The Haunting Hour

The Haunting Hour

4.6 25
by R. L. Stine, Various

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Following his New York Times best–seller Nightmare Hour, R.L. Stine, America's master of horror for middle–grade readers, has created another fantastically nightmarish collection of stories. These were written, as Stine says, in the hour "when lights fade, the real world slips into shadow, and the cold, moonlit world of evil dreams

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Following his New York Times best–seller Nightmare Hour, R.L. Stine, America's master of horror for middle–grade readers, has created another fantastically nightmarish collection of stories. These were written, as Stine says, in the hour "when lights fade, the real world slips into shadow, and the cold, moonlit world of evil dreams takes over your mind." The stories in this new collection are illustrated with chilling black–and–white drawings by a variety of well–known illustrators. R.L. Stine's millions of fans will be screaming for more!

Ages 8+

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
R.L. Stine tells 10 haunting tales in The Haunting Hour: Chills in the Dead of Night, including one about a baby-sitter who practices a crafty form of suburban voodoo. As with his Nightmare Hour, a different illustrator introduces each story, among them Charles Burns, Art Spiegelman and Roz Chast. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Stine's oft-criticized success at giving masses of middle schoolers the cold shivers has finally propelled him out of paperbacks and into respectable hardcover. Artists that many readers will recognize from their favorite graphic novels, including the unparalleled Art Spiegelman, illustrate this collection of often low-level horror shorts. As expected with Stine, who never dishes out more gore than his middle school audience can stand, the illustration that accompanies each story is often more scary than the story itself. There is the Bad Babysitter who bakes up mudcake voodoo cookies, a boy who accidentally switches places in time with a mummy in a museum, and a trunk-haunting ghost who just wants to be taken along on travels with the still-breathing. As with most of the collection, these stories are mild and even a little funny. The scariest story is probably The Halloween Dance, in which two young trick-or-treaters join in a raucous midnight revel with some graveyard corpses, not realizing that they too have left the land of the living. Although definitely aimed at younger teens, this book belongs in both public library young adult rooms and middle school libraries. It also could be used to entice older reluctant readers with its ghoulish gilded-skull cover and uncomplicated text. Stine's stories are still more banal than they are bloodcurdling, but his fans are legion, and his books always can be counted on to boost circulation stats. PLB $14.89. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2001, HarperCollins, 160p, $12.95. Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Jennifer Hubert SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002(Vol. 24, No.6)
Children's Literature
R. L. Stine presents ten short stories and, for each, he has taken events from his childhood. At the beginning of each story, Stine explains where he got the idea and then he elaborates to make the situation at least twice as scary as real life. Stine's baby-sitter, who told outlandish stories of a two-headed kid and a living human brain, became "The Bad Baby-sitter" who took revenge on neighborhood children by making mud cookie effigies. Childhood road trips were a nuisance to Stine, and his mother always said he didn't have to ride back with them. In "Are We There Yet?" Artie and Tammi find out what happens when their parents leave them stranded in the middle of nowhere and don't come back. Each of the ten stories is quick and easy to read with gross and scary characters, a simple plot and quick resolution. The stories are great for predicting what will happen and students writing their own endings. Topics include dragons, mummies, imaginary friends and slick-looking, evil baby-sitters. 2001, Parachute Publishing, $14.89 and $11.95. Ages 8 to 16. Reviewer:Janet L. Rose

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I froze in dread -- and listened to the words I hoped I'd never hear. "We'll have our own Halloween party at home," Mom said. "Won't that be nice?"

I groaned. My little sister Madison cheered.

"But my friends and I want to go out on Halloween!" I protested.

"Mark, you can invite all your friends here," Dad said. "It'll be safer."

Safer? Who wants to be safe on Halloween?

"Invite your whole class," Mom added, smoothing her hand through my hair, which I hated.

Madison cheered again. "Can I invite my whole class too?" she asked, jumping up and down like a monkey.

"Of course," Mom said.

Oh, wonderful.

"We're thirteen!" I said. "My friends don't want to hang out with a bunch of babyish eight-year-olds."

Mom and Dad were always making me do stuff with Madison. They made me take her to the petting zoo. They made me dress up as a clown for her birthday parties. Last Christmas they forced me to sit on Santa's lap with her.

"Stop complaining. It'll be a great party," Mom said. "We'll play a lot of fun games."

"Maybe we'll rent a scary movie," Dad said. He looked at Madison. "Not too scary, of course. Just a little scary."

"I'm going to be a little sick," I said.

I'm doomed, I thought. My friends will never speak to me again. I will never live this party down. I'm dead. Dead!

And I was right.

Actually, the party was worse than death.

Only eight or nine of my friends showed up. About thirty of Madison's friends came, and almost all of them were dressed as princesses!

My best friend, Jake, and I came as hideous ghouls from beyond the grave. Our skinwas lumpy and green and decayed, and we had bleeding wounds and deep black scars covering us from head to foot.

I had an eyeball that dangled from its socket and a wad of sick yellow stuff hanging from my nose. Jake had a long brown knife handle sticking out of the back of his ripped, ragged shirt.

I tried to put on some rap music. But the princesses took over the CD player and danced together to wimpy boy-band music. My friends stood around the food table, looking bored.

Mom's babyish games didn't help much. Pin the vine on the pumpkin? Whoa. Hot stuff.

Of course, none of my friends joined in. And then when Dad finally pulled out the scary video he had rented, I knew this had to be the worst Halloween party in the history of the world.

Guess what scary movie he picked. The Wizard of Oz.

Madison and her friends huddled around the living room to watch. I gave Jake a shove toward the front door. "Come on," I whispered. "Let's go."

He held back. "Huh?"

"Let's get out of here," I said. "I can't take it anymore."

We crept to the door, opened it quickly, and sneaked outside.

It was a cold, frosty night. The front lawn glowed like silver under the rising full moon. The bare trees swayed and creaked.

I watched my breath puff up in front of me. I straightened my ragged ghoul costume and led the way down the gravel driveway.

"Where are we going?" Jake asked, glancing back at the house.

"Anywhere," I muttered. "I don't care. I can't take that babyish party one more minute." "It was pretty disturbing," he said.

My house stands at the bottom of a steep hill. I pointed up the hill. "Maybe there are trick-or-treaters up there," I said. "Why don't we visit some houses and score some candy?"

We started across the street. "Ohh -- " I let out a cry -- and stopped walking -- as a blaring roar exploded in my ears and a white light rushed over me.

The brightest light I had ever seen. Bright and hot, as if the sun had dropped over me.I raised my arm to shield my eyes. But I couldn't shut it out. My head throbbed in pain.And then I was blinking in darkness again. The dangling rubber eyeball bounced in front of my face. My ears rang. I squinted at Jake.

He kept blinking too, trying to force away the pain of that strange light. "Did you see that truck?" he cried.

"It -- it almost hit us!" I said. "Man, it had to be going a hundred!"

"I thought we were dead meat," Jake said, shaking his head.

I turned and saw someone standing behind us. Another ghoul. A tall, thin kid with a gaping dark wound in the front of his T-shirt.

He had long, stringy hair with fat black bugs poking out of the tangles. One eye was covered with a slimy patch of green gunk.

"Hey -- hi," I said, unable to hide my surprise. "Neat costume."

"What's going on?" the kid asked. He had a hoarse, whispery voice, as if he had a cold. "We've been stuck in a boring party," Jake told him. "We just escaped. You been trick-or-treating?"

"Not yet," the kid said. "My name is Ray. I just got out too." He studied Jake and me for a moment. "Want to go to a good party? I mean a really good party?"

He didn't wait for us to answer. Limping on one leg, he led the way up the hill. His bug-filled hair blew behind him in the breeze. Humming to himself, he kept glancing back to make sure we were following.

We reached the top of the hill and turned toward the old graveyard on the corner. I was surprised to see no one on the street. No trick-or-treaters. No cars moving. A lot of the houses were already dark.

"Where is this party?" I asked.

"Not far," Ray replied...

The Haunting Hour. Copyright © by R.L. Stine. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Haunting Hour: Chills in the Dead of Night 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a hardback book before and absolutley fell in love!!!! This is the kind of book you can't put down because it pulls you in to read more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The haunting hour is mostly about different series of terrifing events. Including one about a baby sitter who does some voo-doo dolls on two kids she knows at the house right next to them. She also did this for two children she's watching. Then she turns evil. So watch out! To learn what the other stories are about I definitly recommend this one from R.L.Stine!My personal favorite is the story ARE WE THERE YET!!! ahhhhhh! so read and enjoy!
Anonymous 29 days ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
I don't know what to do.should i scream?Should i try and escape? Maybe i should stay in one place.well,i do none of those,besides staying in one place; huddeld up in a corner,close to crying.As The scream's start dying down,i have hope of survival.the lights go on,and i'm excpecting blood every where and guts and i'd throw up,but thats not what i saw.the church was as clean as before,but there was none there besides me,and my cousin Amy."A-Amy!"i yell hugging her.she's still crying.hey,she's only 4!"Sadie!" She hugges me and finishes crying."Are you okay?"i ask."I gotta bobo on my older!" Amy says.I look to see what she means.i'm excpecting a little scratch,but her entier sholder is bloody."Oh Amy!"i cry.i fing shredded dresses around us that i didn't see before.i pick up a pink scrap and wrap it around her shoulder."Tank you!"Amy says.i find Amy's stroller,and i tell her to get in it.she does as i tell her.i see that the church door's are open so i run out them pushing Amy in her stroller.outside i see a hole lotta cars.i see grandma outside her car."Grandma!" I call happily."S-Sadie!Amy!"Granma cryes tears of joy as she huggs us."Get in!"She says pointing to the car.we get in and buckel up.we start driving and i realise we've passed grandma's house."Where are we going?"i ask."To your death."grandma's eyes turn red and i realise its Dan."Amy!Go!"i yell.i open the car door and amy jumps out and runs.i try to go after her,but Dan has diffrent plans.he starst speeding and i am trown out of the car."Aaaah!"i yell.then Dan stops the car and gets out.His eyes are glowing red, and i i scream i realise just how deadly a scream can be~THE END~
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Connie Webb More than 1 year ago
This is a really great book i love it and if you liked this book u should watch the haunting hour the series it comes on the Hub its fantastic!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book was astonishing , i was so good i read it 2 times !' One of the stories that even got into my night mare is ' The Bad Baby-sitter ' I loved it ! I am sure i'll buy it for my lil cousin '
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this book i bought it and ive read it at least 3 times! its wonderful! by r.l.stine, this is probably one of his best! it has ten stories a follow up to the nightmare hour, except this ones it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good to read
Paul Johnson More than 1 year ago
The best book I have read in a long time!!!! Made me want to read!!!
mspotterfan29 More than 1 year ago
I loved to read books when eye was young,funny and scary. This was one of them,rl stein is pure genius! Kids would get a kick out of this one 4 sure lol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't the scariest book I have ever read but while I