Author R.L. Stine’s massive collection of horror books for kids is finally about to get the big screen treatment in Goosebumps, a Jumanji-esque tale directed by Rob Letterman (Gulliver’s Travels) in which all of the various monsters from the extensive Goosebumps library are accidentally brought to life. Jack Black plays a fictionalized version of Stine, while Dylan Minnette plays the new kid in town, Zach, who stumbles across the reclusive author and his collection of dangerous manuscripts.
Goosebumps has the benefit of appealing to both young kids and adults who grew up in the nineties and still have plenty of nostalgia for the Goosebumps books – from “Say Cheese and Die” to “Monster Blood”. Even those nineties kids who weren’t into reading probably caught at least a few episodes of the TV adaptation.
In the new trailer for Goosebumps, every single one of Stine’s creations manages to crawl their way out of the books and take over the town of Greendale, Maryland, but since around 200 Goosebumps books have been published it’s going to be a challenge to fit them all on screen. Iconic characters like Slappy the Dummy and the Abominable Snowman play significant roles, but this movie also promises to be a treasure trove of references and Easter eggs.
We probably won’t know just how many books made it into the Goosebumps movie until it’s released, but here are 25 of the creature references that we’ve spotted… so far.
Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
This legendary monster is the first to get released in the Goosebumps trailer, and much like in the original book he ends up looking a little out of place. “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena” is about a pair of siblings whose father manages to capture the Abominable Snowman, brings it back to their home town of Pasadena, California, and then accidentally lets it get free. Can you call that foreshadowing?
A Shocker on Shock Street
This crazy tale was part of the original run of Goosebumps books, and takes place in a horror movie themed amusement park where things are not quite what they appear. At one point the young protagonists are attacked by a group of giant praying mantises that spit hot tar. One of these was featured on the cover of the book, and is seen in the trailer towering over Stine and the kids.
Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls
When you want to represent a massive outbreak of monsters onscreen, it’s always useful to have a horde of something, and Goosebumps has ghouls. Specifically, the ghouls from the Goosebumps Series 2000 book “Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls”, who have the abilities to possess the bodies of the living.
Attack of the Jack O’Lanterns
People might like to eat pumpkins, but in this spooky Halloween tale the situation gets reversed as aliens with Jack O’Lantern heads satisfy their taste for human flesh by forcing their prospective meals to fatten themselves up on Halloween candy. The Jack O’Lanterns look to be a pretty key part of the ensemble monster cast of Goosebumps. They even made it onto the poster.
Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter
This Give Yourself Goosebumps (choose your own adventure) tale offered readers the choice between eating some funky-looking purple peanut butter, causing them to shrink down to a tiny size, or grabbing a bite of stale chocolate cake, causing them to grow into a giant. Whether the purple peanut butter or the chocolate cake will actually be featured in the movie remains to be seen, but the manuscript for the book is visible on Stine’s shelf in the trailer.
Calling All Creeps!
A common moral of the Goosebumps books is that pranks and practical jokes can have terrible outcomes, and this is definitely the case with “Calling All Creeps!” The main character’s attempt to get “creeps” to call up a mean girl at school accidentally draws the attention of a group of purple lizard monsters. At the 2014 Comic-Con, a Creep was one of the creatures that ended up dragging Black off stage after the Goosebumps panel.
The Cuckoo Clock of Doom
Another revenge story gone wrong, this story is about a boy who tries to get back at his bratty little sister by sabotaging their father’s precious cuckoo clock and framing her for it. Unfortunately, the action sends him hurtling back in time, waking up in a younger and younger body every day and forced to relive some of the worst days of his childhood. In one of the teaser scenes that’s been shown for Goosebumps, Zach and his friends get spooked by a similar cuckoo clock in Stine’s house.
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
One of the very first Goosebumps books, and easily one of the best-remembered, “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” follows young protagonist Gabe to Egypt, where his Uncle Ben is working on an archaeological excavation of one of the Great Pyramids. Do the mummies come to life? Of course they do, and a mummy is among the mob of monsters seen marching around Greenland in the trailer.
The Creepy Creations of Professor Shock
Another entry in the Give Yourself Goosebumps series, “The Creepy Creations of Professor Shock” starts out with the simple chore of cleaning out the garage of an inventor… until, of course, the reader starts messing with his inventions. Professor Shock was also among the characters who dragged Black away at the 2014 Comic-Con, and you can spot him in the new trailer as well.
Deep in the Jungle of Doom
It’s back to the world of Give Yourself Goosebumps for “Deep in the Jungle of Doom”, which is donating at least two creatures to the Goosebumps movie: a Muglani Witch Doctor and Cronby the Troll. Both of these characters were seen at the 2014 Comic-Con. Cronby loves asking Goosebumps trivia questions, but luckily Zach’s best friend (Ryan Lee) has an encyclopedic knowledge of the books.
The Haunted Car
Step aside, Christine. The Goosebumps series has its own car that drives itself, haunted by the ghost of a girl who died in it, and this car was featured in the trailer being used as a chariot for Slappy the Dummy. It even has a license plate that says “HAUNTED,” just in case anyone missed it.
The Haunted Mask
Speaking of hauntings, “The Haunted Mask” has also made it into the Goosebumps movie. This Halloween accessory grabs hold of the wearer’s head and slowly takes over their brain, forcing them to do increasingly evil things until they eventually become a monster. The gaggle of characters at last year’s Comic-Con included a little girl who had fallen victim to the Haunted Mask.
Revenge of the Living Dummy
The first entry on this list from the Goosebump HorrorLand series, “Revenge of the Living Dummy” is one of several HorrorLand books to feature mechanical fortune teller Madame Doom, who comes to life in the Goosebumps movie and can be spotted in the trailer.
A Night in Terror Tower
Be careful when vacationing in London as you may find yourself being stalked by the Lord High Executioner, like the two young protagonists of “A Night in Terror Tower”. The Executioner himself seems to be a prominent player in the Goosebumps movie’s collection of walking nightmares, wielding a highly dangerous headsman’s axe.
Night of the Living Dummy
The linchpin of the monster mob is Slappy the Dummy, which is appropriate since he’s the unofficial mascot of the Goosebumps series. He’s appeared in many of the books, both as the main antagonist and in cameo mentions, and can be brought to life by uttering the dreaded words “Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano.” So don’t do that.
My Best Friend is Invisible
The invisible boy who attacks the car in the trailer for Goosebumps could potentially be a character from “Let’s Get Invisible”, but seems more likely to be poor, lonely Brent Green from “My Best Friend is Invisible”. This book ends with one of Goosebumps‘ better twists, which we won’t spoil, but if the invisible boy in the movie is Brent then he could end up causing a whole lot of trouble… whether he means to or not.
Return of the Mummy
The woman dressed in Ancient Egyptian clothing featured in one of the stills from Goosebumps is probably Nila, from the sequel book “Return of the Mummy”. Nila is thousands of years old and attempts to bring her mummified brother, Prince Khor-Ru, back to life so that the two of them can rule over Egypt once more.
Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes
This guys might be small and ugly, but they can also be pretty dangerous in large numbers. In the book they engage in all kinds of lawn-unfriendly activities like crushing plants and vegetables, and in the movie they form part of the main infantry in Slappy’s monster army. They can seen at several points in the trailer, which ends with one of the poor little guys getting smashed with a frying pan.
The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight
If Jeepers Creepers wasn’t enough of a warning to stay away from creepy-looking scarecrows, then Goosebumps might just do it. The walking scarecrow was featured at last year’s Comic-Con presentation and can also be spotted in the group shot of the new trailer.
Stay Out of the Basement
Another story that’s popular largely by virtue of being one of the very first Goosebumps books ever published, “Stay Out of the Basement” is about a man whose strange horticultural experiments lead to the creation of a plant clone that ends up stealing his identity. In the movie, the monster army includes some dangerous-looking plants that resemble the ones in the book.
Toy Terror: Batteries Included
The walking toy robots shown in the Goosebumps trailer look fairly generic, but are most likely to be from the Give Yourself Goosebumps book “Toy Terror: Batteries Included”. This reader-driven tale takes place inside the Hasley Toy Factory, where the toys come to life and aren’t nearly as friendly as the gang from Toy Story.
This severe looking man with amazing eyebrows is Count Nightwing, the antagonist of “Vampire Breath”. Nightwing can be summoned by breaking open a bottle of Vampire Breath, which allows him to travel through time. If you think that sounds bad, you don’t want to know what happens when you break open the bottle of Werewolf Sweat.
The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
Speaking of werewolves, one of them gets quite a lot of screen time in the trailer, but it’s unclear which of the werewolf-themed Goosebumps books it’s from. In addition to “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp,” there are also titles like “The Werewolf in the Living Room,” “Werewolf Skin” and “Full Moon Fever”. Perhaps it’s an all-purpose lycanthrope.
When the Ghost Dog Howls
The eponymous ghost dog of this HorrorLand book may or may not appear in the Goosebumps movie, but the cheerfully-named Murder the Clown does. Murder appears in multiple books in the series, and can be seen standing alongside his fellow evildoers in the Goosebumps trailer’s big group shot.
You Can’t Scare Me!
The huge lurching bog monster in the trailer seems to be taken from the pages of “You Can’t Scare Me!”. This book is about a group of friends attempting to frighten a girl in their class who doesn’t appear to be scared of anything. They don’t manage to make her scream, but they do discover that mud monsters are real.
Expect a lot more infamous Goosebumps monsters to join the party when the movie hits theaters. Will Stine and co. encounter the evil camera from “Say Cheese and Die”? The monochrome parallel dimension of “The Haunted School”? Will Monster Blood play a part in the proceedings? The possibilities aren’t quite endless, but there are an awful lot of them.
Have you spotted any more classic Goosebumps monsters and references in the trailers and marketing so far? Let us know who you’ve seen – and who you’re hoping to see – in the comments.
Goosebumps hits theaters on October 16th, 2015.