Recap #324: Jude’s Petrifying Present ~ Goosebumps Creepstakes: Something Evil, Something Cruel by R.L. Stine and Matt Hurt

Title: Goosebumps Creepstakes – Something Evil, Something Cruel a.k.a. “I’d Make A ‘Pony.Mov’ Joke But Fuck That Guy”

Authors: R.L. Stine and Matt Hurt

Summary: R.L. Stine has started a scary new story and he needs YOU to finish it!

Here’s What You Do:

  1. Use R.L. Stine’s original story starter on the next page and finish the story on your own!
  2. Look for two word clues throughout the summer. Use these words in your continuing story.
  3. Your story should be no longer than three pages and should include all of the special word clues.
  4. At the end of the summer, send it in to R.L. Stine and see if you win BIG!

Initial Thoughts

It amazes me how, you search and search and keep hitting dead ends and then when you’re not particularly looking very hard the universe just dumps the answer in your lap one evening.

The Goosebumps Creepstakes mystery is one I’ve actually spent the most amount of time investigating because it’s the one I’ve known about for years. “Fright Camp,” one of the oldest additions in my collection of the Series 2000 books, had one of the Creepstakes advertisements.

Like “The Surprise On The 13th Floor,” Stine provided the beginning of the story and kids could send in the endings. Creepstakes initially ran through books #6-9 in Series 2000 (“I Am Your Evil Twin,” “Revenge R Us,” “Fright Camp,” and “Are You Terrified Yet?”). The key words included steak, rat, brain, snake, spider, hammer, claw, and mosquito.

2nd Place got you a signed copy of R.L. Stine’s autobiography, It Came From Ohio!

1st Place got you the signed autobiography and one of the CD-ROM Goosebumps games from Dreamworks.

The Grand Prize winners got the autobiography, the game, and a trip to New Orleans getting to see swamps, mansions, and graveyards. [Wing: That is a hell of a grand prize!]

I’ve spent at least two or three years trying to find the completed story. I made at least one glaring mistake in tracking it down, because I didn’t factor in that there were multiple winners. Meaning there are multiple versions of the story out there somewhere.

With a lot of help from the Goosebumps fandom I was able to track down two of the contest winners. One contest winner didn’t have his story anymore, and as of this recap I’ve yet to hear back from the other winner if they were able to find the completed version of their story. I’m hoping they do reply back, with both their Creepstakes entry and possibly an exclusive short story that was given away as a prize in a different contest.

And then a miracle happened, in which I did a search for “Goosebumps Something Evil Something Cruel” and finally found what I was looking for.

Matt Hurt, under the user name DavePool24, was a 2nd Place winner in the Creepstakes contest. He posted his submission to the contest on FictionPress, way back in 2001. Somehow, the story survived on the website even though it’s been twenty years since Matt last posted.

If you’re out there Matt, thank you for preserving your addition to the Goosebumps mythos. You are not forgotten, and you have my eternal thanks and gratitude.


Joshua’s cousin Justin warned him not to go into Uncle Clyde’s shed, but Joshua thought he knew better. He figured this was Justin being an ass as usual, so he waited until it got dark out and made his way to the shed.

If only Joshua had listened to his cousin, because when he opened the door to the shed he found…

After what felt like an eternity, or maybe 21 years, Joshua went inside the shed. The shed was dark and quiet. So quiet (sorry Wing) Joshua was certain he could hear the SPIDERS crawling along the wooden walls. Oh and the RATS scrambling around in the dark too. So I guess it wasn’t really that quiet huh? [Wing: WHY IS IT ALWAYS SPIDERS?!]

Joshua fumbled around looking for a light switch, and as the shed became illuminated he saw he was surrounded by, by TROLLS!

No wait wrong Joshua sorry Wing.

Joshua was surrounded by like “a hundred people,” including Justin and his best friends Curtis and Billy. And they were all here for Joshua’s birthday!

Except wait, it was May 1st, and Joshua’s birthday wasn’t until June 26th. There’s getting a head start on the holiday season but this is kind of ridiculous.

Joshua was further confused by the appearance of Ray Smith, a bully who had some creative methods to get Joshua’s lunch money. He once threatened to make Joshua kiss his entire collection of THE MANY DIFFERENT POISONOUS KINDS OF SNAKES. Ray also had so many freckles he looked like he was covered in MOSQUITO bites.

Curtis and Billy asked if Joshua was excited, but Joshua was still worried thinking about the SPIDERS and RATS he heard. He’s scared of anything with more than two legs, you know.

Now Curtis, who Joshua mentioned looks like Jim Carrey – which Jim Carrey though, because I’m fond of either Mask!Carrey or Riddler!Carrey how about you Wing? Anyway, Joshua opened his presents including a rabbit’s foot and a stuffed black cat when he noticed there was one more box to go. But inside the box was a hand! No not a hand, a CLAW! AND IT WAS ON JOSHUA’S FACE!

The claw scratched at Joshua’s face, sunk its nails into his skin as he scratched and cried and tried to get it off. While struggling, Joshua was horrified to see there was no arm attached to the box. That’s when Ray and Justin started to laugh. Looking down, Joshua saw the claw was a wind-up toy. The claw wound down and fell from Joshua’s face. Shaken and terrified, Joshua still managed to thank everyone except his cousin and his bully for the early birthday party.

Just because he was traumatized and humiliated in front of a hundred people doesn’t mean he can’t be polite.

The next morning, while Joshua had his usual breakfast of STEAK and eggs he looked outside and saw a skull in the shed! Joshua watched in horror as brains leaked out from the skull and he almost threw up when his aunt quickly closed the curtains, blocking the shed and the skull from Joshua’s vision.

After breakfast Joshua ran up to his room and called Curtis, then dialed “three-way” because it was the 90s, you see, and told them about the skull. They agreed to check out the shed later that night.

Joshua, armed with a knife, a flashlight, and a hammer, because he’s hardcore, waited for his friends to show up.

Unfortunately, Joshua wasn’t alone.

He heard a twig snap, and turned around to see-OH SHIT IT’S GHOSTFACE WING IT IS LITERALLY GHOSTFACE!

And then Joshua heard another twig snap and saw the skull from the shed!

A figure with a skull for a head popped it off, revealing a headless body as Joshua fell to the ground!

Oh no wait, Ghostface and the headless guy are just Curtis and Billy trying to scare Joshua. Man Joshua, they throw you an early birthday party and then pull this your friends are kind of all over the place.

But while Curtis and Billy had been messing with Joshua, he still needed to see what was inside the shed from this morning. He had a feeling in the pit of his stomach, an uneasy feeling like he was either hungry or going to throw up. Joshua got like that when he was nervous.

Joshua tried to stop Curtis and Billy from going inside, but they wanted to see what was inside the shed. Suddenly the door swung open and a bright light shone, revealing the shed was now filled with…




And Joshua’s family, in the back of the shed, they were eating, they were EATING… COCKROACHES!

Oh boy, Joshua’s favorite!

Turning back into his true alien form, Joshua joined his family for their meal when Curtis and Billy nervously asked what was for dessert.

Joshua smiled as he locked the shed from the inside.

Final Thoughts

Man, Stine’s affects on children of the 90s really shows here doesn’t it? This story was completely off the walls and the most #becausegoosebumps I’ve seen in a while. [Wing: Love seeing young writers build off what they’re learning from their reading.]

Now if this won second place, imagine what the 1st place and Grand Prize winners must be like?

My Thoughts On This Year, Christmas, And My Birthday

2022 sucked ass. There’s no other way for me to describe it. Sure, a lot of good things happened but I can’t say the year my mother died would ever be a good year. There’s also everything I had to deal with regarding the truth of my house, everything that I’m still dealing with until we sell this place and move on with our lives.

I didn’t intend to spend this year doing so much investigative work into lost and forgotten media. If I only found Dead Dogs Still Fetch, I would’ve been happy with just that as a major accomplishment.

Y’know it, it’s one thing when you’re reading about these people who find lost media, like the people who stumbled upon Team Angel by accident and the people who found the fabled Toon Makers Sailor Moon pilot and the unreleased Sega Saturn game The Sacred Pools. It’s another thing entirely when you’re the one who finds it and shares it with everyone else.

In this past year, I managed to find and/or uncover for the YA horror community:

  1. Dead Dogs Still Fetch (Thanks to Braden Thomas Gardener)
  2. Proof the Bone Chillers series almost got rereleased as Fright Club in the early 2000s, thanks to Spongey finding the crucial link via that article confirming Open Wide as what would’ve been the 25th Bone Chillers book.
  3. I interviewed Jim Smylie regarding his winning title Slime Doesn’t Pay, which should’ve been a Goosebumps book.
  4. The Haunted Refrigerator, The Dolls, and Game Over from the Ohio newspapers. If only I could’ve found the full version of that fourth story…
  5. The existence of the FBX Goosebumps comic strips drawn by artist John Ross and the Funday Times Goosebumps strips (thanks to art dealer Paul Loader)
  6. The Yak’s Corner Goosebumps contest stories, with appreciation to Rebecca Riley for our conversations on Linkedin and her attempts to find the full version of The Haunting of Whisper Elm Lane
  7. The Hallowe’en Special Magazine released by Panini featuring “Stranglehold” and “Monsters Under The Bed”
  8. Keegan Buckingham’s “Attack of the Killer Hose” from Disney Adventures (Thank you again Keegan)
  9. Mike Robinson’s “The Journal” submitted to the Strange Matter short story contest (Thank you again Mike)
  10. The ghost story R.L. Stine told as part of a commencement speech at [Wing: Oh god, you left off The, the Buckeyes will come for you.] Ohio State University
  11. And finally, at least one completed version of the Goosebumps Creepstakes story

I never expected I would be calling myself a historian, or that my work would get so much attention brought to the Point Horror site. All this has felt good. Like, really, REALLY good so I should be honest I did it partly for my ego. But mostly I just enjoyed seeing how happy all of this was making everyone.

I don’t know what I may be able to find next year. I still have to work on translating Den Store Grøsserboka, the collection of Goosebumps stories submitted by fans and published only in Norway, and I’m waiting on my translation of House of the Vampire to be finished. There’s also the stories in the Pesadillas magazines which still need translating too.

I just wanted to take a moment to earnestly thank Wing, as well as Dove and JC for their kind words and support. As well as those of you in the Goosebumps fandom for having supported me during this year when things got horrible.

[Wing: May 2023 be better for us all.]