There is a darkness that lies beneath the upper five crusts of our society. The shadow has been forming for many years, though we’ve only now begun to even detect a hint of its presence. Nevertheless, this fresh, new evil has been around for awhile, and while we’ve been blind to its existence, it has grown only more powerful. Of course, I speak of the dark literature of R.L. Stein.
The dark literature of R.L. Stine had, at first, on the surface seems harmless. Delightful, colorfully illustrated covers adorned even the stingiest of elementary school book fairs, and titles such as “Monster Blood”, “Night of the Living Dummy”, and “Let’s Get Invisible!” appeared harmless on the surface. However, repercussions of the evil within the dark literature of R.L. Stine arouses far more than simple…goosebumps.
Exhibit A: April 21, 1996 – Young Abigail Parchmont had just finished reading “One Day at Horrorland”, and strange occurrences began taking place. Her family recalls she began spouting some strange non-English, non-human gobbledegook and twisting her head most of the way around. Abigail was found the next morning in the backyard, having eaten roughly half the family dog, Ruff’ums.
Exhibit B: November 8, 1999 – Thomas Farlings of Essex, NJ went camping in the woods with six of his friends. The cabin they stayed at contained one book – “A Shocker on Shock Street”. One by one, the campers were killed by the evil that had been awoken in the woods.
Exhibit C: July 9, 1998 - John Carloston had merely gotten through half of “Bad Hare Day” before succumbing to madness and digging up half the local cemetery “to calm [him]self down”.
Exhibit D: September 7, 1997 – Young Nyu Hsing was found dangling from a rafter in his garage with a note that said “All for Slappy”. “Night of the Living Dummy” was in his hand.
Exhibit E: February 12, 2002 - Jimmy Collins devoured both “Deep Trouble”s in one night, a foolish action to take without a holy man present. His whereabouts are unknown.
Truly, the work of R.L. Stine stretches far beyond Fear Street (which geographically does not actually exist). These strange occurrences have led some to believe that Stine is the mouthpiece of Satan’s modern day bidding, putting pen-to-page the dark scripture he himself has not the physical ability to write. Those who have studied the occult believe the coming of Stine will be the first step towards the end of humanity, after destroying J.K. Rowling. In a recent interview, Charles Manson revealed that reading “Say Cheese and Die” led him to commit all of his murders. Some say the pages of “Be Careful What You Wish For” were printed with ink from an ancient Inca burial ground. “The Horror at Camp Jellyjam” is literally a word—for-word interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. "It Came From Under the Sink" is an adaptation of the thoughts of unbaptized babies. Additionally, there’s a rumor that if you read “Egg Monsters From Mars” with the lights off and a candle lit, your spirit enters the body of Joy Behar. Dark, dark material.
On a more local level, Stine’s work has garnered its group of dark apostles; a brooding, poetry-writing, Hot Topic-shopping bunch who refer to themselves as Stineists. These groups, who would typically meet via craigslist in basements, conduct dark rituals including bee sacrifices, piano lessons, and even “Monster Blood Orgies”. Says Stineist leader, who goes only by the name “X”, explains “our Monster Blood recipe is really a homemade concoction of some lemonade, corn syrup, and food coloring. Occasionally, we’ll add some ground cane sugar to give it some extra zing. Then we [fuck] in it.”
Are there any ways to simply enjoy Stine’s whimsical ghoulish tales without the disturbing side effects? Father Thompson of Maine has stated that after soaking “Chicken Chicken” in holy water for three weeks, he could read it without any consequence, though he still felt a little wrong afterwards. (Though that may have been due to the poor narrative structure) While the holy water idea has proven effective, certain states have banned any of Stine’s work from entering churches altogether.