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The Haunted Mask is the eleventh book in the original Goosebumps book series, and the first book in the same name saga. It was first published in 1993, and was later followed-up by the thirty-sixth book, The Haunted Mask II in 1995.

The cover illustration shows Carly Beth Caldwell trying to wear a scary green mask.

The Classic Goosebumps 2008 Reprint shows Carly Beth wearing the mask stalking two boys.

Blurb

FACE TO FACE WITH A NIGHTMARE...

How ugly is Carly Beth's Halloween mask? It's so ugly that it almost scared her little brother to death. So terrifying that even her friends are totally freaked out by it. It's the best Halloween mask ever. It's everything Carly Beth hoped it would be. And more. Maybe too much more. Because Halloween is almost over. And Carly Beth is still wearing that special mask...

Plot

Carly Beth Caldwell is talking about her Halloween costume with her talkative best friend, Sabrina Mason. Carly Beth is a quiet, shy, and overly trusting girl. She is easily scared of almost everything, and repeatedly humiliated by her friends, Chuck Greene and Steve Boswell, at school who call her a "scaredy cat", and delight in making her life a misery. After being tricked by Steve into eating a sandwich that contained a live worm, Carly Beth flees home in shame and vows revenge.

At home, Carly Beth discovers her mother, Kate, has made a perfect likeness of Carly Beth's face from plaster of Paris as a symbol of her love for her. Carly Beth is also annoyed to discover her mother has made her a silly duck costume. Carly Beth goes to her bedroom, where her little brother, Noah, has dressed up in her costume and frightens her. After Carly Beth sends Noah away, she calls Sabrina on the telephone. They talk about the cruel prank Steve played on her and Carly Beth swears she will never fall for one of their stunts again. Then she muses about buying a horrible mask from a new shop that has just opened.

The day before Halloween at a science fair, Carly Beth is once again made a fool of after Steve pretends his tarantula has escaped, knowing full well Carly Beth is terrified of spiders. Steve sneaks up behind Carly Beth and pinches her leg, making it seem as though the tarantula is biting her. Carly Beth runs off in tears, after everyone laughs at her. On Halloween day, she collects her money and sets off for the costume shop, distraught that it is closed. However the mysterious owner of the shop allows her entry and she unwillingly stumbles upon a back room filled with the many of the most hideous masks she has ever seen. The owner refuses to sell her the one she wants. But she is insistent and soon he sells it to her, warning her that she'll be sorry. Thrilled, she goes home, puts on the mask, and scares her brother. However the mask will not come off at first. When it finally does, Carly Beth and Noah are unsure as to how she unintentionally changed her voice to a hoarse growl. Carly Beth simply remarks, "I don't know...but I like it".

While putting on the mask for a second time, the mask seems to warp or "suck" itself onto Carly Beth's face. Dismissing the transformation as normal, Carly Beth steals the Plaster of Paris mold of her head that her mother made, and goes in search of Chuck and Steve, determined to make them pay. Yet strange things start happen to her. She acts like a totally different person: she attacks Sabrina, frightens young children, and vandalizes the neighborhood.

Eventually Carly Beth finally finds Chuck and Steve and scares them. However during the scare, the plaster of Paris head speaks, imploring Steve and Chuck to "help" her. Steve and Chuck run off in fear and Carly Beth gleefully abandons the plaster face. Back at Sabrina's house, Carly Beth tries but cannot remove the mask. Sabrina tugs and pulls at Carly Beth's sweaty mask, but it does not seem to give. To her horror, Sabrina discovers that there is no space between the mask and her skin. The mask has somehow fused itself to Carly Beth's own face. She runs away and returns to the shop where she bought the mask and finds the owner waiting for her, knowing she would come back.

Despite her desperate pleas, the shopkeeper tells Carly Beth over and over that the mask cannot be removed as it is not simply a mask...it is a real, living face. He tells her that he created them and they were once beautiful, but they slowly decayed over time and became hideous, repulsive monsters. He refers to them as "The Unloved Ones". It turns out every so often a young, innocent person like Carly Beth comes in, wanting one. The shopkeeper tells her that the mask can be removed, but only with a "symbol of love". If anyone puts on the mask after that, it will be stuck forever.

Unfortunately, Carly Beth's hysterical screams and shrieks begin to slowly awaken the other masks. They begin floating off of their model heads and start to slowly fly at Carly Beth. They pursue her down the street and Carly Beth finally realizes that the mold her mother gave her is a symbol of love. She finds it and uses it to deter the masks and remove her own. She then returns home to her mother. Once she gets home, she drops the mask by the door and runs for her mother's warm embrace, Mom asks where she has been all night, and Carly Beth starts to tell her the story. But just then, Noah appears from the other room and asks how he looks in her mask.

Reprints and rereleases

Mask included in the 1995 reprint.

Differences

  • The 1995 reprint included a cardboard cut-out mask based on the cover inside the book.
  • The Classic Goosebumps reprint changes a mention of Pluto to Jupiter.
  • “A gorilla mask won’t scare Steve and Chuck,” is changed to "“Like I said before, a gorilla mask won’t do. It won’t scare Steve and Chuck,".
  • "drive" is changed to "driveway"
  • "lept" is changed to "leaped"
  • "f I don’t get this thing off me, I’m going to freak out." is changed to " If I don’t get this thing off me, I’m going to lose it."

International releases

Differences

  • In the European English version, the mask isn't removed by a symbol of love, but with a magical potion.
  • In Portugal, this is the ninth book in the original Goosebumps series.
  • In the French edition, Carly Beth is called "Carolyn."

Merchandise

Adaptations

TV series

The Haunted Mask was adapted into a two-part episode of the Goosebumps TV series. It is the first (part one) and second (part two) episode of season one.

Audiobook

Audiobook Release date Length Narrated by Published by
Thehauntedmask-audiobook.jpg
Play in Spotify
April 2015 2 hours, 29 minutes Jorjeana Marie Scholastic Inc.

Tear-outs

Artwork

Trivia

  • According to R.L. Stine, he was inspired to write "The Haunted Mask" after his son, Matthew Stine had trouble taking off a mask that he wore for Halloween.
  • R.L. Stine has said that The Haunted Mask is his favorite book in the Goosebumps franchise and the book that he is most proud of.[1]
    • Stine has gone on to say he would enjoy seeing a film adaptation of this book — possibly even one that combines The Haunted Mask and The Haunted Mask II.[2]
  • The girl on the cover is Tim Jacobus's niece, Jessie, who he had pose for the cover when he was designing it.
  • This is one of the few books in the original series in which Tim Jacobus did not sign the artwork.
  • According to the back cover of the Classic Goosebumps reprint, The Haunted Mask has sold nearly 2 million copies.
  • The scene where Carly Beth finds herself the owner of a new duck costume was inspired by a similar event in Stine's childhood where he opened a gift only to find himself disappointed by the duck costume he found inside.
  • This book references Star Trek, Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger, E.T., The Addams Family, The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Indiana Jones, and Milky Way bars.
    • "Krueger" is misspelled as " Kreuger" twice.

References in other Goosebumps media

References

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