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Literature / Shivers

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Shivers is a children's horror series by M.D. Spenser with thirty six books, starting with The Enchanted Attic and ending with Madness at the Mall.


Shivers provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Creepy Clothes is about two kids learning about how their dad and aunt grew up with a physically abusive stepfather.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Averted to hell and back in Lost In Dreamland, where the protagonists parents immediately went to the police when their kids went missing and were instrumental in taking down the kidnappers running the amusement park for good.
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  • Amusement Park of Doom: Lost in Dreamland, where park attendants are kidnapped and sealed inside robotic shells so they can perform the same task perfectly over and over again.
  • The Bluebeard: Bill in The Locked Room killed all his previous wives before marrying the protagonists' mother, which is discovered by pictures of his wives in the titular locked room. His full name is Bill Beard, which might be a deliberate reference.
  • Creepy Doll: The dolls in The Enchanted Attic, who are actually spirits of dead people that were turned into dolls after a man begged a witch to keep his dead loved ones with him somehow.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • The Ghosts of Camp Massacre gets away with saying "perverts".
    • Weirdo Waldo's Wax Museum has a part where Mad Mad reveals that one kid secretly goes on a website called X-dreams, causing his mother to call him a "filthy boy".
  • Green Aesop: In A Ghastly Shade of Green, the characters learn not to destroy the environment for money.
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    • Pool Ghoul has the protagonists brother starting a recycling campaign along with a company called Chem Coprp but it turns out that one of the people working for the company has been pollution some caverns with the materials.
  • Haunted House: The Haunting House, though it's expressly a haunting house instead of a haunted one. The book explains that while a haunted house has ghosts that don't intentionally harm the inhabitants, a haunting house, which the protagonists move into, has the house itself hate anyone in it and want to kill them, which it then attempts to do to the protagonists.
  • Death of a Child:
    • Weirdo Waldo's Wax Museum's has many of the Keeper's past victims include children as well as adults. Billy starts smashing open the wax figures around him but is shocked to find most of the older figures only contain human bones, and is told to focus on the most recent victims.
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    • The end of The Awful Apple Orchard, where the main characters find their mangled bodies inside the cider press and realize they'd been killed earlier in the book.
    • The initial backstory in Ghosts of Camp Massacre has a two year old child being slaughtered by the Native Americans. While it turns out it was the settlers who massacred the natives, the child still appears as a ghost and it's not explained how he really died.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Guess Who's Coming for Dinner? features a family who that is made up of cannibals. People who come to their house for dinner often vanish and at one point they capture a teacher with implied plans to eat her.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Samantha in Ghosts of Camp Massacre, who frequently explains the meaning of words to the reader.
    • Billy of Weirdo Waldo's Wax Museum is one in the sense that he's certainly intelligent and also incredibly smug and vain. The Nedley Family are a more straightforward example, having the stereotypical big glasses and sophisticated vocabulary.
  • I See Dead People: The protagonist of The Ghosts of Devil's Marsh gets the power to see ghosts after being near a tree that was struck by lightning.
  • Magical Negro: Nadina in The Ghosts of Devil's Marsh is able to sense Sam has the power to see ghosts and tells her how to exorcise Nana's spirit.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The plants in A Ghastly Shade of Green attack humans who harm the environment.
  • My Beloved Smother: Nana of The Ghosts of Devil's Marsh was a grandmother with an abandonment complex. She tried to keep her grandchildren, Sylvie and Sam's dad, with her even as adults and pretty much disowned them when they left to have lives and families of their own. Not helped in that she raised them from childhood and pretty much was their only mother figure.
  • Never Trust a Title: The owner of the titular Wax Museum in Weirdo Waldo's Wax Museum is actually named Mad Mac.
  • New House, New Problems: The Enchanted Attic and The Haunting House has the protagonists move into a new house and discover something strange there, either in the attic or the entire house itself.
  • Playing with Fire: Chrissy Miser in Weirdo Waldo's Wax Museum is exposed as a budding pyromaniac. She kills the Keeper at the end by lighting his robes on fire.
  • Recursive Canon: The Haunting House and The Terrible Terror Book mention that the protagonists read Shivers books.
  • Sequel Episode: Shriek Home Chicago, which is a sequel to Terror on Troll Mountain.
  • Shout-Out: No guesses as to what classic novel The Animal Rebellion is an homage to.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: Louise Miser in Weirdo Waldo's Wax Museum is a former beauty queen and apparently rather vain, as she's vocally unhappy by the lack of attractive people in the wax museum tour group. Her son Billy inherited this trait.
  • Weakened by the Light: In The Enchanted Attic, the dolls become motionless when even the tiniest bit of light hits them, and come to life in complete darkness.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In The Ghosts of Devil's Marsh, during Sam's dream she hears a woman arguing with the spirit that takes on the form of a snake and begins haunting her. In the dream, the snake is attacked by a jewel bird trying to protect Sam, and is later revealed to be the spirit of Sam's father while the snake is Nana. It's never revealed who the other woman was arguing with Nana, though it's implied to be another deceased relative buried in their family's plot.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Mr. Campbell in Pool Ghoul straight up threatens the child characters at gunpoint in the climax.

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