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Werewolf Skin

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Werewolf Skin was the sixtieth book in the Goosebumps book series. It was preceded by The Haunted School and followed by I Live in Your Basement!

The illustration shows a box with the werewolf skin in it on a bed.

Plot

Alexander Hunter is an aspiring photographer, who is vacationing in his Aunt Martha and Uncle Colin's house in Wolf Creek. They only have two rules: Stay away from the run-down home next door where the Marlings, who are said to be crazy, live and stay out of the forest surrounding the town late at night. When Alexander is wandering around, a young girl about his age appears from out of nowhere. She introduces herself as Hannah, and states that she lives in a nearby house. Alexander grows to love Hannah's deep voice, so he begins to sense that Wolf Creek is not a bad place. Then he and Hannah go into the forest.

Unfortunately, the two meet several bullies, but Hannah manages to save the both of them in a fierce conversation.

At night, Alexander hears howls next door at the Marlings and decides to investigate, where he discovers large paw prints. He tells his aunt and Uncle, and they explain that the Marlings have large dogs, which would explain the howls and the strange, large paw prints. They also inform him that the Marlings have called the police upon seeing Alexander around their home. They tell him not to go by the Marlings again, and Alex accepts this, but he begins to hear superstitious rumors of werewolves that shed their skins and hide them, putting them on whenever they transform into werewolves.

Alexander then decides to go into the forest late at night to take the first photograph of a werewolf and become famous. However, his aunt and uncle have locked the door so Alexander will not get anywhere. They have also locked his window, using metal bars. The next morning, his aunt and uncle apologize to him for locking him inside. In school, Alexander almost gets into trouble again with the two bullies, but Hannah saves him again. At night, Alexander has jammed some bubblegum into his door so it will not lock correctly. Outside with his camera, he sneaks over to Hannah's window and pleads with her to go with him. Hannah, however, refuses. Against her warnings, Alexander decides to go into the forest all by himself.

He then finds the werewolves, but before he can snap any photographs, the werewolves are alerted by his noises and search for him. Fortunately, Alex manages to hide safely. He spends the next eight hours hiding in the forest and when the morning sun rises, the werewolves finally surrender and go back to their house. Alex follows them, and when they are out of the house, Alex notices that the couple are strangely familiar. It turns out that the werewolves are Uncle Colin and Aunt Martha. Alexander then finds another surprise; the Marling family never actually existed after all. The house was abandoned and empty.

Alexander then explains everything to Hannah, who believes him. Since he does not want to kill his uncle and aunt, he can't burn the werewolf skin into ashes. Hannah then comes up with an idea of stealing the werewolf skin during the night to lift the curse. On Halloween night, Hannah sneaks out of the house with Alexander following her. She hands him one of the skins and they run outside. But his aunt and uncle yell at them to "give back (their) skins".

The two chase Alexander and Hannah in agony before collapsing to the ground. Then they rise while happily telling Alexander and Hannah that they successfully lifted the curse and they will not need to be werewolves anymore.

The two children remove the skins and the four happily go back to Alexander's house.

On their way home, Alexander begins to sense that they should have dropped the skins back to the abandoned house before goes back home. Hannah refuses to go inside, so Alexander goes inside all by himself. After dropping the skins, he notices that the house has an extra werewolf skin around the closet's floor. He wonders whose skin it is, before someone appears behind him. Horrified, Alexander turns around to see Hannah in her own werewolf skin.

She then states that she did not need the werewolf skin from the house anymore, because she brought one of her own from her house. The story ends with Hannah pouncing on Alexander and sinking her teeth into his chest.

Cover Art Gallery

Regional

Reprints

Media

Trivia

  • When Hannah pops out of nowhere, she never tells Alexander about her family or where her house is, yet Alexander manages to sneak out to her house later. Even more impressively, Alexander knows which window is directed to Hannah's bedroom. It is possible, however, that Hannah tells Alex about her house or Hannah has invited Alex to her house at some part of the story.
  • The Dutch version's cover shows the main protagonist spying on a neighbor.
  • Before the book was published, the original title for the book was "I Want to Be a Werewolf for Halloween." The title has been referenced in the story as Alexander quotes it five times.
  • This is one of only four Goosebumps books not to have been reprinted in any subsequent editions. The others include Legend of the Lost Legend, I Live in Your Basement!, and Monster Blood IV. However, in of 2015, it was released as an e-book through Amazon and iBooks.
  • This is the only unreprinted book in the original series to be made into a television episode.
  • This is the second book in original the Goosebumps series to center around Werewolves, with the first being The Werewolf of Fever Swamp.

Television Adaptation

  • In the television episode, Alexander's last name is Blackwell, instead of Hunter.
  • The television version doesn't take place around Halloween.
  • In the television episode, Hannah never bites Alex, though it is implied but she merely tells him that she "doesn't bite".
  • Des Moines, Iowa is where Alex lives in the television episode.
  • Alexander's fate is slightly more ambiguous in the television episode. As the television episode ends, just after he learns the truth about Hannah, she enters the room. Alexander looks at her concerned, unsure of what she is about to do.

Television Episode Trivia

  • The television episode has been released on VHS, as part of the Ultimate Goosebumps video series, but has since not been released on DVD.
  • When the bus driver mentions a headless ghost in the television episode, she may be referencing the headless ghost from another Goosebumps television episode, The Headless Ghost.
  • The photography magazine Alexander reads at the beginning of the episode includes pictures of one of the masks from The Haunted Mask, and a Creep.
  • In the episode, Alex makes a reference to the TV show The X-Files.  Coincidentally, actor Keegan MacIntosh had a brief role in the X-Files episode "Fire."
  • Maria Vacratsis (the bus driver) played Janet in Season 4's Deep Trouble.

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