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Literature / Horrors of the Black Ring

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The Goosebumps Series 2000 book with an evil ring.

Beth Welch is a good kid. To some kids, she's too good, such as the local bully Anthony Gonzales and her sister Amanda. One day, her beloved teacher Miss Gold gets a shiny new ring, with a strange black jewel in it. Soon, strange things start happening, with a lot of being targeted at their efforts at planning the school carnival. Eventually, the culprit is discovered but Beth gets a hold of the ring herself and suddenly finds that she is acting very strange...and very evil.

This book is notable for being the shortest book in the franchise, at only 108 pages.


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This book provides examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Amanda, who is the standard prankster sibling.
  • Artifact of Doom: The titular ring which houses an evil spirit that acts as The Corruptor and eventually full-on Demonic Possession of its host.
  • The Bully: Anthony Gonzales is an especially mean example. Right at the start, we're told he once claimed Beth's pet was dead and then laughed when it actually died.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Chirpy at first seems to exist to be an example of how nice the protagonist Beth is, as she saves the bird from being run over and starts taking care of it. But after Chirpy dies of natural causes, Beth puts the ring on the bird's body as the ring's evil needs a body to be a vessel, so this defeats it.
  • Clingy McGuffin: The ring, which can only be taken off if it decides it used you enough.
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  • Cool Teacher: Miss Gold, who is beloved by pretty much everyone, which is why it's so horrifying when it turns out she was the one trying to wreck the carnival due to the influence of the Black Ring.
  • Darker and Edgier: There's some fairly intense moments, such as the boiling water and the dream sequence where Beth tears off a duck's head and uses the blood that flows from it to get the ring off.
  • Evil Feels Good: When under the ring's power, Beth stars to enjoy being evil, and even starts to see why Anthony enjoys being a bully.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Beth loves animals, and is even late to class because she had to take a bird to the vet.
  • Here We Go Again!: Beth's sister gets an evil looking ring of her own.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: At one point Beth eats a brownie full of maggots, and is disgusted.
  • Nightmare Sequence: There's one that starts off as silly, where there are ducks with human heads. Then it turns dark when the aforementioned moment where Beth rips off one of the duck's heads. She wakes up from it to see that she was torn up her pillow in her sleep, showing how the ring is corrupting her.
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