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Ship of Ghouls is the thirty-sixth book in the Give Yourself Goosebumps gamebook series. It was published in 1999.

The cover illustration depicts a giant shark with red streaks near its jaws (possibly blood) in the foreground. Behind the shark is a sunken cruise ship, and debris littered on the ocean floor.



You're on a two-week cruise to Japan with a friend — and no parents! Par-ty! This should be a total blast — if you can survive the deadliest cruise ever. A man on board claims the ship is really a laboratory for evil experiments. Experiments that turn passengers into gross fish-creatures! Now the man is planning to blow up the ship! Should you warn the captain or hit the water?

If you stay on board, will you be turned into a giant shrimp? If you jump overboard will you be able to survive the killer sharks? The choice is yours in this scary GOOSEBUMPS adventure that's packed with over 20 super-spooky endings!


You and your friend, Glenn, take a two-week cruise to Japan. A fellow passenger says that people are doing experiments on the boat that are causing passengers to turn into fish-like creatures and he is therefore going to blow the ship up. You have to choose between telling the captain about the bomb threat and jumping off in order to get away from the explosion. If you and Glenn follow the passenger, you see the results of some of the experiments and have to defeat the one in charge of the operation. If the ship blows up, you meet a group of new friends and you all have to work together to survive.

Story A

You and Glenn meet up with a passenger who explains he will blow up the ship with everyone on it because passengers were being turned into gross fish creatures. He then explains that the cruise was run by someone named "The Boss", who is the one turning the passengers into the creatures. Two burly crewmen take him away and explains that they are taking him into a place called "The Room", where The Boss is working. The crewmen spot you and Glenn. You and Glenn split up and talk to a woman named Mrs Bass about the passenger's story. Another passenger named Mr Smith tells you not to tell the captain, but you do anyway. You and Glenn find more creatures on the way to The Room. When you and Glenn reach The Room, you meet Mrs. Bass and Mr. Smith. Mrs Bass tells you to spray a fire extinguisher in The Boss' eyes. However, you and Glenn have to choose wisely ...

Story B

The ship blows up and a lifeboat takes Glenn, while the other takes you. The people on the boat are four teenagers who were on the cruise. Their names were revealed to be Bob, Steve, Judy, and Hal. All the five of you have a little supply of food and water, but all of you can still survive the adventure. When you spot a far away island, Hal and Judy get thrown off of the boat. At the island, hostile strangers force you three to take the "test", which turns out to be dangerous. Steve betrays you and Bob, and you escape on a boat alone. However, you still have to go home, but you are exactly far away from "home".

List of endings

There are nineteen bad endings, one ambiguous ending, and six good endings.

Bad endings

  • Dying of paralyzing poison after arrows scratch your legs.
  • Killed by a giant lobster; Glenn escapes, but you're dragged under before you can follow him.
  • As part of a magic show, you're eaten up by a tiger.
  • You are fed into a giant washing machine and burn to death in hot water.
  • A plane flies by and drops a parachute. You think that the parachute is some sort of care package, but discover too late that it's a nuke.
  • You swim to Glenn, who is holding onto a piece of wood big enough only for him. It is just then that you try to swim to a lifeboat, only to drown before you can reach it.
  • A piranha man kills Glenn, with your death following not long after.
  • You crash your canoe into an iceberg and freeze.
  • A shark eats you, Judy, Bob, and Steve.
  • Glenn smacks you on the back for doing a great job. But he hits you so hard, you fall deep underwater from the top of the ship.
  • Sailors catch you and have you crushed inside a garbage compactor.
  • Drowned when a riptide sweeps you away.
  • A Komodo Dragon eats your arm.
  • Tribespeople make you their new chief. You live happily for many years, but are killed when a volcano destroys the island.
  • During a game, another player throws a poison dart at your arm, and the ship's doctor attends to you. Instead of giving you treatment, however, he simply mocks you as you die.
  • Sentenced to life imprisonment for smuggling. However, due to your age, you only receive one life sentence instead of two.
  • The ship's steward throws you and Glenn into a small cabin without food or water. By the time the ship does arrive in Japan, you will have died of thirst.
  • You're turned into a jumbo shrimp, and thereafter eaten, along with other mutated people, by Mrs. Bass.
  • You find a chest full of jewels and doubloons, but are stranded on an island forever.

Ambiguous ending

  • You gut fish for the crew of a fishing trawler for three months before returning home. You notice later that you bear a smell of fish so strong, that nobody gets near you anymore, and there's nothing you can do to get rid of it.

Good endings

  • The U.S. Coast Guard takes you to California, where you eat at a fancy sushi restaurant.
  • Upon playing a few games of mini-golf, everyone applauds you and you become a mini-golf pro.
  • Dolphins carry you to a U.S. Navy ship. The ship drops you off in Hawaii and you spend time at the Marina Institute, growing up to be a marine biologist.
  • Tom Bosco, who's turned into a giant turtle, insists you keep him as a pet. You learn that he's a lawyer, and so, as repayment for your care, he does your parents' taxes and helps sue the cruise line.
  • A tartar sauce company founded by you, Glenn, and Henri becomes a huge worldwide success, and eventually you become rich and famous.
  • A tortoise takes you to the Galapagos Islands; from there you will volunteer for science.

International releases



  • The title is a reference to Plato's "ship of fools" allegory.
    • Despite the title, there are actually no ghosts on the ship. (If "ghoul" simply refers to any monster, it should be noted that there are humanoid fish creatures in one possible plot.)
    • In 1999, several websites listed the title of this book as "Deadly Cruise", suggesting this was the book's working title.[1][2][3]
  • None of the endings allow you to reach Japan and go on the vacation you were supposed to have.
  • This book references The Love Boat and the Big Mac.
    • The ending involving Glenn not letting you get on his piece of driftwood is inspired by the scene with a floating wooden door in the James Cameron movie Titanic.
  • Page 72 contains the typo, "If you to try to hit the code to open the door, go to PAGE 64."