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Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls is the eleventh book in the Goosebumps Series 2000 book series. It was first published in 1998.

The cover illustration shows the Graveyard Ghouls emerging from a graveyard.

Plot

Spencer Kassimir lives in Highgrave, a town with a graveyard that sits high on a hill that overlooks the town. An old legend states that the dead in the graveyard can't rest because the graveyard is too high, and they have become restless angry Graveyard Ghouls. Spencer is giving a report at school on the town, which inspires his teacher Mrs. Webster to go on a field trip to the graveyard. Spencer and his best friend Audra Rusinas spot the double tombstone of brothers Oswald Manse and Martin Manse, and find it sad that they died so young.

Spencer stumbles on their tombstone, and think he hears a small cry. He goes home but discovers that he left his brother Jason's backpack in the graveyard. He calls Audra and has her come with him to get it, so he isn't alone. They go back but find bullies Frank Foreman and Buddy Tanner waiting for them, as they called Audra after Spencer did and she told them where they were going. They tie Spencer to the double tombstone and run away, as Audra leaves to get help.

Spencer hears a voice asking for his body and he starts to feel pressure on his body. Soon, he finds himself being kicked out of his body and is now a spirit floating above it. His body has been taken over by a graveyard ghoul. Audra returns with Spencer's parents, who free him with the ghoul inside his body. Spencer tries to tell them to stop but they can't hear or see him, and he can only go as far as the wind can take him.

Some graveyard ghouls appear and tell Spencer he's a ghoul now too. He'll never get his body back because the ghoul who stole him was Oswald Manse. In life, he and his brother burned down half the town and many people died. They say that there is a way for Spencer to get his body back, but he must figure out on his own. He sees a rat and decides he has to take over its body so he can get out of here. He does so and heads home, where he is attacked by his cat Duke.

He manages to take over Duke's body and after failing to talk to his parents, he goes to his room and sees that it has been torn up. He finds Oswald in his kitchen, making a mess. He tells Cat Spencer that his body is weak, so when he has found another, he will destroy Spencer's. Oswald traps Spencer in a box in the basement, but he takes over the body of a spider and slips through the cracks. He goes to Jason's room and takes over his body. He goes outside and sees that Oswald went on a rampage, burning mailboxes and smashing car windows.

Spencer follows Oswald into Frank's house, and stops him from taking over Frank's body. Oswald leaves and remembers Audra, and goes to her house to get help. But he discovers that Martin has taken over her body and the real Audra is back in the graveyard. Spencer goes back there and spots a message on a gravestone saying "Defeat death only by living" but doesn't know what it means. He find Audra's spirit and has her take over a dog. They go back into town and see Oswald and Martin burning houses in their bodies.

Before the kids can do anything, Spencer hears Jason's voice, who demands that Spencer give him his body back. Jason's attempt to take over his body causes his body to start making weird movements. It resembles a crazy dance, which makes the ghouls double over in pain. Spencer realizes the dance is doing this, and this is what that gravestone meant by defeating death only by living, as there is no better sign of being alive than dancing.

The ghouls' spirits leave the bodies, and Spencer and Audra attempt to get back in their bodies before the bodies can die. They seem to do so but Spencer discovers he accidentally entered Audra's body, with Audra now in his. They're not sure what to do now.

Reprints and rereleases

Book Release date Type Media

Classic Goosebumps


Attackofthegraveyardghouls-classicreprint
April 28, 2015 Standalone Paperback

Differences

  • The reprint was released as a tie-in to the Goosebumps film.
  • The reprint removes the reference to Barney the Dinosaur.

International releases

Differences

  • In France, the book is the 53rd book of the original Goosebumps series . Its title is "L'Attaque des Spectres", which can be translated as "The Attack of the Wraiths", and its tagline was translated to "A corps perdu". It is here a French wordplay, for "à corps perdu" is an expression underlining the dedication of someone to a task, but that could be literaly translated as "to lost body". 

Merchandise

  • In 1999, Target stores in Australia sold t-shirts that featured the artwork of Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls.
  • The cover of Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls is featured on a button in GOOSEBUMPS™ 6-BUTTON SET: SERIES 1 by Creepy Co.

Artwork

Trivia

  • This book, Bride of the Living Dummy, and The Haunted Car are the only Series 2000 books to receive reprints.
  • A portion of the cover artwork for this book was featured on the side of the Goosebumps Haunted Box Set.
    • Aside from this box set, the only other piece of American merchandise to feature any element of Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls was a pin-back button released by Creepy Co. in 2017, almost 19 years after the original release of the book.
  • On the back cover of the Classic Goosebumps reprint, Spencer's surname was incorrectly said to be Levy.
  • This book references Barney the Dinosaur and Coke.
  • The story The Ghostly Stare from Stine's 1999 collection Nightmare Hour has similarities to this book. The story also involves the protagonist leaving an object in a graveyard that their class was visiting, and goes back only to encounter a ghost that wants their body.
  • Mrs. Webster shares a last name with Michael Webster from the Goosebumps book, The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.

References in other Goosebumps media


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