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Inspiring Fear: Stranger Things

hblf, lfneJason L Blair09 June 2016

A friend just forwarded me the following trailer and I had to update this site as soon as I could.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things, a Netflix Original homage to the supernatural thrillers of the 80s, drops July 15th. I don’t know much about this series—and kinda don’t want to yet—but the trailer has me super intrigued. And it looks like prime inspiration for Little Fears.

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Inspiring Fear: ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? – New DVDs!

hblf, lfneJason L Blair30 June 2014

As a huge fan of the series, this is amazing news: Amazon CreateSpace is bringing back Are You Afraid of the Dark? on DVD!

The first two seasons are currently available—for the ridiculously low price of $11.99. If there is one series I recommend for fans of Little Fears, it’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? It’s amazing television that I cannot oversell.

I scoured the secondary market to collect the original DVD releases that have been out of print for about ten years and paid about $40 back for each season, on average (and I got some *good* deals). Seeing them back in print, at such a low price, makes my heart sing. Do yourself a favor and pick these up:

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Halloweek 2013 – Doll-O-Ween #5: Slappy the Dummy

hblf, lfneJason L Blair01 November 2013

And we finish this year’s Halloweek/Doll-O-Ween with one of the most iconic dolls in literature: R. L. Stine’s Slappy from the author’s insanely popular Goosebumps series.

First appearing as an ordinary ventriloquist’s dummy in 1993’s Night of the Living Dummy, Slappy was not the antagonist of that book. Another dummy, named Mr. Wood, took that honor with Slappy only coming to life at the end of the story. Over the course of two more books in the original Goosebumps line—1995’s Night of the Living Dummy II and 1996’s Night of the Living Dummy III—we see Slappy terrorizing various families and often drawing the ire (and vengeance) of his fellow dolls.

While he has a mind of his own, when left for a long stretch of time, he enters an inert state where he is indistinguishable from a regular ventriloquist’s dummy. That is, until someone speaks the magic words: Karru marri odonna loma molonu karrano. A phrase which multiple unwitting children manage to mutter over the course of twenty years and five more books across multiple Goosebumps series. That’s a lot of traveling for a fella with wooden legs.

1998 brought Bride of the Living Dummy in which our wooden troublemaker becomes enamored with a doll belonging to his new owner’s sisters. Stung by Cupid’s arrow, Slappy will stop at nothing to get the woman he loves. This book is also where we learn that Slappy was carved from the coffin of a dark sorcerer—and he wasn’t the only one as later books revealed.

Just a year later, a new book featuring the diabolical dummy hit the shelves. Titled Slappy’s Nightmare, this book presents a solution to dealing with the doll. After getting tired of Slappy’s antics, main character Jimmy O’James learns from his new doll (and Slappy’s coffin-brother) Wally, that if the boy can get Slappy to do three good deeds in a week, Jimmy will have control over him. Though, as the book title suggests, all this may not actually be true.

Slappy makes two appearances in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. Author R. L. Stine calls Revenge of the Living Dummy one of his scariest stories. The HorrorLand series is notable for how it places its characters into horrifying situations and then brings them all together in the titular theme park as a Very Special Guest.

As the series continues, the characters from the different books have to come together to escape. Slappy makes another appearance in later HorrorLand volume, The Streets of Panic Park, but as an ally.

In 2013’s Son of Slappy, we learn that the dummy, like Chucky, has a kid. Forcing current owner Jackson Stander to deal with not one, but two, evil dolls.

Slappy has a long history full of interesting tidbits you can pull into your own Little Fears stories. I highly recommend the books though seeing Slappy in action on the TV show is pretty spectacular as well.

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Inspiring Fear: Spooksville

hblf, lfneJason L Blair14 October 2013

Another Middle Grade horror series makes its way onto TV screens! The adaptation of Christopher Pike’s ’90s horror series Spooksville is set to premiere Saturday, October 26th on the Hub.

Here’s the description from Hubworld:

Based on the book series by acclaimed author Christopher Pike, the new kid in town discovers that he holds the key to a battle between good and evil that has been taking place for centuries in a bizarre small town that plays host to a wide array of supernatural and unexplained occurrences.

They’ve also released three teaser trailers, each introducing a main character from the show.

Meet Adam

Meet Sally

Meet Watch

I can’t wait to check this out. Also, I really need to pick up that original 24-book series.

(I’m embedding from a different YouTube account than the official one because Hub has disallowed embedding. I highly recommend keeping up with their official channel though.)

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Inspiring Fear: The Haunting Hour Season 4!

hblf, lfneJason L Blair09 October 2013

Attention Little Fears fans (and anyone who likes good television): The new season of RL Stine’s THE HAUNTING HOUR starts this Saturday, October 12th!

I was initially drawn to the show because of its subject matter and its anthology format but it has proven to be one of the best anthology shows to come around in a long, long time. I cannot recommend this show enough.

Check out the Season 4 promo trailer below:

If you haven’t seen the earlier seasons, or want to have copies of your own, the episodes are being released on DVD in sets.

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Inspiring Fear: So Weird

hblf, lfneJason L Blair22 July 2013

Inspiring Fear once again takes us to the tween wonderland that was 90s television. This time around, it’s the late-90s (its first season began in 1999) “The X-Files for teens” Disney Channel original So Weird.

The premise is just wonderful for a monster-of-the-week style show. Preteen Fiona runs a website dedicated to exploring the supernatural. As she travels the country with her rock star mom Molly Phillips, she comes face-to-face with some new inexplicable oddity, some of which are submitted via her site and some stem from local legends encountered on the road. Along for the ride are Fiona’s tutor (and her mom’s roadie), her mom’s manager (and the roadie’s wife), their teenage son Clu, and Fiona’s skeptical older brother Jack. Jack is the Scully to Fiona’s Mulder and his struggle to understand his sister is a recurrent subplot, as is Fiona’s attempts to prove the existence of the supernatural to Jack. The big secondary plot for the show involves Fiona’s deceased rock star father who may or may not be attempting to contact her from beyond.

The show distinguishes itself from a lot of other tween television with its surprising seriousness and dark tone. Fiona’s cousin replaces her for the show’s third and final season, and the tone lightens a bit in addition to that but So Weird remains a solid show—and a great inspiration for Little Fears.

Unfortunately, So Weird is not officially available on DVD or through any of the commercial streaming services. You can pick up the paperback novelizations or, y’know, *ahem* click the video below. (But don’t tell anybody you heard that from me.)

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Inspiring Fear: Goosebumps S1 on DVD (In the UK)!

hblf, lfneJason L Blair07 September 2012

Congratulations to Little Fears fans in the Region 2/PAL zone: The classic Goosebumps television series is coming to DVD. Not the one/two/three-episode packs but full complete seasons.

Revelation Films has announced they are bringing the full seasons to the UK home audience on DVD starting this November! You can pre-order the first season through Amazon.co.uk here.

I am very happy (and am completely jealous) to hear this.

Meanwhile, those of us elsewhere in the world must rely on broadcast marathons and those Halloween bundles.

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Inspiring Fear: The Online Store!

hblf, lfneJason L Blair22 November 2011

As a lot of you have probably noticed, I added an Amazon.com affiliate widget to the sidebar. I’ve included all the things I could from the Inspiring Fear updates as well as plenty of other Little Fears-appropriate books, movies, video games, and TV shows. I hope you’ll check out the stuff on the right. If you hover over the top of the widget, you can cycle through the pages for easier navigation.

Making purchases through the link (and any other purchases once you’ve arrived at Amazon through the link) goes directly to helping me put out more Little Fears Nightmare Edition material. I would love to release Book 3 in 2012, as well as the Seven Kings series, but to do that I need to generate some more income. So please, especially with the holidays coming up, if you do any shopping at Amazon (for Little Fears-related materials or not), help out the original game of childhood terror. It doesn’t cost you a thing (I promise) but it helps me out greatly.

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Inspiring Fear: The Haunting Hour, Season 2

hblf, lfneJason L Blair28 September 2011

The new season of R.L. Stine‘s The Haunting Hour hits the Hub this Saturday, October 1st! If you’re a fan of Little Fears or Little Fears Nightmare Edition, you need to watch this show. I loved the first season and can’t wait to dig into the new one.

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Inspiring Fear: Goosebumps TV Show

hblf, lfneJason L Blair05 September 2011

I spoke previously about the kid-focused horror anthology series The Haunting Hour so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the show’s spiritual forebear is returning to television! The Hub is bringing back the classic Goosebumps television series based on the eponymous books.

The show will be airing at 5:30p each weekday afternoon starting tomorrow. If you’ve never watched the show, I urge you to give it a shot. The show features some amazingly imaginative stories (and some of the best Canadian accents you can hope for) and each episode is perfect inspiration for Little Fears, whichever flavor of the game you prefer.

I know I’ll be clearing out space in the DVR for some episodes. I still haven’t seen all them so I’m eager to see ones I’ve missed as well as rewatch some of my favorites.

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