Recap #309: Fear Street: The Vampire Club by R.L. Stine

Title: Fear Street – The Vampire Club, a.k.a. “Goodnight Kiss 3 – The Legend of April’s Gold”

Author: R.L. Stine

Cover Artist: Jim Lebbad

Summary: Pete Kelly has left Fear Street [Wing: Rare for someone to leave Fear Street for more than just a vacation. Kudos to you, Kelly family.] and come to a new school – Forest Grove High – so he’s eager to make friends. Then he meets Nan Garner, a gorgeous girl who invites him to join a club. Sounds good, Peter thinks. Until he discovers the club’s terrible secret. And their plan to make him a permanent member.

Initial Thoughts

Fear Street doesn’t really have as many lost stories as the Goosebumps franchise seems to contain. The following short story was a bonus tale included in the Goodnight Kiss collected edition, which does technically make it slightly hard to find since that edition’s out of print.

Goodnight Kiss and its sequel were part of the Super Chillers line, taking place outside of Shadyside in the beach town Sandy Hollow. As you can guess, they were about vampires. “The Vampire Club” doesn’t have any connection with Goodnight Kiss except for the titular monsters. Although that summary is kind of a lie. Like the fact the character’s called Peter BARTON and not Peter KELLY.

I started a recap for this months ago, but I deleted the draft by accident alongside several others. Oh well.


Starting at a new school can be a real pain in the neck.

[Wing: Oh. My. God. NOPE.]

Pete Kelly wasn’t adjusting to the move to Forest Grove at all. He had to leave all of his friends in Shadyside, like his bestie Josh Miller and his girlfriend Kelly. Pete figured he’d never see that thirty bucks Josh still owed him, and all during the drive to his new home Peter kept thinking about kissing Kelly.

Ugh, who wants to be the new kid in school at age 16? Not to mention Pete’s first day at Forest Grove Hill sucked ASS. He couldn’t remember his locker combination, ended up in the wrong classroom each and every time, and he couldn’t find the cafeteria OR the bathroom. And his schedule was printed incorrectly (who has two lunch periods in a row?), meaning he had to wait a half hour to get it fixed which meant he missed most of Creative Writing. Well, it wasn’t all bad. A couple of kids seemed okay, and his Spanish teacher was kind of cool.

The high school stood on the edge of a thick, dark forest, which reminded Pete of the Fear Street Woods. The school itself was an old, brick building practically covered in ivy. Reminds me a little of Fear Hall. [Wing: Reminds me that this NEEDS MORE WEREWOLVES.]

By the end of the day, Pete was exhausted and needed some serious relaxing. He wanted to get home and work on some wood. [Wing: Dirty.] Pete’s special skill is carpentry. He got to help out with his uncle’s construction company the previous year and helped build part of a house. Currently he was working on a tree house for his little sister.

Pete was surprised when no one actually left the building by the time the school day was over. All the kids began heading for other parts of the school. Confused, Pete was able to find a girl from his Spanish class and asked for the 411, yo. The girl introduced herself as Nan Garner, and Pete couldn’t believe how smoking she was. She was off the chain, yo. Between one and ten, she’s a hundred and fifty.

Nan sympathized when she found out Pete was starting a new school as a senior, [Wing: Wait, how old is this guy? I did not think he was a senior. That is a shitty, shitty time to go to a new school. I feel for him.] not getting to graduate with the friends he grew up with. She explained that it’s a school rule that EVERYONE has to be part of a club for extracurricular activity. Nan offered to help Pete find a club to join. Sure, he could join the woodshop club. But Nan had something better in mind.

A teasing smile spread over her face. She put her hand on my shoulder. Her touch made my skin tingle.

“But wouldn’t you like to try something a little more interesting?” she asked, lowering her voice to a whisper.


Sign me up for anything you’ve got! I thought. I mean, who could say no to those sparkling green eyes and that soft, purring voice? Not me, man.

I guess Kelly can go fuck herself.

Nan decided to show Pete the club she belonged to, [INSERT TITLE HERE].

Leading Pete outside the school, Nan took him into the woods to a grassy clearing. Enamored by the way Nan’s dark hair swishes as she walks her little bouncy walk, Pete asked if she really believed in vampires. That’s when Pete got to meet Lee Baker, a big, blond, athletic looking guy with a tree trunk sized neck. Lee didn’t like that Nan was late, and Nan didn’t like how possessive Lee was. Here we fucking go.

As soon as Lee knew that Pete was somewhat interested in joining [INSERT TITLE HERE], he pushed Pete in the direction of the clearing.

Pete was led to a purple blanket where eight other kids were sitting in a circle. [Wing: That is a damn big blanket.] The blanket was held down by four candlestick holders on each corner, a lit red candle in each one. Nan introduced Pete to Margaret, a chubby brunette who was the club president. Pete felt kind of awkward when Nan described him as new and the rest of the club began staring at him. Lee got huffy and asked if Pete knew about the initiation, causing Nan to tell him to back off so Pete could see what the club was like first.

Pete was beginning to feel rather nervous; what was the club initiation? His nervousness disappeared when he saw Nan smile, and he started to think he’d do anything Nan wanted him to do.

As Margaret called the club meeting to order, Pete asked if they were vampires for real.

Margaret clarified that they’re not vampires.

They’re vampire HUNTERS.

[Wing: I’M IN.]

The kids in the club explained that vampires live in the forest, and were the original settlers for Forest Grove. The forest spreads for miles and miles, they’re lousy with vampires. [Wing: Look, if you’re going to set this in a town with a school next to a creepy forest and put monsters in that forest, WHY THE FUCK ISN’T IT WEREWOLVES?!] Lee exclaimed they’ve killed lots of vampires. Nan had enough and ordered everyone to stop scaring Pete. Lee argued if Pete was too wimpy to do the initiation he could leave. Incensed, Pete stated he wasn’t scared but he also wasn’t going to believe the forest was infested with vampires without proof.

Margaret revealed the vampires also infested the school. There were lots of vampire teens whose families lived in the forest. Forest Grove High’s had a lousy reputation. Other schools were too scared to play against them in sports, and they’re never invited to state games or competitions of any kind. That’s why the club was formed, to hunt down the vampires and change the school’s reputation. That was also the initiation. A new kid had to find and destroy a vampire if he wanted to join the club.

Pete thought everyone was joking, but Margaret and Lee were dead serious. Lee even offered to show Pete a real vampire that following night. Dramatically, a gust of wind blew out all four candles.

When the club meeting ended, Pete hurried back in the school trying to figure out what was going on. Could vampires be real? Nan tried to assure Pete he didn’t have to do anything to impress anyone. She knew Lee was being a dick because he was jealous of Nan giving Pete attention. Pete internally got riled up, wanting to show Lee up and give him a reason to be jealous. He told Nan he wasn’t scared and he was happy to come back that night. Before Nan could tell Pete anything else, she hurried off when she saw Lee nearby.

Pete watched Nan leave the school with Lee, thinking about how Nan should be with him and not that lumbering oaf. All Pete had to do was think of the best way to win Nan over.

Man, Kelly really dodged a bullet I guess.

That night Pete met up with the club members in the school parking lot. Lee lambasted Pete for bringing a flashlight, as if that would give them all away to the vampires.

“Why not just call out ‘Hey, vampires – over here!'”

What hurt worse was that even Nan laughed.

Lee said this was Pete’s last chance to turn back, while Margaret described how vampires look like everyone else but can do some pretty disgusting things. Also, the vampires don’t actually LIVE in the forest. They live in houses of their own, but they use the forest to hunt. Also, Pete shouldn’t expect the rest of the club to protect him if a vampire got their hands on him.

Pete was really starting to believe this wasn’t a joke, and even Nan seemed worried.

Heading further into the woods, Pete and the others stopped when they heard animal-like grunting. They saw a figure wearing a hood, crouching in the grass. When the figure stood up and the hood came off, Pete was shocked to recognize him as a kid from gym class.

Lee explained they were looking at Jason Manus, who lives in a white house right across from the school. The kids watched from a distance as Jason wrestled with a big dog. Pete was horrified as Jason sank his teeth into the dog’s neck! Falling to his knees, Pete felt like he would throw up as Lee gleefully exclaimed Jason was drinking the dog’s blood. This was too much and Pete ran away as the club kids, even Nan, had a good laugh.

[Wing: Who cares about the flashlight, all that laughter will bring the vampires running, goddamn.]

After vomiting up dinner, Pete only felt embarrassed and humiliated. He knew the only way to prove his bravery to Nan was to kill Jason the vampire to complete his initiation. That would show Lee, Margaret, and everyone else.

Returning to his house, Pete took a firewood log and worked on turning into a wooden stake. When Pete’s family moved into the house, he unpacked his woodworking tools before anything else.

It was a little before daybreak when Pete made his way to Jason’s house. All the way he thought about being with Nan, holding Nan, kissing Nan, [REDCATED] with Nan. Pete managed to find Jason’s room on the first floor, the vampire sleeping soundly in bed. Quietly opening the bedroom window, Pete thought about Jason feeding on that small dog.

It took all his strength, but Pete managed to drive the wooden stake into Jason’s heart.

After the deed was done, Pete rushed back to his house and immediately called Nan to tell her about his heroic act.

Nan was glad Pete called because she wanted to apologize for what happened. That trick everyone pulled on Pete was so mean.

“Jason isn’t a vampire. He’s a friend of ours. There aren’t any vampires. None. Lee got Jason to pretend last night – to give you a big scare. But Jason is perfectly okay. Actually, he’s a great guy.”

Nan took a breath. “Now – what did you want to tell me, Pete?” she asked.

Final Thoughts

You see what happens when you try to think with Mr. Wiggle?

People DIE.

[Wing: This is such an obvious twist, but oh shit is it also fun. Practice jokes leading to murder, initiations within initiations, a story about vampires in the woods that keeps changing, Pete having the strength to stake someone through the heart, goddamn. Ridiculous, and yet fun.]