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Literature / Wanted: The Haunted Mask

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The Goosebumps book where the Haunted Mask gets a new origin story, and one kid has to deal with it while another encounters an evil spirit.

Lu-Ann and her friend Devin love Halloween. However, it's going to be ruined for both of them this year. Lu-Ann has to attend a party held by a classmate named Polly whom she dislikes and Devin has to spend the week on a pumpkin farm his parents recently bought. Come Halloween, things get more spiced up than they expected. Lu-Ann finds a familiar creepy mask while Devin suspects something is going on with the vines on the farm. Can they escape the horrors they are both about to face?

It was the first Goosebumps book to have its first release be in hardcover, and serves as a prelude to the Goosebumps: Most Wanted series.


This book provides examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Devin is afraid of pumpkins, even before ending up on a farm where ghosts are animating the pumpkin vines.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Gravemaster turns out to be Mrs. Barnes, who first came off as very friendly and kind.
  • Cain and Abel: William and Randolph in the prologue. Randolph resents that he is the less liked sibling and when William rejects his masks, he forces the Haunted Mask onto him and leaves.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not the entire book but certainly the prologue which has a stretched out, bloody death scene.
  • Distant Prologue: The first part is a prologue set some decades prior to set up the backstory with the mask's creator.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The prologue contains one of the most gruesome moments in the series. William tears the mask off of him, only for his face to come with it. He dies from all the bleeding.
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  • Gender-Blender Name: Devin O'Brian has a little sister with the traditionally male name of Dale.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending has Polly putting on one of the masks.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Haywood, the ghost boy, is lonely and wants a friend his own age, even if they have to die first.
  • Indian Burial Ground: Variant — the farm is said to have been built over a graveyard of soldiers who died during the American Civil War, rather than Native Americans, but it's still supposedly the cause of the hauntings.
  • Red Herring: It's teased that the cat Zeus is the Gravemaster but in reality it's Mrs. Barnes.
  • Retcon: This book has a new backstory for the masks, with them created by the evil brother of a nice mask shop owner.