Goosebump a thon #45: Ghost Camp

Hello, Spongey here

 

Welcome back to Goosebump-athon!

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Ghost Camp

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Cover:  how can I say this…it looks like someone took a dump all over it. Seriously, Tim, couldn’t you have chosen  a better color?! Thankfully, I own the reprint.

                                            

Front Tagline: “Be all that you can’t see” nice

Back Tagline:  “The jokes on them!”

Summary:

 

Brothers Harry and Alex Altman are the sole occupants of the bus to Camp Spirit Moon. Alex starts to get bus sick and Harry, being the helpful older brother, tells him to take his mind off it by singing. Alex has a beautiful singing voice. Alex is a great singer, and was supposed to go to music camp for the summer, but because their parents enrolled them both so late in the summer, the only camp that was available was Camp Spirit Moon. Their bus driver stops in the middle of nowhere and tells the kids to follow the trail into the woods by themselves. He tells them it’s not too far to the camp before driving away.

A bus driver…middle of nowhere…this is like camp nightmare! …only better.

Yep, this is a good one.

 

Once they arrive at camp, they find the place deserted. Finally an older teenager stumbles out of the woods and tells the two kids that the entire camp has left; only he can’t get through it without laughing.

Well I guess Stine got his cat scare out. Didn’t troy say there was no “Memorable Chapter break? Bull, here’s your cat scare.

He tells the kids that it’s a traditional Camp Spirit Moon joke to trick the new campers into thinking the camp is abandoned. Uncle Marv, the head counselor, races out from hiding and greets the two kids Uncle Marv teaches the kids the Spirit Moon Greeting, which consists of yelling out “Yohhhhhhhh Spirits!” and then extending your left hand to your nose and then pushing it up into the air.

…I dare all of my readers to do that/

Harry thinks the salute is goofy, but he still politely repeats it for Uncle Marv, as does Alex.

Wait./….marv…harry..

 

Home alone lol

 

Uncle Marv drops the kids off at their cabin, which is also abandoned. As they’re deciding who sleeps on top and who sleeps on bottom, Harry steps in a sticky blue puddle of liquid.

Well I didn’t think it turned him on that much

There are several strange blue, icy cold puddles inside the cabin. Uncle Marv comes back to collect Harry and Alex for the Welcoming Campfire. The brothers follow Uncle Marv in the dusky night until they arrive at a huge bonfire.

While waiting in line for food, Harry looks behind him and sees that Alex has already made friends with a kid. When he makes it to the front of the line, he has trouble finding a hot dog roasting stick until a cute girl reads his mind and directs him to the pile. Her name is Lucy and her beautiful pale features and dark hair cause Harry to start crushing on her immediately.

Lucy and Harry watch as some kid shoves an entire hot dog into his mouth, which causes Lucy to lead Harry away so they can be alone.

Uh…..should I make a sex joke now?

Lucy and Harry lean-in close to the fire and start cooking their dogs. Harry’s hot dog falls off the stick into the fire and Lucy reaches her hand into the flames to retrieve it.

She really wants that hot dog…

She calmly hands him back his charred hot dog and then, almost as an afterthought, starts wailing about how hot the fire was. Before Harry can protest too much, Lucy grabs him by the arm and leads him to the chip table. Later, Uncle Marv announces to the group that he’s going to tell the “two ghost stories.” Uncle Marv explains that the two Camp Spirit Moon ghost stories he’s about to tell have been passed down from generation to generation.

Uncle Marv spins the first yarn, which is about a counselor that leads his troop deeper and deeper into the woods. The campers keep hearing a thumping sound coming from the ground. Finally the counselor realizes they had ventured too far into the woods and the ground they were sleeping on is actually the skin of a monster. The monster’s vast head then appears and it opens its mouth, handily eating all the campers in one bite.

..

 

That’s not a ghost story, dumbass

Good story though

 

Harry finds the story amusing, but everyone is scared. Lucy leans in his ear and tells him he will believe in ghosts after the next story.

No comment.

Now for story 2

 

“This is the story…of the ghost camp”

 

Oh so that’s why it’s called that

 

 Uncle Marv describes a night much like that night, when campers were all gathered around a campfire, listening to ghost stories. A thick dark fog fell from the sky and enveloped the campers. It was so thick that they couldn’t even see the huge fire that was only a few feet away. When the fog lifted, the entire population of the camp lay motionless on the ground. The fog had killed every child, teenager, and adult in the camp. The ghosts of the campers then glumly rose up and made their way back to the cabins, knowing they’d never leave Ghost Camp.

…that’s insanely creepy.

Harry is a little more receptive to this story. He turns to ask Alex what he thought but Alex is staring in horror at the sky, where a thick fog has become visible in the moonlight and is descending towards the camp. Uncle Marv smiles and steps back into the darkness of the woods as the wisps of the fog begin to snake their way down into the campgrounds from above. When the fog finally lifts, the two boys realize they’re standing alone in the center of the circle. The camp grounds are silent and empty. Harry and Alex walk back towards the cabins and sure enough, once they approach their bunk, the other campers all come out of hiding, laughing uproariously. It was a joke.

Darn., that was a scary scene up until that point. Yes, I said it was scary. Shut up.

Uncle Marv tells the camp that it’s lights-out. After dark, he spies Joey, one of their bunkmates hovering over his bed several feet in the air. The next morning Harry is hanging out with Joey and Sam, another bunkmate. Alex gets into the talent show and is cast as the lead in the camp musical.

His friend Elvis auditions and…he sucks.

 Elvis is given a position in the play, that of stage hand. After the boys take off their shoes and mess around barefoot for a while, Sam gives himself a critical wound by piercing a metal tent-pole through his foot, pinning it to the ground

YIKES

. When he notices Harry’s shock, he calmly pulls the pole out of the ground and says that it just missed his toes.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, at dinner, Joey takes a fork and shoves it into his neck. He insists it’s a trick but both Harry and Alex are more than a little weirded-out. Uncle Marv wanders over to their table and tells Joey to stop horsing around. He reminds them that they should conserve their energy for the big boy vs. girl soccer game that night.

On the way to the field, Lucy waves at Harry but before he can wander over to her Sam and Joey lead him off in the opposite directionHarry tells Alex about the tent-pole incident. Alex notifies him by telling an even creepier story. After his audition, Alex had gone out to the lake for free swim. The weather was so nice and the water was so clear that he floated out past the shore and decided to look beneath the surface. When he dunked his head under, he spotted a girl at the bottom of the lake. Not swimming, just sitting on the floor underneath the water.

What is with all the creepy images in this book? Is this really the same Stine who wrote Monster blood 2?

Not knowing if there was time to swim all the way back to get a counselor, Alex dived down to rescue her, hoping he wasn’t too late. \As he neared the shore, he began to hear the girl laughing. When he reached the shore, she turned around under his arm and spit water into his face. She freed herself and began floating back in the water away from the shore. Alex called out to her as she floated away how she was able to do that, and she ominously replies that she can hold her breath a long, long time.

The two siblings try to participate in normal camp activities to take their mind off all the weirdness, and things more or less go on uneventfully for a couple days. One night though, right before lights-out, Harry is stopped on the way to his cabin by Lucy. She grabs him around the waist with both arms and pulls him into the woods.

WHOA GIRL

 She tells him again that he has to help her. Naturally he’s inclined to do so, and he swallows hard and asks what wrong. She tells him he’s right, that everyone at the camp is a ghost. Even her.

DUN DUN DUN!

 

Harry tries to tell himself that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, not even cute ones, but he realizes she’s telling the truth. Turns out Uncle Marv’s second ghost story was based on True Events. Harry sympathetically takes Lucy’s ice-cold hand and tells her he believes her. They have a pretty somber discussion of what it’s like to be a ghost and Lucy reveals that the blue puddles all around the camp are protoplasm that materializes and collects every time the ghosts make themselves visible.

…ectoplasm, stine. That stuff would be called ectoplasm

 Lucy pleads with Harry to help her by allowing her to take over his mind and body. She begs him and promises that once they leave the camp grounds she’ll leave his body.

The only way for a ghost to escape the camp grounds is to take over a live human body. Harry won’t go for it and he starts to back away from Lucy. The fog starts encircling the two and Lucy begins floating in the air in front of him, emotionally bargaining with him to let her take over his mind and body He can feel Lucy’s hands and body entering into his head and his mind. The freezing feeling begins to envelop Harry’s entire body as he tearfully tries to talk Lucy out of taking over his body. He tries very hard to resist her invasion but gradually begins to give way to her assault.

…GHOST RAPE

 

He starts yelling out loud and angrily resists her. He figures that if he can’t reason with Lucy, he’ll reason with himself: he can stop her. He keeps yelling and howling into the night, and fights the urge to just lie down and go to sleep. Suddenly he feels the weight lifted from his body. Harry quickly rushes towards the camp to retrieve his brother.

Harry bursts into the bunk, waking everyone/ he throws his brother his clothes and shoes and tells him to get dressed. Once he’s laced-up, Harry drags Alex out of the cabin and tells him to run as fast as he can.

Alex tells him he knows. Elvis told him and tries to enter his body..

Oh god the fact that its’ a guy makes It worse

 Afraid that they’re not far enough away from the camp, Harry pushes Alex to keep running when the two boys hear the same thumping sound from the first “ghost” story.

The smooth ground beneath their feet begins to shake with the thumps. Alex cries out that they’re standing on the monster, just like in the story. Harry is in disbelief until the monster’s head appears.

“WHY ARE YOU STANDING ON MY HEART?!”

Harry thinks quickly as the creature pushes the two boys into its mouth. He tells his brother that they don’t believe in ghosts and they don’t believe in monsters and this just can’t exist. He forces Alex to admit that monsters can’t exist. The vast monster swallows the two boys and they land safely on the ground. By believing the monster can’t exist, they proved it didn’t!

The two brothers cheerfully embrace in the clearing, only to be interrupted by Uncle Marv. Uncle Marv commands the other campers to capture the two boys. Harry and Alex close their eyes and begin chanting that the ghosts can’t exist. When Harry opens his eyes, Lucy’s face is directly in front of his. She taunts him that he can’t escape and then pins him to the ground.

BAD TOUCH

Harry sees Elvis doing the same to Alex- god this book is full of so much sexual stuff-

 and he feels the icy sensation of Lucy entering his body.

Just as Harry submits to his fate, another camper knocks Lucy off his body, But is shoved out of the way by another camper who says Uncle Marv said he could go first. Lucy is dragged away, Lucy tries to protest by saying she saw Harry first.

Well at least he can say girls were fighting over him.

 The other ghosts soon join in and begin fighting with each other as all the counselors and even Uncle Marv get caught up in the swirling ghost-fight. They spin faster and faster until they just disappear into a flash of blinding white light. Harry helps his brother up off the ground and the two head towards the highway to flag down a car.

So let this be a lesson; don’t fight or this will happen.

 

Twist Ending:

Harry and Alex are walking, when alex starts singing. Harry notices it sounds…like elvis!

 

“please, don’t tell anyone!”

End.

Great cruel twist, I dig it

TV Episode:  none

Notable Lines:  when Elvis auditions. They make him sing Heartbreak Hotel

“Well it really was a heartbreak…because he couldn’t sing  a single note!”:

Useless Fact:  This had a sequel in the 2000 series…an in name only one. Yes, it is literally a different book, with a different plot and LOTS’ of gay subtext. Fuck that.

Final Thoughts:

This was a welcome change after say cheese and die again. It has great atmosphere, an engaging story, some great scary moments, and some good dark humor. It is the most serious book in the serious, by far. No dumb jokes, little attempts at humor, and yet it still keeps what kid’s loved about the series. Unlike say, Dead house, which gets a bit too gory for younger kids,  this is fine for kids but stays dark and creepy. It has none of those problems the series suffers from, and Stine still  makes it feel like a true goosebumps book. If you want proof this series can be more than kiddie shit, this is it

Grade: A

 

See ya!

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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2 Responses to Goosebump a thon #45: Ghost Camp

  1. Was Tim actually in charge of what color the general cover border is? Either way, yeah. The poop brown doesn’t mesh well.

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