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Five of the Scariest Episodes of R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour

The Haunting Hour Scariest Episodes

If you’re unfamiliar with R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, just imagine a modernized version of Goosebumps without the awful acting and lame twists. Unlike its fairly tame ’90s predecessors, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour regularly pushed the boundaries of kid-friendly horror. The series ran four seasons (2010 to 2014) and had 76 episodes. Some of the episodes were adapted from Stine’s anthologies Nightmare Hour and The Haunting Hour. Though some episodes were less effective, most ended on disconcerting notes with the implied doom or death of the lead.

So for anyone who grew up watching Goosebumps and came away was disappointed after revisiting the show as an adult, here are five genuinely creepy episodes of R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour that will revive your faith in the YA horror fare. 

“Catching Cold” (season 1, episode 17) Is one of the Scariest Episodes of The Haunting Hour

A haunted ice cream truck drives a boy insane in this chilling installment. “Catching Cold” is the episode that introduced me to the show. And it got me hooked. Interestingly enough, the plotline doesn’t come from Stine; it is adapted from a short story written by Neal Shusterman.

“Catching Cold” is one of the scariest episodes of The Haunting Hour “Dreamcatcher” (season 2, episode 12) is a Chilling Installment in the Haunting Hour Series 

Summer camp may be a common setting for horror, but “Dreamcatcher” adds the element of a murderous human-spider invading your dreams. With similarities to A Nightmare on Elm Street, the episode stands out as one of the darkest of the series.

Dreamcatcher is another scary episode of The Haunting Hour “The Red Dress” (season 1, episode 6) Is a Nightmarish Haunting Hour Episode 

After stealing an expensive red dress from a shopkeeper, a teenage girl must face the grim consequences of her actions. Many of the show’s episodes serve as morality tales, and in “The Red Dress,” the girl’s comeuppance is quite shocking.

The Red Dress is a terrifying episode of The Haunting Hour“Pumpkinhead” (season 2, episode 5) Is Another Harrowing Installment 

In this Halloween-themed episode, a deranged farmer kidnaps kids and switches their heads with pumpkins. Impressive and unsettling set designs and effects make this a stand-out episode. In the season-four sequel, “Return of the Pumpkinheads,” a family moves into the recently deceased farmer’s house, unaware of its disturbing history.

Pumpkinhead is a scary episode of The Haunting Hour“Mascot” (season 2, episode 8) Is a Haunting Hour Episode That Traumatized a Generation!

Though other fans may disagree, I believe “Mascot” is one of the scariest episodes of the series. The plot follows two students as they petition to change their school mascot,  a large creature named “Big Yellow.” But the problem is, no one knows who Big Yellow really is.

Mascot HH

Updated June 10, 2024

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Written by Cassie Muniz
Cassie Muniz is a Houston-based freelance writer with a B.A. in criminology. She is a longtime lover of horror and enjoys exploring every facet of the genre.
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