In episode 6 of Goosebumps, the kids sit down with Mr. Bratt and learn the history behind Slappy the Dummy and what truly happened with Harold Biddle. The episode is streaming on Disney+.
The kids walk into the Biddle house where Nathan has them all sit down on the couch so that he can tell them the story of what was in the case that their parents took.
He begins the story in 1925 in New York City, where his great-grandfather, Ephraim Bratt used to perform a very terrible magic act. Ephraim became desperate and visited a magic shop to find some new tricks to freshen up his act.
He hears a voice call out to him from a case and he takes it home. Inside the case is a ventriloquist doll named Slappy, but his wife Betsy isn’t too thrilled about his purchase.
Ephraim finds a card with some words in a foreign language written on it and he reads them out. When Ephraim isn’t looking, Slappy moves his head, revealing that he has come to life.
Ephraim takes Slappy onto the stage for his next act and while it starts poorly, Slappy begins talking on his own and insulting Ephraim, which gets a good reaction. Slappy tells Ephraim that he wants to be a success, he just needs to play along.
Their act gains traction and Ephraim makes a name for himself, but at the cost of his relationship with his wife and child who leave him. In 1960, Ephraim’s act is slowly declining, but Slappy’s plan is close to fruition.
When his manager threatens to throw a wrench into their plans, Ephraim casts a spell that turns the manager into a wooden doll. He later receives a delivery of a huge case and inside is a casket with the name Kanduu written on it.
Slappy tells Ephraim to read out the spell but he has a change of heart and stops reciting it midway. He throws Slappy back into his case and moves to Port Lawrence two weeks later.
He hides the case behind the wall in the basement and lives out his life in peace but in 1993, Georgia Biddle and her family inherited the house from Georgia’s grandfather, Ephraim.
Her son was Harold, and he was hoping for a fresh start after he was bullied by the children at his old school. Harold is an awkward kid but Sarah makes him feel good about himself.
She even tries to introduce him to her friends and involve him more but his insecurities are too strong and he stays away. One day, Harold hears Slappy call out to him from the basement and he digs out the case.
He reads out the same spell that gives Slappy sentience and decides to take him to school, much to his parents’ concern. He slowly becomes obsessed with Slappy as the doll brainwashed Harold and turns him against the rest of the world.
Nora walks in on Slappy talking to Harold at school one time, but when she tries to tell the others, they do not believe her. When his parents try to burn Slappy, Harold loses his mind and kills his parents using the same spell that turns people into wooden dolls.
He performs an act at school making fun of Sarah and her friends, and they finally believe Nora’s claim that the doll is evil and make him do it.
They plan to take it from him but during their attempts, Harold falls over in the basement and starts the fire that kills him. Slappy doesn’t go out without a fight and Ben makes sure to split him into pieces.
They make a plan to bury Slappy in Eliza’s family mine. The kids conclude that Slappy is the true evil behind this story and their parents aren’t the cold-blooded killers they thought, but Nathan gets frustrated.
He tells them that their parents were bullies who bullied Harold constantly and eventually killed him. When they ask him how he knows all of this, he reveals himself to be Harold, dropping Nathan’s form and showing his original burnt form.
- Since this episode consists of Nathan telling the others the story behind Slappy, it isn’t as compelling as the first couple of them. Justin Long’s performance has been quite entertaining and he has some good moments here.
- Once again, the horror is great. It is just scary enough to get a jump out of the audience but people can still enjoy the simple nature of the gags.
- It seems that there is still another episode of lore-building left as none of the spells are explained, nor the reason behind Slappy’s sentience. That must be done well to be considered intriguing.
Goosebumps season 1 episode 6
Félix Enríquez Alcalá
Also Read: Goosebumps (2023) season 1 episodes 1 to 5 recaps & review