Fear Street: The Backstory

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Except for the burned-out Fear mansion on the edge of the Fear Street Woods, the narrow, well-paved street resembles almost any suburban street in America. The houses are attractive and well-kept-up, set back on closely-trimmed, tree-dotted lawns. A quiet street. A pretty street.

A cursed street.

Yes, those who live there—or even venture there—find themselves facing untold evil, supernatural horrors, night terrors… even murder.

How did Fear Street become a place of chilling nightmare?

To answer that question, we have to go back to Colonial times… to the town of Wickham Village, Massachusetts. Wickham, a town much like Salem, has settlers who are obsessed with witchcraft and the power of The Evil One, the devil. There are witch trials and burnings—most of which are presided over by Benjamin Fier and his brother Matthew Fier.  Both are powerful men—but what the villagers don’t know is that their power is enhanced by the magical amulet that they possess. An ugly, clawed amulet that is engraved with a Latin phrase: Power Through Evil.

Edward Fier is Benjamin Fier’s son. But he is not like his father. He doesn’t care about wealth or power. All he cares about is Susannah Goode, the girl he plans to marry. Unfortunately, Benjamin has already selected a bride for his son, a girl from a rich family. Edward says he will run away from Wickham Village before he will marry any girl but Susannah.

Benjamin Fier is determined to have his way. He finds a ghastly plan to thwart Edward’s plans. He accuses Susannah and her mother of witchcraft. Edward is powerless. He can not save his beloved Susannah as she writhes and screams inside a wall of flames, burned at the stake.

Susannah and her mother are not witches. But Susannah’s father William Goode is a witch. He puts a curse on the Fier family that will last all through time. He vows that: "The Fiers will burn together in the fire of my curse!"

That's how it starts. The deadly rivalry between the Fiers and the Goodes. The gruesome murders… the evil schemes… stories of bizarre deaths, some of them from beyond the grave.

Because of the curse on the family, generations of Fiers find their fate to be agony and death. Then, nearly a hundred years after Susannah Goode’s fiery death, a descendant of the Fier family, Simon Fier thinks he has a way to protect himself from the curse.  An old fortune teller tells him that he too will die in fire because: “The letters in your name, FIER, spell fire.” Simon decides he will protect himself and his descendants by changing his name.

"Now and forever I will be known as Simon FEAR!"

With the evil amulet in his possession and a belief that he is safe from the vengeance of the Goodes, Simon finds his way to New Orleans where he meets and falls in love with Angelica Pierce.

In Angelica he finds a true mate. To his amazement, she too has dark magical powers and wants to join her powers to his. They marry and move to the village of Shadyside where they build a huge mansion in the woods. They have five children: two daughters, Hannah and Julia, and three sons: Robert, Brandon, and Joseph.

Has Simon escaped the curse? Of course not.

Both of his daughters die in hideous ways. One is buried alive by a young woman, a descendant of the Goode family. When Simon tries to kill the young woman, he accidentally stabs his own daughter to death.

Gruesome enough for you? Well… hang on. After these tragedies, Angelica Fear loses her mind. The wealth and power that Simon and she possessed becomes nothing but grief and a bottomless sadness.

In 1900, a young man named Daniel Fear turns up at the Fear Mansion in Shadyside. He has come to see Simon and Angelica …his grandparents whom he has never met. Soon he meets and falls in love with a young woman named Nora Goode.

Daniel does not want to tell Nora his name. He is sure she would shun him if she knew he was a Fear. But he is told by an old woman who has worked for the Fears for many years that if a Goode and a Fear were to marry, the curse would finally be broken. Daniel decides to tell Nora who he is and propose marriage.

They are secretly married the next night. He gives her the amulet instead of a wedding ring. They plan to leave Shadyside the next day, but first they decide to go to the Fear Mansion and tell Angelica and Simon of their marriage. 

To their surprise, they find the mansion's ballroom lit with hundreds of candles, as if a huge party is about to start. Strangely, Angelica and Simon are the only ones there. When Daniel gives them the news, Simon utters a scream that nearly shatters the windows.

Suddenly, the ballroom bursts into a raging fire. Nora and Daniel are separated as smoke and flame engulf them. She runs outside, screaming in horror. Peering into the flames, she sees that the ballroom is suddenly crowded with people. All of the Fears throughout the family's evil history are inside, perishing once more in the dancing flames. The curse of fire has come true for all of them.

Nora screams Daniel's name over and over. But no one else comes running from the burning house. Nora realizes she will never see her husband again.

Later, Nora tries to tell the whole story. But who would believe it? She ends up in a mental hospital. The more Nora talks about curses and black magic, the crazier the doctors think she is. One day a nurse takes Nora to the window so she can see that the village is building a road through the woods where the majestic Fear mansion had stood.

"Do you know what they are going to call it?" the nurse says in a jolly voice. "They are going to call it FEAR STREET."

Party Games, the first new Fear Street novel in twenty years, will be released on September 30.

How did FEAR STREET become the street where your worst nightmares live?Where stories live. Discover now