|The Curse of Camp Cold Lake|
|Tagline||Last one in is a rotten...ghost!|
|Cover artist||Tim Jacobus|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Release date||June 1997|
|Number of Endings|
|Previous book||The Blob That Ate Everyone|
|Next book||My Best Friend Is Invisible|
Sarah is sick and tired of how people at her camp treat her. Sarah then decides to pretend she drowns and everyone feels bad about it. Until she finds out that someone is stalking her and the plan is messed up. Because there is someone under the cold and dark lake.
Sarah Maas hates her summer camp. The other campers don't like her and the camp has too many water safety rules. In a bid to garner attention, Sarah pretends to drown herself in a lake during a swimming lesson, but when she comes up from the water, she finds that everyone is gone and the campground is coated in snow. While walking around in search of human contact, Sarah meets a little girl in white named Della who turns out to be a ghost who can't enter the afterlife unless she has a buddy. As Sarah runs away from Della, she wakes up to the sight of her camp counselor giving her mouth-to-mouth and all the other campers worried that Sarah may have died. Sarah apologizes for what she did and the campers decide to be nicer to her.
Sarah soon discovers that Della is an actual ghost bent on killing Sarah at Camp Cold Lake so they can be friends forever. When Sarah tells one of the counselors about Della, the counselor tells Sarah that no one has ever died at Camp Cold Lake because everyone follows the camp's many safety rules. Sarah decides to escape the camp through the woods and encounters Della again. Della explains that the counselor was right; no one ever died in Camp Cold Lake, but many have died in the woods around it because the woods are home to poisonous snakes (which is what happened to Della). Before Della can kill Sarah, Brianna, Sarah's friend from camp, appears to warn Della that she will be back to protect Sarah from her. Della screams and disappears forever. In a twist ending, Sarah finds out that Brianna is also a ghost and was killed by Della because Della didn't like her. Brianna then grabs a poisonous snake and innocently asks Sarah to be her buddy forever.
The book received a mixed review from Troy Steele of Blogger Beware. Troy has stated that the book is "frustating". He praised the eerie snowy camp sequence in the middle, and he thought the twist that Della didn't drown in the lake is both "clever and unexpected". But Troy has also criticized that the final twist with Briana is "illogical", the book's prose was "clunky", and Sarah, the protagonist was "insufferably annoying". He ended up giving the book a "Thumbs Down", although he likes the cover a lot.
- The fact that the girl on the cover does not quite fit the description of Della or Briana leaves open the idea that we are seeing the ghastly sight that Sarah will eventually become.
- The story of Della's demise is similar to that of horror villian Jason Voorhees's demise from Friday the 13th.
- There exists a version in which the book is literally half the book length, although still the same story, various parts were cut.
- This book was never made into a television episode for the Goosebumps television series.
- Doesn't it seem weird that the counselors didn't notice that someone (Brianna), who died a year ago had been enrolling into the camp again?
- Brianna's death could have been unknown.
- Why can the camp counselors see Brianna, but not Della?
- Isn't it strange that Brianna gave Sarah a strange glance when she told her she seen a ghost?