Hello, Spongey here
In 1995, the Goosebumps show aired on FoxTV. Kid’s love it and were scared shitless. But many years later, we watch and laugh. It was very cheesy and dumb, but it was still good. They adapted the books in a way that seemed right. It was so bad it was good. It knew how to get kids watching.
It is still a fun show, even if simply for how bad it is.
There was a fellow show called “Are you afraid of the dark?”. It was slightly better In terms of writing, but mostly only for it’s characters. It still had the bad acting and dumb moments the Goosebumps show had, just with better characters.
They were both fun, but the world needed a more…dark, horror show for kids.
Then in 2010, RL Stine decided “why not do one named after a short story collection I did, but base the episodes on the stories from a different one for no reason?”
So thus we got RL Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The series
It is not connected to anything besides the short story collection, and Stine is only involved with the short story eps, which often have nothing to do with the stories.
But beyond that…it’s really good!
It has the same basic structure as Goosebumps, only now it’s different. It’s actually scary, has great atmosphere, and very well written stories.
Yes, the same guy who gave us Go Eat worms green lit a show this good. I’m shocked too. It has legit atmosphere and scary moments. It has none of the trademark cheese stine is known for.
Yes, it does has the occasional breather episode, set for comedy (such as the one where a kid gets a pet zombie) but those are funny in the way they SHOULD be!
It can be taken seriously, even at it’s worst (*cough* Pool Shark *cough*). There are lots of really good episodes.
But which ones are the best? Which have the most well written, best acted, and of course, the scariest?
Let’s find out.
This, is the Top 11 Haunting Hour episodes
The Return of Lilly D
11. A Creature Was Stirring
Go look up my review of this from last Christmas
10. Brush with Madness
This one is low on the list because the only reason I put It on is because it has the most fucked up ending EVER.
This is about two friends named Corey and Emma. Corey is a big comic fan and loves to paint. He has here to attend a book signing of his fave artist, Alan Miller (I C WHAT THEY DID THAR)
It turns out that Allen Miller has been in hiding for 9 years due to being stalked by a crazy fan. Damn it Irving, see what you do?!
Things go awkward until..
“I follow you-
*he runs off a bit later*
That’s right, the entire reason this kid goes through what he does..is twitter.
Miller freaks out and screams for Corey to stay away and attempts to leave the convention. In his rush, he leaves his paintbrushes behind him, leading Corey to follow him to return them. Miller again screams at Corey, and Corey being angry decides to steal the paintbrushes.
Corey decides to start using the brushes. Lost in thought, Corey realizes that the paintbrushes have some sort of power, and he begins to paint multiple comic book panels in a psychotic fashion. He creates a comic about a man named “The Mad Artist” as a take that to Alan.
He starts painting more, and suddenly the brushes literally paint themselves, and whatever they paint comes true…
Before I get to the ending, I’ll talk about the episode itself. It builds good suspense, and has nice bits about obsession and I just like how it’s not a clear cut plot. You don’t know exactly what will happen.
But then comes the ending…
The Mad Artist comes to life and kidnaps the two kids. He ties them to a table saw. He pushes them down to the saw and…
We cut to Alan miller.
“Did you finish your comic about that crazy kid?”
“I got it out of my system”
He puts his comic through the shredder, as we cut to the kids GOING THROUGH THE SHREDDER.
Holy shit. Okay, you may be thinking this is a little harsh. I mean a kid is a tiny bit creepy and you put him in a saw?
But you don’t get the big picture of this episode. He had been stalked by creepy fans his entire life, and he was sick of it. Corey was the last straw. He needed to do something about it.
This is a morality tale in two ways. It attacks crazy fans, and people sick of crazy fans. It says you can’t fault someone for being a fan, even if they are creepy. And it also says you shouldn’t obsess over someone to a big degree.
It may be mean spirited, but that’s the point. It’s meant to make you go “WTF” at every point. It’s a great cruel twist ending.
It has a good underlining message, it has good suspense, and a great WTF ending. It may not be the most well written, but hey, we have 9 episodes to go.
Brush with madness, lives up to its name.
9. The Most Evil Sorcerer
Hey look, An episode based on a short story from The Nightmare Hour…that has nothing to do with the story!
Okay, it’s still great anyway.
This one does something completely different: it takes place in medieval Europe….with American actors. Okay, let’s ignore that.
Two kids (the short story only had one, see what I mean?) named Ned and Sara are the apprentices to the sorcerer mMrgolin. He’s…not very nice. In his first scene, he suspects Sara of lying so he…takes her tongue with magic and threatens to burn it.
Anyway, so Margolin tells them that years ago he banished a former apprentice named Gresilda to some forest cuz she went up against him, but it seems like she’s still living and still powerful, and pulling pranks on him from afar.
One night, the kids make the daring decision to sneak out and go find Gesilda, since she hates Margloin as much as they do, but they find out her ugly-ness is just a mask, and she is actually-
Anyway, they make a deal with her to teach them magic if they help her get revenge. In true Haunting Hour fashion, it goes horribly wrong.
Okay, so this is a rare time where I can’t spoil it. I know, I’m normally a spoiler giving asshole, but this is a time where what happens so freaking good, I can’t find words to properly convey it
But I will talk about it in general.
I first I thought Ned and Sara were siblings…until they kissed. Yes. Speaking of which, they actually do develop them very well. There are a lot of scenes early on where they just talk…about their feelings.
You never saw that in Goosebumps, did ya?
This episode may have a fantasy setting, but it does a good job about having scares, and morals. It pretty much says MAGIC IS EVIL and anyone who uses it is evil. It talks about corruption in general and how power should not be used like…well magic.
Compare that to the short story which ends with Ned using it on another dude with no problem.
I have no problem with that story, it just feels odd that it’s episode has an anti-magic message.
Either way, it’s done well. It deals with how power could hurt those around you, and it’s a little deep. Also, Griselda is still hot.
Oh, and the guy who plays Margolin is amazing. He just dominates every scene he’s in. It’s like the entire world stops when he speaks. He’s is a large ham done right.
It’s just a well written power story, that happens to be a fantasy. It’s also quite creepy at points. So overall, it’s a heartfelt, well done episode that will put a spell on you.
8. Sick .
This episodes makes the list for being a huge mindscrew. Oh, I must preface this by saying this episode’s writer did Brush with madness. Oh yeah.
A kid named Alex gets sick and has to stay home, but his mom leaves, and now he is home alone . He likes this until some robbers-wait wrong home alone.
He finds that the house is suddenly covered in plastic wrap. Then he sees guys in Hazmat suits outside, talking about a “quarantine”.
On top of that, a strange creature begins showing up around the house. The suspense raises, until suddenly the TV turns on all by itself and tells him that the government is not quarantining him, but the strange alien creature that’s invading his home- and that Alex needs to kill the monster before it grows bigger, In order to save himself and his mother.
So that’s the main plot. It’s scary, suspenseful, and you really get into this kid’s head. You feel exactly what he Is going through. The Government is essentially gonna blow up his house due to this odd creature, and at one point he sees his mom outside…crying.
It’s heavy, creepy, and high on suspense. Now for the ending
He finally gains a level in badass and stops the monster when …He wakes up. It was all a fever dream. His mom shows up and then leaves again.
Well that was-
*The TV turns on*
“Alex, WE are not a fever dream, we are! It’s a trick!”
Blinding light. Flat note.
So yeah, this episode is confusing, but it works. He’s so sick it could all be a long fever dream, or not. It’s creepy, and puts you in his state of mind. It purposely messes with your mind.
When I first saw this episode, I had no idea what was going on, so I hated it. You see, complex things make people feel scared.
But as I watched it again, I loved it. It’s just so complex, psychological and deep. It leaves you with so many questions.
There are many interpretations of this ending, on what is really going on.
What’s mine? I think the aliens are doing this. Yep, it’s implied to be an alien. They did this sick thing to mess with his mind. They did complex mind tricks, and the alien is real but they made him think it was all a dream, and the news reporters were to make him even more confused.
As the for light…the aliens killing him, or the gov actually blowing it up but hey. That’s just me.
It messes with your mind, it has great atmosphere, a good conflict, and it’s just a scary ass idea done right.
Sick may be a bad tittle, but it’s a freaky episode
7. The Wrong Number
Okay, this is one is just…fun.
The opening scene, with the main character Stephanie and some other chick sums it up.
“in movies, the ugly girl gets the voiceover. I think the pretty girl deserves it for once”
MONOGRAM: What did I tell you about breaking the 4th wall?
Anyway, here’s our asshole for the evening, Stephanie, played by Debby Ryan-
WAIT DON’T GO! It’s good, just stay!
Anyway, after the show reads my mind and says she is hot, we see she is the alpha bitch of the episode. She and her friend Yaylor always torture people at school, mostly this goth chick. But one day, the old neighbor lady Biazevich is mean as fuck to them, so she prank calls her for kicks. So then she-
“Thanks, miss biaze-bitch”
She just said that. Someone…just swore…in an RL Stine show.
The next day, the woman dies. I guess the swearing was too much for her. Steffani starts receiving text messages telling her to be a nice girl and then finds out that the calls are coming from Mrs. Biazevich’s phone.
An old lady tells a teenager girl to be a nice girl…
Anyway, there’s the bulk of the episode. It’s mostly fun to watch her be a bitch, and to see this bad stuff happen to here.
There is some decent suspense going on, but it’s all just fun. It’s the only episode I like for the entertainment value, rather than writing…well except maybe another coming up.
Oh, and I like that the old witch lets Taylor off easy, as she sees that she is good, and just follows a bad crowd. It makes what happens to Seph much more satisfying
Yes, the chick DID die, she’s just a ghost now. Anyway, she comes and haunts steph, and then we get an amazing karmic ending.
At the end, the witch traps Steph in a phone and sends it to her grand daughter..the goth chick. DUN DUN DUN!
Adriana, the chick, sneers at Steffani trapped in the video and deletes the video, effectively erasing Steffani from existence.
How dark. It’s a great karmic, dark, ending.
This one is simple. It’s just a fun, semi-spooky Asshole comeuppance story. Debby ryan has a lot of fun playing against type, as the bitchy girl.
I know you may be shocked I don’t have complex muses about this episode. Well this episode calls back to Goosebumps, but still has you take it seriously.
The wrong number was the right episode
6. Catching Cold
When I first heard about this one, I thought it would suck hard. But it’s actually great
Marty (played by Rowely from Dairy of a wimpy kid) is a fat kid who likes ice cream. Suddenly, an ice truck labeled Kreamy Kold Ice Cream (cuz poor literacy is kewl). Appears at random times. Everytime he tries to get it, it vanishes from sight. One night, a cone of ice cream appears at his doorstep. He tastes and it ‘s so amazing he tries to find the truck again to get another taste, as it thinks it came from the truck.
So yeah…it’s about an evil ice cream truck. And it’s good This show man…
The main thing I like is how actually scary it is. For one, the kid slowly goes through an obsession. He HAS to have that ice cream. He does anything he can to catch that truck, to the point that everyone thinks he’s insane.
He even sells his best bike to get the money needed to buy some eventually. Yeah..obvious drug parrel is obvious.
And that’s what I like. It talks about obsession is the oddest way possible. Seeing this kid obsess over the ice cream leads to some tense moments.
But…how does it end? Oh you’re gonna love this…
He uses his dad’s tire spikes (he’s a cop) to finally get the truck to slow down. After getting in Marty encounters Jimmy Jeffries frozen in the back, who tells him that to get all the ice cream he wants from the truck.
Yep, a creepy guy tells a kid to get in his truck
His payment is himself. He ends up stuck inside the ice cream truck until someone else takes his place.
Yes, an episode about drugs…obsession, ends up with this creepy ass ending.
This episode says has a dude using a kid’s obsession to mess with him. The show likes to just take a bad qualites and making it screw the kid other, rather than tell a cheesy moral.
I think it’s one of the scariest episodes simply for taking an stupid concept and making it work very well.
Catching cold, is so good I don’t have a pun.
5. The Black Mask
We just talked about how good the short story is and…well my reasons are the exact same. I suggest you go to my Nightmare hour review and look at my bit on that story. It’s a great episode that adapts the story well, though there is ONE change, besides the character flip, but it’s fine.
Oh, and they don’t die at the end. But I can live with that.
4. Fear Never Knocks
This one is spooky in concept, but besides that it’s also quite fun.
Jenny (Ariel Winter) and her brother insertnameiforgothere are visiting their psychiatrist grandfather. He is known for being able to rid of people of their fears somehow. When he heads out to do stuff, they find the machine he uses to record his sessions, and they play with it. However, they find out that any recording played by it comes true, and their worst fears come to life…
Before I discuss the best villain ever, lets talk about how good the concept is. It really talks about fear, and how to face it. It really brings life to the phrase “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”. But it talks about how fear is often a good thing, and taking them on is the only way for them to not be a huge issue.
It feels a lot more adult than the typical story of this type. Then…we have our villain. The villain…is Fear. And I don’t mean figuratively. The personification of Fear pops up to threaten the kids.
You see, the recorder came from Fear (Christopher Heyerdahl), and Gramps made a deal with Fear to get it. And it turns out that Fear…is the hammiest villain ever. Oh, I don’t mean he can’t be taken seriously. He’s still very creepy in a foreboding kind of way. But this is like if Christopher Walken played Satan. Oh, and here’s a free out of context line!.
“Oh, a little girl with my box!”
Oh, and this ep was directed by the same guy who did Catching cold and The Most evil Sorcerer. Now that’s a director I can get behind!
Oh, and let me spoil the best part:
Fear asks Jenny to get the box so he can unleash his fears all over the world, she gets it, but she talks into it and says her fear…
“I am afraid of fear itself. I’m afraid of you!”
She presses the stop button. Fear (hamily) vanishes and finally gets defeated.
She got rid of fear itself. Crowning moment of awesome, eh?
But there is one thing I felt should have been addressed. Early on, they say, and I quote, without fear, we’d all get hit by a truck or something. So when they get rid of FEAR ITSELF, the episode has somewhat happy ending.
I felt that there should have been an ending where the city plunges into chaos with everyone doing stupid shit. Seeing as this ep explores fear, it would be nice.
But hey, it’s RL Stine. Be glad it didn’t end with scientist werewolves.
Despite that, it’s still great. The concepts are well explored, it’s well acted, scary, and has a great villain.
What’s not to love?
3. The Perfect Brother
This is an episode which will make you go “holy shit\” at the end. But before that, let’s talk about the main thing.
Josh is far from perfect, but his brother isn’t. He gets good grades, has good manners and his parents are always wanting him to be perfect. Josh doesn’t like how Mom and dad are always pressuring him, and comparing him to his perfect brother
But one day, Matt, the brother starts slipping a bit. He gets an…A-
He also acts odd, such as tripping a lot and making minor mistakes. He hears talk of his parents saying that “it failed”. Now he thinks his parents may be taking perfection too seriously…
Okay, the twist is obvious but well done. We have good suspense, and some good acting,. The real star of the episode is the brother stuff. Josh really does like Matt and he worries the parents may be working him too hard. They have respect for each other, and it really shows in one scene…
When the parents take Matt when he breaks his leg, Josh follows to see what is going on. He ends up at a strange factory.
His brother is strapped to a table. Matt tells him he can’t go home, as he is imperfect.
“No matter what they say…I always thought you were the perfect brother”
He then drops the bomb: Matt is a robot that malfunctioned and will be replaced. Josh is captured and dragged home, where he meets Matt 2.0
Then we get…the real twist.
“Humans are so unstable. They exhibit too many emotions.”
“We thought having a human around the house would be a good idea”
“I’m your son!”
“No. you’re just our experiment”
He is put In a crate. End.
…DAMN. Holy shit!
This is amazing. Depressing, deep, tear jerking, and awesome. The concept is great, and the ending is a wonderful cruel twist. The relationship really works in this.
In the end, Matt didn’t want to be a perfect robot. He liked josh, and was against his parents shipping Josh off. It feels a lot more complex than most sibling stuff on this show.
It’s shockingly deep for a show like this, and man tears were shed that day.
This is one episode that just shocked me with how good it is.
Not much else to say but the perfect brother is…a pretty cool episode.
Oh my god, forget The Perfect brother, this episode gave me man tears to fill a waterfall.
A kid named Josh (another one!) is on his first plane ride. He is by himself, and he meets a man (never named). He tells him about how his dad got a new wife recently and he feels distant now. Things go fine…until Josh notices an old lady on the plane turn into the reaper for a few seconds.
At first they both think it’s weird, but then they both see it happen again. And on top of that. The plane is carrying a corpse. Which explains death.
The two decide they’d had enough of this motherfucking death on this motherfucking plane and think of what to do.
Brought to you by the man who gave us Fear Never knocks, this is a great episode. It’s scary with its version of death and has a good atmosphere.
But…what makes it a tear jerker?
Well first, we find out the man is a ghost. He is the corpse on the plane. But… He refuses to think he’s dead. Even when the plane starts going down, and the reaper tells him he’s dead, he doesn’t want to go.
He was a lonely man in life. He never felt fulfilled. He was a loner. He never found love or anything. So when he died, he refused to accept it. He didn’t live life, so he feels he doesn’t want death.
…It gets better.
During all this, the plane is going down. Josh says “Dude, we’re all gonna die, you can’t put your needs in front of others”
Then it hits him that this parallels the thing with his dad. He should accept his dad’s decision and actually hang out with him. When the two finally decide to accept their situation, the man is allowed to move on to the after life.
That’s deep, complex and kind of cool. It’s a lot more tear jerking in context, but seriously, it’s depressing for most of it.
It’s really a deep, complex episode that explores themes you don’t expect.
Oh, and the guy who played Josh (the kid from Reel Steel) has been nominated for a daytime emmy for this one. It’s THAT good!
Oh, and it has an ending line that, like Sick, leads to crazy fan theories. At the end, Josh gets off the plane, and says bye to the reaper (why he turned himself in to a WOMAN is beyond me)
“without a doubt!”
Now, what does that mean?
It means he’ll die eventually and thus, well see her…him…it, later.
Basic, thought it’d be simple. But there is one theory that I love:
The man was josh as an adult. Think about that. Awesome.
Another simple one, but it’s a shockingly deep, tear jerking, and creepy episode of the series.
What could top that? We’ve seen robots, death, and bitchy Debby ryan. What could be better?
The number one haunting hour episode is…
When making this list, I knew number one would be the episode that scared me the most. And I can’t think of a scarier episode than this.
At first glance, it seems like the typical stuff.
A farmer named Jenny (Bailee Madison) has trouble ridding her crops of an infestation of crows, so she buys a scarecrow from a mysterious salesman. The man is a known fan of this poem.
“We, are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men. Leaning together. Headpiece. Filled with straw”
Yeah, he’s creeeeeepy.
The crows vanish…and so do the other animals. The scarecrow pops up in odd places…followed by . Silence.. Dead. Silence.
What makes this episode is the atmosphere. Every scene is filled with no music at all. Except a couple bits. There are periods of dead quietness with no one talking.
Whenever the man is on screen it slows. He’s the opposite of Fear. He is quiet. He talks at a creepy level, and everything stops when he shows up.
There are tons of great shots. It’s directed wonderfully, and it adds a wonderful scary mood.
But of course, the big part is the ending. How does it end?
Her brother walks into the house. Everyone In town has vanished…even the girl. He finds the man in his living room.
“It was always meant to be. It’s perfect. And yet…if If have no one to share it with…it wouldn’t be perfect. Bobby…. This is the way the world ends.This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends! Not with a bang…but a whimper. We, are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men. Leaning together. Headpiece. Filled with straw”
HOLY. FUCKING .SHIT.
It ends with the END OF THE WORLD. That is the most fucked up ending ever!
But that’s not the end…at all. They made TWO ENDINGS! You got to vote on which was better, the original, or “director’s cut’
In the director’s cut, we see the man turn into a scarecrow. Bobby sets him on fire, and walks off…to be the only man in the world. Wow.
The original ending?
Bobby and the man are both scarecrows. DAMN That is HARSH
Btw, the happier ending won. Bah.
Oh, and that poem? It’s called The Hollow Men. It’s actually a famous one, seen everywhere. You may remember it’s famous line being twisted in the movie Southland tales. So…this episode is an interpretation of an poem.
That is amazing for a show with RL Stine’s name on it. The episode had two writers, Billy brown and dan angel.
Their previous show? Goosebumps. The two guys who can churn out cheesy stuff like “Say cheese and die again” can turn in a deep complex episode like this.
This is the best because it has everything. Great idea, great script, complex stuff, and a cruel ending.
It scared the crap out of me, and judging from the youtube comments, I am not alone.
Simply put, Scarecrow is an insane masterpiece. It sums up why this show is great. Thus, it’s the best episode of the series.
So what can you expect in the upcoming third season? An episode about fairies. What. An episode about old vampires…guest starring Christopher Lloyd. A Sequel to “The Deal Body”. Yes a short story ep (that had jack shit to do with the story) with no sequel is getting one. And for the first time…an ep based on a story from the haunting hour. Which one? The imaginary friend one. Eh it’ll do.
One last note, Stine says he hopes they never make an episode out of “I’m not martin”.
“It’s really disgusting, I should be ashamed”
Identity theft is SERIOUS BUSINESS