Welcome to Dead House is a two-part episode of the Goosebumps TV series. It is based on the first Goosebumps book of the same name. The episodes aired on Fox on June 29, 1997 as a one hour special. Parts one and two were the twentieth and twenty-first episodes of Season 2, and the thirty-ninth and fortieth episodes overall. The episode was directed by William Fruet.



Josh and Amanda Benson don't want to live in Dark Falls. The old house their parents just bought is pretty spooky—maybe even haunted -and the townspeople are pretty strange, too. Their parents think they just need to get used to their new neighborhood. But there will be plenty of time for Amanda and Josh to make new friends—because these neighbors want the Bensons to live in Dark Falls . . . forever.

Differences from the book

  • In the book, the 'Dead House' is described as a tall redbrick house with a sloping black roof and rows of windows framed by black shutters. In the TV episode the house is shown to be a white weatherboard house with a wooden porch.
  • In the book there is no reference to waterfalls at all, however in the TV episode, we see the Benson family driving into town past the "Welcome To Dark Falls" sign, which contains a waterfall image.
  • In the book, Dawes is young and has a handsome face. In the TV adaptation, Mr. Dawes is shown to be middle-aged.
  • In the book there is no good luck charm in the house. In the TV adaptation Mrs. Benson puts up a 'lucky wreath' on the wall above the fireplace, and declares, 'Here's to good luck!'. It is later reveleaed that it indeed was good luck, as it is was preventing the Dark Falls residents from attacking.
  • In the book, most of the residents of Dark Falls used to work at a plastic factory. However, there was an accident at the factory, where a yellow gas escaped and killed all of the residents. At the beginning of the TV episode, the Benson family drive past an abandoned factory with signs that say "CLOSED - Dark Falls Chemicals" and "DANGER".
  • In the book, Amanda's bedroom window is described as a 'bay window with a window seat' however in the TV episode, her bedroom window is shown as a basic medium sized square shaped window.
  • In the book, Petey is described as a white curly haired terrier, a smaller breed of dog. In the TV adaptation, Petey is a cross-bred border-collie / golden retriever mix.
  • In the book, Amanda's best friend from her old neighborhood is Kathy, however in the TV adaptation it's Jennifer.
  • In the book, we see them check out the house first before moving in. In the episode, we see them moving in right away thus there is no scene with Amanda's friend.
  • In the book, Amanda first sees a boy (Ray) standing in her bedroom doorway, and she sees him a second time in one of the second-floor bay windows above the porch from the front yard. In the TV episode however, Amanda then first sees Ray when she is looking up at her window from outside. Later on, she is startled by noises around the upstairs level of the house, and sees the shadowy figure of Ray a second time as he passes by the hallway near her bedroom.
  • In the book, Ray's surname is Thurston, and Karen's surname is Somerset. In the TV episode, Karen's surname is Thurston, and Ray's surname isn't revealed.
  • In the TV adaptation, there is an added scene where teenage corpse-looking girl with milky white eyes and stringy, unwashed black hair steps out of her closet in the middle of the night. She warns Amanda to 'Get away, get out while you can! Get away....'.
  • In the book, the amphitheater is described in detail by Amanda, whereas in the TV adaptation the hoard of bloodthirsty townspeople are just huddled around among trees and gravestones in the cemetery.
  • At the end of the book, the Benson family decide to move back to their old house. As they are leaving, Amanda sees what she thinks is Mr. Dawes helping another family moving in to the 'Dead House'. At the end of the TV episode, the family escape the horde of zombie townspeople and drive off, with Mr. Dawes begging for them to return. They manage to pick up Petey, but they notice he has become one of the dead. He turns gray as he hops in the back of the car.
  • The episode is far less gory in comparison to the book. In the book, light made the flesh from the Dark Falls residents fall off. In the episode, the sunlight makes their bodies dissolve into smoke. 
  • In the book, the Benson's supposedly inherited Dead House from a great uncle, which turned out to be a lie. This is not mentioned in the episode, and they simply got the house for cheap.

Home media

Title Release date Media type

Welcome to Dead House


WtDH - UK VHS Cover

September 23rd, 1997 VHS

Welcome to Dead House

September 7, 2004 DVD


  • The original premiere of the television episode, as well as the VHS and DVD release, included R.L. Stine as the television episode's host. This was the final special to feature Stine as a host for wraparounds.  
  • Ben Cook (Josh Benson) previously appeared as Jerry Hawkins in Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, and would appear again as Marty in A Shocker on Shock Street.
  • Scott Wickware (The Hard Hat Worker) previously appeared as The Masked Mutant in Attack of the Mutant, and the Haunted Mask in The Haunted Mask II.
  • This is the only Goosebumps episode to feature zombies.
  • If you look closely at the real estate signs shown in part 1, you can make out 'Mr. Compton Dawes' on the real-estate signs in Dark Falls.
  • The street name is unknown, however, the number 10 can clearly be seen on the porch of dead house.
  • During an interview with young author Rebecca McNutt, she mentioned that 'A lot of inspiration for my books comes from the Goosebumps episode Welcome to Dead House.
  • Karen Thurston wears a shirt with "G" logo on it in parts 1 and 2 of Welcome to Dead House. The shirt was also worn by the character Margaret Brewer in part two of Stay Out of the Basement in Season 1.
  • During the opening scenes where Mr. Benson is driving through the outskirts of Dark Falls and talking about the town recently losing jobs, Mrs. Benson's side mirror on the family van reflects a truck driving behind them with its lights on, including a visible cameraman.
  • While Mr. Benson drives the family van across the town bridge, a partial shot of Toronto's C.N. Tower is visible between the steel beams.
  • When Mr. Dawes holds up the Dark Falls Daily Newspaper with the headline "Accident At Chemical Factory Kills Workers", the sub-headline text, though near-illegible, reads: "What is the damage to our lovely town? Should we evacuate? How toxic is it?"
  • According to the script, none of the Dark Falls residents can be in the sunlight. When the family is driving away in part two, Compton begins to chase the van into the sunlight and his hat falls off. He is standing in direct sunlight, but not dying as the other zombies did earlier in the episode.
  • In the uncut/original version of this episode there a scene where Amanda momentarily trips over something just outside the cemetery gates while being chased home by the townspeople. The construction worker wraps his hands around her feet. Josh slaps the construction worker on the top of his head and Amanda is able to escape. As they run past the gate, many of the townspeople, including Ray and the dead closet-girl, the one who warned Amanda to get away in the previous episode.
  • The same house used to protray Dead House can be seen in TV adaptation of Stay Out of the Basement. It is the house the Brewer's live in.

Film Locations

  • The opening scenes of the TV adaptation were filmed along Unwin Avenue in Toronto's Port Lands area. The episode shows the tall smokestack at the Hearn Generating Station, a now decommissioned power plant in Toronto. 
  • Further along Unwin Avenue is the bridge that the Benson's drive across as they pass the 'Dark Falls' town sign. The bridge was rebuilt in 2015, however here's an image showing a comparison.
  • Other factories seen in the background include a dismantled Canadian sawmill nearby the generating station.





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