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Return to the Carnival of Horrors is the twenty-second book in the Give Yourself Goosebumps gamebook series, and is the second book in the Carnival of Horrors saga. It was published in 1997. It is a sequel to the first Give Yourself Goosebumps book, Escape from the Carnival of Horrors, and was the last book in the series to use the original cover design before it changed in the next book, Zapped in Space.

The cover illustration depicts a bunch of crazed ghosts riding a long roller coaster that seems to extend far off into the background.



You escaped the first time. But Big Al, the evil carnival manager, wants your second visit to last forever!

You've got to get out there—before midnight. If you win three midway games, you have a chance. But the games are horrifyingly hard. Like Q Quest. If you pick the wrong number, the penalty will really blow you away!

Maybe you should look for a way out on the rides. But watch out for the Roller Ghoster. It's a steer-yourself roller coaster—filled with ghosts!

The choice is yours in this scary GOOSEBUMPS adventure that's packed with over 20 super-spooky endings!


A carnival has come to town, and your aunt and uncle decide to take you to it as a surprise. Your cousin, Floyd, accompanies you on the journey, as does Patty, the same girl who appeared in the first Give Yourself Goosebumps book, Escape from the Carnival of Horrors.

Your uncle drives you and your friends to the carnival. He instructs the three of you to walk into the carnival while he and your aunt look for parking. Cautiously, you enter the fairgrounds. You slowly realize that the carnival you've stepped into is the Carnival of Horrors. Once again, you must escape the carnival before midnight, or you will be trapped there forever!

You can choose between trying to blend in with the crowd on the midway or riding some of the carnival's attractions. The plot forks after the reader makes this decision.

Story A

If you choose to visit the midway, you must win three carnival games and face off against Big Al in a "final challenge" in order to escape.

Story B

If you don't want to be on the midway, you can choose to explore some of the carnival's rides to see if any of them hide an escape.

List of endings

There are eighteen bad endings and three good endings.

Bad endings

Ending Paths

A booth-operator promises you that a blue tornado will not wisp you away if you lose the game. When you lose, a purple tornado comes and wisps you away.

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After losing a bet, you start to rapidly age to nothing.

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You win a robot at a carnival booth, and the robot begins counting down how much time you have to escape. You try to rewire the robot so you can gain more time, but this causes the robot to explode.

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Big Al turns you into tools to fix his robot, Igor.

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The book asks you to hold out two pencils at an arms length. It asks you to slowly move the pencils together, trying to make the graphite touch. If the two pencils miss three times, you lose and are struck by lightning.

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After mis-guessing what your weight on Jupiter will be, you are crushed by the planet's gravity.

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You land on the skull and crossbones symbol while playing Q Quest. You are turned into a skeleton and used a decoration at the carnival.

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Becoming a crane prize after the crane machine sucks you inside.

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You're directed to a dark tent by a hot dog vendor who says you can collect your prize inside after winning a game. However, once inside you're overwhelmed and eaten by hot dogs.

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You fail to find the shortest message in the digital maze. As a punishment, you are sucked into the screen. Inside, giant letters of the alphabet fall on top of you until you are buried and unable to move.

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You escape being attacked by a giant squid, but you are taken aback when you find out that the audience is made out of octopuses. This causes you to reel back into the water, where after you are finished off.

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You escape the carnival deep into the past, where you are eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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You try to tie a swarm of small squids' tentacles together, but are tripped over when one of them wraps itself around your ankle. This results in you being engulfed by more small squid.

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You have second thoughts about boarding the Roller Ghoster and choose to try the Slug Subway instead. However the slugs you ride on are coated in a acidic slime that quickly burns through your shoes. You, Patty and Floyd attempt to run out of the tunnel but slip on the slugs, falling in the slime trail left behind. You three then burn to death.

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As you walk back down to try out more rides, you are ambushed and presumably decapitated by small elves.

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Your car plunges into a hole, upon which you are strangled by a venomous snake.

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While looking around an old storage area, you come across a door appearing to be a quick exit. You go through it, only to be stuck in outer space.

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You put on a life preserver to help you float, but it turns out to be made of lead and you drown.

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Good endings

Ending Paths

After tricking Big Al and freeing all of the ghosts, the Carnival of Horrors disappears around you. Soon, you find yourself standing in the entrance of an ordinary carnival. You are greeted by Aunt El and Uncle Steve, who have just arrived.

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Your birth date is deemed to be unlucky in Horrible Hairy Harry's game. Harry informs you that it's unlucky because it means that he has to escort you, Patty, and Floyd out of the "wonderful" Carnival of Horrors. After he guides you to an exit, Harry gives you and your friends free passes to the carnival as a consolation.

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You travel back in time one month and re-program Big Al's computer to send the carnival to Antarctica. You then wake up on the morning of the day you originally went to the carnival, and it turns out to be just an ordinary day.

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International releases





  • While most of the book doesn't use gender specific language, you are referred to as a male twice on page 28.
  • Say Cheese and Die! is mentioned in this book, and The Camera makes an appearance.
  • On page 73, this book assumes that you followed one particular storyline of Escape from the Carnival of Horrors; Patty says that you previously escaped the carnival by riding the choo-choo train. However, the book also refers to some things from the second storyline, which you supposedly encountered during your first visit to the carnival, even though there's no way this would be possible in the original book.
  • The first concept art sketch features a skeleton that bears a strong resemblance to Curly's appearance on the cover to the first Tales to Give You Goosebumps book.
  • One of the possible attractions the reader can ride, the Roller Ghoster, shares the same name of a Vampire Village ride minigame in the 2008 Goosebumps HorrorLand video game.
  • This is the only Give Yourself Goosebumps book to be a direct sequel to a previous Give Yourself Goosebumps book.