Carly Beth Caldwell is the protagonist of The Haunted Mask and The Scream of the Haunted Mask, and plays a major role in The Haunted Mask II. She is the best friend of Sabrina Mason, and the older sister of Noah Caldwell.
Goosebumps (original series)
Carly Beth makes her first appearance in The Haunted Mask. She is a timid, easily scareable girl, which usually leads her to be on the receiving end of cruel pratical jokes pulled by her friends Chuck and Steve. With Halloween just around the corner, Carly Beth decides she's done being scared. She needs to get revenge on the two boys, and so she puts a plan in action to scare them on Halloween night. Getting home, she discovers her mother has sculpted a plaster head replica of her. She tells Carly Beth she made it because she loves her, but Carly Beth can't help but be turned away from the head. Her mother also reveals she made a duck costume for her, after Carly Beth admired one in a store window. This repulses Carly Beth, as she wants to be scary for Halloween, not cute.
On Halloween Night, she enters a novelty party store in hopes of finding a mask that will scare Chuck and Steve. To her disappointment, nothing in the store seems to fit the bill, but eventually, Carly Beth finds an entrance into the basement of the store, where two dozen grotesque and realistic looking masks are waiting for. One in particular catches her eye- a green one, with glowing eyes and jagged fangs. The shopkeeper of the store stops her before she can take it, and tells her the masks are not for sale. He tells Carly Beth the masks are too scary to be worn, but Carly Beth pleads, offering all the money she has. Eventually, the shopkeeper gives in, and lets her take the mask, telling her she'll regret it. Carly Beth exits the shop, and prepares to set her revenge plan in motion.
She puts the mask over her face, and heads out, also carrying the plaster head her mother made on a broom handle. While in the mask, Carly Beth can't help but scare the other trick-or-treaters walking around. To her glee, the mask seems to terrify everyone, even her best friend, Sabrina Mason. Hoping to find Chuck and Steve, she separates from Sabrina, scaring kids along the way in a now raspy voice.
Carly Beth eventually finds the two, and they are immediately scared of her. They ask if Carly Beth is under the mask. In response, Carly Beth shows them the plaster head, pretending it is her own decapitated head. To her shock, the head seems to cry out for help, which sends Chuck and Steve running in fear, and the head rolls onto the ground. With her plan successful, Carly Beth regroups with Sabrina.
After arriving at Sabrina's house, Carly Beth attempts to remove the mask, but discovers it has become stuck to her face. She asks Sabrina for help, but upon inspection, the two discover there is no line between her skin and the mask. Her eyes have also changed to a glowing orange. In panic, she runs back to the party store for help. The Shopkeeper is there waiting for her, and tells Carly Beth the mask is not a mask at all, but rather, an actual face. He tells Carly Beth the only way the mask can be removed is through a symbol of love. Frustrated, Carly Beth demands to know what he means. Her yells wake up the other masks in the basement, which rise up to chase her. Carly Beth flees, with the masks in pursuit. She retrieves the plaster head her mother made, and holds it up, declaring that is a symbol of love. The masks are defeated, and Carly Beth safely removes the mask from her face.
Carly Beth returns in The Haunted Mask II, set the following Halloween, changed by her experience with the mask. She has since become much more braver, and is no longer easy to scare, much to Chuck and Steve’s frustration. Steve wants a mask of his own — something as scary as the one she wore. Carly Beth warns him of the danger the masks possess, and recounts how it became stuck to her face. Steve doesn't believe her, and ignores her warnings not to go to the party shop.
Steve ends up stealing the mask of an old man, which sticks to his face, and causes him to feel weak and old. He realizes that only Carly Beth can help him remove it. Carly Beth attempts to help Steve find a symbol of love to remove the mask, but nothing works. She theorizes that the different masks may have different methods of removal. The two head back to the party shop, and find the suit that matches with the mask. Her theory is proven correct when the mask lifts off Steve's head, and attaches to the suit. After Steve's mask is removed, he and Carly Beth break into a fit of joyful laughter now that the mask is finally removed.
The Scream of the Haunted Mask
A year later, Carly Beth had kept The Haunted Mask in her basement, hoping to to be rid of it after all the evil it made her do. At the same time, she got a job at the Tumbledown Farms after school program, looking after the kids. She heard about a legend that states a stable boy once scared the horses with a mask and she wondered if this was the same mask she is dealing with.
At the same time, the mask started to call to her, hoping she'll put it back on. She tried to give it back to the Shopkeeper, but he refused as the mask doesn't accept defeat and she did not listen to his warning. On the farm, she met a boy who lived nearby named Clark, who she started to believe was the ghost of the stable boy.
On Halloween, she confronted Clark, who told her that the stable boy was actually his grandfather, who never even wore the mask. She discovered that the ghost was actually Laura Henry, and that Laura was the one that scared the horses with the mask all those years ago. Laura demanded she bring the mask to her or she will hurt the kids. But Carly Beth refused and put it on, so she can fight evil with evil and protect the kids.
She was saved by the ghosts of the horses Laura had spooked, and then helped her take the mask off, as she was the only one to show them any love, and the carrots she had given them were a symbol of love. She went to bury it, but the mask declared that it is their favorite, and Carly Beth will see it next Halloween.
Carly Beth appears as a background monster in the film as the Haunted Mask's host. She wears a short sunny blue dress and travels by way of carefree skipping on her way to attack, indicative of a gleefully destructive persona, a high level of possession at this point.
When she was first introduced, Carly Beth used to be “scare-able” and afraid of her own shadow (as Steve and Chuck put it). She had also been the subject of mainly Chuck and Steve’s jokes about it, much to her annoyance. This came to an end after her encounter with the Haunted Mask, as she had become braver than before and learned a lesson about appreciating herself.
She is also a bit negative about her appearance (which is mainly about her little stub of a nose), and she can still get annoyed with mean, practical jokes. She sometimes has the strangest reactions to some things, as her mother would say.
She is fond of the kindergarten children that she and Sabrina work with, and can be as firm with them as she needs to be. She also loves horses, is very close to Sabrina and her mother, and occasionally enjoys a good laugh with Noah. Despite being braver than before, Carly Beth can still have her limits, but always tries to be positive and has a kind, thoughtful and caring nature.
Carly Beth is twelve years old, Caucasian, short and skinny with a little pixyish face, long straight brown hair with bangs, brown eyes and a tiny stub of a nose. Despite her somewhat negative opinion on her physical appearance, she is actually attractive, as Abby Martin described her as "a pretty girl with straight brown hair".
In the television series, she is depicted with blonde hair.
List of appearances
- Give Yourself Goosebumps
- The Twisted Tale of Tiki Island (not referred to by name but is still referenced)
- Goosebumps HorrorLand
- Classic Goosebumps
- The Haunted Mask
- Welcome to HorrorLand: A Survival Guide (mentioned)
- Goosebumps The Movie
- How to Draw Goosebumps (mentioned)
It is unknown if Carly Beth was going to appear in the Goosebumps Gold book, The Haunted Mask Lives!, as the book was never actually written, due to the expiration of R. L. Stine's contract with Scholastic.
Television and Film
- Television series:
- Kathryn Long (television series)
- Kate Simses (voice of Carly Beth in the audiobook adaptation of The Scream of the Haunted Mask.)
- Clare Halstead (Goosebumps film, credited as Monster #11)
- Carly Beth is one of two characters that didn't narrate their first stories, the other being Greg Banks.
- Carly Beth has currently appeared in eleven Goosebumps books, the most of any human protagonist in the entirety of the series.
- Carly Beth, Hannah Fairchild, and Ricky Beamer (in Creep form) are the only protagonists to appear in the Goosebumps film, but Carly Beth appears as the Mask's host, and like many of the other Goosebumps characters who appeared, she had no lines.
- Carly Beth has appeared in every book featuring the Haunted Mask except for Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask, which focuses on a different host of the mask.