Hello, Spongey here.
Okay, remember my review of the RL Stine short story collection “The Haunting hour”? Well i said it was a follow up the nightmare hour.
Well I went to my library today and I FOUND IT~!
I read it a few years ago from my jr high library but I forgot most of it.
So without even discussing the backstory, let’s review this bitch!
This, is The Nightmare Hour
This has to be most insane cover to anything ever
One thing I failed to mention, is that BOTH books, have a foreword by Stine before each story. In this one, I’ll talk about those.
Forward: Stine was in a pumpkin patch once, and a pumpkin rolled towards him. He ran off and wrote this story. Lame.
It seems like both __ Hour books open with a Halloween story. Andrew and his brother Mike have to finish trick or treating before 8 on the big night. Mike is pissed and is angry all the time.
“Mom says he can’t help it because he’s a redhead”
…what the hell does stine have against Gingers?
So why is there a curfew? Kids have vanished on Halloween. Well I bet they won’t find out why by the end of the story!
Andy has a friend named Liz and…mikes is hinted to like her. Ew.
The family is at “Palmer’s pumkin patch” to get a pumpkin. Mom warns them not to cross into the 2nd patch on the other side. Why? it’s palmer’s…private patch.
I wouldn’t make a sex joke if his name wasn’t PLAMer…But I won’t anyway just for you.
They of course walk over to it, and plamer shows up and gets pissed.
He says to stay away from their babies, and as a good, squeezes mikes head. He walks away.
“He had no right to squeeze mike’s head”
Did I really just read that?
They book it and we cut to Halloween. They just got home from trick of treating, and of course they hated it.
Mikes says he’s going to get back at Mr Palmer. They try to stop him but with no dice. Liz decides to follow him and HELP him in his quest.
Yeah, liz and mike wish to get back at him for the horrible crime of…squeezing his head.
Sure, why not.
So they head there, with mike Mike…spray paints his pumpkins. Not exactly any worse than head squeezing.
Mike runs ahead of the pack, and jumps into the private patch. They hear a scream, and the two kids jump into it.
Andrew finally finds mike. It’s dark so he doesn’t see anything,…until he looks up close.,.and sees…his head is a pumpkin.
Right next to that…is a long vine with HIS HEAD ON IT. Behind that is a long line of vines with kid’s heads on them.
The vines wrap around the two kids, getting tighter and tighter.
A wild palmer appear.
“Not quite ripe..but it’s getting there”
Dream or Nightmare?: Dream. Yeah, it’s clunky, but it has good suspense, and a great dark ending. Oh and..
Body Count: 1…Well a bunch of the other kids count, but it’s 1 for the sake of easiness
Foreword: Stine talks about clubs and stuff. Boring.
This one Is 7 pages long. So short that I can sum it up into two sentences, but I’ll do it in more for you
Walter is asked to be president in the alien club, by some kids. He is asked to go by the minutes from last meeting, and he does. Oh, and we get some lamely funny banter between the kids.
One of which is named Evan. Oh god, no, not that name. anything but that name!
Oh, and we get this gem
“What could be so funny in a star trek book?”
So then the long time members pass out the titular candy, and they all eat it. Then they turn into aliens, yet walter stays the same. He has no time to start a meth lab, but he does figure out these guys are real aliens.
Then they eat him.
Body Count: 2
The story cuts to a month later where the club has a new president
“So what do you do at these meetings?”
Dream or Nightmare? Sorry, though I am reluctant, I shall say nightmare. 7 pages long? No detail? Way too short? Lame!
The Most Evil Sorcerer
Foreword: Stine was dared to write something that takes place In another world. He also couldn’t think of an ending for this at first
Yay, the exciting prequel to “how to bargain with a dragon”!
Anyway, this takes place in an old timey british fantasy world. Ned is the apprentice to Margolin. He was previously a big prankster, and his dad sent him to Margolin, hoping he would learn discipline while learning magic to help his family
As the story opens, Margolin turns out to be an asshole. He orders him like a dog, and slaps him a lot. He uses his magic to torture the citizens of the village, and makes ned help him with them…and tests all his spells on him
While Margolin is eating, his food turns into snakes. Ned thinks he will punish him for it somehow..
“I know who did this..Shamandra!’
…That’s a weird name, even for a fantasy story.
So Sham is a “pitiful” sorcerer who is jealous of Margolin. He had a smaller castle. So…they fought over how small their stuff is…and his specialty is snakes.
That spell was a warning that he would come here and kill him. The asshole tries to think of a good revenge plan.
“What about me?”
…I’d give stine credit, this is one amazing asshole.
He tests out his revenge spells on ned, one of which features throwing up rats. He will also put spiders in sham’s skin. Yes, IN his skin. As he scratches, they go deeper
“he will scratch himself to death!’
Well I’ve heard stupider deaths.
He tells Ned, that sham will most likely turn ned into a lizard to intimidate Marg, and of course Marg doesn’t care.
Another sham trick appears, and marg sinks into the floor, but ned saves him.
“Since you saved me…I will teach you to defend yourself”
Wow, he does have a heart. Kind of nice, ya know.
When sham shows up and puts the spell on ned, he must hold up a mirror to reflect it. Well that’s a little too easy.
Sham shows up literally a minute later. The two fight, and ned grabs the mirror but too late, lizard time!
Sham then finally takes over and turns Margolin into a bug.He walks up to Ned…and turns him human?
“That fool! Did he not know I watched him do magic? Did he not think I would learn how to turn food into snakes?!”
So Ned did this…couldn’t he have done the bug thing then? Why did he save him then? If he sank, there would be no need for sham!
What was their plan anyway? What Sham did and what Ned don’t really go together. It’s kind of a confusing twist.
So yeah., he made this deal with sham, and ned is now free, and sham is his master.
“We must get to work”
Here we go agai-
“Shamandra, let me show you a vanishing spell I learned”
…That’s the end. Well…kind of odd to have your main character do this evil thing at the end. Still, I don’t mind it.
Dream or nightmare?: Dream. Well written, nice change of pace, and despite the plot holes, it was very good
Foreword; Stine stayed at a creepy inn once. Lame.
Jill’s mom has purchased a rusty old inn, to fix it up. As the story opens, we are told Jill’s dad died last year, and she has frequent nightmares about it
Well this is starting off peachy.
Also, in a rare change, our main character is /14/ rather than 12.
They head into the inn, and meet its current caretaker, Priscilla. I’ll call her Caretaker cuz I hate spelling that name.
They take their room, as they staying for one night while mom works on buying the inn. She leaves to go deal with that, leaving jill alone.
She is really bored and not sleepy, so she explores the inn…and gets lost. She spots an open door and thinks it is the caretakers room.
She walks in and finds a man instead.
“My name is james. Go away!
Okay, go review a shitty ga-
Wait wrong james.
“You are in danger! Tomorrow is a full moon…and I am a werewolf!”
So it’s a werewolf story now. Well, I didn’t see that coming.
So she runs of, and when mom comes, she tells her about it. I’d scold her for believing him,…but it’s a creepy hotel who’s only resident says he’s a werewolf. I’d be scared too
Oh, And this happens after she faints/falls asleep which she did after meeting james. So thus, mom tells jill it was one of her crazy nightmares.
She takes mom to jame’s room. It is completely empty. Oh, and they have to stay one more night to boot.
“it WAS just a dream…”
That night, she is alone again. She heads out to do…something…and…bumps into james the werewolf! He’s real!
Isn’t it a little late to invade molassia?
She tries to run, and bumps into the caretaker chick. She turns out and guess what she’s a werewolf too. The two werewolves fight over jill.
Jill runs and locks her door (which can totally stop a werewolf) and passes out.
She wakes up caretaker and mom by her side
“that must have been a crazy dream”
…oh great, we’re in inception town
Jill is happy it was all a dream
“oh, Priscilla, what’s that nasty cut on your neck?”
Dream or Nightmare?: dream. Not the best dream story, but it was decent, and had some cool ideas in it.
I’m not Martin
Foreword: Sine overheard kids on the bus saying he is getting his tonsils out on Halloween. So this story came out of stine being a creeper. Yay.
Sean has to get his tonsils out on, you guessed it, easter. His parents assure him that he will be fine, though they fail to mention the ice cream thing.
So yeah, he’s not happy, nor is he martin. Speaking of which, he is assigned a bed next to a kid named Martin.
“I’m not martin!”
The doctors tell sean that “martin” has to get some surgey and he doesn’/t want it. Even since he got there, he’s been chanting the title in order to make them think they have the wrong kid.
“what kind of operation does he gotta do?”
“He has to have his left foot removed”
Sean gets bored and talks with “Martin”.
“Martin is into comic books…but I’m not”
“I don’t go to martin’s school”
This kid is creeping me out..
Whoa…stine book…creeping me out.
The world is ending. Watch out for scarecrows!
“Sean, are you a sound sleeper or a light sleeper?”
Well that’s not suspicious at all.
Sean tells him sound, like the idiot he is.
He has a bunch of nightmares that night, but the most vivid has a boy with two clipboards, with putting one labeled “Martin Charles” on Sean’s bed.
Sean wakes up to see doctors around him
“Easy does it , martin”..
“But…I’m not martin!”
“they told us you’ve been trying to get out of this”
Sean is dragged into the elevator to get surgery. He scream I’M NOT MARTIN as he spies martin…the other one, staring at him evilly.
Well…I think I should dissect that ending to see what the fuck is supposed to have happened. Seriously, what did “Martin” do? I doubt switching clipboards will trick anyone, so that’s not it. Is he a ghost? Is he magic? Did they switch bodies?
Explain book. EXPLAIN!
Dream or Nightmare?: dream. Yes, I just bitched about the ending, but I think that was the point. It’s still a creepy idea, with someone stealing your identity like that. This better get an haunting hour episode. Oh, speaking of stories that got an episode…
The Black Mask
Foreword: stine tells a shockingly creepy opening here, about how you get that horrible feeling something bad will happen.”Hold that feeling. You are ready to read the black mask/”. Damn, major props here
Robb is with his friends (you don’t know how long it took me to figure out it’s a dude. Blame the TV episode for focusing on the female friend instead of Robb). He just moved into a new house.
Well of course.
They are bill, Julie, and Valerie, though I’ll call them the friends for now. They are hanging out in his new basement, where they find piles of old junk
Of course they find the titular mask, and Robb puts it on. Suddenly, he sees a bunch of kids in old clothes playing old board games. He can’t seem to talk to them, and when he takes it off, he sees his normal friends again. They think he was pulling a prank on him
He hands It to Bill, who puts it on and sees the same thing.
They all look into it, and figure out they are looking into the past. But before they can do anything else, the other kids are called home.
That night, Robb checks out the mask again. This time he also sees a big dude with a wrench. Before he can do anything, he sees an explosion which kills the kids in the visions.
He takes the mask off and thinks he just saw the most epic thing ever. He walks outside to find his friends…and bumps into the wrench man. He is here to fix they’re furnace, and robb asks him if any kids died there
Well he tells them a story of how a little girl fell into a furnace..
Wow, that’ graphic, even for this book.
The next day, the kids gather and discuss what to do. Robb thinks they need to somehow speak to the kids, and warn them. But despite all they do, the kids can’t hear them.
They look in the basements closest, and find old clothes and games, just like In the vision. They think they must look the part to talk to them. They put on the clothes, and take out the games.
Wrench man shows up and starts working on the furnace.
He starts to put on the mask..but the furnace starts to rumble
“it’s gonna blow!”
“We were wrong…It showed us..our future!”
Then it blows up
BODY COUNT: 7
Damn, that’s bigger than the Haunting hour.
Dream or Nightmare?: dream. Such a good one. Good ideas good suspense, and a great twist
Afraid of clowns
Foreword: stine had a friend named Chris who thought clowns were just evil assholes. So he wrote this
The main character’s name is chris. Oh Stine, you dog.
He is afraid of clowns. When he was four, a clown at his friends party was messing with him…and randomly said “You could DIE laughing!”
Understandably, this scarred him for life. 9 years later, and he still has nightmares.
So one day he heads to the school carnival. He has fun…until he runs into a clown. A freaky clown..
“YOU COULD DIE LAUGHING”
And of course he loses it in front of everywhere. No one believes him, and he tells his parents.
“we have to get rid of this silly fear of yours”
TWO clowns have told him he could die laughing. Isn’t that a BIT creepy?!
They take him to a circus. The clowns take him up as a “volunteer” then the parents randomly are never mentioned again.
They spray him with water, bop him with shoes..
“then they smacked me with two by fours”
“the audience laughed’
…a kid just got hit by boards and yelled ow. That’s a bit suspicious!
The act ends and they drag him backstage.
AUDIENCE: eh, that’s normal.
Sadly, they are not bringing him to sing Afro Cricus.
They mess with him. Repeating the die laughing chant.
“you know our secret”
“You know we are cruel, and evil”
Well then I guess Chuckie is fucked.
“why do you pretend to be funny?”
So clowns are simply evil assholes who torture kids. They then tickle chris, chanting the ever so annoying chant
“I died laughing”
“Of course, I didn’t really die laughing”
“If you can’t beat em, join em”
That’s right. The book cuts to ten year later, as chris is now part of the evil murder clowns. He’s a big star now.
‘I’m not afraid of clowns anymore. But a lot of kids are…and they must be stopped”
“Now that I’ve told you the story, YOU would never tell..would you? Because I’ll tell you another secret…”
“You could die laughing”
Dream or Nightmare?: mixed. I like the idea of how clowns work, but I find it hard to swallow that no adults have caught on. Still, it’s decent. A dream.
The Dead Body
Well, I see I’ll have to up the body count already…but we’ll wait.
Foreword: he had a dream about a dead body he thought was buried under his house. That’s about i
This is another 7 pager, only this one isn’t as dumb
Will has a friend named Travis who bullies him a lot. So…not a friend
“I hated Travis, even though he was my friend”
…that makes no sense/;
“but I hate myself for being a wimp”
Travis always makes him do dares that embarrass him,. And out of fear, will does them. One day, he goes in his classroom, to see travis drew Will and and cat saying WHO IS THE REAL SCARDEY CAT
Wow, what an asshole.
A few days later, the school is on a field trip to the woods. The kids find a dead body behind a tree. Will is dared to touch it.
He does and boom ZOMBIE time!
“let the dead rest!”
Travis is scared shitless.
What does will do? Eh, he just takes his head and smacks It on a tree. That’s all.
They kids run off
“okay uncle jake, they’re gone now”
“will, you play kind of rough”
…it was all a prank. I’d be angry, but scaring travis was TOO amazing for me to care.
He heads home and talks to mom
“You uncle jake…died last night.. I’m so sorry. I know you thought of him as a friend”
“yes…he was a very good friend”
BODY COUNT: 8
Dream or Nightmare?: Dream. Good idea, good character, and a sweet ending. A bewitching story
Make me a witch
I walked into that one.
Foreword: Stine had a friend who claimed she was a witch. One day another dude got sick, and everyone thought it was her. The “witch’’s name? JUDITH . possible inspiration for the Goosebumps book Be careful what you wish for? Maybe
The story opens with our main character, Stephanie in a witch’s house. Her name is Gemma, and she is a real with who lives in town. She’s infamous for helping people out with magic problems.
“she was on the news when she played a prank on the mayor”
Wait, the witch or the prank itself?
So steph visited the witch cuz she wants to be a witch, as he life sucks. She’s ugly. No really, she even admits it. Good to see a Stine character that won’t get fangirls.
Wait…people make fun of her…she’s ugly…her parents only pay attention to her little brother..
SHE’S A FEMALE DOOF
Gemma says in order to give her magic, steph must prove she is ready to do anything to get her revenge. What does she have to gave her?
Roddy, her baby brother. Damn
She thinks about it and goes home to her mom
“your hair is a mess”
Well she’s just peachy’
“If you tried harder, you would look almost pretty”
….that is BEYOND questionable parenting. Troy Steele would be proud. Seriously, this is borderline abuse!
And our hero just says “thanks for the compliment”. She says mom never says anything nice to her. Wow, I said that most Goosebumps parents were bad, but this makes them look like jesus!
This is the last straw. She’s going to give away roddy. She snatches him and takes her back to Gemma.
Steph is serious. She wants a better life, for real. Turns out this was a test, to prove how serious she was.
So what is Gemma gonna do? She is going to switch bodies with Steph, she is tired of spells. She wants a n new life a new family.
So this steph will be magic, and Gemma will be normal.
Oh, and I need to mention that Gemma is often described as being insanely hot. But not in a creepy way, but in a way “wow, a witch who isn’t ugly” way.
She gives steph a pill, and Gemma takes one as well. Steph is about to take it…when Roddy takes it and eats it.
The witch and brother switch bodies.
“I’ll get you back for this!”
Dream or nightmare?: Dream. Good concept, and it explores the idea of how far you will go to get a better life. As for the mom…well maybe that was the idea. But it was still overkill
Well, we have one more! Will this end on a better, non monkey note?
The Ghostly Stare
Foreword: Stine says he had a friend who said you can kill a ghost by staring at it. Cool story bro
Lauren (two girls in a row!) and her brother Mark (ohai mark!) are on a class trip to the graveyard. Because the museum was busy I guess.
She and her friend are discussing ghosts. She says you can kill a ghost by staring at it. I see this story is finally letting us know the horrors of the staring contest.
It gets too cold, so the teachers says they should head back. Gee, it’s like going outside on a cold day was a bad idea!
That night, laruen realizes she left her gloves, so she goes to get them back . Mark tags along, of course.
And she literally bumps into a ghost girl. It literally says she pops up out of nowhere.
“it’s so cold! I need your coat. I need your shoes. Lauren…I need your skin!”
She remembers the ghostly stares, and tries it out. It works, and she is gone.
well that was fast. At least it was better than alien candy..
yeah, there’s more, duh
she asks mark if he used the stare too, but he runs off. She runs into him in her house, and turns him around.
It’s not mark. It’s a ghostly face with no eyes, and just empty sockets.
“Lauren..it isn’t polite to stare!”
Dream or nightmare?: dream. Yes It is simple, but it has lots of atmosphere and great visuals.
This one is mixed. Most of the stories have a well written feel to them and good creepy atmosphere. But unlike the haunting hour, there are stories that leave me wondering if that was really good or bad. They’re all good in their own way (except for alien candy, which kinda sucked). I think it is well written collection, full of good ideas. The best story by far is The black mask. This book has the stine-isms that bug me, but it’s still a good one to read,. Just don’t expect it to be the best non GB book he ever wrote, unlike The Haunting hour which is .
..it’s my opinion shut up
So guys, next time I shall look at another Stine book, which came out last year. It shall be my first play by play book review which is a real book. Oh you’re in for madness guys…
I’ll give you hint about it: you’re gonna get school’d