My dear readers, I have spoken about Goosebumps extensively in this blog and even reviewed the first movie. What I haven’t done, however, is to review any of the actual books. That changes now with this review of what many consider to be one of the better if not one of the best Goosebumps book out there: The Haunted Mask.
Carly Beth is afraid of everything. This is so bad that she even gets teased about it and is constantly the but of a lot of practical jokes. So for Halloween, she decides to wear the scariest costume she can find. She finds a super scary mask that the shop owner refuses to sell to her so she steals it. What Carly Beth doesn’t realize is that the mask is alive and takes control over everyone who wears it to the point where it will never come off.
This story speaks to all the kids who are afraid of everything. The ones get nervous over the slightest thing. The book also does a good job of getting into Carly Beth’s head about being scared and trying to get back at the kids who tease her.
There’s also the mask. This mask is supposed to be the scariest, ugliest mask in existence. It can be said that it also brings out Carly Beth’s frustrations on the kids who made fun of her. Carly Beth goes absolutely crazy with the mask on. How Carly Beth goes about trying to get the mask off is also clever and scary. Yes, a Goosebumps book can be scary and this one actually is.
You don’t think masks are scary? Throughout history, masks have been believed to bring out a new personality on the wearer. Carl Jung described the persona as “a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual.” Sounds like what’s going with Carly Beth.
As far as the “twist ending” goes, it’s pretty weak and predictable. You can tell what it’s going to be before it actually happens if you know how each of the characters’ personalities is.
The Haunted Mask is one of the better Goosebumps books out there. It has a great premise and some actual scary moments. Plus, it speaks to a certain type of kid so there’s another reason this is one of the better Goosebumps books even though the “twist” is lame.