"How I Got My Shrunken Head" is the first and second episode of season four of the Goosebumps TV series, and the sixty-seventh and sixty-eighth episode overall. Part one and part two premiered on September 14, 1998 and September 21, 1998 on Fox during the Fox Kids block.


Differences from the book

  • In the episode, Mark receives the shrunken head from a package mysteriously left on his doorstep. In the book, it is given to him by Carolyn Hawlings, who is introduced much later on in the episode than she is in the book.
  • In the book, Mark has a sister and several friends. In the TV version, Mark is an only child implied to hardly have any friends because of his jungle obsession.
  • Mark's bedroom is jungle-themed; the book does not mention this.
  • In the book, Mark has a dad who is away on a business trip. In the episode, Mark's mom is single and has a boyfriend.
  • In the TV version, the man who takes Mark to the island is a Filipino man who dresses like Elvis Presley, not a military officer.
  • In the book, Mark's flight goes smoothly, but in the episode they have troubles and Mark saves them with the jungle magic.
  • In the episode, Carolyn Hawlings is the wife of Dr. Richard Hawlings. In the book, she is his sister.
  • Mark discovers Aunt Benna's video journals in a cabinet full of VHS tapes and a television, instead of written journals.
  • When Mark is sinking in quicksand, he yells "Kah-lee-ah" and raises the shrunken head which frees him from the sand. In the book, he simply does the latter.
  • Mark never encounters the tiger in the episode.
  • The book does not mention that Aunt Benna's coin necklace is the source of Mark's Jungle Magic.
  • Aunt Benna does not leave Beladora at the end of the episode.
  • The ending is different. In the book, the two adults and Kareen run into the jungle after getting shrunk by Jungle Magic. When Mark returns home, the last scene shows Mark walking to school and the shrunken head telling Mark to let him tell the class about saving him from the tiger attack. In the television episode, Mark uses his newfound magic to brainwash the natives into attacking the Hawlings and tossing them into the pit filled with a potion that the jungle natives use to shrink heads. When Mark returns home, we see that Mark is now keeping the Hawlings as pets and vows to have the shrink spell removed when Aunt Benna comes back...on Mark's sixteenth birthday.
  • In the episode, the head talks more often instead of just once. It is also more active, as it leads Mark to Benna's video diaries.
  • The episode goes into more detail on the origins of Jungle Magic, as well as explaining that "Kah-lee-ah" is the proper name for it and Jungle Magic is simply the English translation for it.

Home media

"How I Got My Shrunken Head" was released on DVD on April 12, 2005. It was included in a double DVD pack with "Night of the Living Dummy II" on September 16, 2008.

Title Release date Media type

How I Got My Shrunken Head

April 12, 2005 DVD

Double DVD pack



September 16, 2008 DVD


  • The theme for season four is the same as season three's, but Slappy now says "Goosebumps", instead of "Ultimate Goosebumps".
  • Rebecca Henderson (Kareen Hawlings) played Margaret in season one's "Stay Out of the Basement." At one point Kareen's father calls her "Princess", which may be a nod to that episode.
  • Richard Fitzpatrick (Dr. Richard Hawlings) played Mr. Kramer in season one's "Night of the Living Dummy II"
  • Dr. Hawlings is stated to be sent from "Miskatonic University," a reference to the works of American horror author H.P. Lovecraft.




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