‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’: What Is the Origin of the Shadyside Curse?

Netflix’s Fear Street movies span multiple decades and killing sprees, but they all focus on one point of origin: the Shadyside Curse. Although the misfortunes of the Ohio town start out as a joke, it quickly becomes clear something more sinister is keeping Shadyside down. The residents blame Sarah Fier, the Shadyside Witch, but the films continuously hint that there’s more at play. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 settled the matter once and for all, revealing exactly who created the Shadyside curse in 1666.

[Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for Fear Street Part 3: 1666.]

Was Sarah Fier responsible for the Shadyside curse?

Kiana Madeira as Sarah Fier in 'Fear Street Part 3: 1666'
Kiana Madeira as Sarah Fier in ‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ | Netflix

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When it comes to solving a mystery, the most obvious answer is typically the one to overlook. That’s why Fear Street fan theories wondered if Sarah Fier was truly the one causing the Shadyside killings. Fear Street Part 3: 1666 confirmed suspicions that Sarah might not be behind the curse after all. In fact, the film reveals that the Shadyside Witch was merely a convenient scapegoat for the actual killer.

Sarah takes the blame for the Shadyside curse for a couple of reasons. The first is that she’s caught romantically entangled with Hannah Miller (Olivia Scott Welch), something her neighbors deem sinful. This provides the perfect opportunity for the trilogy’s actual villain to dump the blame on Sarah and Hannah — and he does.

The second reason Sarah’s name becomes associated with the Shadyside killings is that she confesses. In a last-ditch effort to prevent Hannah from hanging alongside her, Sarah owns up to being the Shadyside Witch. This saves her love, but it results in the curse continuing — if only because no one knows who’s really behind it.

‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ reveals who created the curse and why

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In addition to revealing that Sarah is innocent, Fear Street Part 3: 1666 also divulges the true origin of the Shadyside curse. The man who framed Sarah for the atrocities that took place in 1666 is Solomon Goode (Ashley Zukerman), the ancestor of Sheriff Nick Goode (also played by Ashley Zukerman).

The third film sees Solomon killing an elderly woman who lives just outside of town and stealing her book of witchcraft in order to make a deal with the devil. In exchange for the soul of one Shadysider every few years, Solomon can have whatever he wants — as can his descendants, assuming they carry on the curse.

The names engraved into the wall beneath Union (and eventually Camp Nightwing) represent the soul that’s sacrificed. Of course, that sacrifice comes with possession and countless other lives being taken, making the bargain even more sinister than it originally sounds.

Solomon created the curse and blamed Sarah for everything that followed. However, his heirs continue his work, making Nick Goode responsible for the murders at Camp Nightwing and the ones taking place during the present-day storyline.

The reason Sarah shows visions to the characters throughout the three films is because she vows to haunt Shadyside and the Goodes until the truth comes out. “The truth shall be your curse,” she tells Solomon. “It will follow you for eternity. I will shadow you forever.”

What happens to the Shadyside curse in ‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’?

Kiana Madeira as Deena and Benjamin Flores Jr. as Josh, booby-trapping the mall in Shadyside in 'Fear Street Part 3: 1666'
Kiana Madeira and Benjamin Flores Jr. in ‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ | Netflix

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Fear Street Part 3: 1666 sees Deena (Kiana Madeira) and her friends breaking the Shadyside curse once and for all. Given that the massacres are connected to the Goodes, the only way to end the carnage is to kill the person currently controlling it. To make that happen, the group sets a trap for Sheriff Goode and his undead henchmen in Shadyside’s mall.

While things don’t go exactly as planned, Deena and Sam eventually succeed in killing the Sheriff. In part, that’s thanks to some interference from Sarah, who tells Deena to make him touch the Devil’s Stone. The distraction provides an opening for the girls to strike. When they do, things almost instantly return to normal, with the Devil’s Stone melting and the undead disappearing into thin air.

With the curse gone and the truth unearthed, it seems Shadyside might be able to take a break from all the tragedy. Sarah Fier can also rest now that someone knows the truth of the Shadyside curse — although the end-credits scene suggests it may not be the last curse to haunt the small Ohio town.