The fact that these teen books were originally published in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s doesn’t make them any less scary. In fact, today’s generation of readers may find them even more horrifying than contemporary thrillers—imagine the prospect of life without status updates!
Scarecrow, by Richie Tankersley Cusick
The horror of being trapped is multiplied tenfold when there are no cell phones. Sure, modern horror stories often involve a cell phone that conveniently stops working at the most inconvenient of times, but at least the technology exists and there is some hope of getting out of that no-reception zone and calling for help. No such luck for Pamela in Richie Tankersley Cusick’s novel Scarecrow—she’s trapped and isolated on a remote farm in a way that only a vintage horror heroine can be.
The Beguilers, by Kate Thompson
Supernatural YA novels weren’t always about vampires and werewolves. Enter the world of The Beguilers: the golden-eyed, wailing creatures that come out after dark and lure people to their doom.
Deadly Offer, by Caroline B. Cooney
Speaking of vampires, there was a time when these creatures didn’t just sparkle glamorously but were actually sort of terrifying. Like in Caroline B. Cooney’s Vampire’s Promise series. Deadly Offer features a certain sinister vampire with the ability to make one lucky lady’s wishes come true—for a small price, of course.
Driver’s Dead, by Peter Lerangis
Driver’s Dead by Peter Lerangis affirms that teens were bad drivers even in the ’90s. They are even worse drivers when accosted by a ghost with vengeance in mind.
The Twisted Window, by Lois Duncan
The typical hero of a teen novel from the 1990s looks something like this: handsome, intense, mysterious. Which pretty much describes today’s archetype, too. In Lois Duncan’s thriller The Twisted Window, you will find Brad, the enigmatic new guy at Tracy’s school, timelessly irresistible.
Fatality, by Caroline B. Cooney
Forget blogs and LiveJournals. Fatality transports us back to the romantic era of handwritten diaries that held all our secrets and the answer to every mystery. Find out just how far the heroine of this classic Caroline B. Cooney thriller will go to protect her darkest truths.
Dark Moon, by Diane Hoh
A boy is impaled by a dart with a pointed metal tip. A Ferris wheel filled with students speeds out control. Eve, a student at Salem University, is trapped and terrorized in the Mirror Maze.
Sound horribly unfortunate and creepy? In Diane Hoh’s Dark Moon, by moonlight, a psychotic teenager unleashes a terrifying evil on Salem University.