The cover illustration depicts Dr. Maniac coming out of a computer screen, reaching out towards the reader.
Write and Fight!
Robby creates comic strips on his computer. His favorite creation is Dr. Maniac, a weird and wicked supervillain. Dr. Maniac isn't a real doctor, but he sure is a maniac. And now he's on the loose... in the real world!
Howl if You Love HorrorLand!
Meanwhile, seven ordinary kids are now trapped in the popular theme park called HorrorLand. Can Robby survive long enough to find and save them? A hairy situation awaits in Werewolf Village.
While camping with his family, Robby Schwartz hears footsteps outside of his tent, so he goes outside to explore. He runs into the supervillain, Dr. Maniac. Dr. Maniac kidnaps Robby and plans on forcing Robby to help defeat the Purple Rage. The Purple Rage is another very powerful supervillain.
The story takes an abrupt shift. It is revealed that all previous events only happened inside of a comic book that Robby created. Robby is showing his comic to his friend, Brooke, and his brother, Sam. Robby goes downstairs and leaves Brooke and Sam upstairs in his room. When Robby hears a scream, he rushes back upstairs to find the window in his room is open, but Sam is gone. Robby's mother calls the police, and Brooke informs the Schwartz family that Dr. Maniac came in through the window and abducted Sam. Robby's mother and father don't believe the story at first. However, Robby finds yellow feathers on the floor; Dr. Maniac has yellow feathers on his costume. The police arrive, but they don't believe Brooke's story either. Robby walks into another room and notices that the television is on. He is shocked to see that the Purple Rage is guest starring on a talk show! Sammy tries to show his parents the Purple Rage, but when Robby returns to the television, the Purple Rage has been replaced with a completely different guest star.
Robby and Brooke go to the location where the talk show is filmed in an attempt to find the Purple Rage. The two kids manage to find the host of the show. The host tells them that the Purple Rage was on the show, but the Purple Rage had to fly somewhere. Robby runs upstairs because he believes that the Purple Rage might still be on the roof. While running to the roof, Robby and Brooke become separated. When Robby gets to the roof, he is exhausted and dizzy. Robby stumbles off of the roof, but is saved by the Purple Rage. The Purple Rage flies Robby down to the ground. Robby tells the Purple Rage that his brother was kidnapped by Dr. Maniac. Eventually, the Purple Rage agrees to help find Sam. Carrying Robby, the Purple Rage flies to his fortress. Using the computers in his fortress, the Purple Rage manages to hijack all television signals and begins broadcasting a video of himself. The Purple Rage then reveals his plan to Robby; feed Robby to scorpions. The Purple Rage thinks that this will make Sam want to escape from Dr. Maniac and rescue Robby. The Purple Rage throws Robby into a giant tank filled with scorpions. Robby knows Sam won't be able to save him before the scorpions began stinging. Robby begins screaming insults at the Purple Rage. Robby's insults coax the Purple Rage into breaking the glass of the tank. Once the glass is broken, Robby runs away. Robby pulls open a door and runs through it. Unfortunately, the door leads to the sewer, so Robby falls into the sewer water below. Robby manages to grab a ladder, and he uses it to climb out of the sewer. Robby slowly walks home.
When Robby gets home, he is informed that Brooke is missing; Robby lost Brooke in the television station. Robby contemplates whether he should go back to the television station. Robby notices that his laptop is on, and on the screen is a new Dr. Maniac comic that he did not write. The comic strip says that Dr. Maniac is plotting to kidnap every kid in Robby's town and force them to ice skate. Dr. Maniac will become rich by forcing the kids to perform ice shows for audiences. The comic strip also shows Dr. Maniac carrying Sam and Brooke to the frozen swimming pool and forcing the two kids to begin skating.
Robby recognizes the pool in the comic strip, so he sneaks out and goes to the pool. Robby enters the building where Brooke and Sam are supposed to be, but he is kidnapped by Dr. Maniac. Robby talks to the Dr. Maniac and his accomplice, the Scarlet Starlet. Dr. Maniac then tries to force Robby to ice skate. Before Robby begins skating, the Purple Rage enters. Dr. Maniac and the Scarlet Starlet both begin laughing at the Purple Rage. The Purple Rage becomes so angered by the evil duos' laughter that he explodes. Robby is forced to skate with the other abductees. Robby leaves the ice rink and grabs Dr. Maniac. It is then revealed that Dr. Maniac's true face was being covered by a Dr. Maniac mask. When Robby pulls off the mask, he finds that Dr. Maniac is actually his brother. Soon, the Scarlet Starlet reveals that she is Brooke. Sam reveals that he became evil because he was jealous of Robby. Before Sam or Brooke can hurt Robby, the building is raided by the police. Before the police can get to them, the Scarlet Starlet and Dr. Maniac disappear. Robby quickly notices that they have reappeared on a nearby computer screen; they are inside the computer! The Scarlet Starlet is making threats when Robby gets an idea. Robby walks over to the computer, and he presses the DELETE button.
The story once again abruptly transitions. Robby is in his room showing his comic to his mom; the entire story was all a part of Robby's comic book. Robby is surprised when he sees a picture on his computer that he did not draw. The picture depicts Dr. Maniac, the Scarlet Starlet, and Robby's fictional sister, Taylor, standing in HorrorLand. Text bubbles appear onscreen, and the Scarlet Starlet reveals that she and Dr. Maniac are unsatisfied with his story's ending and had come up with a better one. Dr. Maniac says he'll see Robby in HorrorLand...
Robby Schwartz receives an invitation to HorrorLand in the mail. Despite Dr. Maniac's threats, Robby decides to go. In HorrorLand, Robby becomes lost in Wolfsbane Forest. He accidentally stumbles into and startles Carly Beth Caldwell and Sabrina Mason, two girls who are also lost in the forest. Since the main exit is locked, Robby digs a small hole along the edge of a fence. The kids all crawl through the hole. Once they escape the woods, Carly Beth and Sabrina explain how all of the special guests were in danger.
Robby is helping Carly Beth and Sabrina, but he is distracted and separated by an arcade. There, Robby sees a Dr. Maniac video game. Robby is inexplicably drawn to the game. Robby does not want to play it, but he is unable to resist the urge to play. Robby is pulled away from the game by two girls, Britney Crosby and Molly Molloy. They reveal that they want to go to Panic Park. Molly shows Robby a gold coin, and Robby feels as if the coin is hypnotizing him, so he bats the coin out of Molly's hand. The coin lands in front of the door to the arcade. Just as the coin falls, Slappy enters the arcade. Slappy grabs Robby and demands that Britney retrieve the token and use it to hypnotize Robby. When Robby gazes into the coin, he blacks out, only to reawaken on the floor of the arcade with Carly Beth and Sabrina staring down at him; Molly and Britney are gone. Before leaving with Carly Beth and Sabrina, Robby picks up the gold token.
- In the Portuguese adaptation of the story there are some notable differences:
|Audiobook||Release date||Length||Narrated by||Published by|
|December 2008||2 hours, 34 minutes||Marc Thompson||Scholastic Inc.|
- This is the first book to feature Dr. Maniac. While he would feature in several HorrorLand books, he would feature as a main villain in two other books after HorrorLand, Dr. Maniac Will See You Now and They Call Me the Night Howler!. Despite his later appearances, neither of these books appear to connect with his origin of being created by Robby Schwartz.
- This book is very similar to the twenty-fifth Goosebumps book, Attack of the Mutant. Both stories center around protagonists who love comic book supervillains, and both stories use supervillains as their antagonists.
- Robby's father was mentioned by name in this book: Norman Schwartz.
- This book references Battle Chess, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong.
- In the Q&A with R.L. Stine found in the Classic Goosebumps reprint of Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes, he says this has one of his favorite covers.
References in other Goosebumps media
- Dr. Maniac is mentioned in the introduction to the Goosebumps Movie Novel.
- Dr. Maniac is mentioned in Goosebumps HorrorTown's Haunted Halloween event, during an argument between Sam Carter and Sonny Quinn.
|Goosebumps HorrorLand series|
|#01 Revenge of the Living Dummy||#8 Say Cheese — and Die Screaming!||#15 Heads, You Lose!|
|#02 Creep from the Deep||#9 Welcome to Camp Slither||#16 Weirdo Halloween|
|#03 Monster Blood for Breakfast!||#10 Help! We Have Strange Powers!||#17 The Wizard of Ooze|
|#04 The Scream of the Haunted Mask||#11 Escape from HorrorLand||#18 Slappy New Year!|
|#05 Dr. Maniac vs. Robby Schwartz||#12 The Streets of Panic Park||#19 The Horror at Chiller House|
|#06 Who's Your Mummy?||#13 When the Ghost Dog Howls||N/A Welcome to HorrorLand: A Survival Guide|
|#07 My Friends Call Me Monster||#14 Little Shop of Hamsters||N/A Write Your Fright!|