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"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.

Cast

  • R.L. Stine as Himself / Host
  • Amy Stewart as Amanda Benson
  • Ben Cook as Josh Benson
  • Elizabeth Saunders as Penelope Benson
  • Benedict Campbell as Mr. Benson
  • Ian D. Clark as Compton Dawes
  • Jessica Greco as Karen Thurston
  • Mairlyn Smith as Agnes Thurston
  • Frank Pellegrino as Mr. Thurston
  • John Friesen as Mayor
  • Scott Wickware as Hard Hat Worker
  • Marc Marut as Ray Thurston
  • B.J. McLellan as Jerry Franklin
  • Damien Whitely as George Carpenter
  • Anna Henry as A Girl
  • David Blacker as Townsperson

Blurb

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.
  • The TV episode adds in a subplot regarding a "lucky wreath" that Mrs. Benson hangs on the wall. It is later revealed 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. In the episode, it is a chemical factory.
  • 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 a 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 is just huddled around among trees and gravestones in the cemetery.
  • While Petey becomes a zombie in both versions, the episode portrays it differently. In the book, they discover Petey in the cemetery and Ray explains that the Dark Falls residents had to kill him, as dogs always detect the undead. In the episode, they find Petey on the side of the road at the end and he starts to turn grey, indicating that he is now a zombie.
  • At the end of the book, the Benson family decides to move back to their old house. As they are leaving, Amanda sees what she thinks is Mr. Dawes helping another family moving into 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, and then pick up Petey.
  • 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 Bensons 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

Poster advertising the US VHS release.

Title Release date Media type

Welcome to Dead House


September 23rd, 1997 VHS

Welcome to Dead House


Welcometodeadhouse-DVD.png
September 7, 2004 DVD

Trivia

  • 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.
  • 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 the dead house.
  • Karen Thurston wears a shirt with a "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 portray Dead House can be seen in the 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 Bensons 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 near the generating station.

Gallery

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