Goosebumps - Stay out of the Basement by R.L. Stine

GOOSEBUMPS — Stay Out of the Basement review by Kendra

Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, really. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they…meet…some of the plants he is growing down there.

Then they notice that their father is developing plantlike tendencies. In fact, he is becoming distinctly weedy–and seedy. Is it just part of their father’s “harmless” experiment? Or has the basement turned into another little shop of horrors?


Things I’ve Learned

So if there are two things that I have learned rereading the R. L. Stine books as an adult it is these.

1. R. L. Stine touched on more adult issues in the Goosebumps series than I had realized as a kid. This isn’t to say that he went super in depth on them, he did however bring them to the forefront.

For this issue specifically it is the Father losing his job and their Mom being gone for extended period of time dealing with her sister sadly being hospitalized.

2. This man knows what scares kids, nay adults I would say as most of the fears he discusses still afflicts us as adults.

Review on Stay Out of the Basement

With that being said let’s start with Stay Out Of The Basement.  In this tale we meet 12 year old Margaret, her 11 year old brother Casey and their parents Dr. Brewer and Mrs. Brewer.

Dr. Brewer is a Botanist, a scientist who deals with the science of plants, once working at a local University, he was fired and within the last month come home to create his own lab to continue his work.

Goosebumps - Stay out of the Basement by R.L. Stine
Goosebumps – Stay out of the Basement by R.L. Stine

Now for Margaret and Casey they had been excited hoping for more time with their Father. Sadly the opposite happens as more and more often their Dad can be found in the basement lab. The one time they try to spend more time with him by trying to understand his work, he yells at them with a bloody hand to get out of the basement.

As time goes and two weeks pass their Mother then leaves to go be with her sister far away in Tucson leaving the kids with their Dad for a little while. They see the reluctance even in her eyes as she leaves them to go with Dr. Brewer to the airport.

With their friend Diane, they decide to take advantage of the their Dad being gone and see just what he is up to in the basement. There was no way to be prepared for distinctly hearing the plants breathing and even moving!

Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine
Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine


Being disturbed is an understatement and as the tale twists and the kids deal with the secrets of the basement it just gets worse and worse. I mean what kid is honestly going to understand watching their own parent eat plant food? Or bleeding green slime from cuts for that matter.

My Thoughts

The twist in this one was a little confusing as it was a one two punch but overall this was a really enjoyable quick read and is one I would definitely read again. I give it a 7 out of 10 over all on the Goosebumps scale slide.

Readers Beware, plants truly can scare when mixed with a bit of science or is it more in this case Alchemy? Guess you will have to read to find out!

Kendra aka Inkstress Zee

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