The Classic Goosebumps 2018 reprint's cover illustration depicts a fire-breathing Pumpkin Head bursting through a fence lined with Jack-O'-Lanterns.
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...
Drew Brockman absolutely loves Halloween. Unfortunately, her last two Halloweens have been ruined by two kids named Tabitha Weiss and Lee Winston. 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. 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 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, nor is she plump enough. Drew asks them if they're joking, but she doesn't get an answer.
Reprints and rereleases
2003 - 2007 reprint series
|July 31, 2018||Standalone||Paperback|
|No.||Book||Country||Translated title||Release date||Publisher|
Pembalasan di Malam Halloween
|The Halloween Night of Judgment||August 1997||Gramedia Pustaka Utama|
Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns
|Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns||January 16, 1998||Scholastic|
Le zucche della vendetta
|The Pumpkins of Revenge||August 1998||Mondadori|
La venganza de Halloween
|Halloween Revenge||1998||Ediciones B|
|Attack of Pumpkins||2000||Aksoy Yayincilik|
La nuit des disparitions
|The Night of Disappearances||August 31, 2001||Bayard Poche|
Die Nacht der glühenden Kürbisse
|The Night of Glowing Pumpkins||September 2002||Omnibus Verlag|
|The Invasion of the Pumpkinheads||N/A||РОСМЭН-ПРЕСС|
|Halloween Cry||October 3, 2015||Shang Zhou Publishing|
|Halloween Invader||September 30, 2016||Gorilla Box|
Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns
|Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns||September 6, 2018||Scholastic|
La venganza de Halloween
|Halloween Revenge||October 15, 2018||Hidra|
- The Classic Goosebumps reprint changes Lee's description to remove references that he's African-American and is cool "like an MTV rapper." The reprint just says he has dark skin.
- References to being overweight have also been removed as well:
- A line about Drew's dad calling Shane and Shana "roly-poly" is removed.
- The description of the four missing people is changed so that they are described as "big" instead of fat. A man in a turtleneck is described as being six foot two instead of having six chins. At the end, Shane says they eat "large" adults, rather than plump adults.
In France, this book was greatly changed by the translators, as the original story was considered too gruesome for French children. The subplot of the "disappearances of Halloween" is more important in the French book, and was changed so that children were kidnapped the previous Halloweens, not adults. The part where the kids are forced to eat all the candy they collected during their trick-or-treating was removed, as was the part where the Pumpkin Heads bring pumpkins to "replace" the heads of the children.
The ending was also completely changed. In the French version, Drew was completely unaware that Shana and Shane are aliens, and this comes as a big revelation. The Pumpkin Heads explain that they are behind the "disappearances of Halloween" because they need young test subjects for their scientific experiments, and they kidnap Lee and Tabby, hoping that with them their experiences will end. No mention of the aliens eating human flesh is made. Shane and Shana also mentions that they will leave Earth forever, because they are too "old" for trick-or-treating, before disappearing in a UFO.
The French version has an extra scene where Drew and Walker try to tell the police what happened to them on Halloween night. The police don't believe them, and Drew decides to turn what happened to her into a book, because if no one believes her, then it may as well be an entertaining story.
The French translator also added small bits of text at random to "pad" things a bit (for example, the book doesn't open on Drew's father calling her "Elf" but rather on him reading a newspaper article about the disappearances of Halloween), and split the first chapter of the original book in two. Adding that to the cuts previously mentioned, the French book ended up with 26 chapters, while the English one has 29.
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 the cover artwork from Monster Edition #1.
- 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 Rankin/Bass 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 pieces of official merchandise and a Fox Kids commercial for the episode.
- This book references MTV, Star Trek, Silver Surfer, Batman, Wonder Woman, Kit Kat, M&Ms, Pepsi-Cola, Hershey's Kisses & Milk Chocolate Bars, Tootsie 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 in October 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.
- The Pumpkin Heads appear in Goosebumps HorrorTown, and there is a quest based on this book.