Welcome To Dead House is the 1st Goosebumps book.
Amanda Benson, twelve–years old, and her younger brother Josh, eleven-years old, are moving with their parents to a new neighbourhood called Dark Falls. Although Dark Falls is no more than four hours away from their old home, Amanda and Josh are very upset about having to move. Perhaps this is because the move happens rather suddenly. Only a week before, their father received a letter from a lawyer informing him that he had inherited a huge old house from a great uncle named Charles. Nobody in the Benson family can remember this particular relative, but that doesn't stop Mr. and Mrs. Benson from feeling elated about the unexpected news. Mr. Benson had been looking for a way to quit his boring office job and pursue his true love, writing, for a long time, and the inheritance provides just the opportunity. The couple does not hesitate to pack up all their belongings and make the necessary arrangements to relocate.
When the family takes their first trip to Dark Falls to meet with the real estate agent, Compton Dawes, and view their new home, only the two children and their dog, Petey, immediately sense that something is not quite right. Despite the fact that it is the middle of July, the entire neighbourhood seems covered in an artificial darkness created by massive, overhanging tree limbs. Dead brown leaves, shade, and shadows are everywhere. Then there's the house itself, which obviously was not constructed any time in the recent past. It is an enormous, dark, antique structure with two big bay windows on the second floor that look eerily like a pair of observing eyes. While Josh proceeds to impatiently whine in protest over the latest tragic development in his life, Amanda watches with amazement as a boy appears suddenly in the doorway of her new room and disappears suddenly. Amanda feels much better after seeing her room. She goes outside to tell Josh about it, but he is gone. She finds him a little while later in the cemetery...being chased by someone. Amanda keeps seeing other kids in her home and hearing strange sounds. And, the friends she makes all seem a little different. It is later revealed that the children are all dead, having been murdered when they lived in that house. Once a year, they must have the blood from a freshly killed person to sustain their "living dead" existence for another year. The dead group of children kill Petey the dog because they believe that “dogs always know. Dogs always recognize the living dead. That’s why they have to go first.” One of the undead children, Ray, attacks Amanda in the cemetery while her brother Josh is still looking for the dog, but Josh saves her at the last moment when he shines his light on Ray’s face which causes him to melt and become a pile of bones. Amanda and Josh run home but when they arrive they are attacked by the dead children who explain that there is no dead great uncle and that the letter sent to their parents was a trick to bring the Benson family to Dark Falls. “This is the dead house...Once a year, you see, we need new blood," the dead children say, as they move forward to kill Amanda and Josh. Suddenly Mr. Dawes, the real estate agent, appears at the door and the dead children vanish. He tells them that he has already saved their parents from the dead people and that he will take them to join their parents. While on their way with Mr. Dawes to the cemetery, Josh tells Amanda to look at one of the gravestones where she reads the name of Mr. Dawes. They realize that Mr. Dawes is one of the dead people and that he is leading them to their deaths. When they confront him with the truth, Mr. Dawes explains that long ago the whole town was intoxicated with a yellow gas from its plastics factory and that every one died but later Dark Falls became the town of living dead. Josh succeeds in killing the already dead Mr. Dawes with a blow of his flashlight on Mr. Dawes' forehead and then the two children rush to save their parents. Their mom and dad are imprisoned in an amphitheater shielded by a huge tree and located at the end of the cemetery. The dead people are all there waiting to kill them and drink their blood. Amanda and Josh move the tree that shields the amphitheater which makes the bright sunlight pour into the amphitheater. The dead people melt as soon as the sunlight catches them. Amanda and Josh save their parents and as the family is leaving the dead house they meet on the driveway a new family coming to move to the house, and the surprise is that Mr. Dawes is there to meet the newcomers.
A sequel, entitled Happy Holidays from Dead House, was to be published as the second book of the canceled Goosebumps Gold series. It will instead be released as the December book for the Goosebumps Horrorland series and will feature the family who moved in at the end of the original. It probably won't have the original plot.
Tagline: It will just kill you.
Author: R.L Stine
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus
Media Type: Print (Paperback)
Release Date: July 1992
Series Number: 1
Previous Book: None
Next Book: [Stay Out Of The Basement]