Jonathan Chiller is the creepy owner of Chiller House at HorrorLand. He is an antagonist in Goosebumps HorrorLand books thirteen through nineteen, and he is the main antagonist in The Horror at Chiller House.
Jonathan Chiller had a troublesome and lonely childhood. His mother thought he had a special brain that needed to be nurtured and tried to make him study all the time in his room as she didn't want him to waste and that the great scientists will be awaiting him. Unfortunately because of this, Mrs Chiller also thought that Jonathan was too smart for other children and wouldn't let him go to school to be with them. She also tried to make sure that Jonathan didn't deteriorate away from his studies and wouldn't let him go outside to play. But Jonathan didn't make it easy to stick with his studies as he was always playing games with his toys in order to avoid studying harder all the time, much to his mother's annoyance. Jonathan's father, Charles Chiller was starting to get uncomfortable with his wife about keeping Jonathan in his room and away from other children because he felt that she was ruining their son and turning him into a freak. Jonathan was hurt and angered at this and in his fury, he tore his favorite puppet, Droopy to pieces.
Later, his parents had another argument, with Charles telling his wife that she won't let him be normal. In order to make a man out of Jonathan, Charles went into his room and asked him to go hunting with him. Jonathan was uneasy about this as he was terrified of his father's crossbows, but he accepted as he wanted his father to like him. So in the woods, they found a pack of wild turkeys and Charles put the crossbow in his son's arms and told him to get the feel of it. Jonathan was very fearful of what he had to do, but he was determined to make his father proud, so he fired the crossbow, but the arrow repelled and hit Jonathan in the foot. After some treatment at home, Jonathan heard his parents while lying in bed with his injured foot. Charles told his furious wife that she wins and that she can let Jonathan stay in his room and Charles will never take his son hunting again. Jonathan, angered that his father doesn't seem to be proud of him in the least, vows that he will make Charles proud that he is his son. And Jonathan gathered his "loyal subjects" and told them he is their ruler and they will obey him.
It is unknown how Chiller discovered Chiller House. All that can be told is that he managed to collect some very rare souvenirs around the world, some of which were very dangerous, and were being looked for by villains. He also stored some little Horror dolls that somehow managed to teleport their owner back to Chiller House and then back to their home. But Chiller also managed to keep his fondness for games and wanted to share them with other people.
One day, Chiller decided to have a scavenger hunt game, so he decided to find six people to play the game. These people had come into his shop and bought some of the rare souvenirs that were dangerous and hunted by villains. These are the souvenirs Chiller sold to his customers: The Blue Kerlew Hound's wishing tooth to Andy Meadows, Insta-Gro Pets and a candy dispenser to Sam Waters, the gold coin with Prince Warwick's face on it to Jessica Bowen, Weirdo Bim's Floig doll to Meg Oliver, The Ooze's rare comic book that grants special powers to Marco Gonzalez and Slappy the Dummy to Ray Gordon. Chiller also gave each a little Horror doll to take home with them, with the kids unaware that the Horrors are going to teleport them back to Chiller House. All six of these children each had a terrible time with their souvenirs as most of them encountered villains who were after the souvenirs. Chiller also brought Meg back to HorrorLand on Halloween after her encounter with Weirdo Bim to play his disturbing game of Double or Nothing in which Meg had to prove she was her. Meg reluctantly played along and managed to win the game by revealing that her double and her brother Chris were robots. And Chiller let her go home for a while.
Soon, the little Horrors brought Ray and the other five kids back to Chiller House. Once they were gathered, Chiller greeted them all and welcomed them back to his shop. But the kids were not happy and demanded him to send them home immediately. Chiller assured them that he will be sending them home, but then he told them that they haven't payed for their gifts and now payback time has arrived. He explained that in order to go home, the kids will go on his scavenger hunt for six Horror figures hidden in red chests throughout HorrorLand (one for each of them).
To make sure the game wasn't too hard, Chiller also gave the kids some "Helper" cards with pictures of Murder the Clown, Chef Belcher, Mondo the Magical, Madame Doom, Winner Taikall and Seymour Winn-Doe (all of them were employees that the kids encountered in the park before heading to Chiller House). Chiller also mentioned that he and some friends of his are going to be hunting for the kids with crossbows to make the game more exciting, which the kids were most horrified at. Chiller told them he and the Hunters were giving them a head start and urged them to get going. Ray asked if the real Horrors knew about this game and if they should tell them. Chiller scoffed at this as they probably won't believe it. And the kids left the shop to look for the little Horrors to go home with them.
However, Chiller was determined to win this game as he doesn't like to lose. The kids didn't realize that he actually gave them Hunter cards, meaning that the "Helpers" are the Hunters. The children also didn't realize that Chiller was also dressed up as the characters until they saw him take off his Madame Doom costume. So the kids escaped from the Monster Police and went back to Chiller House to confront Chiller. Chiller told them to leave as the "Hunters" will be around any moment but they told him he was all alone.
The Monster Police then came in to take the children away but Chiller told them that he will see that they will get home safely. Ray demanded to Chiller to give them the red chests with the little Horrors, but Chiller declined saying that they haven't won the game yet and Ray argued that they have since they realized he was all alone. Chiller was most upset at this, as he remembered that he never was allowed to go outside and make friends and that the only way he can have friends is that he can play them himself. While he was sitting there in his own thoughts, the kids tried to get past him to the red chests, but Chiller stopped them just in time, saying that it was still his game and that he didn't like to lose. Meg attempted to distract Chiller by taking out some of his toys and playing with them and asking Chiller how they work, with Jessica and Marco joining in.
While they were at it, Ray, Sam and Andy raced by to get the chests, only to find them empty. Chiller actually knew he was being distracted and told them that they could play new games that none of them would like. But then Ray realized that Chiller really cared about his "friends" and dressed up in the Murder the Clown costume, with Sam, Jessica and Meg joining in dressed as Chef Belcher, Madame Doom and Mondo the Magical respectively and they started chanting "Good-bye Jonathan Chiller" in unison. Chiller was agitated at this as he couldn't bare for anyone to turn his "friends" against him. This also meant that they won the game, so Chiller gave the kids the little Horrors and they were teleported back home safely.
Chiller then had to put his shop back together all night and he carefully put his "friends" back in their places and made sure they were okay and that he had to take good care of them. The next morning, two new customers came into Chiller House and Chiller greeted them and told them to have a look around and asked if they would like to take a little Horror home with them.
Jonathan Chiller was very lonely in childhood, as his mother thought he was smarter than to have friends and wouldn't let him be normal. Sometimes he thought that if he did have a "special brain" he would give it back and trade it for a normal brain. He always wanted to make his father proud by becoming a skillful hunter, which he thought he had become very good at. He is very imaginative and loved to play games with his toys and he always liked to take good care of his "friends" and would not allow anyone to turn them against him.
Jonathan Chiller is a big old man with thinning gray hair pushed or tied back behind his head and pale flabby skin on his face. He wears old-fashioned square glasses. People who have met him say that he looks like Benjamin Franklin. He also has a gold tooth. He usually wears frilled shirts with old-fashioned suits of different colors.
- Goosebumps HorrorLand
- His name seems to be based on Jonathan Randd, the author of the American Chillers book series.
- Chiller's glasses were unusually absent on the cover of The Horror at Chiller House.