Goosebumps Wiki
Goosebumps Wiki


"Piano Lessons Can Be Murder" is the eighth episode of season one of the Goosebumps TV series. It premiered on December 8, 1995 on Fox during the Fox Kids block.



When Jerry finds a dusty old piano in the basement of his new house, his parents offer to pay for lessons. Taking piano seems like a cool idea if it means he'll be able to jam with his cute next-door neighbor, Kim. But there's something strange about Jerry's piano teacher, Dr. Shreek. Something Jerry can't quite put his finger on. What's more, Jerry begins receiving nightly visits from a terrifying ghost who warns him about the music school. When Jerry stumbles upon a secret room at Dr. Shreek's school, it is time for him to face the music.

Differences from the book

  • In the book, the ghost in Jerry's house is described as being a young woman. In the episode, the ghost is an old lady.
  • Jerry's personality is different. In the book, Jerry is a prankster. In the episode, he has an overactive personality and pretends he is an explorer and tends to talk in third-person.
  • Several scenes with the ghost, including the scene where her face melts off, are omitted from the episode.
  • In the episode, Dr. Shreek never comes to Jerry's home for lessons, instead, Jerry goes straight to the Shreek school.
  • Jerry's neighbor Kim is implied to be Asian in the book, but in the episode, she is depicted as African American.
  • Jerry's nightmare of Dr. Shreek making him play faster and faster until his hands hurt is omitted from the episode.
  • Jerry never visits the psychiatrist, Dr. Frye, in the episode.
  • Jerry is never shown Mr. Toggle's workshop in the episode.
  • In the episode, the ghost in Jerry's house used to be Mr. Toggle's strict piano teacher. In the book, the ghost wasn't given a backstory. In the Goosebumps Official Collector's Caps Book, the ghost is said to be a girl named Mara Klane, a student of Dr. Shreek.
  • Mr. Toggle's motivations are slightly different in the episode. In the book, he is more deranged, severing the perfect hands of others to use for his inventions to play beautiful music. In the episode, it's established that he uses those severed hands to play piano because he was too lazy to learn to play the piano himself.
  • In the book, Jerry's parents never see the ghost haunting the piano. In the episode, Mrs. Hawkins sees the ghost exiting the school.
  • In the book, Dr. Shreek flips out because Jerry is quitting, in the episode, he becomes enraged because Jerry is not taking his lessons seriously.
  • At the end, it is just the ghost of Mr. Andrew Toggle's piano teacher instead of several ghosts. But instead of taking him away to an unknown fate, she makes him play the piano forever as punishment for torturing Jerry. In the final scene, the piano teacher ghost says, "This is your punishment for terrorizing the boy! You will practice and practice!" Mr. Toggle asks in a sobbed voice "How much longer?!" The piano teacher ghost replies, "Till....eternity, you laaazy boy!"
  • The piano is found in the basement of the house, not in the attic, nor is the piano moved.

Home media

Title Release date Media type

The Blob That Ate Everyone

September 7, 2010 DVD

3-Pack Thriller

August 26, 2014 DVD