Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

I’ve been a life-long fan of the horror genre in every medium, including movies, books, TV and podcasts. But so far, I haven’t found a story scarier than one I read as a child. Originally published in 1993, “The Haunted Mask” was R. L. Stine’s 11th “Goosebumps” book and it’s a chilling Halloween story. I learned to read by tearing through every “Goosebumps” book as fast as Stine could write them (sometimes even I couldn’t keep up). But I saw myself in “The Haunted Mask’s” Carly Beth, who is bullied to the point of wanting to become a different person a wish that comes true in a terrifying way.

Rereading “The Haunted Mask” in 2019 and watching the TV adaptation on Netflix, it holds up as frightening and thrilling. It’s also a parable about loving oneself and receiving love from others. Whether you were a “Goosebumps” kid in the ’90s or not, I recommend it for Halloween.

This comic contains plot spoilers.

This year, I’m no longer trying to be a ‘new me’ — I want to be happy with who I am

A desire to change needs to come out of a place of love for yourself, not self-loathing

I can’t fix the global waste problem, but here are small steps I am taking to be more sustainable

Individual efforts may seem trivial, but don’t get discouraged

I dared to go gray — and have felt both shame and pride

In the end, the awkward transition was worth it