Fear Street, where your worst nightmares come to life.
Welcome to Shadyside, a nice, seemingly normal town.The town consists of your regular teen hangouts, including Pete's Pizza, Fear Lake, and the Division Street Mall. All the students go to Shadyside High.Yep, it's a picture perfect town... Except for the curse.That's right, a curse! Year's ago, the Fear family was cursed during the Witch Trials, and that curse has lived on through the ages, destroying lives and driving people insane. And by 'people', that is every teenager who ever lived in Shadyside, and anyone who comes in contact with the Fear family. The two most infamous members of the Fear Family were Simon Fear and his wife Angelica, who migrated to Shadyside from New Orleans following the Civil War and helped influence the town during its fledgling years. The titular Fear Street was named because they were the ones who financed it. The remains of their burned-out mansion were a staple in the early books, having been destroyed by a fire in 1900. The mansion was finally torn down in the Fear Street Nights miniseries and a shopping mall was built over it.The origin of the Fear Family curse started in Wickham Village during the Salem Witch Trials, when Benjamin and Matthew Fier had Susannah Goode and her mother burned at the stake. This was really an attempt to keep Susannah away from Benjamin's son, Edward. The two brothers then looted the village and ran off. As it turned out, Susannah's father was the actual witch, and placed a curse on the Fiers for destroying his family. It doesn't help that Matthew promised to get Susannah freed in exchange for most of the family's valuables. Ever since, the Fears and Goodes have been stuck in a Cycle of Revenge, which was said could only be broken by a marriage between a Fear and a Goode. In 1900, Daniel Fear (Simon and Angelica's grandson) and Nora Goode fell in love and got married. They tried to end the feud, and the curse, with their marriage. They announced the marriage at Simon's birthday party. It didn't end well.The Fear name was originally spelled F-I-E-R, which could be rearranged to spell "fire". Fire has always been linked to the family, and in an attempt to escape it, Simon changed the spelling.The protagonists of the books are usually well-to-do teenagers who deal with threats both supernatural and completely human. Since most of the books all take place in the same town, and isn't unusual for characters from one book to mentioned in passing in another.Beyond the main series there were numerous spin-offs, either written by R.L. Stine or ghost writers. They include:
Fear Street Super Chillers: Books that were usually longer than the normal ones, but the variety of horror and plot in these didn't differ that much from the main ones. However, they did have a tendency to have their chapters titled, and the point-of-view would sometimes shift between characters.
The Fear Street Saga: The origin of Simon and Angelica Fear is revealed, the story of their demise, and the origin of the Fear Family Curse, dating back to the Salem Witch Trials and a feud between the Fear and Goode Families.
Fear Street Sagas: These focused on individual members of the Fear Family in the past, or rather, someone who came in contact with them. The first book, A New Fear, was a direct sequel to the original trilogy, and the fourth, The Sign of Fear, revealed the origin of the family's power.
Fear Street Cheerleaders: A three-book spin-off focusing on the Shadyside High cheerleading squad, specifically newcomer Corky Corcoran. The cheerleading squad would be pitted against an entity they referred to as "the evil", after their bus crashed into the Fear Street Graveyard and one of them landed on the grave of Sarah Fear, awakening an evil spirit that would routinely possess a member of the squad and cause her to commit mayhem and murder. The trilogy would get two sequel books in the Super Chillers title, and another in Fear Street Sagas explaining the origin of Sarah Fear.
99 Fear Street: The House of Evil: Three books focusing on a particular haunted house on Fear Street, which was built over a mass grave of victims of Simon and Angelica Fear.
The Cataluna Chronicles: A spin-off focusing on a possessed car, alternating between the damage it causes, and the origin of the spirit possessing it, a witch girl from Puritan times and the boy whose family she murdered.
Fear Park: A sequel to the first book in Fear Street Sagas, it details the bloody history behind an amusement park built on land that was cheated out of the Fear Family's ownership during the 1930s.
Ghosts of Fear Street: Basically Goosebumps done on Fear Street, stories focusing on preteens living in Shadyside and not as bloody or violent as the regular books.
Fear Hall: A two-part special taking place at Ivy State University, fifty miles away from Shadyside, at the supposedly cursed dormitory Fear Hall. The story focuses on the suffering of one Hope Mathis, alongside her three roommates and best friends, as they deal with Hope's boyfriend Darryl going on a jealous rampage.
Fear Street Seniors: A twelve-book series running the course of a year, as the senior class of Shadyside High are picked off one-by-one each month thanks to a curse accidentally cast by one its members. The books each contained a section with a "Shadyside year book", with descriptions of each senior. When one senior is killed, they have a "deceased" stamped over their description.
Fear Street Nights: A three book series featuring the destruction of the Fear Mansion and a shopping mall built over it.
Aesop Amnesia: Reva Dalby excels at this. Three Christmases in a row she goes through a life threatening ordeal, promises to start acting like a better person... and then by next Christmas she is still the same spoiled brat she was last year, only to go through another ordeal.
Alpha Bitch: Notable examples being Reva Dalby, as well as Greta Bradley from Fear Street Seniors and Laura Goode from Heart of the Hunter, although Laura never attended high school. Jade Feldman and Marla Newman from Seniors show aspects of these traits, too.
Artifact of Doom: The Fear Family has a silver pendant decorated with five blue jewels which is the source of their power, dating back to ancient Ireland. It has the words "Dominito Per Malum" carved into it, which translate to "Power Through Evil".
Asian and Nerdy: Matty Winger and Phoebe Yamura, though Phoebe is also captain of the cheerleading squad.
Jade Feldman and Ty Sullivan are very prominent examples from the Seniors books.
Bastard Boyfriend: Darryl Hoode in Fear Hall, an emotionally abusive and unstable bastard who berates Hope and shows he "cares" by viciously murdering people. All the while, Hope is too indebted to him for saving her from a bad relationship in high school. Darryl is another of Hope's split personalities, and "saved her" the first time by running over a boy.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in Faces of Terror and The Perfect Date. Averted and justified in Dance of Death, since the villain can't drain the youth of women whose beauty has been damaged by scarring.
Becoming the Mask: The truth behind Sarah Fear, the member of the Fear Family whose death was a large plot point in the Fear Street Cheerleaders trilogy. Or rather, Jane Fear. The woman who would've become Sarah Fear, Sarah Burns, switched her identity with her best friend Jane Hardy, in order to get out of the arranged marriage to Thomas Fear. Jane was willing to comply because she wanted to get married. Unfortunately, Sarah, in Jane's identity, died in a boat accident, which would've claimed the actual Jane's life if they hadn't switched places. So, Sarah Burns returned as a vengeful spirit, the Evil which plagued the Shadyside High cheerleaders, to haunt Jane and ruin her life. Jane resorted to sacrificing herself in order to trap Sarah's spirit inside her corpse. No one was ever aware of the switch, so Corky Corcoran and the cheerleaders all assumed that the Evil either WAS Sarah Fear or was responsible for killing her. The truth didn't get revealed until "The Evil Lives!"
Big Creepy-Crawlies: Two of the Ghosts of Fear Street books, "Nightmare in 3-D" and the aptly titled "The Bugman Lives!" The former is about a kid who discovers there is a giant praying mantis living in a magic picture poster he just bought, and is later sent another poster which is home to a giant tarantula.
Bit Character: Not all of the Shadyside Senior Class from Fear Street Seniors is listed in the Yearbook entry, which does make some sense since there's no way the books could've covered an entire 12th grade class over the course of 12 books. But it's a little disconcerting when students are suddenly mentioned in the later half of the series despite having never appeared beforehand.
Black Widow: In Door of Death, Jake Fear's wife Cassandra Ryan, who bilked him out of his belongings and revealed to him that she'd been slowly poisoning him since day one. Jake dies and becomes a vengeful spirit hellbent on punishing those he's deemed "cheaters" on Halloween, and Cassandra gets off scott free.
Blessed with Suck: Margaret Fier has the power of psychometry, which the people of her town are both afraid of and are willing to use to their advantage should the need arise.
The Bully: Jade Feldman is a very blatant example in the Seniors books. She's jealous of Phoebe Yamura being the head of the cheer squad and uses Beta Bitch Dana Palmer to try and get Phoebe to quit. This includes harassing Phoebe, switching their names on an important chemistry exam so Jade can stay on, and later gets most of the squad to browbeat Phoebe into keeping quiet about it, and later stages a fake kidnapping as a prank. True to form, when Jade and the others are held captive by Phoebe's actual stalker, Jade goes from being a self-centered jerk to a spineless coward.
Christmas Episode: Silent Night 1, 2, and 3, Cheerleaders: The New Evil, The Best Friend, and Fright Christmas.
Covers Always Lie: The cover of Door of Death implied that Jake Fier would be a headless corpse. It turned out that the headless man on the cover was really one of the main characters pulling an elaborate Halloween prank.
Dance of Death featured a broken mirror and a raven. Neither have any mention or or appearance, in the story.
Creepy Child: The main point of Children of Fear and The Hidden Evil.
Dark Is Not Evil: Usually a twist in the books. Whenever there is a character who is darker and gloomier, contrasted with a character who is much nicer and normal, it turns out the nicer one is really the bad guy.
Also noted with some members of the Fear Family who managed to avoid the hereditary evil or avoided being warped and turned rotten. Examples being Emma Fier Reade and Margaret Fier. Richard Fier also seems to have shades of this, being a fairly pacifistic vampire. However that manages to work.
In 99 Fear Street, the Realtor, the exterminator, and the housekeeper all turn out to be ghosts that are a part of the house. In The Second Horror, it turns out the main character, Bandit, died before the book began in an incident that had nothing to do with the house.
Switched is a more convoluted example. Nicole believes that she has switched bodies with her best friend Lucy, and that Lucy had actually killed her parents and switched with Nicole so Nicole would be arrested in her place. The truth is, Lucy had died three years ago and Nicole has not been able to understand that, regularly hallucinating that Lucy is still alive or believing that she herself is Lucy.
The Cataluna Chronicles opens with a prologue featuring an unlucky owner of the possessed car who is quickly murdered.
Some of the books had a tendency to begin with prologues narrated by the villain, and would then shift from the main character and back to the villain once every few chapters. Lights Out and The Dead Lifeguard are primary examples of this.
Everybody Lives: A few books have all characters survive, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a happy ending.
Evil Former Friend: Not evil per say, but definitely bitchy in the case of Geri Marcus in Lights Out. A former best friend of Holly Flynn, Geri believes Holly purposefully tried to destroy her life when Geri's parents figured out she was seeing a boy they didn't approve of, even though Holly had told Geri she wasn't good at lying. Two years later and Geri still wishes Holly was dead.
Evil Matriarch: Angelica Fear. Also counts as a Mama Bear. She might be a twisted bitch, just like her husband, but she'd do anything to protect her children. She'd even sacrifice kids to bring hers back from the dead.
Evil Old Folks: A lot more frequent in Sagas, but also in Don't Ever Get Sick At Granny's.
Flower Motifs: Roses are featured heavily in Forbidden Secrets and Dance of Death, the 3rd and 8th Sagas book.
Foregone Conclusion: Mira Block is listed as one of Clarissa Turner's dislikes in the Shadyside High Yearbook, so when Mira appears as one of Clarissa's best friends in No Answer, it's clear Mira's going to do something terrible to justify being listed as Clarissa's only dislike. She killed Clarissa's sister, Debra Lake, and tried to kill Clarissa and her foster brother.
Four Girl Ensemble: The four roommates of 13-B from Fear Hall, Hope, Angel, Jasmine, and Eden. Subverted in that they're all one person.
Sweetheart, Evil Heart had Marla Newman, Trisha Conrad, and Phoebe Yamura make Ty Sullivan believe he was being stalked by a dead girl as revenge for cheating on them. However, it appears as though the girl they made up was in fact real...
Gone Horribly Wrong: Occurs frequently. One notable example is the basis of Seniors; Josie Maxwell's attempt at cursing her math teacher doomed her entire class.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: In Dance of Death, Justin Fear feeds off of the blood of beautiful young woman to extend his youth and immortality. But if his victim's beauty is tarnished it won't work. His attempt at a first victim, Honoria, cuts her face with a knife to stop him after he kills her fiance.
Jerk Jock: Ty Sullivan of the Seniors book is a prominent example. Over the course of three books he cheats on five different girls, Jennifer Fear, Greta Bradley, Trisha Conrad, Phoebe Yamura, and Marla Newman. He breaks up with Jennifer and Greta is killed, and then Ty himself is killed at the Valentine's Day dance.
Karma Houdini: Quite a few. Carter Phillips of The Cheater springs to mind - she's essentially responsible for almost all of the bad things in the book that happen ( Adam blackmailing her, Adam's death, and her best friend getting attacked by a bunch of creeps at a bar). Not to mention she gets Adam to take her math SAT so she can get into Princeton... aside from some emotional turmoil, she gets off scot-free. As does her boyfriend, the one who killed Adam.
Killed Off for Real: Kimmy Bass is killed off in Cheerleaders: The New Evil, after surviving the previous three books. Although she dies near the end instead of in the beginning. Notable due to Kimmy being one of the few, and possibly the ONLY character outside of Seniors, who both has recurring roles/appearances/mentions outside of books featuring her, and still gets murdered.
Lighter and Softer: Ghosts of Fear Street, which is aimed towards pretty much the same audience as ''Goosebumps"-children aged 8 to 12. While there is less death and violence, there is still a lot of horror and the antagonists are far more bizarre and grotesque than those of the main series.
Love Dodecahedron: In the Seniors books. Ty Sullivan dated Jennifer Fear, Greta Bradley, Phoebe Yamura, Marla Newman, and Trisha Conrad at the same time. Trisha was cheating on her boyfriend Gary Fresno, who cheated on Mary O'Connor with Trisha.
Ruth Manning from A New Fear, and both Simon and Angelica Fear in the first half of The Burning.
Love Triangle: It wouldn't be a Fear Street book if there wasn't one of these to spice things up.
Luke, I Am Your Father: One Last Kiss. Eleanor Rawlins learns that Priscilla Fier is really her dead mother, whom her father told her was killed by vampires when she was just a baby. In reality, Priscilla was turned and subsequently became the head of her colony, and Eleanor's father had been moving her around to keep Priscilla from getting her hands on her.
Mama Bear: Angelica Fear. Later, Nora Goode who, unlike Angelica, isn't an evil matriarch.
Mind Rape: Mary O'Connor is subjected to this when her social studies teacher has her do "favors" in exchange for not telling that she looked at the answers to an important test. It turns out he was running an experiment to see how far a student would go to avoid being reported.
Negative Continuity: The Fear Street Sagas books are somewhat difficult to decipher due to the fact that the only Fear Family Tree is linked directly to Simon and Angelica. It's hard to determine how some of the relatives are linked to the main Fear Family. Examples include Richard Fier, who lived in Wickham Village in the 1600s, and Jake Fier living in Shadyside well before Simon and Angelica moved there. A more glaring case of this is the portrayals of Hannah and Julia Fear. In The Burning and House of Whispers they appear as normal young women, but Daughters of Silence bluntly implies that their parents versed them in witchcraft before they died.
When exactly the Fear Family moved from New Orleans to Shadyside.
Offing the Offspring: Simon Fear accidentally killed his daughter Hannah thinking she was a servant named Lucy Goode.
Older than They Look: Justine Cameron from Halloween Party. She's a thirty year old woman who enrolled herself in Shadyside High and passed herself off as a teenage in an elaborate revenge scheme.
Papa Wolf: Daniel Fear comes back from the dead just to help his wife Nora escape from an insane asylum with their newborn son when it catches fire. At the same time, the asylum director was planning on selling Nora's baby to a wealthy couple.
Psychic Powers: As seen in the aptly named The Mind Reader, Runaway, and The Hand of Power.
Rant Inducing Slight: What sets off some of the murders, though this isn't revealed till the end of the book.
Remember the New Guy: The Seniors books included a yearbook section at the beginning of each book with basic descriptions of the Shadyside Senior Class, and if any one of them had died their status would be updated with a "deceased" stamped over their picture and description. Halfway through the series in The Gift the Yearbook was updated with the rest of the Senior Class that were only mentioned in passing, even though one of them had already died and another was sent to a mental hospital.
Rich Bitch: There are many throughout the series, but Reva Dalby of Silent Night takes the cake for all time bitchiness.
Trisha Conrad is considered very sensitive and sweet by a lot of her classmates even though she's more or less a homewrecker who has gone out with two guys that were already dating somebody else at the time.
Sacrificial Lamb: Danielle Cortez in Fear Street Seniors. The first senior to actually die in the third book, which is also her first appearance. On the first day of school. She doesn't even get a description in the yearbook section until it's updated with more seniors in the sixth book, and by that time she has a "deceased" stamped over it, making it impossible to read any information about her.
The Scapegoat: Maggie in The Hidden Evil is framed by her sister for the death of their father.
Sins of Our Fathers: The reason for Justine Cameron inviting random kids to her house in Halloween Party.It turns out all of their parents were involved in the car accident that killed her own parents, and since none of them were ever punished for it, she intends to exact revenge on their children.
Slut Shaming: Mira Block is not trusted by Debra Lake because she has lots of boyfriends and doesn't show any sign of stopping. Unfortunately, Debra's slut shaming turns out to be justified when Mira is revealed as a psychotic killer.
Small Name, Big Ego: Ty Sullivan's bloated ego let him think he could get away with dating three girls at the same time. They knew the whole time and staged an elaborate prank to get back at him.
The Sociopath: One third of Shadyside's teen population are budding serial killers who go on vengeful murder sprees over the silliest of reasons.
Spoiled Sweet: Trisha Conrad in Seniors, though she is capable of being bitchy when she feels like it.
Spirit Advisor: Bobbi Cochran after she dies in The First Evil to her twin sister Corky.
Stalker with a Crush: Secret Admirer and Sweetheart, Evil Heart. Though it turns out to be a Red Herring in Secret Admirer when the person who has been stalking the main character turns out to be her best friend and simply hid behind the facade of an obsessed fan to cast suspicion off herself.
The Starscream: Jade Feldman more or less tried to stage a coup against Phoebe Yamura for control of the cheer squad with Dana Palmer backing her up.
Straw Misogynist: The killer in The Boy Next Door has a psychotic obsession who murdering girls he thinks aren't behaving properly. I.e, dressing in skimpy clothing, wearing make-up, making shameless come-ons. He's more attracted to the main character's sister because she dresses frumpy. It's hinted that this behavior was instilled in him by his mother.
Take Up My Sword: Several of the books have the main character dying, usually making someone continue the story.
Terrible Trio: Subverted in Fear Hall with the Three Ms, Melanie, Margie, and Mary. Hope and her roommates perceived them to be nosy snobs, but what they considered snobbiness was really concern and confusion. Concern and confusion that their dorm neighbor from across the hall is frequently talking to herself and getting into arguments with no one there.
Through the Eyes of Madness: Used in Fear Hall. Hope Mathis' boyfriend Darryl begins murdering college students he believes he's seen her with. It turns out that he's been confusing her for her roommates Angel, Jasmine, and Eden. They keep trying to convince Hope to turn Darryl in to the police, but she's too loyal and indebted to Darryl to consider it. It's not until he murders Eden that she decides to do something. It turns out that Darryl and her three roommates are split personalities she developed as a result of a traumatic home life with her psychotic mother. She refuses to believe that her friends don't exist when one of the girls living in her dorm, Melanie, tells the police that they've constantly heard and seen Hope talking to herself, and that her room can only house one occupant.
Too Dumb to Live: Emma in The Rich Girl. She conspires with her best friend's boyfriend to drive said friend insane so they can have the money they found all to themselves. After successfully doing that, Emma and the boyfriend are told by a store clerk that the money is fake. Apparently they never bothered to really look at the money.
Tomato Surprise: Used in Switched. By the end of the book, the reader learns that Nicole had never actually switched bodies with her friend Lucy, as Lucy had been dead before the story began. Nicole was unable to deal with Lucy's death, so she imagined the whole ordeal.
Trauma Conga Line: The Fraiser family gets this in spades in the first part of the 99 Fear Street trilogy. Mr. Fraiser is rendered blind, James and his dog Cubby are trapped in the walls of the house, crying for help for his parents, Mrs. Fraiser is emotionally devastated by the loss of two children, and Cally is killed and warped into a malevolent spirit by the house. The only member left in marginally okay condition is Kody, and she has to deal with having lost her twin sister and baby brother.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Killer's Kiss. Delia purposefully sabotaged herself and murdered her unfaithful boyfriend Vincent in order to frame her rival Karina, which Karina made easier with her anger issues.
What Could Have Been: Two more books in Fear Street Sagas, The Raven Woman and Carousel of Fear, were planned but never released. A preview of The Raven Woman was included in the last Sagas book.
Actually, the 18th book would've been called Carousel of Doom. Karen Chandler, the cover artist, posted the artwork on her website and can be found here.
The Seniors series has an Ambiguous Ending. It's clarified that Clark Dickson is a vampire and he turns Matty Winger, and seniors Phoebe Yamura and Kenny Klein are added to the body count, but the readers are left to wonder if Josie Maxwell was killed by the Doom Spell entity at the end, along with the rest of the surviving graduates.