SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Goosebumps books undergo drastic edit to be inclusive

R.L. Stine has updated his beloved horror stories to feature less offensive language.

Goosebumps author R.L. Stine has edited more than a dozen books in the popular series to feature more inclusive language, updating or removing references to mental health, ethnicity and weight.

The move by Scholastic to amend the stories comes to light weeks after it was revealed Penguin had edited several Roald Dahl books with language deemed to be more appropriate for today's young readers.

The Goosebumps novels are being released as ebooks with more than 100 edits made by Stine, reports The Times. Changes include characters previously described as "plump" now branded "cheerful", while the terms "bowling ball" and "squirrel cheeks" have been removed from the description of another character.

R.L. Stine, Goosebumps book
Author R.L. Stine has made changes to a number of books in his Goosebumps series to remove language that might be deemed offensive by today's standards. Source: Getty/Scholastic

A notable difference in the revised children's horror novels is the removal of the word "crazy". In various places it has been updated to "silly", "scary", "wild", and "stressed". Meanwhile the term "a real nut" is now "a real wild one" and "nutcase" has become "weirdo".

In one Goosebumps story about aliens abducting and eating large people, the language has been changed in an effort to be sensitive to people who are overweight. A character described as having "at least six chins" is now said to be "at least six feet six".

In a revised version of 1998's Bride of the Living Dummy, the ventriloquist dummy Slappy originally knocks a girl out with a "love tap" but he now uses a magic spell. Stine also removed references to a villain making his victim a "slave".

Child reading Goosebumps book
Over 400 million Goosebumps books have been sold worldwide, making it the second-best-selling series of all time after J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Source: Getty

In Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns, originally released in 1996, a character described as "African-American" who acts "like the rappers on MTV videos" is now described without reference to race or the rapper stereotype.

Elsewhere, a wolf-whistling reference has been taken out of 1997's The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, while in Don't Go to Sleep!, a boy no longer refers to the novel Anna Karenina as "girl's stuff", instead saying it's "not interesting".

Unlike the revising of Dahl's books, changes to the Goosebumps stories were made by Stine himself, according to The Times. Penguin has responded to backlash over editing Dahl's classics by planning to make available unrevised versions of the books under the banner "The Roald Dahl Classic Collection", giving readers a choice between the two.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.