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Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns is the forty-eighth book in the original Goosebumps book series. It was first published in 1996.

The original 1996 cover shows five Pumpkin Heads and a pumpkin-headed dog walking down a street.

The Classic Goosebumps 2018 reprint cover shows a fire-breathing Pumpkin Head bursting through a fence lined with Jack-O'-Lanterns.

Blurb

PUMPKIN POWER!

Nothing beats Halloween. It's Drew Brockman's favorite holiday. And this year will be awesome. Much better than last year. Or the year Lee and Tabby played that joke. A nasty practical joke on Drew and her best friend, Walker. Yes, this year Drew and Walker have a plan. A plan for revenge. It involves two scary pumpkin heads. But something's gone wrong. Way wrong. Because the pumpkin heads are a little too scary. A little too real. With strange hissing voices. And flames shooting out of their faces...

Plot

Drew Brockman absolutely loves Halloween. Unfortunately, her last two Halloweens have ruined by two kids named Tabitha and Lee. Two years ago, Drew and her friends Walker, Shane, and Shana, were targets of a mean prank where Tabitha and Lee staged a fake break-in at Lee's Halloween party. The year after, Drew planned a scary Halloween party, only to learn that Tabby and Lee were spending Halloween at Lee's cousin's. What's worse, the fake slime that Shana had had intended to use at the party burned a hole through Drew's couch.

Drew and her friends decide to plan the ultimate prank to scare Tabitha and Lee straight. On Halloween, Shane and Shana tell Drew and Walker to invite Tabitha and Lee to go trick-or-treating with them, and the two will meet the other four later on for the prank.

When Halloween comes, Drew's mother is reluctant to let Drew go out due to the disappearance of four adults at a nearby town. Luckily, Drew's father argues that Drew can go out as long as she stays with a group.

As Drew, Walker, Tabitha, and Lee head out, they run into two people dressed in costumes with Pumpkin Heads. Tabitha and Lee are convinced that the two are Shane and Shana. The two pumpkin-headed people take the kids to a street that the kids are sure was never there before, saying they will get lots and lots of candy from the incredibly generous inhabitants. But when it starts to get late, Drew and the others learn that the two pumpkin headed kids will not let them go home, and want them to trick-or-treat forever. Tabitha and Lee are still not scared, so they try to take the jack-o'-lanterns off the two, but when they do, they find that there is no head beneath them and that the jack-o’-lanterns are still talking.

As the hours drag on and the children's bags become full, the two Pumpkin Heads force the kids to eat the candy they already have to make room in their bags (Tabby and Lee have pillowcases). The Pumpkin Heads get impatient and order them to eat faster, leading Tabby to accidentally smear chocolate in her hair. The children then complain that they are painfully full, but the Pumpkin Heads continue to demand that they eat every piece that they were given. After they make some room in their bags, the Pumpkin Heads get the children moving again. They lead to a street inhabited with Pumpkin Heads. Soon, Drew, Walker, Tabby and Lee are surrounded by Pumpkin Heads. Four Pumpkin Heads (including the two that brought the children where they are) walk towards the group with four craved pumpkins. They tell the children they're shall become Pumpkin Heads when the pumpkins are put over their heads. After they successfully put pumpkins over Tabby and Lee's heads, Tabby and Lee run away, leaving Drew and Walker.

At this point, the two Pumpkin Heads reveal that they are Shane and Shana, and that the entire ordeal was merely the prank that the four had created to scare Tabitha and Lee away. It turns out that Shane and Shana are actually aliens with the strange abilities to disguise themselves as any person and mimicking their voices, and the other Pumpkin Heads in the neighborhood were their brothers and sisters. As they arrive at the driveway of Drew's house, Drew asks Shane and Shana what do they eat for she never saw them eat. The two tell her that their people eat human flesh but that she needn't worry yet, she's not an adult yet, and besides (they squeeze Drew's arm to feel how chubby she is) she's not plump enough yet. Drew asks them if they're joking, but she doesn't get an answer.

Reprints and rereleases

Book Release date Type Media

2003 - 2007 reprint series


Attackofthejackolanterns-reprint
August 2005 Standalone Paperback

Classic Goosebumps


Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns - Classic Goosebumps
July 31, 2018 Standalone Paperback

International releases

No. Book Country Translated title Release date Publisher
48

Pembalasan di Malam Halloween


Attackofthejackolanterns-indonesian
Indonesia

Indonesian

The Halloween Night of Judgment August 1997 Gramedia Pustaka Utama
48

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns


Attackofthejackolanterns-uk
United Kingdom

English

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns January 16, 1998 Scholastic
48

Le zucche della vendetta


Attackofthejackolanterns-italian
Italy

Italian

The Pumpkins of Revenge August 1998 Mondadori
46

La venganza de Halloween


Attackofthejackolanterns-spanish
Spain

Spanish

Halloween Revenge 1998 Ediciones B
N/A

Balkabaklarinin Saldirisi


Attackofthejackolanterns-turkish
Turkey

Turkish

Attack of Pumpkins 2000 Aksoy Yayincilik
73

La nuit des disparitions


Attackofthejackolanterns-french

Attackofthejackolanterns-french2

Attackofthejackolanterns-french2018

France

French

The Night of Disappearances August 31, 2001 Bayard Poche
60

Die Nacht der glühenden Kürbisse


Attackofthejackolanterns-german
Germany

German

The Night of Glowing Pumpkins September 2002 Omnibus Verlag
N/A

Нашествие тыквоголовых


Attackofthejackolanterns-russian
Russia

Russian

The Invasion of the Pumpkinheads N/A РОСМЭН-ПРЕСС
10

萬聖夜驚魂


Attackofthejackolanterns-chinese
China

Mandarin

Halloween Cry October 3, 2015 Shang Zhou Publishing
25

핼러윈의 침입자


Attackofthejackolanterns-korean
South Korea

Korean

Halloween Invader September 30, 2016 Gorilla Box
Classic Goosebumps
36

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns


Attackofthejackolanterns-classicgoosebumps-UK
United Kingdom

English

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns September 6, 2018 Scholastic
36

La venganza de Halloween


Attackofthejackolanterns-classicgoosebumps-spanish
Spain

Spanish

Halloween Revenge October 15, 2018 Hidra

Classic Goosebumps

Differences

  • The Classic Goosebumps reprint changes Lee's description to remove a mention of him being African-American (he is simply described as having brown skin) and a comparison of him to a rapper from an MTV video.

Merchandise

Television adaptation

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns was adapted into an episode of the Goosebumps TV series. It is the tenth episode of season two, and the twenty-ninth episode overall.

Artwork

Tear-outs

The original printings of the book included bookmark trading card tear-outs. Some printings also included metallic stickers. The first sticker is a modified version of the cover. The Pumpkin Heads' designs have been changed to look more sinister, and the dog and owl were removed. The second sticker features artwork from Monster Edition #1.

Trivia

Attack Of The Jack O Lanterns Wrong Apostrophe

Original Reprint Cover With Wrong Apostrophe

  • The tagline is a reference to the phrase, "Put one foot in front of the other", which is often associated with the song of the same name sung by Kris Kringle and The Winter Warlock in the 1970 Christmas special Santa Claus is Comin' To Town.
  • When it was first unveiled, the Classic Goosebumps cover for this book featured the title Attack of the Jack-'O-Lanterns; the apostrophe was mistakenly placed before the "O" instead of afterwards. Before the reprint was released, the cover was altered to say Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns.
  • The ending of this book may have been inspired by "To Serve Man", an episode from Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone episode. R.L. Stine has stated that he views Serling as an inspirational figure.
  • A possible early title for the book appears to have been Night of the Jack-O'-Lanterns according to some official merchandise and a Fox Kids commercial for the episode.
  • The book references Star Trek, Batman, Kit Kat, M&M's, Pepsi-Cola, Hershey's Kisses & Milk Chocolate Bars, Toostie Roll, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, and Nestlé Crunch.
  • An episode of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction entitled "Wheezer" featured the character Zack reading an excerpt from this Goosebumps book to his dog. 
  • Both the book and episode premiered within the same month, October of 1996.
  • The mailbox on the original cover by Jacobus reads 48, which could be a reference to the book number. However, this could be a coincidence.

References in other Goosebumps media

  • A Pumpkin Head appears in the film Goosebumps as a background monster and the original cover art appears in the end credits.
  • Various creatures modeled after the Pumpkin Heads appear in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, including a Pumpkin-headed tree monster, a fire-breathing Jack-O'-Lantern, Sergeant Squash, and Terry the Pumpkin.
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