Welcome to Dead House by RL Stine: Book Review

Author: RL Stine
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: January 1992
Number of Pages: 126
Series Notes: #1 in the Goosebumps series (#13 in the "classic series")
Reason for Discovery: Scholastic order form

According to Amazon:

11-year-old Josh and 12-year-old Amanda just moved into the oldest and weirdest house on the block--the two siblings think it might even be haunted! But of course, their parents don't believe them. You'll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends. But the creepy kids are not like anyone Josh and Amanda have ever met before. And when they take a shortcut through the cemetery one night, Josh and Amanda learn why.
When I was in elementary school, I read all of the scary stories that I could get my hands on. I read the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, Goosebumps, and anything else that sounded spooky. I am hooked on these scary books. Interestingly, these books didn't scare me. I could read one of these books right before bed and fall straight to sleep. I didn't have a care in the world. A few years after my scarefest book marathons, I was getting ready for bed and I started thinking about one of these books and I couldn't get to sleep. That is right, this particular book scared me about 3 years after the fact. The book apparently had to slowly seep into my brain for the scare factor to kick in. The book that I am talking about is Welcome to Dead House by RL Stine.

In honor of the Halloween season, I decided to reread this book. I honestly couldn't remember anything about the book except that it had scared me when I was in middle school (I think it was middle school), which was several years after I had read it. I must admit that as an adult the book itself is not very scary. To be honest, I would have been surprised, if I had gotten scared by this book; however, the premise of this book still scares me. I do not want to give anything away for those of you who have not experienced this book, but the fear factor has to do with the people in the neighborhood. This theme of your neighbors possibly wanting to hurt you is something that I see in the books and movies that really frighten me (i.e., zombie stories, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and The Stepford Wives). Human beings are programmed to be social. We rely on others to help us survive. Most of us rely on others to make our clothes and grow our food amongst other things. We are not self-sufficient anymore. The idea that the community that I have grown to trust, required to trust, is out to get me scares me more than anything. I think it must scare most people, because zombie films are way more popular than they have a right to be. We fear our neighbors turning on us and attacking us. We fear being forced to trust those neighbors that we never truly liked, because everyone else is a zombie. "They are coming to get you Barbara."

Although over the years, I have discovered several books that frighten me including The Haunting of Hill House, Welcome to Dead House still holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first book to scare me, even though it took a couple of years to do it.

5 our of 5 haunted houses for its special place in my heart


ErinPaperbackstash said...
October 24, 2013 at 9:13 PM

I love revisiting these. I remember reading this when I was younger.

Unknown said...
October 25, 2013 at 12:44 AM

My friend and I recently watched the Goosebumps TV series on Netflix. We were doing crafts and wanted something ridiculous on the television. The show was surprisingly good. The kids did a great job of acting like kids. They weren't super brilliant or superheroes, they were just your normal kids. It got me thinking about the books, so I decided to check out my favorite. :)

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