing, but he is soon rescued by his bunkmates. They finally reveal why everyone is treating "Ari" so well: He is the Snatcher's chosen victim this year.

Unfortunately then, no one will believe that Dustin is not really Ari, but Dustin. And when he confronts Ari, he refuses to switch back. Dustin tries to call home, but it does not help. Sometime later, someone else throws up marshmallows.

Gradually, Dustin realizes everyone at camp is a ghost. When he tries to run away, he meets a girl named Laura, from the girls camp who is also on the run. They put off their escape for a single day, and Dustin is visited by his younger brother, Logan. But Logan is threatened by Ari and forced to claim that Ari is really his older brother. Not Dustin.

The night of the big escape, Dustin's bunkmate tries to tell him that they did not select him to be the victim of the camp but rather the savior. The ghost children will only be able to rest in peace if Dustin manages to cross a dangerous river.

But Laura insists his bunkmate is only trying to trick him, but regardless he should still cross the river. With nothing left to try, Dustin crosses the river! But only after finding out that it is Laura who is the true snatcher! She turns into a fox and attacks, only to fall victim to zombie hands that emerge from the river and tear her apart. Dustin crosses the river and he saves the camp...but he cannot figure out how exactly to cross the river again.

Cover Art Gallery

Regional

Trivia

  • Despite the title, this book has nothing to do with Ghost Camp.
  • The French version's cover features a humanoid fox drowning in a zombie infested river.
Goosebumps Series 2000 series
#01 Cry of the Cat#10 Headless Halloween#18 Horrors of the Black Ring
#02 Bride of the Living Dummy#11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls#19 Return to Ghost Camp
#03 Creature Teacher#12 Brain Juice#20 Be Afraid – Be Very Afraid!
#04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part One#13 Return to HorrorLand#21 The Haunted Car
#05 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part Two#14 Jekyll and Heidi#22 Full Moon Fever
#06 I Am Your Evil Twin#15 Scream School#23 Slappy's Nightmare
#07 Revenge R Us#16 The Mummy Walks#24 Earth Geeks Must Go!
#08 Fright Camp #17 The Werewolf in the Living Room#25 Ghost in the Mirror
#09 Are You Terrified Yet?

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