Getting creeped out at Goosebumps books is a right of passage for any young reader. While the prose itself is scary, the series’ beloved covers add another layer of creepiness to the series.
Possessed ventriloquist dolls, demonic rabbits, living scarecrows, frightening gnomes, living scarecrows, mud monsters and giant insects are just a fraction of the things that have graced the book’s covers over the years.
Why I’m Afraid of Bees gets an honorable mention solely because of its sheer of absurdity. That is a human boy’s head on a bee’s body. I don’t think I have to elaborate on how disturbing that is. Just look at it!
Tagline: He’s no ordinary human bee-ing...
Synopsis: Gary Lutz needs a vacation...from himself. Bullies are constantly beating him up. His only friend is his computer. Even his little sister doesn't like him. But now Gary's dream is about to come true. He's going to exchange bodies with another kid for a whole week. Gary can't wait to get a new body. Until something horrible happens. And Gary finds out his new body isn't exactly human…
A Night In Terror Tower has a very distinctive cover. It’s medieval executioner antagonist is a unique part of the series, and this cover conveys his constant hunt as you see him lumbering towards you.
Tagline: It’s gonna be a L-O-N-G night!
Synopsis: Sue and her brother, Eddie, are visiting London when they run into a little problem. They can't find their tour group. Still, there's no reason to panic. No way their tour guide would just leave them. All alone. In a gloomy old prison tower. No way they'd get locked inside. After dark. With those eerie sounds. And a strange dark figure who wants them…dead.
Say Cheese and Die! is one of the series’ campier covers, and that’s what make it so great. A skeleton BBQ is undeniably memorable.
Tagline: One picture is worth a thousand screams.
Synopsis: Greg thinks there is something wrong with the old camera he and his friends found. The photographs keep turning out wrong. Very wrong. Like the snapshot Greg took of his father's new car that shows it totaled. And then Greg's father is in a nasty wreck. But Greg's friends don't believe him. Shari even makes Greg bring the camera to her birthday party and take her picture. Only Shari's not in the photograph when it develops. Is Shari about to be taken out of the picture permanently? Who is going to take the next fall for... the evil camera?
Calling All Creeps! might not be the most well-known of the Goosebumps series, but it’s got a cover like no other. A group of velociraptor-like creatures hanging out in a pay phone booth is just weird and distinctive enough to get a slot on this list.
Tagline: Just dial 5-5-5-C-R-E-E-P!
Synopsis: Ricky Beamer is furious when he gets kicked off the school paper. So he decides to play a joke on Natasha, the bossy editor in chief. Just a little joke. Harmless, really. After school one day he sticks a message in the paper. If you're a creep, call Tasha after midnight, it reads. But somehow Ricky's message gets messed up. And now he's getting calls. Strange calls from kids who say they are creeps. Creeps with scaly purple-colored scales and long sharp fangs…
This cover perfectly encapsulates the feeling that there’s a monster lurking in the darkness ready to attack. Plus, that eerie green glow makes Welcome to Camp Nightmare one of the series’ most haunting covers.
Tagline: It’s the little camp of horrors!
Synopsis: The food isn't great. The counselors are a little strange. And the camp director, Uncle Al, seems sort of demented. Okay, so Billy can handle all that. But then his fellow campers start to disappear. What's going on? Why won't his parents answer his letters? What's lurking out there after dark? Camp Nightmoon is turning into Camp Nightmare. For real. And Billy might be next...
Bad Hare Day's deranged hare will make you question every small woodland creature you come across in the near future. Also, if you have an irrational fear of magicians, you’re welcome for the nightmare fuel!
Tagline: He’s no Easter bunny!
Synopsis: Trick cards, floating scarves, disappearing doves. Tim Swanson loves magic tricks. Someday he wants to be a real magician. Just like his all-time favorite hero, Amaz-O. But then Tim goes to Amaz-O's show. And he finds out his idol is a total grump. That's when Tim decides to steal the bag of tricks. Amaz-O's bag of secret tricks. Scary tricks. The one with the multiplying red balls. And all those hissing snakes...
Mud monsters are another freaky addition to the Goosebumps universe. Image taking Batman’s villain Clayface, melting him a bit and adding a demonic visage. That’s what you get on this creepy cover.
Tagline: They’re coming for you...
Synopsis: Courtney is a total show-off. She thinks she's so brave and she's always making Eddie and his friends look like wimps. But now Eddie's decided he's had enough. He's going to scare Courtney once and for all. And he's come up with the perfect plan. He's going to lure Courtney down to Muddy Creek. Because Eddie knows Courtney believes in that silly rumor about the monsters. Mud Monsters that live in the creek. Too bad Eddie doesn't believe the rumor. Because it just might be true….
That red door, those green paws and the fear of what’s hiding in the unknown; with all that, How To Kill a Monster has one of the series’ most striking visuals.
Tagline: Step 1. Run. Step 2. Run faster.
Synopsis: Gretchen and her stepbrother, Clark, hate staying at their grandparents' house. Grandpa Eddie is totally deaf. And Grandma Rose is obsessed with baking. Plus, they live in the middle of a dark, muddy swamp. Things couldn't get any worse, right? WRONG. Because there's something really weird about Grandma and Grandpa's house. Something odd about that room upstairs. The one that's locked. The one with the strange noises coming from it. Strange growling noises…
The Haunted Mask is one of the most iconic Goosebumps covers, due to that drooling, evil mask (which you can now even wear for Halloween). It’s made even more striking on top of the overall-wearing protagonist, adding nightmare fuel for all the kids (and adults) reading.
Tagline: If looks could kill...
Synopsis: How ugly is Carly Beth's Halloween mask? It's so ugly that it almost scared her little brother to death. So terrifying that efen her friends are totally freaked out by it. It's the best Halloween mask ever. It's everything Carly Beth hoped it would be. And more. Maybe too much more. Because Halloween is almost over. And Carly Beth is still wearing that special mask…
That hand! That creepy, Swamp Thing-like hand! It’s gonna grab you and yank you down into the basement, never to return. Stay Out of the Basement’s cover is just so gripping, especially when you compare it to its lackluster re-print covers.
Tagline: Something’s waiting in the dark….
Synopsis: Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, really. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they...meet...some of the plants he is growing down there. Then they notice that their father is developing plantlike tendencies. In fact, he is becoming distinctly weedy--and seedy. Is it just part of their father's "harmless" experiment? Or has the basement turned into another little shop of horrors.
Slappy from Night of the Living Dummy is one of the series’ creepiest antagonists. This iconic covers shows it all, the possessed stare, the lifelike laugh and the face that makes you sketched out at every ventriloquist doll you’ve seen since.
Tagline: He walks. He stalks...
Synopsis: Lindy names the ventriloquist's dummy she finds Slappy. Slappy is kind of ugly, but he's a lot of fun. Lindy's having a great time learning to make Slappy move and talk. But Kris is jealous of all the attention her sister is getting. It's no fair. Why does Lindy have all the luck? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She'll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. No way a dummy can be causing all the trouble. Or is there?