Goosebumps From Goosebumps
By: Chris Darkes - August 13, 2014
Category : Writing
I heard recently they were going to do a Goosebumps remake. This brought back a certain amount of nostalgia for me. Was it going to be ruined by Hollywood? Probably. That’s the cynical side of me. I would really love to see them get it right. To understand how much this means, you’ll need the back story. I remember sitting there in my third grade class enthralled at the Goosebumps book I had been reading during our scheduled reading time. As the 20 minutes or so passed by, I was pulled into this world unlike anything else I had read before that moment. The author played upon my fears like a fiddle. The situations that every kid could relate to had been captured perfectly. I began to realize the power of great writing. It was so visceral.
As the teacher told us to put our books away, I quickly looked up and noticed almost every other kid had been reading a copy of Goosebumps, too. (Maybe we were slaves to trends). Or maybe there was something about them everyone could relate to. That unmistakable book covers at every desk. The kids in our class were all sharing a common chill-seeking experience. You could tell everyone couldn’t wait to get back into reading them. R.L. Stine really put the fun into reading for any eight year old.
We used to have this contest where if you read a certain amount of books in a month, you would win a prize to get any book of your choosing from this bookshelf in our classroom. There were a TON of books. One month, I read so many books the teacher awarded me the honor. I began digging through rows and rows. Couldn’t find anything that really stuck in my mind. Then there it was. The cover alone made me intrigued. The book was called Amazing True Stories by Don L. Wulffson. Filled with some really short, impacting stories of all sorts. Mysteries, disasters, and unsolved mysteries. (Which at the time, was my fascination of the show Unsolved Mysteries.)
During an extremely hot summer in 1965, 4-year-old Roger Lausier’s parents had taken him to the beach in Salem, Massachusetts. He was having a great time. Building sand castles, watching the waves crash into the cliffs, and enjoying the sunshine. At one point, there was a drop-off on one of the hills. He soon found himself in the water. Not knowing how to swim, he tried to cry out, but the water sucked into his lungs. A moment right before he was about to drown, strong arms grabbed him. A woman carried him to shore. Roger’s parents had blamed themselves for taking their eyes off their son for a moment. They thanked her immensely. Her name was Alice Blaise. Roger never forgot her. Nine years later, Roger now 13, returned to the same beach. He was very strong for his age and decided he’d go for a swim. As he began to lay his towel out, he heard a faint crying out for help. He quickly turned around and saw two arms waving in the deep water. A man was fighting for his life. Roger quickly grabbed a raft and began paddling water out to the man. He reached for his hand not a moment too soon. Roger put the man on the raft, and swam back to shore. Later, he found out a very strange piece of information. The man’s last name was Blaise. His wife was Alice, the lady who had saved Roger 9 years prior.
It’s funny how much a photo impacts you. Had it not been for the really cool artwork on the cover, I may have missed it completely. As I was trying to find photos of the cover I came across another really haunting photo. (Which I’ll leave for another time). It did make me wonder how powerful a photo can really stick into the mind’s eye.