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Inspector Cranium is the main antagonist in the tenth Goosebumps HorrorLand book, Help! We Have Strange Powers!.


Help! We Have Strange Powers!

Inspector Cranium (whose real name is hard to pronounce) is a scientist who has the power to read minds and to drain people's brains. He and his assistant Finney (who is a hundred and fourteen years old as he used his own powers to keep himself alive) work for The Institute, also known as The Thought Police, a company that tracks down people who have powers to drain their brains as they can't allow normal people to have powers as they think normal people are too weak and foolish. Cranium and The Institute also try to make sure that they have made the right calculations as they don't usually make mistakes.

One day, The Institute had sent Finney to pick up two kids named Jillian and Jackson Gerard, who are twins and are said to have special powers. Cranium met them in a room at The Institute and assured the frightened twins that they will not be harmed and he won't keep them here for long. Cranium then introduced himself to them and explained to them about his research on the human brain and how having mind powers can be good but can also be bad because people won't know what to do with them and they will be treated as outcasts and they will be treated like freaks for the rest of their lives. Jillian replied that it is a good thing that they don't have any powers and Cranium told her that is why they were brought here as they usually don't make mistakes and he assured them that the tests are simple and completely painless and he will have them home in no time. So Cranium tested them by making put on some wireless headphones, which had gotten pretty painful to the twins. After that Cranium asked Jillian what Finney was thinking about to which Jillian answered by asking if Finney was thinking about a new car, when he was actually thinking about a slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Cranium was most surprised to know that he had made a mistake and he let the two kids go home. However, Cranium sent a message to Jillian and Jackson, saying they didn't fool him and he made sure that they didn't tell their parents about him.

Later, while Jillian and Jackson were at Nina and Artie Lerner's party, Cranium ambushed the four kids, asking them if they really thought they could fool him. Cranium then told them that he has to drain their brains. He also told the Lerners that they have hidden for too long, revealing that they have powers and he explained to Jillian about how they got to superheroes first and they make sure they can't use them first and there are few people in the world who know what to do with their superpowers. He proceeded to drain Nina and Artie's brains, only to be subdued by Jackson. Then Nina used her powers to lift Cranium in the air and spin him around while he was up there. Cranium warned them that he will call for more officers and grabbed Jillian by the hair, only to be subdued by Jackson again. And then Artie used his power of Time to turn Cranium into a baby and Nina used her powers to send Cranium out the door.

HorrorLand and Panic Park

Cranium eventually used his powers to change back to his original age. And then he was approached by a HorrorLand Horror named Byron, who told him that Karloff Mennis, also known as The Menace will promise him and the other villains including Slappy the Dummy, Dr. Maniac, The Haunted Mask and Captain Long Ben One-Leg an offer of revenge against the kids that defeated them by luring into a trap by thinking that The Menace's theme park called Panic Park was safe and HorrorLand wasn't whilst in reality, it was Panic Park that wasn't safe. In HorrorLand, Cranium caught up with Jillian and Jackson, who were most surprised to see him. Cranium asked the twins why they were in HorrorLand and indirectly told them that The Menace has promised him his revenge, confusing the twins. He then started burrowing into Jillian and Jackson's brains but Jackson subdued him again by hurling Madame Doom's booth to him. Cranium chased the two kids to the Doom Slide, where they managed to escape from him, but not before he told them that they can't escape The Menace. Also, sometime during the events, Cranium noticed Monster-X sending information about the Very Special Guests and Panic Park to Lizzy and Luke Morris, who then arrived at HorrorLand to tell the Very Special Guests what they were told.

Cranium followed the Morris siblings and the Very Special Guests to Panic Park after they escaped from HorrorLand. At first their revenge was going well for them, but then Cranium found out that The Menace was going to keep them and the kids in Panic Park once the Fear Meter has reached one hundred and he won't let any of them go home after the job was done. He reported this to the other villains and they caught up with the kids and told them of the situation asking for their help. Cranium, Slappy and Dr. Maniac told the kids that they have to stand up to the Menace, to show him that they are not afraid, but not before Cranium told Lizzy and Luke that Monster-X was a Horror named Ned and that Ned was trying to help them. The kids reluctantly agreed to this unlikely alliance. So Cranium and Dr. Maniac led the kids to The Menace's mansion to a door that wasn't guarded, which Cranium opened using his mind powers. He then told the children that they have to go in by themselves because The Menace will know that something is up if the villains went in with them. At first the kids were going well by laughing at The Menace and making him shrink and the Fear Meter drop, until The Menace told them that they will shrink with Panic Park if they keep on laughing. Then Cranium and the other villains entered and made the laughter continue. But then Panic Park began to shrink uncontrollably, putting them all in danger so Cranium and the other villains led the kids The Whirlwind, which the kids thought was dangerous until the villains explained that it will take them back to HorrorLand as they have used it many times and Cranium mentioned that Britney Crosby and Molly Molloy have used it once. Jillian and Jackson (who were revealed to be traitors earlier) caught up with them and Cranium helped Jackson open The Whirlwind. Then Cranium and the other villains escaped from Panic Park while the kids were reunited with their families.

General information


Inspector Cranium is the kind of person that does his job and takes it very seriously. Like The Institute, he doesn't allow normal people to have special powers as he thought they don't know what to do with their powers and that they are too foolish and weak to use them and that it would cause some problems. But at the same time, he thinks it is wonderful to have special powers. He is very intelligent and he makes sure that no mistakes and can always point out a flaw and is not very easy to fool. He thinks that the human brain is very beautiful and is fascinated by it as proven by his research. Cranium can be very persuasive, but tries to be as gentle and assuring as he possibly could to get his clients to cooperate.

Physical appearance

Inspector Cranium's most notable features are his large head that seems too big for his body and his scalp that glows like a light bulb under lights. He is not much taller than some kids and has tiny, round black eyes, a long bent nose, thick gray eyebrows, a small gray brush of a beard on his chin and a gold tooth that glows when he is smiling.



  • Cranium is a meaning for "skull." He was given the name by his workers as a joke, possibly because of his large head.