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Authors: R. L. Stine

Claws!

BOOK: Claws!
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GOOSEBUMPS
HorrorLand

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#1 REVENGE OF THE LIVING DUMMY

#2 CREEP FROM THE DEEP

#3 MONSTER BLOOD FOR BREAKFAST!

#4 THE SCREAM OF THE HAUNTED MASK

#5 DR. MANIAC VS. ROBBY SCHWARTZ

#6 WHO’S YOUR MUMMY?

#7 MY FRIENDS CALL ME MONSTER

#8 SAY CHEESE—AND DIE SCREAMING!

#9 WELCOME TO CAMP SLITHER

#10 HELP! WE HAVE STRANGE POWERS!

#11 ESCAPE FROM HORRORLAND

#12 THE STREETS OF PANIC PARK

GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND BOXED SET #1-4

WELCOME TO HORRORLAND: A SURVIVAL GUIDE

#13 WHEN THE GHOST DOG HOWLS

#14 LITTLE SHOP OF HAMSTERS

#15 HEADS, YOU LOSE!

#16 SPECIAL EDITION: WEIRDO HALLOWEEN

#17 THE WIZARD OF OOZE

#18 SLAPPY NEW YEAR!

#19 THE HORROR AT CHILLER HOUSE

GOOSEBUMPS
HorrorLand

HALL OF HORRORS

#1 CLAWS!

GOOSEBUMPS
®

NOW WITH BONUS FEATURES!

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DUMMY

DEEP TROUBLE

MONSTER BLOOD

THE HAUNTED MASK

ONE DAY AT HORRORLAND

THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

SAY CHEESE AND DIE!

THE HORROR AT CAMP JELLYJAM

HOW I GOT MY SHRUNKEN HEAD

THE WEREWOLF OF FEVER SWAMP

A NIGHT IN TERROR TOWER

WELCOME TO DEAD HOUSE

WELCOME TO CAMP NIGHTMARE

GHOST BEACH

THE SCARECROW WALKS AT MIDNIGHT

YOU CAN’T SCARE ME!

RETURN OF THE MUMMY

REVENGE OF THE LAWN GNOMES

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Goosebumps

HALL OF
HORRORS

CLAWS!

R.L. STINE

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Welcome Back to the Hall of Horrors

Preview

About the Author

Copyright

WELCOME TO THE HALL OF HORRORS

THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE SCREAM

You’re right—you can’t find it on the HorrorLand map. This old castle is a place for very special visitors only. This is a place for kids who have stories to tell.

Step inside. Welcome to the Unliving Room. Yes, it’s cold in here — cold as the grave.

Come sit by the fire. I like the way the flames make the shadows dance on the wall. Want to hear something strange? When the fire is out, the shadows
still
dance on the wall.

I am the Story-Keeper. Here in the darkest, most hidden part of the park, I keep the doors to the Hall of Horrors open.

Kids find their way here. Frightened kids. Haunted kids. They are eager to tell me their stories. I am the Listener. And I am the Keeper of their tales.

Those shadowy faces on the wall? They are paintings of the kids who brought their
frightening tales to me. Funny how their eyes seem to follow you around the room—isn’t it?

We have a visitor today. That boy sitting by the fireplace, so pale, with his hands clasped so tensely. His name is Mickey Coe.

Mickey is twelve. A nice-looking young man. But something has creeped him out. Let’s go talk to him.

“What is your story about, Mickey?”

“It’s about a black cat.”

“Aah, yes. A black cat. You may not know this, but black cats can be
lucky
.”

“Not for me,” Mickey says.

“Well, go ahead, Mickey. I am the Story-Keeper. Start at the beginning. Tell me your story.”

Mickey swallows. He makes a gulping sound. “Are you sure? It’s pretty weird and scary,” he says.

Go ahead, Mickey. Don’t be afraid. There’s Always Room for One More Scream at the HALL OF HORRORS….

1

“Let me hold her for a while.”

Amanda grabbed the cat from my hands and bumped me out of the way. She bumped me so hard, I almost fell onto the couch.

“You don’t have to grab,” I muttered.

“It’s faster, Mickey,” she said. “You’re as slow as a banana.”

Banana?

She’s
weird.

The Caplans laughed. “I thought you were best friends,” Mrs. Caplan said. “Do you always argue like that?”

“No. Never,” I said.

“Yes. Always,” Amanda said.

Mrs. Caplan is a tall woman with long, straight black hair, thick black eyebrows, and big green eyes. She loves to wear bright colors, red and purple and yellow.

She has a deep voice and speaks as if she’s
onstage. She told us she wanted to be a Broadway actress. But she ended up a drama teacher in the high school instead.

Mr. Caplan is shorter and less colorful. And quiet. He has short, wavy hair, mostly gray. And he wears round, black-framed glasses that make him look a little like an owl.

He was our fifth-grade teacher last year. He was a pretty good teacher, except he talked about his vegetable garden too much.

And it was kind of weird having your next-door neighbor for your teacher.

Bella, the Caplans’ black cat, settled into Amanda’s arms and purred softly. Amanda grinned at me.

I knew what that grin was saying.
Bella likes me better than you, Mickey.

“Bella doesn’t usually like to be held,” Mr. Caplan said, scratching his gray hair.

“She’s a sweet, sweet cat,” Mrs. Caplan said. “But she’s not a lap cat.”

“She sure has taken to you, Amanda,” Mr. Caplan said.

Amanda flashed me that obnoxious grin again.

She should be nice to me.
I’m
the one who got us this cat-sitting job.

But no problem. I’m used to my friend Amanda Underwood.

I mean, she has lived across the street from me my whole life. So she’s like a tree … or a rock … or a mailbox. You know. Something that’s just always been there.

Amanda seems a lot sweeter than she is. She is about two inches shorter than me. She’s kind of tiny and looks about nine or ten, even though she’s my age, twelve.

She has straight copper-colored hair, big blue eyes, and a tiny mouth shaped just like a little heart.

A
lot
of words come from that tiny mouth. I mean, she says about a hundred words to my one. And she talks really fast, like she’s always excited and in a big hurry.

I guess I’m the quiet type — especially next to Amanda.

Don’t get me wrong. Amanda and I are best friends. We really like each other.

We just don’t always get along.

“So let me get it straight,” Amanda said, gently petting Bella’s back. The cat had her eyes closed and made soft purring sounds. “We come here to your house twice a day and feed Bella and give her water.”

Mr. Caplan nodded. “That’s right. And clean the litter box. Don’t forget that part.”

“That will be Mickey’s job,” Amanda said.

Nice!

“We’ll be sailing for six days,” Mrs. Caplan said. She moved her arms to show ocean waves. “But you can reach us if you need to. I’ll leave you the numbers.”

“I’ll leave you my brother’s number, too,” Mr. Caplan added. “In case you have any trouble.”

“We can handle it. Easy job,” I said.

“We won’t have any trouble,” Amanda said. “Look how sweet Bella is.”

The cat raised her head and gazed up at Amanda with her bright yellow eyes.

“She is so awesomely sweet,” Amanda said, cuddling the black cat.

Famous last words?

You have no idea.

2

The horror didn’t start until the second afternoon.

The idea was to care for Bella twice a day—before school and after school. It was an easy job. And fun—especially for me because I’ve always liked cats.

And the Caplans were paying us each fifty dollars for the week. Not too shabby, right?

The first day was good. We went in the morning before school. Bella seemed glad to see us. She meowed and rubbed against our legs.

“She’s hungry,” Amanda said. “I’ll feed her while you scoop out the litter box.”

“And tomorrow we’ll trade jobs?” I asked.

“Why would we do that?” Amanda replied.

It was early in the morning. I didn’t feel like fighting with her.

We fed Bella and petted her a little. Then we locked the door carefully behind us and hurried to school.

That afternoon, Amanda let me feed the cat. Bella gets dry food in the morning and wet food in the afternoon.

I had a little trouble opening the can. The pulltop snapped off.

“You’re as clumsy as an onion,” Amanda said. I told you she was weird. “Use the electric can opener, Mickey. Want me to do it?”

“I can handle it,” I said.

I opened the can easily. Pulled off the lid. Forked the disgusting, fishy stuff into Bella’s bowl.

“Don’t give it to her like that,” Amanda said, grabbing the bowl from me. “You have to mash it up first.”

“Since when are
you
the cat expert?” I asked.

“Since today,” she answered.

Bella sat on her haunches, staring up at the food bowl. Her yellow eyes didn’t blink.

I don’t think she cared if the food was mashed up or not. But Amanda always thinks she knows everything.

Bella gulped the food down hungrily.

“Should we play with her or something?” I said. “Think she’s lonely?”

Bella answered the question for us. She licked the bowl clean. Then she ran off to another room.

“Maybe cats don’t get bored or lonely,” I said.

“You have something disgusting stuck in your nose,” Amanda said. “I’ve been meaning to tell you all day.”

“All
day
?” I cried. “You waited
all day
?”

She tossed back her head and laughed.

“Mickey, how is it going with Bella?” Dad asked me at dinner that night.

“Perfect,” I said.

“If you have any trouble, just ask your mom or me for help,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “But there won’t be any trouble.”

Wrong.

The next morning, we fed Bella and gave her fresh water. Amanda picked her up and put her in her lap. The cat pawed at her. She tapped Amanda’s shoulder like she was trying to tell her something.

That made Amanda laugh.

Then I heard her mutter, “Uh-oh. Oh, noooo.”

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Amanda was tugging hard at Bella’s tail. “We have a little problem,” she said.

BOOK: Claws!
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