The cover shows a skeleton holding a camera.
A competitive girl named Julie Martin is the photographer of Twin Forks Middle School's yearbook, The Tiger. She enters a photography competition against another student, David Blank, to see who will get to take The Big Picture. One day when Julie and her friend Reena Jacobs were bike riding, they found a strange looking camera at a yard sale. Julie likes to collect history's old cameras as a hobby. Too bad she did not realize the camera is evil, before she started taking pictures! Now the camera is taking pictures that are predicting the future... and the predictions aren't good...
The story begins with Julie Martin at school talking to her close friend, Reena Jacobs. Julie says that she has to take photos for the school yearbook. Julie is constantly competing with another school photographer, David Blank. Julie walks away from Reena, but she runs into Becka and Greta, two mean girls. Julie quickly leaves Becka and Greta, but she then runs into David Blank. David is standing with Mr. Webb, the yearbook adviser. Julie tells Mr. Webb about her idea for a photo for the yearbook; Julie wants to stand on a diving board so she can take a photo of many students at once. David overhears Julie's idea and says that he wants to take the photo, but Julie says that she should take the photo. David suggests that they should compete for the right to take the photo. Whichever one of them is able to get the most photos approved for the yearbook will get to take the photo. Julie reluctantly agrees to the competition because she doesn't want to seem like a coward.
Later, Julie is riding her bicycle alongside Reena. While riding through an unfamiliar part of town, Reena stops at a garage sale. Julie finds an Polaroid camera, so she asks the woman who is in charge of the garage sale what the price of the camera is. The woman becomes very angered and tells Julie that she should put the camera down. The daughter of the woman who is running the garage sale says that Julie can take the camera. Julie and Reena go back to Julie's home. Julie shows off her camera to her mom and younger brother, Sammy. Julie takes a photo of Reena using her Polaroid camera, and the picture prints out. Reena's eye's appear red in the photo, so Julie suggests that they go to her room and use her computer to edit the photo. When Julie scan's the photo and tries to fix the red eyes, the colors don't change. Reena's eyes begin stinging, so Julie's mom has to call Reena's parents.
After Reena leaves, Julie remembers that she must take photos of a school basketball game. At the basketball game, Julie uses her Polaroid camera to take a photo of one of the players, Karla Mayer. When the photo develops, Julie sees only Karla's arm and not the rest of her body. Karla jumps, preparing to make a layup, but her arm bends at a very unnatural angle. Karla falls to the floor and begins screaming. The game is ended, and Karla is taken away. Julie runs into David, and David takes Julie's Polaroid and takes a photo of her with it. The photo becomes jammed inside of Julie's camera and doesn't fall out. Julie then feels an immense pain and doubles over. Julie deduces that the camera is causing her pain, so she has to remove her photo from the camera. Once Julie removes the photo, she starts to feel better. Julie runs away and goes home. Julie hides the Polaroid camera in her room and calls Reena. Reena says that her eyes are still red and that she no longer wants to be friends with Julie.
The next day after school, Julie wants to return the camera to the woman who she had taken it from. While traveling to the woman's house, Julie thinks that she is being followed. When Julie finds the house where the garage sale had been, she quickly realizes that the woman who owned the house had moved away since having the garage sale. Julie leaves her Polaroid camera in the abandoned house, and Julie leaves. When Julie gets home, she finds out that the evil camera has returned. That night, Julie sneaks outside and throws the evil camera in a pond. Julie thinks that someone is watching her, so she runs home. The next morning, Julie finds that the camera has returned once more. Julie takes the camera to a camera store to have it inspected. The man who owns the store, David Blank's father, tells Julie that the camera was a prop camera for a movie called Say Cheese — and Die Screaming!. Julie gives the evil camera to Mr. Blank.
The next day at school, Julie has to photograph a school play. David shows up to the play with the evil camera. David tries to take a photo of the play, but Julie stops him. David reveals that he has been following Julie for several days, and he was the one who had returned the evil camera. David takes a photo of Becka and Greta. When the photo develops, the photo depicts Becka and Greta with green, alligator skin. When Becka and Greta begin to turn green, they accuse Julie of being a witch. Julie goes home, and Sammy takes her camera. Julie accidentally takes a photo of Sammy, and his head is replaced with the head of a bee. Sammy takes a photo of Julie, and it depicts Julie screaming and falling. Julie rips up her photo, and Sammy's head starts turning into a bee.
The next day, Julie recieves word that she won the photo contest, but Julie is still worried because Sammy had to be taken to the hospital. Julie has to go to school to take a photo of all of the students from atop the diving board. Julie is worried that she will fall off of the diving board as her photo depicted. Julie has to let David take the big photo. If Julie doesn't fall, she assumes that she will defeat the camera. David takes several photos, and prepares to climb down from the diving board. He slips and is about to fall, but he manages to hold onto the side of the diving board. Julie climbs up onto the diving board and tries to help David. Julie almost falls, but David catches her. Julie rushes home and finds out that all of the photos from the evil camera now looked normal. By not falling, Julie had defeated the camera. Julie gets a phone call from her mother, and Julie's mother tells Julie that Sammy has suddenly been healed.
Julie has a plan to destroy the evil camera; make the camera take a photo of itself using a mirror. Julie places the evil camera in front of a mirror and uses a coat hanger to push the camera's shutter button. When the photo develops, Julie sees that the camera has duplicated itself.
Julie Enhrit gets an invitation to HorrorLand in the mail. In HorrorLand, Julie tries to take a photo of a booth using her new digital camera, but a ventriloquist dummy is visible in the background. Shortly after this, Julie sees large monsters coming out of a sewer grate. The monsters charge at Julie, but multiple Horrors intervene. Julie overhears a Horror say that kids had set the monsters free.
Julie finds seven other special guests: Billy, Sheena, Matt, Carly Beth, Sabrina, Robby, and Abby. They warn Julie that she is in danger. The kids all run through the Tunnel of Screams in order to avoid the Monster Police. When Julie exits, she cannot find the other kids. Julie finds meets Byron, and Byron hands her a hand mirror wrapped in paper and warns her about someone named The Keeper. Julie throws away the mirror, and she meets back up with Abby and the other kids. The kids leave in search of the mirror. Julie is not able to get back to the trashcan before a Horror empties the trash.
The kids head toward an exit. Surprisingly, a Horror lets the kids leave after he stamps the kids' hands with a readmission stamp. The kids exit, but the stamps on their hands begin to feel strange. The stamps grow in size and begin shooting out purple tendrils. The stamps slowly wrap around the kids.
Cover art gallery
- This is the first Say Cheese and Die book in which Greg Banks and his friends don't appear in.
- Julie describes the evil camera as "a very unusual camera," possibly alluding to The Twilight Zone episode "A Most Unusual Camera".
|Goosebumps HorrorLand series|
|#01 Revenge of the Living Dummy||#8 Say Cheese — and Die Screaming!||#15 Heads, You Lose!|
|#02 Creep from the Deep||#9 Welcome to Camp Slither||#16 Weirdo Halloween|
|#03 Monster Blood for Breakfast!||#10 Help! We Have Strange Powers!||#17 The Wizard of Ooze|
|#04 The Scream of the Haunted Mask||#11 Escape from HorrorLand||#18 Slappy New Year!|
|#05 Dr. Maniac vs. Robby Schwartz||#12 The Streets of Panic Park||#19 The Horror at Chiller House|
|#06 Who's Your Mummy?||#13 When the Ghost Dog Howls|
|#07 My Friends Call Me Monster||#14 Little Shop of Hamsters|