Putting the “Fear” in Fear Street

R. L. Stine is famous for his Goosebumps paperbacks, which are geared toward young children who brave the thrills and chills of amusement parks like Horrorland and face evil like Slappy the Doll. In Fear Street, Stine continues to create a doomed fictional world, but, this time, it's submerged in slasher plots and teenage angst, where the horror is more real and the terror is intense.

The books take place in the town of Shadyside where average teenagers encounter sinister, murderous, and sometimes paranormal adversaries. The unusual activity stems from a curse put on the founders of Shadyside, the Fiers, or Fear, as they would later be known, for burning a woman for witchcraft at the stake. Where the Goosebumps series have few deaths and less graphic detail, Fear Street contains far more vivid blood and gore. Some characters reoccur, but the series is mostly written in a stand-alone style. There have been a number of spinoffs, and the series has just come off a hiatus in 2018.

This month on Netflix, three movies based on the series premiered back to back: Fear Street: 1994 (July 2), Fear Street: 1978 (July 9), and Fear Street: 1666 (July 16). The trilogy takes place in Shadyside and follows a group of teens taking on an ancient and terrifying force that has haunted the town for centuries. The films have many of the same antagonists as the Fear Street books. For example, in Lights Out (Book #12 in the original series) a killer is on the loose at Camp Nightwing, just like the second installment in the film series, 1978. Each film was also heavily influenced by classic slasher films, such as Scream and Friday the 13th, and fit together cohesively through some lengthy but smartly written framing sequences.

We do have some Fear Street books in our collection. If you're ready to dive deep into the curse of Shadyside and all its terror - whether it's before or after you've watched the movies on Netflix - check out the recommendations below.

The Wrong Number (Part of the original Fear Street series)

Deena Martinson and her best friend Jade Smith love pranking the boys from school with "sexy" phone calls. When Deena's half-brother Chuck catches them in the act, he threatens to tell their parents - unless they let him in on the fun. Chuck begins making threatening calls to anyone who will answer their phone. The teens enjoy the dangerous and exciting uproar they've caused... until Chuck calls a number on Fear Street, where they hear a murder being committed on the line.

The Fear Street Saga: The Betrayal, The Secret, and The Burning

The Fear Street Saga is a spin-off of the original series and takes place in the past, focusing on the story of the Fier/Fear family and the curse surrounding Shadyside. This volume contains the first three books in the series.

Drop Dead Gorgeous (Return to Fear Street, 2018- series)

No one can stop talking about Morgan Marks. The new girl is popular, smart, and beautiful... everyone wants to be her. But her past is hidden in mystery, and nobody knows exactly where she came from... with Homecoming right around the corner, Morgan's dark secrets are about to be dug up for all of Shadyside to see.

You May Now Kill the Bride (Return to Fear Street, 2018- series)

Two weddings, decades apart... but two brides plagued by the ancient Fear curse. In 1923, Ruth-Ann plans to marry Peter until her sister steps in, resulting in a perilous and unexpected descent from a cliff... in the present, Marissa disappears on the day of her wedding, and her sister Harmony sets out to search for her. Will saving her mean finding a way to stop a 100-year-old curse?

Go here for more Fear Street books.