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"The House of No Return" is the first short story in the book Tales to Give You Goosebumps.


Robbie, Lori and Nathan are part of a club called "The Danger Club" of which they are the only members, and pride themselves on being the boldest children they know, who will take any dare they are offered. They become interested in Chris Wakely, a new boy in town, and encourage him to join them. They dare him to spend an hour in the "House of No Return", a boarded-up old house which none of the local children will enter because it is rumored to be haunted. He is not very brave and declines. However, they are desperate for him to join. On Halloween Night, they trick him and force him to inside the house. An hour later, Chris has still not returned. Eventually, the club reluctantly goes inside to look for him.

The door seals shut behind them, so they cannot escape. Then the two ghosts come down the stairs. They explain that Chris came to the house some time ago. But they allowed him to go, because he promised that three other children would be following him. They also say that now Robbie, Lori, and Nathan will stay in the house forever.

Television adaptation

"The House of No Return" was adapted into an episode of the Goosebumps TV series. It is the third episode of season three, and the forty-fifth episode overall.


'House of No Return' from Tales to Give You Goosebumps Sneak Preview Booklet

  • One of the kids mentions dressing up as Freddy Krueger, the serial killer and star of the A Nightmare on Elm Street film franchise, for Halloween.
  • This story has been published outside of Tales to Give You Goosebumps twice:
    • It was released as a standalone booklet, with copies given away promotionally.[1] It is the only story in the Tales to Give You Goosebumps series to be published by itself.
    • It also appears in the 2003 anthology book Scary! 2: More Stories that Will Make You Scream!.[2]
  • This story is mentioned in the Behind the Screams section of the Classic Goosebumps reprint of Welcome to Dead House. However, the backstory for the ghosts that is mentioned is exclusive to the television adaptation.