With the successful release of the Fear Street trilogy on Netflix, I thought now would be a good time to discuss these three Fear Street titles that got lost to the ages. Maybe “lost” isn’t an appropriate word since that would imply they were published in the first place.
Most people forgot R.L. Stine’s Fear Street spawned multiple spin-off titles during the 1990s before publication ceased alongside his other horror series Goosebumps. The Fear Street franchise contained various trilogies and three spinoffs from its central title. Only a select few were reprinted in the 2000s.
During that original publication, there were at least three known unfinished Fear Street books. To the fandom’s knowledge, that is. R.L. Stine stated the books were never made, but this should be taken with a grain of salt. The three in question came from Fear Street spinoffs mostly created by ghostwriters. It’s my hope this article will reinvigorate the search for more info by sparking new interest.
The list of unpublished Fear Street titles includes “The Raven Woman” and “Carousel Of Doom” from Fear Street Sagas, and “The Funhouse Of Dr. Freek” from Ghosts of Fear Street.
Fear Street Sagas was an historical horror spin-off focusing on the extended Fear Family. The majority of entries took place in mid-19th Century America, usually before, during, or after the Civil War. The only reoccurring characters were Simon Fear and his wife Angelica, the family heads and the ones responsible for cursing the town of Shadyside. These included when the Fear Family was still the FIER Family, before Simon altered the spelling to deflect the curse on his kin.
Sagas ran for 16 books, making it the 2nd longest spin-off. The last book released was “The Hand Of Power” under Gold Key Publishing. However, there were at least two more planned before the franchise ceased publication near the end of the 90s. These were “The Raven Woman” and “Carousel Of Doom.”
“The Raven Woman” would’ve been Book 17. This one was lucky enough to receive a completed cover alongside a published summary and a short chapter preview.
Set during the eve of the Revolutionary War in colonial Boston, our protagonist was young seamstress Meg Fier. Following the brutal death of her sister, Meg was taken in as an assistant to the wealthy Dr. Malcolm Howell. Boston’s gripped by a supposed wave of insanity as random people suffer violent breakdowns. Meg learns her sister Hester was killed by her fiancé Joseph, who then stabbed himself to death in a fit of madness. There’s rumors the madness is being caused by the titular Raven Woman, a mysterious old woman Meg’s able to catch a glimpse of in the preview chapter. Said preview ends with Meg being attacked and almost thrown off a balcony.
The online summaries implied Dr. Howell was the actual villain. The book summary mentions him reading from “The Book of Fier” while online summaries state he’s conducting mind control experiments.
This was the first time a “Book of Fier” was mentioned in regards to the Fear Family. Since the Sagas books were written by multiple people, it meant the continuity was all over the place.
“Carousel Of Doom,” unfortunately has no available publication info anywhere. The book was never mentioned in other Fear Street previews and never received pages in online shops like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The sole info is its completed cover art posted on Karen Chandler’s website.
What little could be gleaned from the cover is that the book seems to take place at a carnival. Fear Street previously had a three-part miniseries called Fear Park focusing on an amusement park built in the Fear Street Woods. However, Fear Park was built in the late 1930s and the woman’s outfit seems too old-fashioned for that era.
Interestingly, the third unpublished Fear Street book also involved a carnival setting.
The longest running Fear Street spin-off was Ghosts of Fear Street which ended at 35 books. Ghosts was basically “Goosebumps on Fear Street,” focusing on Shadyside’s preteen population and the daily horrors they endure.
Ghosts of Fear Street weren’t as violent as the main Fear Street books, but they were more bizarre and imaginative with their villains. All of the Ghosts entries were, appropriately enough, ghostwritten by over a dozen different writers.
While Ghosts ended with the two-parter “Horror Hotel,” there were plans for a 36th book called “The Funhouse of Dr. Freek.” Online sources indicated the plot involved a funhouse mirror creating an evil doppelganger of a young boy.
The 36th Ghosts book was solicited way back in #24, “Monster Dog.” There was a contest held where readers sent photos of themselves with their dogs, which would be featured in Book #36. It’s unknown if “Funhouse” was always planned to be the 36th book at the time. The winner of the contest remains unknown, and if they received a copy of the book as a prize no one has come forward.
Unlike “The Raven Woman” there’s no available cover artwork or previews to extract more information. I purchased “Horror Hotel Part II” hoping it might have info similar to “The Hand Of Power,” but alas there was none. I attempted to contact artist Cliff Nielsen on two separate occasions asking if he completed any art for the book, but received no response. Among the myriad of ghostwriters who worked on Ghosts, I’ve only confirmed Page McBrier (“Escape of the He-Beast”) was not selected to write the book.
Oddly, Amazon formerly featured a supposed review of “Funhouse” for several years before it was deleted. Well, calling it a review is kind of a stretch. It was more like a comment by someone vaguely describing how “The kid met Dr. Freek.” That sole review made many readers think “Funhouse” got published in some capacity. I myself was spurred into searching for a copy thanks to that one review, but as you can see I, and many others, remain empty-handed.