Hello, Spongey here.
Well, I think it’s time to dive back into Goosebumps once again. Oh, we’ll get back to Horrorland soon, but I’d like to jump into series 2000 again. I reviewed two 2000 books already, so go check out my “Cry of the cat” review for the infodump.
So why am I jumping into this? Well, Today October 8th..is RL Stine’s birthday. Yeah, I had to talk about it. He is now 69.
Forgetting the sex joke, it’s freaky to think he’s almost 70
Last year, I did my list of the worst goosebumps books. This year, I was gonna do my BEST list…but I can’t get it done in time.
Instead, I wanted to do a book review. But which one? Well, it had to be positive. Then decided to do my personal fave series 2000 book. Not best, just the one I like reading the most.
The one with the most fun, and just the most awesome-ness. And for RL Stine’s birthday, I wanted to look at it.
This, is Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls
Okay, this cover is amazing. I just love the detail, and how awesomely gory it is. I love the eyeball falling, that’s pretty awesome. You don’t see much gore in a GB cover, and this one is epic
We open with an essay, written by our hero, Spencer, for his englsh class. As in, we open with An bit from it, right to the title, which gives us his name
“I live in a town called Highgrave”
Of course you do.
It’s named as such, due to the graveyard which lies high on the hills. It’s a big ass place, and the even sunny days aren’t really sunny here. just as he gets into it, we cut to the real world as he is telling this essay to the class.
Wait, don’t they kind of…know this stuff? Was the assignment to just write exposition or what?
All that happens here, is that the teacher says his writing is fine, and the classmates laugh. Back to the essay, he says he and his siblings have nightmares about the graveyard
See, legends say the graveyard is full of ghouls that possess people and shit. After explaining this, we cut to the real world again. Frank, the token bully, laughs and the teacher asks for his essay, but of course he doesn’t have it.
Frank and his friend Buddy are “Cool” goofs, and are very well liked. Meanwhile Spencer is smart, skinny, and not goofy or cool. Yes, Frank will get comeuppance later…much later
Before he can finish the essay, the bell rings. But the teacher has an idea. Tomorrow, the class is going up the graveyard. Well ,I can’t see ANYTHING going wrong…
We cut to later at dinner, where Spencer is eating with his parents, and siblings Jason, Remy, and Charlotte. The latter two have no bearing on the plot, so I won’t mention them.
Jason asks Dad what “metamorphism” means, and dad defines it like he’s wordgirl or something. A few minutes later, this moves into a food fight, which happens often in fiction and never in real life.
Spencer just goes upstairs and calls his friend audra. Yep, another platonic male/female friendship
See, Audra invited him to a dance at the place where she takes dance lessons. Spencer wants to reject because he hates to dance.
Yes, a girl essentially asks him out…and he declines. Wut. Okay, he doesn’t seem to be into her of course, but STILL!
Anyway, the line is busy, so he can’t call her.. Spencer sits on his bed, and spies the graveyard out the window, and hears ghostly like cries coming from it…
The next day, the class heads out to the graveyard. I guess they can do it without warning, or parent permission. Anyway, Spencer couldn’t find his backpack, so he had to borrow jason’s,…which is a barney backpack.
Frank is not pleased. Or anyone else for that matter. Amongst the mocking, Audra walks up and they talk. Spencer give us the info.
“I really like her. She’s smart and funny, and she’s the prettiest girl in Highgrave middle school”
…not so platonic after all, I see. So …not only do we have another rare example of a GB character being in “love” with another, but he is FRIENDS with her?! Hell, with most GB characters who like another, they don’t talk much or just out of their league
They did this in How I Learned to Fly as well, but we didn’t know if anyone else like her outside of jack and Wilson, so maybe she’s only like the 23rd most popular. Here, she’s clearly very popular, and yet our hero is friends with her.
This is much like Calling All Creeps with the “loser” and cute chick thing, only there, she was new and only kind of popular (and in the TV episode, it was implied her friendship with Ricky didn’t help her rep). Sure, in this she doesn’t get too many other advances, but it’s clear that she is popular.
On top of that, not much attention is called to it, and it’s treated as normal. So it is possible to have a loser be friends with a hot chick, and not have it be a colossal huge event. This seems like an odd thing to praise but I just like this dynamic. It’s not brought up much, so at least we focus on the ghouls.
“I wanted Audra to think I was rugged, so I unzipped my jacket”
Watch out, we got a badass over here.
They check out the graveyard and stuff. They spot the grave of a murderer that died on the hanging out tree. Hey, references to that fact that people kill people! Nice one, Goosebumps
They then see the double grave of brothers Martin and Oswald Manse
“I bet they were nice kids, certainly not murderers who died at the hanging tree!”
I love how that is his first though upon seeing a kid’s grave. Though to be fair, that’s the funny shit I’d think of after seeing a murderers grave.
He tries to catch up with Audra…but trips on the double grave. Wah wah. He hears a small cry, but no one else does. Hmmmm…
Then the teacher announces it’s time to go. Man, that was quick. That was like 5, minutes! As he walks out he feels a hand grabbing him and…it’s…uh…I don’t know. He turns around, and there is nothing there.
Come on, at least give us something. Troy steele pointed out how they don’t even give us a bullshit thing for him to snag onto. Well, I think it’s the graveyard ghouls trying to get him, but to no avail. Kind of obvious troy..
He brushes this off as he heads home, with some decent descriptions of the wind and shit. Later on, jason asks for his backpack back and it’s now spencer remembers that he left it in the grave-yard
So, a class goes to a graveyard, our hero leaves something there, goes back and shit happens./ …this is exactly like the “ghostly stare” story from the nightmare hour!
They are both different, but it’s creepy how those things happen in both. This book came out in 1998, while TNH came out in 99 so…he ripped off this kind of!
Back to the story. He tells Jason what happened, and he demands that spencer go get it. So Spencer calls Audra and asks her to tag along cuz he’s understandably scared. She agrees to this without even knowing why he wants her.
A few minutes later, they meet up.he explains it to her, than she says Frank called her afterwards (why does he have her number anyway?) . He wanted to borrow her notes, and she told him she was going up the graveyard with spencer
Uh…why?! why tell him that?1 you didn’t even know why spencer wants you there, and you tell the bully you are going there! What an idiot!
Spencer questions her, but she just shrugs. Oh that audra! Do do do! Anyway, they head through the graveyard .suddenly, he hears hot breathing behind him. he assume it’s audra…til he spots her in the distance
Yep, it was more ghostly stuff. Spencer runs up to her before he can get any more scared. He gets the backpack but also notices his hat, which he also left. And…it has a human inside in it. Okay, what’s it gonna REALLY be?
Nothing. He tells audra about it, and he clearly sees it, but when they go up to it, there’s nothing there. I see this ghost likes to just fuck with him and not do anything. Yet. Eh, at least it’s well written
Suddenly, he hears a voice saying “spencer, give me back my head!”. Yeah, it’s just Frank and his goon.
Yeah, he heard that guy was at a graveyard and he followed him there cuz he’s a bully. Spencer wants to leave, but Frank keeps fucking with him.
“Spencer doesn’t wanna leave, he’s a ghoul”
“Yeah, a grave-yard ghoul”
Ohai bulk and skull.
So then they…pull out a rope and tie him a grave stone. Uh…WUT. Why…did he bring that? I mean, did he hear spencer was there and thought-
“oh, I’ll tie him to a gravestone!”
I mean, it makes no sense! Whatever.
No one even questions it, audra just runs for help (yeah, don’t try to fight him or anything). The bullies run off. So spencer is tied to a gravestone in a creepy graveyard in a book called attack of the graveyard ghouls
This will go well . Spencer tries to stay calm, as he knows audra will get help. Wait, can’t she just untie him? I mean, frank is just a 12 year old, he can’t be that good at tying knots! Anyway, spencer feels a chill…
The gravestone starts to move, as he hears howls in the distance. Then he hears a voice
“I need your body!”
Sex jokes I could have made: 1
Anyway, he slowly starts to lose control of his body as an unknown entity takes over. Then it makes him stare at aurda for no reason. Wait wrong story.
He tries to fight it, but he can’t. the force tears into his body, and suddenly, his sprit floats out. Now, he’s staring at his own body tied to the stone.
DUN DUN DUN
As fast as I make it sound, it is described slowly and it’s creepy how it happens. Anyway, out of body stuff.
Now, here’s an awesome idea coming up. See, In most possession tales, the character is simply a ghost, who can still float around even touch things. Here? He literally has nothing. He’s just his mind, floating in the wind. He can’t move, feel, or touch at all,. He has little to no chance at getting out of this, and must try hard to get out.
See, that’s scary,. It’s a creepy idea, and provides a good challenge to our hero,. It’s creative, scary, and adds character. THAT is what I’m talking about. This is awesome!
Spencer’s body gets up, and in a creepy voice the ghoul tells him that spencer’s body is now his. Why is he doing this? It’ll be explained later, but for now let’s pay attention to the epic-ness going on.
Audra shows up with spencer’s parents, thinking spencer hasn’t been possessed or anything of course. Spencer tries to warn them, but he has no voice anymore. See, scary!
The parents untie “Spencer” and it seems they were told about frank. They simply say that they’ll call his parents. Yeah, no “HOLY FUCKING SHIT HE TIED YOU UP WITH A ROPE HE SOMEHOW HAD”. Just an “oh that frank”. Whatever
The gang walks off, and the ghoul smiles at spencer as he walks away. Now there’s no hope, as spencer can’t move or grab onto anything. Suddenly, he feels tried. Like another force is dragging him to the grave..
“NOOOO! I WILL NOT GIVE IN!”
Then, a bunch of other ghouls show up. Of course they are given awesomely gory descriptions. They tell spencer that he is a ghouls now and that his body is gone forever. Spencer doesn’t/’t like that, but he has no choice.
so who was it that took his body anyway?
“Oswald manse stole your body. You angered him”
Oh yeah, that grave he toppled over. Does he have a chance of reasoning with Oswald?
“Oswald Manse is EVIL. He and his brother burned down half the town. People died”
…so what was it you said earlier?
“I bet they were nice kids, certainly not murderers who died at the hanging tree!”
I love irony. Seriously, that’s a well set up brick joke.
Anyway, yeah we have a villain who isnt’ above KILLING people. Hell yes. This is awesome.
So where’s martin? Don’t worry, we’ll see him later. Spencer still wants his body, and while there is a way, the ghouls say he must find out in his own.
For now, they vanish ,leaving spencer alone. Now he has pretty much no hope right now. Suddenly, he sees a bunch of rats sniffing around. Then the rats approach a nearby rabbit.
Then…they attack the rabbit and eat it.
i…let me check that again, I must have read that wrong
“In seconds, very little was left of the rabbit. Bits of muscle. A puddle of blood”
…I can’t believe I have to say this but..
RATS. DON’T. EAT. RABBITS.
I mean…wow. That has to be THE most bizarre thing in Goosebumps history. A bunch of rats eat a rabbit in like a second…that doesn’t happen. And spencer treats it as normal. Sure he’s horrified, but in a very basic way. I mean, it’s not like a RAT ATE A FREAKING RABBIT.
So…let’s try to move on from…THAT. Spencer stares, and decides maybe he can take over the rat like the ghoul did to him. he thinks maybe if he concentrates hard enough, he can take over the rat.
He thinks about if he really wants to invade, be he has no choice., this is the only way to get his true body back. One good description later, he ends up in the body of the rat.
Of course, he feels icky and weird (and has an odd appetite for rabbits I assume).but he hears an odd voice crying for help, but he thinks it’s just nothing and runs off. As he runs, his rat senses take over, and when he sees a worm, he eats it.
I looked it up, and rats DO eat worms. So you get a pass…for now. He gets home, but as he spots a garbage cat, his senses make him want to go eat some garbage. But as he eats,. He spots other rats.
The rats then start to beat the shit out of rat!spencer. see, they can tell that this isn’t a real rat, and fight him off. Thankfully, spencer, like a badass, kicks their rat asses, and runs inside his house.
As soon as he gets inside, his senses are hugely triggered. “DANGER!”
Danger, Spencer Kassimir, danger!
He is then attacked by his pet cat, duke. Hey, big challenges to our main character that give him a hard time for good reason!
“I’m gonna die in a rat’s body, chewed to death by my own cat”
Spencer isn’t having any of it, and tries to fight back. He jumps on the cat’s head, and tries to take it’s body. This works. Okay, spencer is awesome now. Though I do feel bad for the cat..
“Sorry for taking your body, boy. But lives are at stake”
So he heads to mom’s room…instead of facing Ghoul!Spencer. he wakes the parents up, but they don’t get what is going on. yeah, I guess he forgot cat’s don’t speak English
Cat!Spencer decides to write a message with the nearby pen and paper. But of course. He can’t
“It’s a little late to be playing with pens”
I’ll just leave this here, cuz it’s the best line in the book
After that, they kick him out, and Spencer heads to his room (like he should have done in the first place!). of course, it’s been trashed, and he hears a loud noise in the kitchen
He heads down there (why don’t the parents hear this) and finds the ghoul trashing the fridge. The ghouls spots Cat!Spencer and tells him he’s screwed.
“I’m going to go out and find another body-a good strong body-and I’m going to destroy yours!”
So…you’re gonna kill him. damn, this book has balls!
“Do you know who you’re dealing with kitty cat? I’m Oswald manse”
Let me make that more awesome
“I’m Oswald manse bitch!”
Oswald throws spencer in the basement and puts him in a box. Spencer tries to escape, to no avail. But then, a spider crawls in, and spencer decides that this body will do. So thus, he goes into the spider’s body and uses it to escape.
He makes it to his brother jason’s room, and decides he needs his body. Don’t worry, spencer thinks about it, and decides he must in order to save the lives of pretty much everyone. He takes his body and walks off.
He sees that the house has been trashed, and now the parents have been woken up by it. Thankfully, they don’t assume spencer did it (like any other GB parent would) and think a robber did it. Spencer tries to tell them what happened, but of course they don’t believe him./
He runs outsides and sees that the ghoul has already beat him there. Cars are trashed, garbage is all over and…houses and cars are ON FIRE.
Holy shit, this guy kills people and lights houses on fire. Best villain ever? I also love how the danger is affecting everyone, as tons of houses are on fire, and people are running and screaming.
Most Gb books have the villain effect just or main character and their friends. But here, the entire town is being troubled, which makes the danger more interesting, and the villain more awesome
“this is all my fault”
Yep, now our hero feels bad for unleashing an evil ghoul on the town, which actually gives him minor development. But he decides to forget his guilt, and go to stop the ghoul
He spots the ghoul stealing an ax from a fireman. An axe. Can this villain get more amazing? The police show up and threaten the ghoul./
The ghoul obviously refuses to stop and keep doing shit. So the police runs their guns and try to shoot. Whoa..guns? the police actually use guns in a goosebump book? Awesome!
Seriously, that’s cool. Better than in the blob that everyone where they use nightsticks on the ten foot tall monster!
The ghouls runs away before any guns can be fired. He runs towards frank’s house, and causes some trouble there. Spencer follows. Frank is there (where are his parents?) and notices that “spencer” has gone batshit insane.
“what are you going?”
Uh no, you mean HOLYSHITYOU’RELIGHTINGTHINGSONFIRE.
Oswald says he likes Frank’s body, and decides he wants it. But first, he will destroy spencer’s. again ,I love this guy./
Frank and Spencer try to tackle the ghoul but it escapes. Now spencer needs some help. Then he remembers audra. Maybe she will help!
He runs to her house, as it seems everyone is asleep. Uh…isn;’t there a big ass thing going on outside? How can they not hear it?!
He sneaks into Audra’s room, and wakes her up, but she brushes off anything he says. Then he looks at her eyes…just black-ness, nothing else.
Yep, she’s possessed. Remember Martin Manse? Yeah, he took over Audra’s body. When? I don’t know, maybe when before audra went to get help? It’s never made clear.
And yes, that voice from earlier was audra. Wait…martin took over a little girl? Ew!
Martin knocks out spencer and puts him in the closet. I’d make a gay joke, but there’s no time. Audra’s mom comes in and Martin says she fell out of bed .i still wonder why she doesn’t hear all that crap going on outside.
Spencer breaks out and heads out the window. He heads back to the graveyard, as more ghouls are there saying they want bodies too
Spencer tries over another stone, but this one says the following
“Defeat death only by living”
Yes, that comes back later. Spencer just brushes it off for now. Right away, he bumps into Audra’s body-less spirit. She asks him what to do, and Spencer suggests taking a body like spencer did.
Just then, a dog shows up, cuz why not, and Spencer says she can take over the dog. Long story short, he helps her get into the dog’s body.
They run off, and hear all the trouble going on. the police sirens, the cars, and all the screaming. They see frank’s house, completely destroyed, and all the families alone.
“what can we possibly do?”
They run over to Spencer’s house, as Martin and Oswald have axes, tearing shit up. Of course the parents are shocked by how spencer has gone insane, so I can’t bitch about that.
They try to explain this to the parents, but they are kind of facing …this crap right now. So of course…audra attacks the ghouls. Oh fudge yes!
The ghouls aren’t phased, but whatever. They start to get the stomp on the two kids when…jason shows up. Yeah, his spirit made its way here, and wants his body back
Oh hey, I never thought that plot point would come back. Yep, Jason is pissed and is ready to fight back. Of course, he doesn’t think of how spencer needs to fight off evil, but whatever.
Jason starts to take his body back ,and they squirm and wiggle. They pretty much move a lot, and kind of dance a bit as a result. Suddenly…the ghouls stop?
Yep, they groan in pain. They drop their axes and groan. Suddenly, spencer realizes it. Spencer and jason are dancing,. It’s the dance. It’s making them weak
Defeat death only by living
“what is a better sign of being alive than dancing?’
Yes, dancing is what stops these guys. Spencer remembers how he hates danci8ng, but now he must to save the day
Okay, this is goofy, but I’ll take it, it leads to some decent character stuff and an okay climax. For stine, I’ll forgive it.
Also, they beat perry the platypus to stopping evil while dancing
Anyway, they dance so much that the ghouls die out. yay! but wait…now spencer and audra are kind of stuck in the bodies they are now in,. and jason is without a body as well
But wait, they can just float back in,. so jason gets his body back, as spencer and audra float out. Quick, maybe they can get back in their bodies
So they float back in and now, everything seems normal.
“I let my skirt twirl around me”
“I turned around to Audra-but audra wasn’t there! I was staring at myself!”
“Uh Adrua…I think we made a little mistake. What do we do now?”
So he ends up in the body of a girl he likes. …how is this terrible?
And yes, this is where it stops. This is not an ending, it’s a stopping. That’s what I call it, yes. There’s no big resolution, there are two pages after the ghoul is stopped.
At least there’s a proper twist,. Anyway, at least it’s over
Okay, this book has it’s issues. Some of the characters are dumb, and plot holes are very much evident. But…I don’t mind. It’s goosebumps. Every dumb plot hole is typical, and I can look past it.
I think this book is fun due to the subtle things. I love the gory descriptions. I love the small character development, and I really love the villains. They really are cool, and provide a great threat.
I like how the character are met with challenges. As the book goes on, the situation gets worse, and more desperate. So the characters must overcome them, and actually try to stop the villain. Plus, I just love how the villains actually will kill people, so more is at stake than usual.
I also like the atmosphere. It’s creepy, and well done, and while it does get insane later on, it’s still kind of creepy. So all of this stuff together makes for a very interesting book
Sure, it has it’s goofy stuff, and dumb plot holes. But I can forgive that, as it’s fun book and the series 2000 book I like the most. Not the best, but I just love it the most. What is the best? We’ll discuss it some other time. The book I mean is now in my possession, so I need to own it first..
So Happy Birthday RL Stine. You did some good stuff, and this book is pretty cool. I hope you are secretly immortal, so you keep writing for 1000 years.
…come on ,we all know you’re a zombie.
okay, my next review is of another Series 2000 book. Sorry, but it’s Halloween themed, and I have time to do one before I get to my next movie review.