R.L. Stine is the creator of the bestselling Goosebumps series, which has more than 400 million copies in print worldwide and celebrated 25 years in 2017. Goosebumps is one of the bestselling children's series of all-time and inspired a popular television show, as well as a feature film starring Jack Black that opened at #1 at the box office. His other popular children's books include the series Fear Street, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Rotten School, and his picture books, with Marc Brown, The Little Shop of Monsters and Mary McScary. R.L. Stine lives in New York City. You can connect with him on Twitter at @RL_Stine or Facebook: facebook.com/rlstine. For more information, visit rlstine.com and scholastic.com/goosebumps.

The Haunter by R.L. Stine

Haunter: In this spinoff to the New York Times–bestselling Goosebumps series, a tween boy is haunted by a ghost who makes him misbehave at school.

Sammy Baker is a quiet kid who wishes he wasn't so shy and timid. He is frightened but eager to prove he can be brave. On Halloween night, he follows his friends to the Marple House, an abandoned mansion on the other side of town.

Just past midnight, he feels a cold tingle at the back of his neck. The cold seeps down, a heavy chill he has never felt before. Soon, his whole head feels like a block of ice. He's about to scream-but the cold feeling vanishes. Sammy doesn't realize that he has just met The Haunter, and that his nightmares are only just beginning.




I guess I could start my story by telling you about the school assembly on Monday morning. It will give you a good idea of what has been happening to me.

I pushed into the third row of the auditorium and dropped down beside my best friend, Bill Buzzner. (Everyone calls him Buzzy.) I had no idea that I was about to freak out and go totally wacko in front of the whole school.

My name is Sammy Baker. I'm twelve, and I never freak out or lose my cool or go berserk. I'm probably the quietest, nicest, most law-abiding, rule-following, do-good kid at Grover Cleveland Middle School. Ask anyone.

Even Miss Flake, my teacher, says I am the least trouble of any of her students. She says that's her highest compliment. Miss Flake says she would give me a gold star for attitude and a gold star for behavior. Except she doesn't believe in giving gold stars.

Miss Flake is very funny. She is always cracking jokes. She even makes fun of Mr. Harkness, the principal. She croaks in a deep, booming voice and struts around with her eyes popped out until she almost looks like a big frog. Just like Mr. Harkness. It always makes us roar.

She tells everyone that she has been a Flake her whole life.

I like a teacher with a good sense of humor—don't you? I don't even mind all the homework she gives us—at least two hours a night.

But today I wasn't laughing. We were supposed to go on a field trip to a farm where they make maple syrup. I mean, where they tap the trees and collect the syrup in buckets. Then we were all supposed to get a big pancake lunch with real maple syrup.

But the trip had to be canceled because Mr. Harkness decided to invite Mayor Springfield to school for an assembly about city government.

City government? Big whoop, right?

No field trip. No pancakes. And a boring lecture.

As we took our seats in the auditorium, I wanted to complain to Buzzy about how unfair it was. But he was talking to Summer Magee, who sat on his other side.

I couldn't blame him for ignoring me. Summer is one of the hottest girls in school. I've had a mad crush on her since third grade, when we built a volcano together for the science fair.

Summer saved my life when the volcano exploded and a wave of burning hot lava gushed onto the front of my T-shirt. She grabbed the shirt in both hands—and ripped it off my body before I was too badly burned. The class went wild.

I've had a thing for her ever since.