I actually went to a secondhand bookstore, Second and Charles, where I keep stocking up on the newer Nancy Drew books cheap and decided to check out the “teen” area. Imagine my surprise when I found eleven of the Fear Street Sagas books. After reading through the first two, I have to say that this series is pretty gnarly!
In case you didn't read the Fear Street Saga set, Nora Goode was a woman who fell in love with Daniel Fear despite their families being sworn enemies. The Fear Mansion caught on fire, a bunch of random shit happened, and everyone except her died. The cops show up, refuse to believe her story, and finally put her in the nut house until she agrees to tell them what really happened.
About a year later, Nora is still there and gave birth to her son, Nicholas. The head nurse comes in to remind her that it's bath time and leaves the baby with a 12 year old patient. Nora comes back and surprisingly does not find her son mutilated in pieces. He's perfectly fine, but the kid does say bye-bye to her son. The nurse then reveals that it's just not right to raise a child in an institution and that the doctor made arrangements for a wealthy family to adopt him.
That's the cover story anyway. The real story, which Nora just so happens to overhear, is that the doctor plans on killing the baby and burying him on the grounds. Maybe. Like two pages later, he's talking about how the baby is worth a lot of money to him. Nora's secretly been making a rope to escape from her room, but the doctor catches her and has the nurse cut the rope as well as her hair, since she used her hair to make it.
When they later show up to take the baby, Nora goes completely feral on them. She attacks the orderlies with her nails and even rips a chunk out of one dude's arm with her teeth. They finally get her under control, but the Fear amulet that she still wears suddenly gets really hot. Not only does the room catch on fire, but the fire spreads. Daniel then steps out of the flames to attack all the bad peeps and starts to attack Nora before realizing who she is. He then tells her to take the baby and leave. She manages to escape as the institution burns to the ground with pretty much everyone else inside.
Nora makes the mistake of sneaking her and Nicholas onto a shop, not even knowing its destination. A crew member catches her and tries to force himself on her, but the amulet gets hot again. Rats come out of nowhere and attack him, even ripping off his eyelids. His cabin mates catch her and think she's a witch. One guy is on her side until the others mutiny. They demand that she make this massive storm raging around them stop or they will make her walk the plank.
Since Nora is not a witch, she can't do diddly squat. Before they can throw her overboard though, which is their next plan, the storm grows wilder as the amulet heats up. As the wind whips people overboard and starts killing others, she gets Nicholas in a wood trunk, ties the trunk to her leg, and jumps off the ship. Nora wakes up on the beach with Nicholas perfectly fine but rips off the amulet and throws it out to sea. She decides that they'll now be the Storm family and that no one will ever know her son was a Fear.
Years later, 1919 to be exact, Nicholas is a poor young man living with his poor mother. He's in love with Rosalyn, a beautiful woman from town, but her father refuses to let them be together. Nicholas comes home and finds his mother dying in her bedroom. She tells his father left him a legacy and then dies.
Rosalyn tracks him down and tells him that he needs to leave right away. Her father arranged a marriage for her. When she told him she was in love with Nicholas, he threatened to kill him. Nicholas hears a voice tell him to go to Shadyside and books the first ticket out of town. Rosalyn shows up at the last minute to give him a very special gift that she found washed up on the beach: the Fear amulet.
Once he arrives in Shadyside, Nicholas quickly discovers that he is a Fear and finds what is left of the family home. Multiple people almost pass out because he looks just like his dead father. He meets Betsy, a cute blond, who introduces him to her mother who runs a boardinghouse and gets him a room. Nicholas assumes that his family is still super rich and learns that Mr. Manning is the richest man in town and tried to capitalize off the Fear name.
As it turns out, no one wanted anything to do with Fear Street after the fire. Though he put down the road and made some other changes, Manning never had a single home built. He tells Nicholas that all he really inherited was a bunch of back taxes but does offer him a job in his lumber mill. On his way back to the boardinghouse, Nicholas runs into a plain and quiet girl named Ruth. She's Manning's daughter and seems smitten with him.
After some time passes, Nicholas begins making friends. Ike, his closest friend, loses fingers in an accident at the mill. Jason, another coworker, hates him because he has a thing for Betsy. Betsy keeps making Nicholas lunch and showing up at the mill to see him. Manning then gets so sick that he can't leave his bed. After an encounter at the mill, Betsy asks him to come home early that night because she's making him a special dinner.
When he gets home, he finds that someone killed her. Not only did they tie her hands behind her back, but they shoved a wad of the special dough she made from him down her throat. Nicholas runs to see Manning who asks him to stay there for the night and keep Ruth safe. Manning dies relatively soon after, and Ruth says his last wish was for the two of them to marry. He turns her down though because he's still in love with Rosalyn.
Nicholas then heads over to Jason's house and accuses him of killing Betsy. Jason breaks down because she was his cousin and he loved her. The two men make up, but then Ruth rushes in and stabs Jason through the throat with a fire poker. She tells Nicholas that she did it all for him. Not only did she kill Jason, but she also killed Betsy and her father and set up Ike's accident. Ruth tells him that he can either marry her or that she'll go to the police and say he did it all. She even convincingly fake cries. Nicholas refuses but then changes his mind because he plans on killing Ruth and stealing her family's money.
They have a quiet ceremony in front of the minister and his wife before heading home. He poisons her champagne and keeps thinking about how he can't wait until she dies. She then shows him the amulet, which he gave her during their wedding ceremony, and tells him about the power it yields. Nicholas finally realizes that he actually had the power all along.
Rosalyn then randomly shows up on their doorstep. Nicholas begs her to leave and tells her to go to the boardinghouse, but Ruth catches them, reveals that they're married, and even shows Rosalyn the amulet before inviting her inside. The glasses get mixed up to the point where Nicholas doesn't know who has the poison. Rosalyn drinks her glass and almost instantly dies.
Cut to a few years later as Nicholas and Ruth cut the ribbon before construction begins on the first house on Fear Street. Ruth whispers in his ear that she's pregnant with his child as he tries to not feel repulsed by her touch. He then surveys the street and thinks about how soon everyone will know the name Fear Street.
*The last eight words are the same ones in the book. I totally admit to saying them out loud and then doing the crazy maniacal laugh after...
*Nicholas is so repulsed by his wife that he can't stand her even touching his face and yet somehow managed to knock her up. I sense a Gone Girl situation going on here...
*Nora sees people literally melting in front of her during the mansion fire and then during the fire in the institution. Add to that the whole fire poker through the throat thing and you can see why these are kind of gruesome.