The Top 10 Spookiest Goosebumps Taglines

The 1990s were a scary time: an international recession, the impending Y2K disaster and R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps.  Yes, of all the media intended to scare 90s kids—Tales from the Crypt, Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?(answer: yes) and The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series—Goosebumps probably had the most power to haunt us long after we’d moved on to a new Scholastic order. 
That’s why we’re so excited about Tuesday’s #IdeasChat at 11 a.m. Central, co-hosted by the one-and-only fear-monger himself, R.L. Stine.  We’ll be talking about how to entice children to read, the ever-growing children’s movie industry and, of course, why we love to be scared. 
We’ve been hoping to get R.L. Stine on Twitter with us for a long time, but now that we’ve started re-reading our favorite books from the series we’re a bit nervous.  As he warns us, Be Careful What You Wish For… because “It might just come true.”  We’ve ranked our other top 10 favorite taglines, compiled from the 62 Goosebumps books.

10. Why I’m Afraid of Bees: “He’s no ordinary human bee-ing…”
This is classic Goosebumps.  A straightforward title paired with a punning tagline let you know right away that this is going to bee one scary flight (get it?).

9. The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena: “He’s no fun in the sun!”
A little sunscreen and a day at the beach—we’re pretty sure that’s all it would take to get the Abominable Snowman to appreciate Southern California.

8. Egg Monsters from Mars: “They’re no yolk!”
Remember what we said about the puns?  Yeah, that’s right, they crack us up.

7. The Headless Ghost: “Major headache!”
This tagline is a little confusing because it seems to want us to sympathize with the headless ghost’s medical problems.  We’d gladly get him some aspirin if he’d agree to just leave us alone.  Majory(ly) scary!

6. Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes: “Keep off their grass!”
Not until Clint Eastwood growled, “Get off my lawn” in 2008’s Gran Torino was there a more frightening cautionary tale about trespassing on your neighbor’s yard.

5. How to Kill a Monster: “Step 1. Run.  Step 2. Run faster.”
This tagline would have been closer to number #1, but we fear that its advice—which is certainly what we would do if faced with a hairy green monster—doesn’t actually deliver on the title’s promise.  I guess we’ll have to (re)read the book to find out how to kill that monster.

4. Beware, The Snowman: “He’s got a heart of cold!”
Is nothing safe anymore?


 3. Say Cheese and Die!: “One picture is worth a thousand screams.”
Luckily, none of us use Polaroid cameras anymore.  So far, iPhone selfies have not been linked to ER visits.

 2. Piano Lessons Can Be Murder: “Play it again, hands!”
Finally, someone acknowledges what Casablanca‘s original script was about, before Bogart and Bergman got involved.

1. Welcome to Dead House: “It will just kill you.”
This tagline so perfectly gets to the heart of the matter that we don’t even think we need to explain why it made #1.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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