The reason why R.L. Stine doesn’t dress up for Halloween (we know, right?)

Goosebumps author R.L. Stein may be the master of horror to you, but there is one thing that horrifies him really: dressing up for Halloween. And it turns out there’s a very legit reason why that goes back to his own childhood. You can blame it on a duck.

“When I was a kid, I wanted to be scary,” Stein tells People. “I wanted to be something – a skeleton, a mummy or something, and we were very poor. My parents went out to Kresge’s, the dime store, and came back with a costume for me and it was a yellow fuzzy duck. Horrible. With a fuzzy yellow tail and I had to wear it for years. Every year I was a duck – it was humiliating. Oh, the horrors of childhood.”

That, my friends, is truly a harrowing tale.

Stein also offered some insight into what he thought of Jack Black’s portrayal of him in the Goosebumps movie, calling him “so mean in the film” and saying “it bothered me a little bit,” but that ultimately he was glad to see that when the monsters started chasing Black as himself, he “mellowed.”

Just the same, don’t get it twisted. That is not what Stein is like.

“Jack flew to New York and we had lunch and he looked at me and said, ‘Well, what in the script is true about you?’ And I said ‘Jack, not one thing. Don’t look at the script,’” Stein said.

Keep all this in mind before you go see Goosebumps in theaters!