A new finite-difference (FD) method is presented for modeling SH-wave propagation in a generally heterogeneous medium. This method uses both velocity and stress in a discrete grid. Density and shear modulus are similarly discretized, avoiding any spatial smoothing. Therefore, boundaries will be correctly modeled under an implicit formulation. Standard problems (quarter-plane propagation, sedimentary basin propagation) are studied to compare this method with other methods. Finally a more complex example (a salt dome inside a two-layered medium) shows the effect of lateral propagation on seismograms recorded at the surface. A corner wave, always in-phase with the incident wave, and a head wave will appear, which will pose severe problems of interpretation with the usual vertical migration methods.