Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Clint Davis

Goosebumps: 5 best, worst book covers

If you grew up in the ’90s, there’s no way you don’t have memories of R.L. Stine’s classic Goosebumps book series.  Whether you browsed them at the school book sale, checked them out from the library, or collected all of them in a chest under your bed (like your humble narrator)–these books were the Hunger Games and Harry Potter combined for children of that day.

Since Netflix recently put the first season of the Goosebumps television series online for streaming, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the best and worst covers in the history of the book series.

Top Five Best Goosebumps Covers

Honorable Mention – How I Got my Shrunken Head (#39)

Shrunken Head

I always liked this cover because I had never seen a shrunken head before–but pretty much wanted one on my dresser after seeing this.

#5 – One Day at Horrorland (#16)


This is just a cool piece of art, it’s scary, desolate, and reminded me of a decrepit amusement park near my hometown.

#4 – The Barking Ghost (#32)

Barking Ghost

This is probably the most badass picture ever on a Goosebumps cover, I hope R.L. Stine has it tattooed on his pec.

#3 – Night of the Living Dummy II (#31)

Living Dummy 2

Scared the living shit out of me as a kid.  I owned about 30 of the books and could hardly look at this one, let alone read it.

#2 –Say Cheese and Die! (#4)

Say Cheese

Always dug this snapshot of a skeleton family BBQ, it definitely made me want to read the book.

#1 – The Haunted Mask (#11)

Haunted Mask

Flat-out the most striking cover of the original series.  Looks like it’s swallowing the little girl’s head but would also be the greatest costume ever.

On the other side, not every Goosebumps book cover struck fear in a 10-year-old’s heart.  The librarian always told us not to judge a book by their cover–but in these cases, you just couldn’t help it.

Top Five Worst Goosebumps Covers

Honorable Mention – The Horror at Camp Jellyjam (#33)


This one is just creepy and weird.  The androgynous gym teacher/camp counselor look is sure to terrify kids but I always just found it off-putting.

#5 – Be Careful What You Wish For… (#12)

Be Careful

Of the early books in the series, this is without question the most dull.  The entire design is just drab and unexciting.

#4 – My Best Friend is Invisible (#57)

Best Friend

A floating piece of pizza and what looks like a dancing cat…no thanks.

#3 – Egg Monsters from Mars (#42)

Egg Monsters

Not only is this one of the lamest titles in series history, this cover made me actually not want it in my collection when I was a kid.

#2 – Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes (#34)

Lawn Gnomes

I know what will scare kids–LAWN GNOMES!

#1 – Chicken, Chicken (#53)

Chicken Chicken

Pretty much speaks for itself.  Any of the covers where kids have morphed into animals are pretty lame, come to think of it.

Have any favorite Goosebumps covers we left out?  Post them to our Facebook page.

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About the Author

Clint Davis is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based journalist who dropped out of film school to write news! Email him at

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