The Funhouse of Dr. Freek (lost Ghosts of Fear Street book; existence unconfirmed; 1998)
One of the few listings for The Funhouse of Dr. Freek on Amazon. Note how there are no images available for the book.
Status: Existence Unconfirmed
The Funhouse of Dr. Freek is the thirty-sixth and final book in the children’s book series Ghosts of Fear Street. There is a remarkable lack of information on Funhouse, although it is known that the book was released sometime between Halloween and Nov. 15, 1998. It seems that the book was pulled shortly after, but not before it made its way to readers, and some reviews that confirm the plot, suggesting that the book had been sold, have been found on Amazon and other websites.
In 1989, children’s author R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series launched with its first book, The New Girl. The series was geared toward young adults, and followed teenagers experiencing bizarre events in the city of Shadyside. Most stories were set at the eponymous Fear Street. Contrary to Stine’s other well-known children’s series (such as Goosebumps), murder, gore, psychological horror, and sexual content were prevalent throughout Fear Street.
As an alternative to the dark content of Fear Street, a spin-off series catered to younger children, Ghosts of Fear Street, was created in 1995. The series was akin to Stine’s Goosebumps series, featuring pre-teens involved in outlandish supernatural situations. Unlike Fear Street, the series was entirely ghostwritten. Ghosts of Fear Street ran until 1998, totaling thirty-six books.
The Funhouse of Dr. Freek was the final book in the Ghosts of Fear Street series. According to Goodreads, the synopsis is as follows: “When Joe breaks a funhouse mirror at a carnival, he releases an exact double of himself. Can he stop his evil twin before he takes over Joe's life?”
Very few pieces of information can be found about Funhouse. Not even pictures of the book appear to be anywhere online.
The book is an outlier in the series in that no copies of it, used or new, seem to exist. Contrary to this, the other thirty-five Ghosts of Fear Street books (including the rarer books published later in the series) have used and new copies for sale on Amazon.
Only a handful of online stores and book websites, such as Amazon and Goodreads, can be found to have had Funhouse listed. It is possible that the book was never printed, or was only in print for a short amount of time.
Possible Proof of Funhouse’s Existence
Amazon provides an ISBN number for Funhouse in its product description. Upon inspection, the book’s ISBN number lists Funhouse as published in November 1998 by Golden Books. Golden Books was an imprint of the now-defunct Western Publishing company. Despite there being an ISBN number, it is possible Funhouse was given a number before it could be produced.
On R.L. Stine’s official website, a complete listing of books he published up to 2012 is provided. Funhouse is in the Ghosts of Fear Street section.
Besides the listings on Stine’s website and the ISBN database, there are other factors that hint the book was available at some point.
An anonymous, somewhat cryptic Amazon review from 2005 states that a contest from a previous Ghosts of Fear Street book, Monster Dog, published that book’s winners in Funhouse. The review also tells readers, “If You [sic] feel like reading [sic] this order it.”
Even stranger are the ratings on Funhouse’s Goodreads page. As of writing this article (August 2018), there are only seventeen ratings for Funhouse, with the oldest being from 2010, and the most recent from April 2018. While these readers gave the book star ratings, no user has left a written review for Funhouse. It is likely that a number of users rated the book without having read a copy.