Hey kids, remember ‘Goosebumps‘? Remember how bloody good and spooky and awesome it was?

The “children’s horror” book series from the pen of the demented genius R.L. Stine served as a big gateway to reading for a lot of kids in the mid 90s, spinning gross and mildly scary and definitely creepy tales about the disgusting secret at Camp Jellyjam or Haunted Masks that possess the faces of whoever puts it on, or the occasional shrunken head.

During the book series’ original run between 1992 and 1997, Stine managed to pump out a frankly incredible 62 short novels in the original series, as well as 6 collections of ‘Tales to Give You Goosebumps‘ short stories, and a swathe of choose-your-own-adventure style ‘Give Yourself Goosebumps‘ books. Dude’s output was off the fkn show, is what we’re saying.

You’d think that, logically speaking, for all the ideas that were approved by publishers, there’d be a tonne of other, far more fucked-up yarn ideas that would’ve been rejected.

But as it turns out, once the series got rolling Stine only ever pushed the envelope too far once.

And it was because he wanted a librarian to eat a child.

During a Q&A session that marks the book series’ 25th anniversary, Stine detailed the story of the one time he tried to take things “too far,” according to his publishers.

The idea came while writing ‘The Girl Who Cried Monster,’ the eighth book in the original series, released in May of 1993. Stine, as it turns out, really wanted the horrifying librarian featured in the tale to eat a human child. Apparently that was a bit much.

“It was a very early Goosebumps book called The Girl Who Cried Monster. This girl realises that the librarian is a monster. But no one will believe her. In my original manuscript, the librarian eats a kid. And everyone thought that maybe was going a little too far. They said, ‘You can’t eat a kid in Goosebumps.’ So I changed it. I put a big bowl of live turtles on the librarian’s desk. And every once in a while, the librarian would reach out and grab a turtle and chew it. Eat it up. Which actually is better than a kid. It’s crunchier. It’s a lot crunchier. And you can hear it. It’s more horrifying, I think.”

“That was the one time I went too far.”

Imagine that discussion going down.

The librarian eats a child.”

“The librarian cannot eat a child.”

“The librarian eats… turtles?”
“Ok.”

Course we’re not doubting for a second that R.L. Stine has a drawer full of stories he never took to publishers that are solely about wanton child murder. But that’s another story for another day.

Source: Uproxx.