Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask is a stand-alone book in the Goosebumps franchise that geared up to the Most Wanted series, and is the fourth book in the Haunted Mask saga. It is the first original Goosebumps book to be released in hardcover format, but was also released in paperback. It was first published in 2012.
The book is divided into four parts: a prologue that takes place in 1972; Lu-Ann's story, which takes place 40 years later; Devin's story; and an epilogue called "Polly's House."
The cover illustration depicts The Haunted Mask on a piece of paper with flies surrounding it.
Lu-Ann Franklin usually loves Halloween. Not this year. Her best friend, Devin O'Bannon, is going away for the week. And she has to go to a boring party where nothing exciting could ever happen. But when Lu-Ann comes face-to-face with the Haunted Mask, major trouble lies ahead.
Devin O'Bannon didn't want to leave his best friend Lu-Ann Franklin behind on Halloween. He didn't ask to go on this trip. And that was before he heard the strange scratching on his windows and saw the shadows moving around in the fields. Something is out there and it doesn't seem to want Devin around!
Part One: The Haunted Mask
William owns a mask shop that has been in his family for three generation, with his masks being homemade. One day, he is visited by his brother, Randolph, who he hasn't seen in years. He brings out some creepy masks and tells William that they are real faces that no one wanted, and they are called "The Unwanted". William refuses to take them, and is especially scared by one that Randolph claims is haunted by the evil of centuries. Frustrated, Randolph forces William to put on the haunted mask and runs off.
William tries to take the mask off, but he ends up tearing his entire face off along with the mask. He manages to hide the mask in an old trunk, so that no one else can fall prey to the evil of the mask. He promises that in death he will protect others from the mask, and he quietly dies.
Part Two: Lu-Ann's Story
Lu-Ann Franklin is being forced to spend Halloween at a party being thrown by Polly Martin, a girl known for throwing lame parties that she forces people to pay to attend. Her and her friends, Brad Delaney and Marcus Wright, want to do something scary to liven things up, but they can't think of any good ideas. At the party, Lu-Ann and her friends are just as bored as they expected to be and go upstairs to see if there's anything interesting up there. They go in the attic where they find an old trunk full of creepy masks. They hear Polly's dog, Buzzy, looking at the closet and when they check it, the ghost of William pops out.
He tries to warm them about The Haunted Mask, but Lu-Ann slams the door on him. Lu-Ann and her friends put on some of the masks, with Lu-Ann picking The Haunted Mask, and go downstairs to warn everyone else about the ghost. The masks quickly take over and cause them to scare the party-goers. Brad and Marcus are able to get their masks, but Lu-Ann's can't be removed and is now stuck to her face. The anger takes over her and she runs out of the party and into the night.
She starts scaring trick-or-treaters, and refuses the help of her friends. She stumbles upon a mask shop that Marcus's dad owns, which had previously belonged to William. She approaches Mr. Wright, who reveals he knows of William's story and says the legend states that The Haunted Mask can only taken off through an act of kindness. She runs out of the store and tries to help out a lost little girl as her act of kindness but the mask's evil takes over and Lu-Ann forcefully eats the girl's candy. She tries to help a man with a flat tire, but she ends up ripping the tire off the car.
Lu-Ann ends up back at Polly's house where she remembers the ghosts, and thinks scaring him away would be an act of kindness. She pulls upon the closet and William drags Polly in. Lu-Ann manages to tackle William, and his body falls down, and doesn't get back up. Polly thanks her, but the mask still won't come off. Lu-Ann hears police sirens and she runs off, unsure of where to go now.
Part Three: Devin's Story
Lu-Ann's best friend, Devin O'Bannon's dad recently bought an old pumpkin farm and has taken him out of school so he can work on during the week of Halloween. Also in the farm is a housekeeper named Mrs. Barnes, who is very friendly. Devin thinks he sees some vines moving, but his twin sisters, Dale and Dolly, don't believe him. He sees more strange things, such as some pumpkins breathing and pumpkin guts in his room. He starts to annoying his dad with his claims of the weird things going on, and he has to promise to stop it and help out more.
Devin meets Mrs. Barnes son, Haywood, and he explains that the farm was built on an old graveyard and that an old story states that their angry spirits come out through the vines and into the pumpkins. He also mentions one angry spirit known as the Grave-Master who was able to shift shape into a human, and can turn back into a pumpkin at night, with his power being strongest on Halloween. They notice that Barnes' cat, Zeus, has been watching them.
That night, Devin sees vines reaching into his window, but he closes the window hard on them. Dad overhears the commotion, but the vines are gone when he comes in. Devin notices Zeus lurking around outside and suspects that the cat is the Grave-Master's current body. On Halloween, Devin helps out in the fields, but he hears voices whispering his name. Feeling alone, he asks Haywood for help and asks him to meet up outside after dinner. Devin goes out that night and sees Haywood rising out of the grave.
Haywood sees him and tries to pull him into his grave. Devin sees Zeus lurking around again, and asks the cat for his help but Haywood reveals that Zeus isn't the Grave-Master and he put the idea in Devin's head to mess with him. He takes Devin to meet the real Grave-Master, who turns out to be Mrs. Barnes. She explains that Haywood is lonely and Devin was chosen to be his friend, as Haywood was also 12 when he died. Before Devin can be pushed into the grave, Lu-Ann comes running in. She attacks Haywood, and Devin helps out in pushing Haywood back into his grave, with Mrs. Barnes jumping in after him.
Lu-Ann is finally able to take off her mask, as it turns out that she needed an act of kindness from someone else, and Devin stopping Haywood fit the bill. They celebrate their victory, and Devin asks Lu-Ann how Polly's party went.
Epilogue: Polly's House
The next day, Polly is paying kids to look at the ghost, who put himself back together. She also found a mask that looks a lot like the one Lu-Ann had, and puts it on to make the experience scarier.
Cover art gallery
- The ending of Devin's story is similar to Beauty and the Beast, except Lu-Ann serves the role of the Beast.
- With the exception of large print editions, this is the only Goosebumps book that isn't a compilation of previous stories to receive a hardcover edition.
- The second edition of this book contains a poster of the cover art on the back of the dust jacket.
- This is the first Goosebumps book to feature the Haunted Mask and not feature Carly Beth or her friends.
- As such, it is made unclear if this books follows a similar canon to the Carly Beth saga.
- The cover art differs from the full artwork. The background color is yellow instead of white, and the flies on the poster are closer to The Haunted Mask.
- This book references Beauty and the Beast, Oreo, Wii, Twister, Coke, American Girl Dolls, Twizzlers, and Spider-Man.
- This is one of few Goosebumps books where someone's death is depicted in grisly detail.
- Davin's father is mentioned by name in the book: Allan O'Bannon.
- Marcus' father is referred to as Mr. Wright. There was previously a Mr. Wright in A Shocker on Shock Street.