School is Hell: gendered fears in teenage horror

Christine Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the frequent use of schools as settings for horror narratives, particularly narratives aimed at teenagers. It argues that these school settings are not incidental, but integral to the horror. Teenage horror reflects a mixture of fears about failing to meet the social expectations of school, of ostracisation and loneliness, anxiety about sex and sexual violence and the realisation that responsible adults (teachers and parents) cannot protect young people from these challenges. Many of these fears are particularly pertinent to girls, who are the main consumers of this genre. A consideration of teenage horror may heighten parents' and teachers' understanding of the intensity of the often hidden fears of those for whom we still have responsibility. The article draws particularly on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2001


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