Recap #47: Halloween Night by R. L. Stine

Halloween Night I by R. L. Stine
Halloween Night I by R. L. Stine

Title: Halloween Night by R. L. Stine

Summary: Brenda hates her cousin, Halley, and she’s not the only one. Halley shouldn’t go around stealing other people boyfriends, it could get her into trouble.

Big trouble…

Brenda is determined to have her revenge – the perfect finale to her Halloween party She’s going to stop Halley’s evil games once and for all, and give her just what she deserves… Come party time, Halley’s in for a nasty surprise…

But does Brenda really hate Halley that much? Surely she only having a little Halloween fun… isn’t she?

Tagline: This party is a killer…

Note: As Dove requested, I’ve updated my template, because we now apparently call the Bad Guys Muffin Man. Hey, it makes as much sense as most Point Horrors.

Initial Thoughts:

I’m pretty sure I read this back in the 90s because the US cover looks familiar (and is much better than the UK cover), but I have absolutely no memory of the characters or what happens, so it will be like I’m reading it anew. I love Halloween, I love horror, and I feud with R. L. Stine. What could possibly go wrong?

Happy Halloween, guys!


Brenda Morgan (copper-colored hair she wears in a braid) puts on a Halloween mask, and her friend Traci Warner (black hair) is disgusted by it because it has an enormous eyeball that drooped to its chin, green gunk dripping from its nose, and one long tooth poking out between blood-splattered lips. That sounds amazing and cheesy as hell, all at the same time.

Brenda jokes that she’s not trying to be a monster, she’s trying to be her cousin Halley. Brenda and Traci’s friend Dina Smithers (tall, slender, short brown hair, boyish figure, which I’m taking to mean small breasts and hips) asks why Brenda always has to pick on Halley. (Is this pronounced Hay-lee or Hal-lee?) [Dove: I read it as the latter, but I’m not sure.] Brenda argues that she’s not picking on her, calling her a monster is a compliment. Dina tells Brenda she should stop picking on Halley, and Traci argues that Brenda’s just angry because she had to give up her old bedroom to Halley and move into a much smaller room. Brenda claims to like the cozy room, but she doesn’t even have room for her posters on the walls. (She has to go to Halley’s room to see her Luke Perry poster, which dates this so much. I love it.)

Brenda wants to know why Dina always defends Halley, and claims that Halley won’t be staying with them permanently, just until her parents work out their divorce. Why in the world did Brenda have to move into a new room then? That makes no sense.

Traci wants to know if Brenda is going to wear the creepy mask to her Halloween party, but she’s not; it belongs to her younger brother, Randy. Dina asks what she’s going to be instead, and Brenda says a clown. Creepier than the mask. (Creepy clowns are allegedly stalking kids across the USA. Probably it is just a series of pranks, but it has been really interesting to watch. Also, as a friend of mine said, please let the coming apocalypse be anything but killer clowns.) Brenda hasn’t bought a costume, though; she’s the costume designer for the senior play, she can sew anything, and she’s making the weirdest clown costume ever. Dina asks what Halley is going to be, and I think Dina has a crush on Halley. Before Brenda can answer, though, her mother shouts for them to turn down the music. Her mother shouts this up through the air vent in the floor near the wall, which leads down into the hallway, and so anyone sitting in the living room can hear everything said in Brenda’s bedroom. I’m sure that subtle description out of nowhere will certainly not play an important role in this book.

McGuffin, ahoy!: 1 (+1) (An attempt is made to casually reference something that is clearly going to be a plot point at a later date. And it fails to be casual.)

Brenda complains that Halley is completely two-faced about Brenda’s parents, always nice to their face then cracking fat jokes about her dad when he’s not around. Fuck you, Halley. Dina and Traci continue to defend her because of the rough time she’s going through. Brenda thinks she’s just mean-natured. They talk far too long about all this, and the only thing of real note is that Brenda is dating Ted and she thinks Halley keeps flirting with him.

(We also learn that Dina works for Dr. Harper, a veterinarian.)

Halley borrows Brenda’s car so Ted can give her a driving lesson (so that’s what the kids are calling it these days), and after she’s gone, Brenda continues to complain about her. Finally Traci suggests they murder her.

Chapter two (yes, we’re only at chapter two at this point) focuses on Halley and Ted during the driving lesson. Halley flirts with Ted. Halley talks to Ted about how nice everyone is and how horrible things were at home and then makes some sly digs about Brenda and her friends. While she’s flirting with him, Ted accidentally knocks over her purse, and conveniently her driver’s license falls out. When he calls her on it, she tells him she just wanted to get him alone. She kisses him before he can respond, but he doesn’t pull away. After that kiss is done, he then kisses her again, because of course he does. Halley wants to know what they’re going to do about Brenda.

Next chapter switches back to Brenda, who is trying to get her brother, Randy, to leave her alone. He keeps messing with her things, squeezing her stuffed animals flat, etc. The only important thing in this little exchange is that he acts like a bratty little brother and he eavesdrops on them all the time. Stine is really being subtle when he sets up how many people could overhear them talking about killing Brenda, isn’t he?

McGuffin, ahoy!: 2 (+1)

We also get some clothing descriptions: Dina is wearing maroon sweats, Traci black tights and an oversized white sweater, and Brenda faded jeans and an orange t-shirt under a green t-shirt. I still dress like Brenda, oh my god. Also, I’d like to point out to the whole “leggings aren’t pants” people that even back in the 90s, people wore long shirts over tights/leggings. It’s nothing new!

They talk about Brenda’s date with Ted the night before, and he was really distracted and barely talked to her. Traci went with Noah to see the new Clint Eastwood movie, which was too violent for Traci. [Dove: Also, Clint Eastwood kind of dates this too. We’re about the same age as these characters, and back in the 90s, the boys I knew wanted to see a Bruce Willis or Will Smith film for action. Not Clint Eastwood. But they always do this with movies in PH, it’s always the classics they mention, to avoid dating themselves, and it just dates them even harder.]

Dina asks how things are with Halley, supporting my theory that Dina isn’t dating any boy not because she’s too tall (as she claimed earlier) but because she’s got such a crush on Halley. Brenda says things are fine, they haven’t seen each other much, but when they do, Halley always has a smug smile, like she has a secret.

Traci wants to know if they’re really going to murder her, and Brenda is, of course, eager. Dina thinks they’re being sick and defends Halley. Brenda points out they’ll just say it’s a joke when Halley finds out, then suggests they murder Ted too.

Apparently, their English teacher, Mrs Ryland, assigned them to write a murder mystery. Gee, how convenient, Stine. Dina suggests the three of them be the detectives, but Traci wants them to be the murderers. They then discuss how to kill them. Just shooting them is too easy. Brenda suggests strangling for Halley, but Traci shoots it down as not clever enough. Dina wants them to work in plot twists: “You know. Some surprises. … What did Mrs Ryland call them? Red herrings?”

I’m giving it a negative point for being so on the nose. I’m sure Stine will be back in the positive numbers soon.

Red Herrings: -1 (-1) (Fairly obvious, but in Point Horror, there’s basically a neon sign above them stating “sinister as fuck”.)

They decide to make it a Halloween murder at a costume party, because with everyone in costume, no one will know who the murderer is. I’d like to point out that the murderer won’t be 100% certain they’re killing the right person, either.

Traci suggests that Ted stab Halley. Before they can talk about it further, Dina says it’s too real and it is giving her the creeps. They argue about whether they should use real names or call them different character names, and Brenda gets suspicious of why Dina is always sticking up for Halley. New crush energy, Brenda. New crush energy.

Brenda remembers that Dina went through a similar custody battle when her parents divorced, and now she feels bad that all of this is bringing back bad memories for Dina. Before she can say anything about it, though, Dina sees Halley and Ted kissing outside in Ted’s car, and of course Brenda and Traci rush over and see it too. Brenda wants to murder Halley for real at that point.

The next morning, Brenda dresses in all black because it fits her terrible mood, and tries to talk to her mother about how horrible Halley is being. (Mrs Morgan is a “plump, pleasant-looking woman with jagged streaks of white in her short, black hair, and dramatic dark eyes” that sem to see through everyone.) She tells Brenda to cut Halley some slack, and that Brenda is old enough to work out her own problems without running to her mother for help.

Dina has a bad day at school (reads the wrong pages for class, spills food on herself at lunch), and Brenda teases her about it, which puts Dina in a sour mood, but she agrees to come over after work so they can plot out their murder mystery. Dina’s thinking about going as a monk to the Halloween party, by the way.

As she’s leaving, Brenda sees Halley making out with Noah in the hallway. Noah, Traci’s birthday. Brenda waffles over whether she should tell Traci, and after Halley takes off, Noah sees Brenda and says that he and Halley were just talking and asks her not to tell Traci about it. Uncool, dude. And then Brenda agrees not to tell Traci. FUCK, Brenda, seriously?!

Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 1 (+1) (Something strange and evil is happening. Since I hate all of my BFFs, it’s bound to be one of them.)

This point is all for Brenda being a terrible friend.

That night, Brenda, Traci, and Dina are too tired to come up with any way to murder people (Halley) in their story, and the girls take off. Then Ted calls and says he needs to talk to Brenda. Brenda hangs up on him because she knows where that is going. Brenda tries to do homework, can’t focus, and then sees a man’s face staring in her bedroom window, his mouth wide in an ugly, leering grin.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 1 (+1) (Cliffhanger endings of chapters for no reason other than to build false tension and piss us the hell off.)

I’ve just realised that the cliffhanger endings are Stine’s version of jump scares. Jump scares, especially when overused, are just as annoying.

It is, of course, a cardboard cutout mask taped to the outside of her window. Her mother is annoyed with her for screaming over it, and Randy laughs at her. Halley just looks confused.

Brenda finds a note on the back of it that says “See You on Halloween.” At least it’s not a whimsical note. Randy swears he didn’t put the mask on the window; Brenda’s not sure she believes him, but Halley also looks amused.

Brenda, Traci, and Randy carve pumpkins. Dina shows up late because of an emergency at the animal clinic. Turns out, they’re doing practice pumpkins, because it’s too early to actually carve them for Brenda’s party. Practice. Pumpkins. I am so done with this story.

They continue to toss out ideas for their murder mystery without making any decisions, and then a big gorilla fills the doorway and grabs a kitchen knife.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 2 (+1)

Seriously, Stine? Already? I don’t think I’m going to make it through this book.

Unsurprisingly, Halley is inside the gorilla costume, which was apparently upstairs in their attic, because why wouldn’t there be a secret gorilla costume in the attic, oh my god.

After Halley leaves (borrowing Brenda’s car again, and Brenda doesn’t seem to have noticed that suddenly Halley has her license), Brenda cuts her finger on a knife and tells the others about the mask from the night before. She blames Halley.

Then they finally decide that Halley will be dressed in her gorilla costume and stabbed through it at the Halloween party in their story. No one will be able to tell that she was stabbed, though, because the costume is so thick and heavy, so if she’s just sitting in a chair, it looks like she’s just hanging out, until the blood stain gets bigger and bigger.

Brenda’s finger keeps bleeding even through a bandage, so she runs upstairs to deal with it, and finds blood smeared all over the wallpaper in her bedroom, spelling out the same message from the mask.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 3 (+1)

I wouldn’t give a point here except for the fact that Stine has already done the cliffhanger chapter ending TWICE, so this makes three times in six chapters. Come on, Stine. Be better than that!

Brenda, of course, blames Halley. She and Traci talk about it while hanging out at Mulligan’s, an enormous ice cream restaurant near the mall. Dina isn’t with them because she’s working late again. Brenda tells Traci that her parents wanted to call the police and didn’t believe her when she said it was Halley. Turns out it was real blood on the wall, not just paint. (Someone plays an old Guns N’ Roses song on the jukebox, which is the best thing about this story so far.)

Then Traci sees something over Brenda’s shoulder. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS, STINE?

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 4 (+1)

Shock of all shocks, Halley and Noah are hanging out, and Traci goes to confront them. Brenda thinks that she should have warned Traci. NO SHIT, BRENDA. You are a shitty friend.

Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 2 (+1)

Brenda expects Halley to be embarrassed at being caught, but instead she is pissed. Brenda and Traci commiserate while Traci drives her home, only for Brenda to freak out when her car is gone from the driveway. I’m amazed she didn’t notice it in Mulligan’s parking lot, because of course Halley borrowed it again. Apparently she told Brenda’s parents that Brenda said it was fine. She argues about that, and they call her selfish.

Before she can run upstairs, her dad apologises to her because they haven’t been able to remove the wallpaper and paint her room yet because the guy who is supposed to do it didn’t show up.

That night, Brenda can’t seem to sleep, and thinks she sees the jack-o-lantern on her desk turn to face her and grin widely at her, opening and closing its mouth. It whispers, “See you on Halloween”…

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 5 (+1)

… and Brenda wakes up.

I am done with this recap. I just can’t take anymore Stine being Stine here.

Ted corners Brenda and says they still have a date to the Homecoming dance and apologises for what happened. Of course, then he says that they should see other people, not be so serious, even though he really likes her. And normally, I’d be all for that, but it’s pretty clear he just wants to be able to keep kissing other people and wouldn’t be saying this if he hadn’t been caught, which is shitty. Despite all this, they make out for awhile, but Brenda can’t stop wondering if he kissed Halley the same way. So stop kissing him, Brenda! It’s as much his fault as Halley’s fault here. [Dove: Also, Ted the moron says that Halley is “nice”. Is she? We see no evidence of that from Brenda’s end, and Ted had like three lines of dialogue with her before they started snogging. I guess snogging = nice in this world.]

[Wing: As nice as snogging is, that doesn’t automatically make the snoggers nice, STINE.]

Later, Brenda and Traci complain about Halley some more, until Dina starts talking to them from downstairs, using the air vent, of course, and telling them that she can hear their every word. This was already established, damn it!

McGuffin, ahoy!: 3 (+1)

After Brenda’s parents leave, the girls go downstairs to plot their murder mystery.  They decide to stick with stabbing at the Halloween party because everyone will be in costume. Reminder: Brenda = clown, Dina = monk, and we learn Traci = peacock.

They decide that Dina should be the murderer because she’s the least likely suspect, and Mrs Ryland said it should be the person you’d never suspect. Dina takes off to get them drinks, and Halley comes home and goes upstairs. Traci decides that the story should be that Dina convinces Brenda to switch costumes with her (so Brenda = monk and Dina = clown), so that when the clown stabs Halley, everyone thinks it is Brenda. Brenda points out that as soon as she takes off the monk’s hood, they’ll know it wasn’t her. Traci suggests that means Dina has to kill her too, to keep the secret.

[Dove: And from a story-telling viewpoint: WHY? Why in the storyverse are you swapping costumes? This is stupid. Every part of it.]

[Wing: Good point!]

After the girls leave, Brenda goes up to her bedroom and finds a dead, headless bird burning inside her jack-o-lantern, with a note that says “You’re next. On Halloween.”

Brenda then leans over and vomits, which is a completely understandable reaction!

Brenda’s parents come home and run upstairs to help her; she blames Halley, but they won’t listen to her until after everything is cleaned up. Then they sit down as a family, and Halley is cold and angry at Brenda’s accusations. Brenda’s parents ask Randy if he’s been playing pranks on his sister, but he is adamant that he hasn’t done it. Halley suggests that someone broke in, maybe through Brenda’s window, to do everything. Not impossible, but Brenda’s room is on the second floor, so unlikely.

At lunch the next day, they recap things, which I am not doing, and Ted shows up to tease Brenda and talk about how tall Dina is. Hmmm, I wonder if Stine could possibly be implying that Dina is tall enough to put the bloody words on Brenda’s wall. Surely not, he’s so subtle.

McGuffin, ahoy!: 4 (+1)

Then Halley walks into the lunchroom with Noah, and Ted looks sad, and envious, and angry all at once. Brenda, what in the world do you see in him? [Dove: Ah, this is the romance I aspire to have. A partner who would much rather be with someone who’s not me. Truly, this is TWOO LUV.]

That night, Dina comes over to work on their murder mystery, though Traci is off visiting family. Before they can get started, Halley bursts into Brenda’s room and says there’s been a horrible accident.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 6 (+1)

Brenda’s car is wrecked. Halley ran a stop sign and another car t-boned her. Halley doesn’t really apologise so much as claim, over and over, that it wasn’t her fault, she couldn’t see the stop sign, the other car was going too fast, blah blah blah.

Now, this could be a really bonding moment. My sister wrecked my car once, in a similar situation (she made a bad decision that wasn’t really her fault, the other car was going way too fast, she got t-boned), and though I tease her about it now, my first thought was sheer terror that I’d just watched my sister die in front of me. (I really didn’t think she’d walk away from the accident, though she came out with only bruises and soreness. That car was a beast.) But Halley is being a shit here, and whiny, and Brenda is understandably pissed. I am on Brenda’s side with this, though Brenda’s constant blaming Halley for everything can’t make it easy to apologise to her.

Brenda actually physically attacks Halley. It is kind of amazing. She keeps trying to strangle her, too, which is far more action than most protagonists in Point Horror do, so kudos to her for being proactive!

Brenda’s parents break them up and take Halley’s side again, though I can’t really blame them, considering Brenda just jumped her. Brenda decides she wants to kill Halley for real.

Chapter twelve is a Dina point of view, for some reason. She calls Traci before school, even though they are both busy getting ready, because she’s worried about Brenda. She tells Traci that Halley wrecked the car, and that Brenda attacked her. (Well, Dina says Brenda “went psycho” so fuck you, Dina.)

Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 1 (+1) (Essentially, “crazy” is a blanket term for a bad person with no qualms about killing anyone and everyone. Often because they are “crazy”. Because that’s how mental health works.)

Traci says Brenda will really be pissed when she hears what Traci saw, which is Halley and Ted making out in Ted’s car after school the day before. Because of course.

At school, Brenda keeps hearing people whispering, and wonders if they’re talking about her, if Halley is telling everyone. Ted keeps making jokes when he sees her, uncomfortable and talking too fast. That just makes you look guilty.

Brenda’s parents continue to be cold and awkward around her, and Brenda is uncomfortable. Randy is sick, and can’t break the tension, and Halley isn’t around. When Traci and Dina come over that night, they’re uncomfortable and tense, too, and she wishes they would just tell her what they’re hiding.

Later, Brenda crawls into bed and finds chunks of dark, raw meat. How she doesn’t notice the smell before she got into bed isn’t explained, though she certainly smells the “putrid aroma” once she knows they’re there. Her bed has maggots, too, because of course. So gross.

(“Maggots, Michael. You’re eating maggots. How do they taste?”) [Dove: Wing, I love you for making that reference.[Wing: *preens*]

Brenda stares at them awhile, then says out loud that she knows. She knows what she has to do. Okay, Brenda. Get down with your bloody, maggot-covered self. *gag*

The Homecoming dance is crowded, dark and loud, like a “vibrating, spinning storm.” Brenda dances for awhile, then goes looking for Ted, and feels like she’s caught between two different dreams, Homecoming and Halloween. She sees Ted kissing Halley. Noah turns up and gets into a fight with Ted, and it’s kind of homoerotic: Noah was pulling the front of Ted’s shirt. And Ted shoved Noah into the wall. … They groaned and uttered quiet sobs as they went at each other.

I mean … pretty sexy stuff, Stine.

The fight moves outside, and Brenda thinks that Halley looks pleased and filled with joy that the boys are fighting over her. Brenda runs home and calls Traci. She and Dina are hanging out, and Brenda says they should really kill Halley.

[Dove: Because this passage is so whimsically written (more Cusick than Stine), I actually thought it was a dream, so when the other characters mentioned it, I was really confused.]

[Wing: It really is. And Brenda talks about it as a dream for such a huge part of the chapter that it is almost impossible to believe it isn’t one. Very strange style choice, Stine.]

Here’s Brenda’s plan: she’s told everyone she’s going to be the clown, but instead she’ll wear a Frankenstein costume (again, I assume Stine means Frankenstein’s monster as a costume, otherwise it’s basically just a white lab coat, right?) and Traci will wear the clown costume while Dina wears the peacock costume, so they’re all accounted for, and after Brenda stabs Halley, she’ll change into Dina’s monk robe. Frankenstein’s monster will stab Halley and then disappear.

Dina backs out, which should not be a surprise to Brenda and Traci, considering how many times she wanted to back out of merely writing a story about killing Halley. Brenda’s actually fine with this, because it will be easier with just the two of them. Traci will be the clown, Brenda will sew a new Frankenstein’s monster costume that fits over the peacock costume, so the costume changing will be even easier.

We then skip down to Halley’s point of view in the same damn chapter. Terrible writing, Stine! You’ll be shocked to know that Halley has been standing in the hallway a long time, listening to everything they say through the air vent. SHOCKED.

Brenda goes to the mall to get more supplies and sees Ted and Noah hanging out, playfully shoving each other into display cases and laughing together. BOYFRIENDS after that fight-fuck?

Ted sees her and runs up to apologise. He promises he’ll be better from now on, and then asks if she still wants him at her Halloween party. She tells him to come as Frankenstein‘s monster because she made a bet with Randy, because Randy thinks only Freddy Kruegers will show up. That’s a pretty good cover, actually.

Brenda thinks about how Dina’s decision not to help was a surprise. But was it, Brenda? Was it really? You know Dina has a soft spot for Halley. You even think that yourself. Good lord.

She also thinks about how she stopped being Dina’s friend during that divorce, because it was just too sad, and she was glad when Dina was living with her mother and they could all be friends again. Jesus, Brenda, you are a terrible friend.

Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 2 (+1)

Brenda finds Halley waiting in her room when she gets home. Halley acts all threatening at first, and then bursts into tears and asks if she’s really been so hateful that Brenda wants to kill her. Brenda realises she heard everything, and Halley sobs an apology, says that she thought they could be friends. They end up apologising to each other and promising to start over and be friends.

Even though Brenda thinks she’s really sincere, she stills plans to go along with her murder plot, though.

Dina and Traci talk about the murder plot on the phone, Brenda and Halley carve pumpkins together and plan for the party. Brenda goes to her room and finds her brother sprawled facedown on the bed, a dark puddle of blood beside him.

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 7 (+1)

It’s a prank with plastic blood. Because of course.

McGuffin, ahoy!: 5 (+1)

Halloween party time. It’s a little convoluted, so I will try to simplify it. The gorilla passes food around on trays. The monk stays hunched near the fireplace, wearing a mask even under her heavy, dark hood. Everyone keeps trying to touch the peacock’s tail feathers, and eventually the peacock takes off the tail and puts it in the bedroom where all the coats are draped on a bed.

The gorilla sits in a folding chair, a clown energetically dances with a mummy, one of the Frankenstein’s monsters has his arm across a Cindy Crawford. The other Frankenstein’s monster stabs the gorilla.

A bit later, someone starts screaming, the music cuts off, and a witch points to the gorilla, slumped at an odd angle, and all the blood. A mummy says it is a joke, but the gorilla never sits up. The clown goes to the gorilla, tries to wake it, and then pulls off the mask. Brenda was wearing the suit, and Brenda is dead, oh no!

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 8 (+1)

The clown tears off her mask and is Traci. People call the police. The monk shows up, tosses back her hood, and it’s Dina. She accuses Traci of killing Brenda with her stupid murder plot. The peacock darts forward, and it is Halley. She says that Brenda forced her to switch costumes, and she didn’t understand why.

Traci is suspicious of this, because she traded costumes with Brenda, too.

Dina continues to shriek that Traci thought she was killing Halley but instead stabbed her best friend. Traci tries to attack Dina, but Dina falls back, and Halley stops them anyway. Traci then accuses Halley. Halley blames Traci, too, and says she knew all about the plot. Traci says there’s no way she could have changed out of the Frankenstein’s monster costume, and then Dina declares that Ted stabbed Brenda. Two Frankenstein’s monsters step forward and remove their masks. Neither of them are Ted, and Dina says this means he’s the killer because he ran away.

A mummy comes forward, and it’s Noah. He says Ted isn’t there because he has the flu. (I like that Noah is the only one who knows where Ted is. BOYFRIENDS.) Noah freaks out then, because Brenda fucking sits up and tells everyone “Happy Halloween” in a lifeless, dry voice, bitter and angry.



Brenda says the joke and the party are over. The blood is the plastic blood her brother used earlier. Brenda and Halley work together to get everyone out and Traci and Dina into the kitchen. Brenda says that she knows which one of them tried to kill her. She rips open Dina’s monk robe and finds the green Frankenstein’s monster costume underneath.

Dina keeps shrieking that she stabbed Brenda, why isn’t she dead? Brenda sewed a double-thick pad of foam rubber into the suit to protect herself. Dina wants to know how Brenda knew. Apparently she figured it out because the blood, the bird, the rotten meat, all had to come from someone with access to animals — Dina, at her veterinarian’s office job.

Halley comes in and wants to know what the hell she ever did to Dina to make her want to kill her, because of course Dina thought Halley would be in the gorilla suit. But Dina says that she knew Brenda was in the suit, because she heard them change costumes. Brenda deserves to die because she wasn’t a good friend when Dina needed her.

Brenda claims that the plot to murder Halley was never true, it was always a trick to get Dina to confess to the pranks. Dina tries to run away, trips over the jack-o-lanterns, freaks out, and the cops show up.

Brenda claims that she had no idea Dina was so upset and she didn’t drop Dina as a friend deliberately, she thought Dina wanted to be alone, which is not at all what she thought to herself earlier, and since she wasn’t lying to anyone at that point, Stine was lying to us. That’s fucked up, Stine.

And now Halley and Brenda are friends. This story, guys. This story.

Final Thoughts


It’s not creepy, the twist can be seen coming from a mile away, the mcguffins pretty much have neon signs, and everyone is terrible. I need a real killer to come through and knock them all off one by one. Or all at once. I’m not picky.

I think Dove needs to do the next five weeks of recaps. I’m tapped.

[Dove: Yeah, this was awful. Wing deserves a massive trophy for doing so many recaps and ending on this one. I don’t think I liked a single person in the entire book. Stine was so Stiney about this it made my head hurt. Just awful.]

[Wing: Everyone is terrible. I know I like some of Stine’s writing in the Fear Street series quite a bit, and I love some of the Goosebumps. Why do I hate most of his Point Horrors? WHY, STINE, WHY?]

Final Counters

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN!: 8
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 2
McGuffin, ahoy!: 5
Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 1
Red Herrings: -1