Goosebumps’ R.L. Stine Thinks This Is Stephen King’s Scariest Story

While there are well over a hundred Goosebumps books, a few of them contain stories that show shades of “Pet Sematary,” including “Cry of the Cat,” a 1998 book that features a pet cemetery of its own, and an undead cat named Rip. “Cry of the Cat” is a kids’ book, though, so instead of culminating in a dark night of the soul like King’s book, it features a protagonist who begins displaying cat-like behaviors, a mad scientist, and a deftly deployed toy mouse distraction maneuver. The story also became the basis for one of the freakier episodes of the live-action “Goosebumps” TV show (see also: the nightmare fuel image at the top of this page).

Speaking to Yahoo, Stine also spoke about the time he met King and admitted to cribbing the “Pet Sematary” plot. “‘Stephen, a magazine once called me a literary training bra for you,'” he describes himself telling the author, “Which is true! And he said, ‘Yes, I know.’ I’m Stephen King for kids.” Hilariously, it isn’t the dead pets plot that King called Stine out for during what Stine calls a “nice talk.” “He accused me of taking every amusement park plot and not saving them for anyone else!” Stine told Yahoo with a laugh.

Luckily, there’s plenty of room in the horror sphere for the two creatively horrific and endlessly entertaining authors, especially when one is an unofficial stepping stone to the other. King finally got his amusement park-set novel with “Joyland,” while Stine has returned to the idea of monstrous, killer pets several times over the decades, including with his upcoming rescue-bird-gone-rogue story “Night of the Squawker.”

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