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Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Frights For Tykes


One year my mom gave my dad a Stereogram book for Christmas. A Stereogram, by the way, is: “a diagram or picture representing objects with an impression of solidity or relief”. Or, in other words, an image that hides another image if you look at it long enough. Just like in a NIGHTMARE IN 3-D (GHOSTS OF FEAR STREET #4), written by R.L. Stine, and published ALADDIN in 1996.

IN the story, Wes Parker buys a Stereogram poster, intent on finding the hidden image. His neighbors/bullies have purchased the same Stereogram, however and whoever finds the hidden picture wins a prize. Wes intends to win the prize and gloat but, unfortunately for him, the Stereogram poster hides more than the opportunity to get back at his bullies. The Stereogram hides a monster- a man eating prying mantis. What’s Wes to do?

NIGHTMARE IN 3-D is weird and slightly gross story that manages to play with horror and surrealistic scenarios in a kid friendly way. Wes’ character is extremely empathetic and his (and his best friends) dedication to the extermination of the mantis keeps you turning the page. NIGHTMARE IN 3-D is mostly forgotten, much like the entire GHOSTS OF FEAR STREET series, but it deserves to be rediscovered, especially since the young adult FEAR STREET series is heading to the big screen. There’s an absurdist quality to NIGHTMARE IN 3-D that keeps it equally odd and entertaining.

NIGHTMARE IN 3-D can be purchased on ABE BOOKS for $3.42 plus free shipping (in the United States).

Books make great Christmas gifts. Why not treat yourself or your kid to an obscure R.L. Stine oddity?

Glenn Tolle
Glenn Tolle grew up with a healthy interest in the macabre. His dad worked, and still works, as a grave digger, and much of his childhood was spent running around cemeteries and reading creepy books. All this combined with early viewings of the classic Universal monster movies led him to writing about the genre. He writes not only for RUE but also for under the pen name Glenn Strange. When not writing about horror Glenn talks about and interviews people within the horror and film community for the YouTube channel Psychic Celluloid Signals and creates original horror stories for publication.