Name That Trauma :: Reader Leah C. on a Horror Anthology & Monster Make-up Book

Hi there!

Loving your site, so many memories coming back! I’m thinking this may be the perfect place to ask about a book I remember reading. It was a book of short horror stories for children, paperback, I remember an illustration on the cover of a boy in bed with the sheets pulled up over him right up to under his eyes, and I think there were monsters or something at the foot of his bed. I feel like the color yellow played a part in the illustration, maybe wall color? It’s been almost 20 years though so I could be wrong. I also feel like the book may have been written by a woman, again, could be wrong.

The story I remember the most vividly was a boy who went to a pizza place after school with his friends and missed the bus he was supposed to get on, so he got on a different, later bus. He ended up being the last person on the bus, and the bus driver turned out to be a vampire and tried to attack him, but was thwarted by the garlic on the boy’s breath because he had ordered garlic on his pizza!

Another story I remember was a boy from an undisclosed Romanian-type country who was the new kid in class, and he was depressive and pale and smelled funny, and he turned out to be a vampire. I’m 90% sure these stories came from the same book. If I had to guess, I’d say the book would’ve probably been written in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s. I checked the book out many, many times from our elementary school library somewhere between 1992-1994 I’d say.

There was another book I used to check out all the time, had to have been written sometime in the ‘70s, which showed you how to create Halloween costumes and monster faces using Cray-Pas like makeup. I think that one was hardcover.

Any leads would be so appreciated!

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Mad props and love to senski for getting the first book “Creature Feature” by Jim Razzi.

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13 years ago

The cover illustration sounds sort of like one of the ones for “The Thing at the Foot of the Bed” by Maria Leach. Those don’t sound like stories that appeared in that book, though.

Dark Roast
Dark Roast
13 years ago
13 years ago


The kid scares off his bus driver with his garlic breath, YES! It was the first story in the first book, and the driver says, as the kid boards the bus, “Nice night, isn’t it?” Other stories (there were two books, so I might accidentally blend them) include a kid watching a late-nite zombie movie AS IT HAPPENS TO HIM, two ghost-children forced to relive their death on the 13th floor over and over, and a girl who cannot understand why nobody at the grocery store can see her. Unfortunately, there is almost zero chance of my ever remembering the books’ titles. Maybe I’ll find them during the holidays at my parents’, fingers crossed.

I also have the Do-It Yourself Makeup thing memorized. It was eventually published in hardcover, I remember hearing, but I actually had my dad’s old childhood copy, which is more like a magazine you’d find in a drugstore rack.

13 years ago

From what I’ve been able to find through the interweb, I’m guessing that the first book is by Jim Razzi, entitled Creature Feature (in his Spine Chillers series, the first two – along with The Ghost in the Mirror – were published in 1990). I’ve found the most minimal of descriptions, but there’s a reference to the story “The Last Stop” – in which a boy named Eric learns that garlic breath “can keep more than his friends away.” Sounds suspicious, no? There’s also a story called “The 13th Floor” in one of these volumes, and “Creature Feature” sounds like it could be that zombie movie (“Eric learns that realistic horror movies can sometimes get too close for comfort”).
Here’s the cover from Amazon – it’s available on Kindle…