Name that book: teenagers in a paranormal amusement park
September 13, 2020 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm struggling to remember the title of an English-language mystery/thriller novel I read as a kid. The plot centered on paranormal events; I think it was closer to alternative-realities, astral projection, prophesy, or dream-stuff rather than aliens or ghosts. There was a teenage or college age protagonist and a notable second character who was a peer and perhaps a love interest. An amusement park or carnival played a crucial role in the plot. I'm pretty sure one particular ride - not unlike a Ferris wheel or a carousel - was singled out. Any clues?

The book would have been available as a used book within a couple of years of 1990. I found the book in the lending library of an elementary school's after-school program. They were pretty liberal about accepting donations of books intended for older readers, so it could be meant for an young adult or adult audience.
posted by eotvos to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
There's always Something Wicked This Way Comes.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: William Sleator’s Into The Dream?
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

How about one of R L Stine's Goosebumps series The Beast about the Kings Island amusement park?
posted by schwab at 11:04 AM on September 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sweet Valley Twins Super Chiller #3, The Carnival Ghost?
posted by meghosaurus at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sounds quite a bit like Stephen King's Dead Zone.

The main character isn't a teenager at the time of the amusement park scene, but he does give his prophesy-gained winnings to a bunch of teenagers. King's best book, in my opinion.
posted by jamjam at 11:30 AM on September 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz?
posted by ChristineSings at 7:01 PM on September 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow - thanks, all. I'm amazed at how many options people came up with that very closely fit my description.

I'm 95% sure the specific book I remember is Sleator's Into the Dream. There are many details in the descriptions that I had forgotten but sound incredibly familiar - the end scene involving telekenesis and the dog. The Apple Paperback's version of the cover art also seems familiar. I've ordered a copy.

I may check out some of the others. Once again, askme nailed what I thought was a hard question in no time. Thanks!
posted by eotvos at 10:27 PM on September 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

If it isn't "Into the Dream" (Sleator's books are great!) it might be "Full Tilt" by Neal Shusterman.
posted by tacodave at 6:17 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

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