Not much is revealed about Fritz's personal life other than the fact that he assisted in building the Camera during his youth. It is also unknown what field he is a qualified doctor in.
In his youth, Dr. Fredericks obtained employment in a laboratory with another man, who was currently working on a Camerology project. The man was constructing a special camera, which Dr. Fredericks was hired to assist with the development of.
Likely excited by the prospect of fame and fortune, Dr. Fredericks waited until the camera was finished, and then he stole it. The real creator was angered by Dr. Fredericks actions, so the creator placed a dark magic curse on the device. Dr. Fredericks wasn't aware of the curse, so he took photos of people he loved. Sadly, those he photographed either died or were severely harmed, leading him to leave his life and become a vagrant. Eventually, Dr. Fredericks arrived in Pitts Landing, which was to be his last home in life.
At the beginning of Say Cheese and Die!, the children describe having seen him around town from a distance. After discovering that one of them took the camera, he became desperate to get it back, to the point where he snuck into Greg Banks' house to find it. Greg and Shari Walker later went back into the Coffman house to put the camera back, after discovering what it could do. They ran into Spidey, who explained his past and told the kids that they can't leave, as they know too much.
During a skirmish between him and Sharo, Spidey's picture is unintentionally taken, which causes him to die of fright. In the television adaptation, when Dr. Fredericks's picture is taken, he is transported inside the camera. However, he is accidentally released by the two bullies when they find the camera. Consequently, he is still alive at the end of the episode.
Spidey has gray hair and long, spider-like legs. In the television version he wears black goggles but in the book he wears a black baseball cap. Though his exact age is not revealed, he is initially estimated by the children to be 50 or 60. Greg and Shari describe him as looking much older than 60 when they are able to look at him more closely.
Dr. Fredericks is often referred to as 'Spidey' by those living in Pitts Landing. The nickname was apparently applied due to him appearing spider-like to many townsfolk, with 'spindly legs carrying him about' and him only ever being 'dressed in black'. Dr. Fredericks' behavior is similar to that of a spider, as they are known to live in isolated areas.
In the television adaptation of Say Cheese and Die — Again!, Greg calls Dr. Fredericks "Spider" instead of Spidey.
It appears that Dr. Fredericks's involvement with the Camera has taken its toll on his mind. Specifically, he suffers from symptoms similar to those seen in paranoia and depression. Paranoia appears when he considers it reasonable to keep Greg and Shari locked up in his dwelling, so they will not 'blab about the camera'. Depression is evident when he speaks of the punishment he feels the camera has laden on him; the camera harmed or killed everyone that he loved.
List of appearances
|Say Cheese and Die!||Antagonist||November 1992||Goosebumps|
|Welcome to HorrorLand: A Survival Guide||Mentioned||October 2009||Goosebumps HorrorLand|
|"Say Cheese and Die"||Antagonist||February 9, 1996||Season 1|
|"Say Cheese and Die... Again"||Mentioned and seen in flashbacks||February 28, 1998||Season 3|
- While Dr. Fredericks was not seen in Say Cheese and Die — Again!, he can be seen during flashbacks in the television adaptation.
- When Greg learns that the Coffman House was sold and demolished, he screams into the sky, blaming Dr. Fredericks.
- Dr. Fredericks is portrayed in Goosebumps HorrorTown as the rival scientist of Professor Shock. He has a niece named Selma, with Billy Deep as his nephew.
- Dr. Fredericks' actor, Richard McMillan, also played Mr. Blankenship in "Teacher's Pet".