Night of the Living Dummy: Very scary

Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. StineNight of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine

Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. StineR.L. Stine’s GOOSEBUMPS is a series of stand-alone short horror novels for children. I’ve been listening to the audiobook versions with my teenage daughter who loves to read scary stories in the couple of months before Halloween.

The seventh GOOSEBUMPS novel, Night of the Living Dummy (1993), is especially terrifying, but that may be because I’m one of those people who gets a bit freaked out by circus clowns, Chucky dolls, and, in this case, ventriloquists’ dummies. I’m not sure if it’s the Uncanny Valley effect or some repressed traumatic memory from my childhood but, whatever, I don’t like them.

12-year-old twin sisters Kris and Lindy are always competing with each other. When Lindy finds a ventriloquist’s dummy and starts earning money by performing at parties, Kris insists on having a dummy, too. That’s when strange and sinister things begin to happen around the house. Is it one of the girls playing nasty tricks on her sister, or is it one or both of the dummies with an evil agenda? It’s not clear to the girls, their parents, or the readers.
Stay Out of the Basement by R.L. Stine
Night of the Living Dummy is exciting, very scary, and contains a few scenes that are unforgettable. Kids who love creepy stories will probably be delighted with this one.

Unfortunately, the two sisters are quite annoying in the way they interact and are constantly jealous of each other. Carol Schneider, the reader of the audiobook version by Scholastic Audio, seems to emphasize this problem, sometimes using irritating voices for the girls. While we thought this was one of the scariest GOOSEBUMPS stories we’ve read, we didn’t love the audio format for this one, though we’re not sure if that’s the fault of the author or the narrator.

Published in 1993. Something scary is happening in GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND, the all-new, all-terrifying series by R. L. Stine. Just how scary? You’ll never know unless you crack open this classic prequel! Discover the fan-favorite thriller and chiller that first introduced the world to the wooden face of fear. The puppet who pulls all the strings. None other than Slappy the Dummy!

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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One comment

  1. Oh, it does sound creepy.

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