Give Yourself Goosebumps

Reliving the Goosebumps Spin-Off Series -- Reader Beware: You Choose The Scare!
December 01, 2007

Does anybody remember reading this stuff? A spin-off to R.L. Stine's popular Goosebumps series, Give Yourself Goosebumps was a series of books where you would be the protagonist of the story, and you would have to make choices that would affect the outcome of the book. You'd read on and at the bottom of every page would be something like, "Go to Page 2." You'd continue on until you came across some choice like:

If you wish to go into the future, go to Page 25.

If you wish to go into the past, go to Page 72.

You had many different different choices throughout the book, and depending on what choices you made, the ending would differ. There would be many "bad endings," where the story would end with you getting you ass kicked by something or whatever, and then you'd read those awesome words at the bottom of the page: "THE END"

Or you could make the correct choices and get the good ending, which you would be the one that hauled ass.

Personally, and I don't know about you guys, but as a kid, if I got to the bad ending, I wouldn't start over. Oftentimes when I came across a choice, I'd leave my finger on the page and then follow through with one of the choices. If that choice led me to a bad ending, I'd go back to the original page and pick the other choice. Though it did suck if I was already on a path where either choice would result in a bad ending!

Looking back, the books were usually written quite awkwardly in the sense that you really couldn't figure out which choice would help you get to the better ending. If you came across something like, "If you walk up the stairs, go to Page XX. If you investigate the kitchen, go to Page YY," none really made more sense than the other, so you'd have to just wing it and hope for the best.

My favorites of the series would have to be:

Return to the Carnival of Horrors was cool because, a lot of the time, you could actually figure out the choices. Many riddles would be asked of you if you went to the midway, so if you picked the wrong choice, it's because you really didn't think anything through. Magician's Spell and Comic Shop of Horrors were cool just because I was into magic and comics at that point in my life.

Evil Genie was cool just because of the vast amount of choices you could make. At the very beginning, you have a choice of four wishes that you could make (though one automatically brought you into a bad ending... those cheaters).

Looking back, I'm pretty sure the writing of the books were probably pretty crappy, but the point was that we had choices that we could make in the book, and that would make it fun. I used to read these books all the time when I got home, and I'd watch as all my friends in my classes would be reading them, as well.

I stopped at Issue 22, Return to the Carnival of Horrors. I couldn't find any new issues, which is strange, since they did make more (and changed their look):

I remember the last few pages of all the books, after the story was done with, had a list of all the books in the series, and Return to the Carnival of Horrors had this book, Zapped in Space, listed. Never could find it, though, so I always assumed that was the last issue they ever made, but they really made several more of them.

I actually found out that they continued the series after Issue 23 during my high school years. But at that point, I had looonnnnngggg outgrew them. I could actually buy them for old times sake if I wanted to since they sell for very cheap. Maybe I will just to look at them again -- I don't know!

Good times, guys. XD
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