Only once did Stine’s editors tone down the material in a Goosebumps book.
In celebration of the release of brand new book Attack of the Jack! (out today) as well as this year’s 25th anniversary of the Goosebumps franchise, author R.L. Stine took part in a live Q&A session on the Entertainment Weekly Facebook page this afternoon. During the chat, Stine spilled the beans on the one time he went too far with a Goosebumps book!
“Usually my editors are saying to me, ‘Hype it up… make it scarier.’ [But] there was one time, very early, where I did a Goosebumps book and everyone thought I had gone too far,” Stine told the outlet. “It was a very early Goosebumps book called ‘The Girl Who Cried Monster.’ This girl realizes that the librarian is a monster. But no one will believe her.”
Stine continued, “In my original manuscript, the librarian eats a kid. And everyone thought that maybe was going a little too far. They said, ‘You can’t eat a kid in Goosebumps.’ So I changed it. I put a big bowl of live turtles on the librarian’s desk. And every once in a while, the librarian would reach out and grab a turtle and chew it. Eat it up. Which actually is better than a kid. It’s crunchier. It’s a lot crunchier. And you can hear it. It’s more horrifying, I think.”
“That was the one time I went too far.”
The Girl Who Cried Monster was the eighth book in the Goosebumps series, published in May 1993. Check out the cover below, which prominently featured the edited scene!