Slappy New Year! is the eighteenth book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand book series, the seventh book of the Living Dummy saga, and the sixth book in the Chiller House arc. It was first published in 2010.
The cover artwork shows Slappy wearing a party hat and is blowing a party horn in a room filled with confetti, balloons, and a falling "Happy New Year" banner.
"Did You Think Slappy Here Was Talking?"
Ray Gordon loves to scare his younger brother, Brandon. It's not hard considering Brandon is terrified of everything—loud noises, roller coasters, and especially the wooden dummy, slappy, that Ray got from Jonathan Chiller's HorrorLand gift shop.
In order to throw his big New Year's Even party, Ray's parents make him promise to leave Brandon alone. But strange, mean-spirited things keep happening to his little brother, and Slappy always seems to be around for it. Could those words Ray read out loud actually have brought the dummy to life?
PlotRay and Brandon were spending their first trip at HorrorLand, looking around the park. Ray had been on most of the rides, 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 and Brandon eventually encounter a man with a mirrored face, who introduces 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.
Losing Winn-Doe in the crowd, they happened upon Chiller House and entered 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. Wanting a closer look , he reached out for the doll when an old man told him to keep his hands of it. 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.
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. But Brandon's screams attracted Mr. and Mrs. Gordon and they demanded to know if Ray bought Slappy just to torture Brandon, but Ray insisted that he was just going to start a dummy collection. 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. Ray protested that everyone in his school is counting on him and Elena, so his mother told him he has to earn it.
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. Elena later passes by to ask about getting their basement ready for their New Year's Eve party and told Ray that she had bought him a present. 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. Mrs Gordon had also asked Elena to tell Ray to be nice to his brother, which Elena does. Only because she wants Ray to stick his promise so they could throw the party. Elena 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 puts Slappy back in the closet and Elena accused him of paying Brandon back just for ruining his trip to HorrorLand. Ray attempts to defend himself by saying 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 to not sabotage the party plans.
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. 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 stuffs 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 then bit him on the nose for his troubles. Upon returning home, 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, 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 and attempts to decapitate Ray before Brandon intervened and disarmed the dummy. Both brothers grappled 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. Ray then hoists Slappy and threw him into the truck instead. After that, they celebrated all the way home, with Ray remarking at how brave Brandon was.
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, damaged and furious from his adventure in the garbage truck and started wrecking havoc in the party by chucking paint cans around. Elena, finally believing Ray, evacuated the guests from the basement, while Ray and Brandon battled the evil dummy. The two brothers managed to get hold of the paper with the ancient words. Despite being covered in paint, Ray was able to read them aloud, putting Slappy back to sleep. 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.
Originally, a book titled Slappy New Year was going to be a part of a 2001 Goosebumps book series titled Goosebumps Gold. However, the series and the books planned for it were canceled due to R.L. Stine's contract with Scholastic ending. Although the titles are nearly identical, Stine has confirmed that the Goosebumps Gold version of Slappy New Year does not have the same plot as the Goosebumps HorrorLand book. Consequently, it is still unknown what the original Goosebumps Gold plot was.
- Some references were made in this book:
- Brandon did some bad things to make it look like Slappy was doing them. That was like in Night of the Living Dummy as Lindy Powell also did bad things to make it look like Mr. Wood was doing them too. (But Brandon was more apologetic about his actions.)
- Ray had almost finished reading the ancient words when he first noticed them, but was called away before he could finish. That was like in Bride of the Living Dummy as Jillian Zinman had also almost finished saying the ancient words when she first noticed them and was called away before she could finish.
- Brandon was paying Ray back for his tricks by putting Slappy somewhere he shouldn't be to make it look like Ray was doing it. That was like in Night of the Living Dummy III as Zane O'Dell was also paying Trina and Dan back for their tricks by putting Rocky the Dummy somewhere he shouldn't be to make it look like they were doing it. Also at that, Ray thought his troubles were over and Trina thought the same thing.
- This is the first book in the second arc of the HorrorLand series to be a sequel.
- Ray's first and last name is later shared with another character from the book A Nightmare on Clown Street.