Tag Archives: R.L. Stine

She got Swayzed.

35. The Secret Bedroom – R.L. Stine

Every time I switch towns I eventually run into the same old story – there’s that creepy house where somebody got murdered. And you know, in Mississippi, it was my house. It was drugs. No unfinished business. Lea of The Secret Bedroom is not so lucky. I mean, it could’ve been drugs, but, it wasn’t mentioned specifically if drugs were involved in the 100 years ago murderage, so… Lea is not so lucky in many ways. She falls victim to the many tropes – she’s a new kid who spills on the prime bitch at school, then gets asked out as a joke but she doesn’t know until she gets stood up, in her wallowing she hears footsteps upstairs in the boarded up bedroom, the girls she ends up being friends with are either too popular to keep up getting to know her or they found a boyfriend and no longer cared (Friends!), AND her parents keep leaving her alone in their haunted house (Thanks, Lea’s parents.) and she would be okay with it – if it was being haunted by Patrick Swayze. Patrick Swayze, gateway ghost.

Mixtape –
1. School – Nirvana
2. Misery Keeper – Electric Citizen
3. Zero – Smashing Pumpkins
4. Phone Call – The Faint
5. Mother Father – Swans
6. Sick, Sick, Sick – Queens of the Stone Age
7. My Dreams – Electric Six
8. I Only Said – My Bloody Valentine
9. Lost Boys and Girls Club – Dum Dum Girls
10. Your Sins Will Find You Out – Eli “Paperboy” Reed
11. Everybody Dies – Those Poor Bastards
12. I Dreamt – The Black Angels
13. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
14. Love Can Destroy Everything – The Raveonettes
15. Noorus – Chelsea Wolfe
16. Ripe – Nine Inch Nails

Pammy and Thaddeus chomp down parsley in an attic bedroom. There’s no corpses in there or anything. Also no Swayze or Swayze-related materials. They’re like the wind.

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They always come back.

67. 99 Fear Street, the House of Evil: The Third Horror – R.L. Stine

Half the population of Shadyside are either dead or about to be dead, which is something they could have included in the brochure- but it’s understandable that they haven’t. Shadyside – highest teen mortality rate ever! Might not end up drawing visitors.

Good thing they have repeat visitors like Kody Frasier. She’s even capitalizing on her sister’s death. Whee! That will end well, it always does.

Peregrine clearly doesn't care if Danger Crumples whispers the true secrets behind 99 Fear Street to her.

Peregrine clearly doesn’t care if Danger Crumples whispers the true secrets behind 99 Fear Street to her.


1. After School Special – Mr. Bungle
2. Never Be the Same – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
3. Crypt Key – Windhand
4. Empty Room – Arcade Fire
5. Ain’t Fit to Live Here – Graveyard
6. These Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgics – The Hives
7. Ghosts – UNKLE
8. Home Sick Home – Faith No More
9. The Night Creeper – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
10. Deconstruction – Witchcraft
11. De Lux – The Duke Spirit
12. Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge
13. A Song From Under the Floorboards – Magazine
14. I Hear Colors – The Black Angels
15. Dear Prudence – Siouxsie & the Banshees

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The real horror would have been a young, awesome-looking new resident going unnoticed.

66. 99 Fear Street, the House of Evil: The Second Horror – R.L. Stine

Shock horror – Good looking young man moves into haunted house, gains attention from ladies both alive and dead! Brandt’s new and the latest ghost to occupy his new home has taken an interest in him. Whatever happens, Brandt is popular. Yay, Brandt, 90s guy!

Pickles will awaken from her nap when something slightly more interesting happens in this trilogy. Something that doesn't involve a good looking person in distress.

Pickles will awaken from her nap when something slightly more interesting happens in this trilogy. Something that doesn’t involve a good looking person in distress.


1. House on Fire – Hanni El Khatib
2. The Suburbs (continued) – Arcade Fire
3. Cul de Sac – Tomahawk
4. Love Thing – The Melvins
5. Winter ’68 – The Black Angels
6. Truth in the Dark – Dax Riggs
7. Ghosts House – Witchcraft
8. Nattesferd – Kvelertak
9. Who Was In My Room Last Night? – The Butthole Surfers
10. Evil Ways – Graveyard
11. Midnight Creeper – Eagles of Death Metal
12. Crying Lightning – Arctic Monkeys
13. Friday Night – The Darkness
14. Heartbeats – The Knife
15. Cheap and Cheerful – The Kills
16. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare – Mr. Bungle
17. Ungrateful Are the Dead – Graveyard
18. If I Live of If I Die – Cuff the Duke

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“He is so annoying, he is so frightening, and he doesn’t wear a shirt.”

65. 99 Fear Street, the House of Evil: The First Horror – R.L. Stine

Moving happens. Moving into haunted houses happens. Moving into angry haunted houses that spurt green vomit from the sink happens…in this book. Plus, the ceiling drips blood. It seems as though Glenn Danzig was the house’s preferred tenant as opposed to the Frasier family – although he wants the blood to run UP the walls, which is a tall order. Anyway, I guess the lesson for this family is that they never should have left New York.

Thaddeus and Pammy moved with me three times. We never managed to move into a haunted house.

Thaddeus and Pammy moved with me three times. We never managed to move into a haunted house.


1. Life Fades Away – Roy Orbison
2. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
3. Thea – Goldfrapp
4. The Clerkwell House of Detention – Gallon Drunk
5. Blade in the Black – UNKLE
6. Dead Sound – The Raveonettes
7. Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird – All Them Witches
8. Too Young to Love – The Big Pink
9. TV Set – Spoon
10. I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
11. Evidence – Faith No More
12. Home – Hanni El Khatib
13. Lost in the Supermarket – The Clash
14. A Perfect Place – The Raveonettes

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Oh, the old “shove them in a ravine.” If ladies really want to kill someone, Deadly Women has taught us that they use poison.

64. The Overnight – R.L. Stine

OMG Suki Thomas is such a skank! Like, how many dudes at Shadyside High has she gone out with? Did you hear that she’s fast? Her clearly terrible hookeryness has to be the reason why Della ends up killing a man. Damnit, Gary, why couldn’t you just stay a couple? Why did you have to move on so quickly? Why? Della didn’t even have time to listen to side one of her Pretty on the Inside tape before you were with Suki.

I know that whenever my relationships have ended, I’ve been able to reignite them by joining an outdoors club with my ex and his new girl, wandering off into the wilderness once I get pissed off at their canoodling, and killing some random dude. It’s very endearing, not at all insane. A stress reliever, really. In other news, this is the third Fear Street book and it takes place mostly on an island.

Mixtape 5:

1. So Hard – The Panderers

2. Wall of Death (cover) – Dax Riggs

3. Crab – Weezer

4. The Sweater – Meryn Cadell

5. Tonight – Basement Jaxx feat. Phoebe

6. I’m On Fire – Dwight Twilley Band

7. Sing – Blur

8. When the Lights Go Out/We Own the Night – UNKLE

9. Down in the Park (cover) – Foo Fighters

10. Teenage Disease – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

11. Mediocrity Rules – Le Tigre

12. Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But… – Arctic Monkeys

13. Tropical Pets – The Diableros

14. It’s Not Right – The Creeps

15. You Really Wake Up the Love in Me – The Duke Spirit

16. Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys

17. Like Calling Up Thunder – The Gun Club

18. Chaw – Spirit Caravan

It’s just funny to me that several of the early Fear Street books only have tenuous ties to the street. When did R.L. Stine decide that he should figure out its history and start cultivating some weird evil and misspellings?

Mortemer’s leaving. He doesn’t like gossip and he’s not going camping with you. Not now, not ever. No matter how many people you kill.



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You don’t want to go down that run. That run’s got a history.

28. Ski Weekend – R.L. Stine

Icy roads, teenagers, and stranger danger all come to play in this tale from Fear Street. Well, it’s labeled as Fear Street, but it’s quite a stretch to consider an out of the way ski resort and creepy middle of nowhere cabin to be part of Shadyside, it would almost be nice to start the story via a meeting of Fear Street’s version of the Midnight Society – flashlights up! Anyhow, there is some decent tension in the story once the teenagers run off the icy road and end up shacking up with some weirdos in their hilltop lodge. As much as I like a good supernatural twist, sometimes in R.L. Stine books those seem like a total reach and it works better to stick to just people. I am a little pissed that there was virtually no skiing in the book though. I blow at skiing, but I do enjoy a good 80s ski movie parody and I wish someone would have foreshadowed at them about how they’re “gonna have a bad time.”

Mixtape 3:

1. Montage – Team America

2. Acceptable in the 80s – Calvin Harris

3. Five Seconds – Peeping Tom

4. Temple Music – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

5. Cold War – Death from Above 1979

6. Let the Poison Spill from Your Throat – The Faint

7. Wannabe in LA – Eagles of Death Metal

8. Handsome Devil – The Smiths

9. Den Frusna Munnen – Finntroll

10. Laboramus – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

11. Weapon of Choice – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

12. Romantic Rights – Death from Above 1979

13. Running Fire – The Duke Spirit

14. Leaves – Bass Drum of Death

15. Twisted Nerve – The Damned

16. The First Vietnamese War – The Black Angels

17. Alaska Highway – Dan Bern

Asspen is frankly one of the greatest South Park episodes of all time. Of all time.

Pickles knows that hibernating in a down quilt is the best possible way to get through winter.

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Twist ending, shmist ending

39. Twisted – R. L. Stine

For the most part, I have been enjoying acquiring and re-reading the work of luminaries of the 1980s and 1990s YA pulp-paperback-size book boom. It’s been fun finding the patterns that R. L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney, and Richie Tankersley Cusick (especially these three, oh, the 90s) use and reliving some of my own middle school patterns of devouring stories rather than really engaging with them. As I may have mentioned previously, I spent a long period reading practically nothing but literary fiction. When I started working at a public library, I was reminded that I enjoy genre fiction and that I had a shitload of reading options and I’ve gone back to the devouring pattern – although the two books I’m reading right now necessitate some concentration. Spooky. Anyway, Twisted was my first hop back into the “Really? This is all there is to this story?” feeling. Some stuff happens that’s vaguely interesting, but I called the twist on the first page. And I can be kind of an oblivious reader because of the devouring pattern, so I am always surprised when I get the twist…especially on the first damn page. Bummer.

Oh, and speaking of pulp-paperback-sized book booms, guess what? Point Horror is back! With Defriended, ooh, ominous and timely… If Scholastic and I were friends, surely they would hire me to write some of these and I would kick ass at it and be so, so terribly committed. The random horror story is practically my reason for living. And I’ve managed to lampoon or honor nearly everything I like about random horror in the two books I have available from the Night of the Squirrels trilogy – Dawn of the Interns and Day of the Robots (the last in the trilogy will take care of the rest).

Soon, a picture of Pammy riding a mammoth will appear on Etsy. Soon.

“Is the call coming from inside the house?” – Pammy, inquisitive, sort of bearded.
“It always is if the writer’s phoning it in.” – Twiglet, hiding her face because I assigned her this technically sad-joke dialogue.

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It’s okay to eat fish

2. The Snowman – R. L. Stine

The other day I was doing some editing while watching Halloween H20 on television, which seems metaphorical… I’m not sure who or what symbolically takes the place of Michael Myers, though, the stuff I was editing because of how hurtful it was to my brain or me with my hack and slash capabilities. Anyway, I got up to get some water and the famous theme song began playing. I happened to look into Danger Crumples’ piggy dwelling to find him perched on his little wooden archway, staring at me. It was super creepy and we had a moment. I asked him if he was a serial killer and he didn’t break his stare.

If you have never experienced a guinea pig staring at you in a murderous way, well, good for you. It’s a very odd feeling to know that the one eye they’re focusing (their eyes are on either side of their head, they can’t look up…) is directed at you, and some of them are really good at glaring, like Murderface. She intimidated people who had virtually no experience with guinea pigs with her glare. And their emotional states (hee hee, some people think animals don’t have emotional states) are occasionally hard to interpret. Danger Crumples has had strong reactions to approximately three pieces of music now – “Goodbye Horses” aka the song from that scene from Silence of the Lambs (he popped his head up very happily for that one), “Listen Like Thieves” by INXS (he whistled at me and jumped up on his perch for the length of the song, I like Michael Hutchence’s voice too but I have yet to climb on top of anything over it), and now the theme from Halloween-induced creepy staring. He also happens to be the only guinea pig I have that doesn’t run under a blanket and chutter whenever I listen to music without my headphones. So, he could be a changeling, or evil. He does have a heart condition, perhaps that’s because he hasn’t eaten or murdered anyone. The hooting means he needs to murder. Maybe not. I will be suspicious until he eats me and leaves the soundtrack to Candyman on the record player. It was always you, Helen.

Speaking of words that end with “man” and creepy situations I never read The Snowman in the 90s. It was a tale of stalking and extortion instead of sweatshirt cuffs with blood on them and hungry kisses. Actually, it may have had hungry kisses in it. Either way, it was not what I expected. I believe it is pre-Fear Street and it doesn’t show up in those lists of “other books you will enjoy” in the beginning of my early Fear Street volumes. Yes, I am a connoisseur of 1990s YA. Actually 70s, 80s, 90s, and today YA. I am a collector. Another aspect that can be attributed to its “pre-Fear Street” quality (besides looking at the CIP) is the character development. The characters were people! Mostly developed people! And it was a little bit ridiculous, but also a little bit actually-intimidating. Quit waiting outside her work with your sob stories and your moocher ways! I’ve never liked controlling boyfriends or stalkers, I don’t know who does, but I don’t even enjoy reading about them at this point.


Extra butter lettuce and a baby carrot should appease him – for now.

The terrifying Danger Crumples. I don’t care what Big Al says, he’s coming for me. With or without visible eyes.

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Admirable or Impish?

It’s snowing super hard while I am typing this. I guess the first storm of this year is making up for the majority of the Iowan winter last year. Dick. Anyway, back to my epic coverage of search terms:

13. Search terms of the apocalypse (sigh) : jugged boobsstranger

I’ve got no idea how this lead to me. It’s one of the most interesting sets of words I’ve come across and I have read some seriously ridiculous writing. Plus “boobsstranger,” a new compound word. Is it a mistake? Is someone trying to re-write Finnegan’s Wake from a pervy perspective?

14. Duh, of course this would lead here: very cute guinea pigs

I may be biased, but mine are ridiculously cute.

Danger and Morty were best friends.

It is tiring being so damn adorable.

I wasn’t even dangling parsley behind the camera.

Was there ever even a question of their cuteness?

Belvedere and Pickles had a complicated but jovial relationship.

So cute she’s getting checked out by her brother. Yep.

15. Really? Spelling! : essay summery about the thrill club by r.l. stine

I guess I covered that: The Thrill Club, a true classic of our times

Maybe if we allow teachers to teach, the quality of our nation’s book reports will improve. Or maybe kids will make the same choices as they did in the late 1990s. But it’s a chapter book! Yeah, technically. Barely.

How is that even necessary? I guess it might be if “summary” is getting hard to spell. – Murderface

16. Yes, yes she was: twiglets funny

So beautiful. So in your face.


17. I’ve had several: baby boy ginny pigs

There’s that “ginny” again.

The hole in the chair below his chin was not ripped by Mortemer.

Baby Mortemer by Mr. Cheese’s side, as usual.

The part of the situation you can’t see in this picture is baby Pickles trying to nurse from Mortemer, her father.

Baby Belvedere nursing from Mama Murderface.

Bel needed no encouragement in looking for smells.

Baby Bel with his father Mortemer.

Who knew he would basically turn into Rapunzel without the tower? Tangled, indeed.

Baby Danger Crumples

18. I can’t believe how many people are looking for this quote: two trappers find human feet in a pile of mush. this is one job the carpet cleaners mess up badly

Deadly Women is one of my favorite shows, I still want to watch the episode about Amy Archer-Gilligan . The one that quote is from is called “Love You to Pieces,” and apparently the carpet cleaner/killer is of much interest. If more feet are found in the desert I won’t be surprised.

Do you folks like coffee?

Have a confrontational holiday from Murderface and baby Duncan Hills!

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In growing confusion and disbelief…

30. The Halloween Party – R.L. Stine

Special Edition R.L. Stine again post! It’s like I have a Halloween episode of my very own. Except these are books and not TV and nobody does Halloween specials in their books….nobody.

Car crashes rarely bring out the best in people. Cemeteries and haunted mansions, however, are a perfect setting for revenge and suddenly stepping up to the plate after being repeatedly called a “wimp.”   This installment in the “everything weird that happens must happen on Fear Street, no matter what it is” series involves a thirty-year-old woman posing as a high school student (just like in the movies!) so that she can dispose of the children involved in the drag race that killed her parents. Apparently the attractiveness and general mystery surrounding the revengencer and her haunted mansion living space is a big Halloween-style draw for the plump girl dressed as a cheerleader (oh, plump, what a great qualifier), the mostly deaf slender girlfriend nicknamed “Funny Face” (The reader is never allowed to forget about this nickname, but at what cost?), Funny Face’s ex-boyfriend, Funny Face’s current boyfriend, the apparently reoccurring character of Fear Street novels Ricky, and some other people, including one who dies. Slashed tires all around.

Twiglet, mistress of inquisitive poses with pumpkins.

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