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.