The Writers’ Room

10 Schools Where Getting a Hall Pass is the Least of your Worries

It’s not like high school isn’t strange enough as it is. Add a little supernatural seasoning and you get TV shows and movies where high school gets downright spooky-weird, which makes for great angst-filled horror stories. To wit…

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter
“Oh well, what’s life without a few dragons?”

It should come as no surprise that a school dedicated to the education of young witches and wizards would be filled with magical goings-on, including a whomping willow tree on the grounds (never mind an entire forbidden forest). But things got extra-strange when the Boy Who Lived enrolled. Basilisk in the basement? Check. Boggarts in the classroom? Oh yes. Centaurs, Dementors and ghosts? Of course. Even the climactic standoff, where numerous witches and wizards on both sides perished, is dubbed the Battle of Hogwarts.

2. Sunnydale High School, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“We’re proud to say that the Class of ’99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history…”

What can you say about a high school located directly above a Hellmouth? Ironically named Sunnydale saw its halls populated, at one time or another, by poltergeists, zombies, demons, witches (good and bad), flying monkeys, monsters of several varieties—and, fortunately for the students and faculty who survived all that, one slayer, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her gang.

3. Herrington High School, The Faculty
“Aliens have taken over the f—ing school!”

Did you ever have the feeling that the principal at your high school was from outer space? Yeah, we did too. Of course in The Faculty, that was more or less the case. In fact, Herrington was virtually full of infected-alien-body-snatcher creatures, in the form of coaches and teachers and students.

4. Smallville High School, Smallville
“All I want to do is go through high school without being a total loser.”

After this small Kansas town was struck by meteors, straaaange things kept happening—including at Smallville High. Thanks to a ubiquitous dose of kryptonite, students and faculty develop powers like telekinesis, burning people with a thought, harnessing mutant bees and the like. Chloe (Allison Mack) had her own way of keeping track of all the strange stuff going on, clipping newspaper and magazine stories for the Wall of Weird.

5. Twin Peaks High School, Twin Peaks
“Laura had a lot of secrets…”

All looks normal on the surface at small-town Twin Peaks High… until beloved homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) turns up dead, and sinister (not to mention bizarre and otherworldly) secrets begin to unravel. There’s the creepy appearance of the evil of BOB, and Laura’s (and others’) cocaine habits, and the secret affairs… heavy stuff for high school.

6. The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, X-Men
“Here, we still believe in the future.”

When the entire staff and student body are mutants, with special abilities ranging from sending exploding plasma out of their hands to freezing everything in sight, when does weird stuff not happen?! And let’s not forget the mega-powerful brainwave-controlled device Cerebro in the basement.

7. Westerburg High School, Heathers
“Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullsh*t now has a body count.”

Most schools have a band of popular girls who are arbiters of what’s cool, like the Heathers (Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk and Shannen Doherty). And most high schools have bullies like Kurt (Lance Fenton) and weirdos like J.D. (Christian Slater). But most high schools don’t find all of these elements combining to explosive effect, with covered-up murders, a rash of attempted suicides and a plan to bomb the entire school in a feigned mass suicide.

8. Beacon Hills High School, Teen Wolf
“I just saw my boyfriend turn into a werewolf.”

Teachers at Beacon Hills have a way of disappearing; the principal is tortured; freakish flocks of birds fly into the school and swarm students; and, oh yeah, there are werewolves. Including Scott (Tyler Posey), who’s just an average kid until he’s bitten and becomes an alpha wolf—and a much better lacrosse player.

9. Rosewood High School, Pretty Little Liars
“I’m still here, bitches. And I know everything. —A”

Secret threats and torments from a supposedly dead classmate are hardly the only weird things facing the Pretty Little Liars girls. Cow brains appear in lockers and mysterious fires are set in the school. And as if that’s not enough, early on Aria (Lucy Hale) discovers that the hot guy she met at a bar is actually her new English teacher… and they stay together anyway (at least for a while).

10. Tromaville High School, Return to Nuke ‘Em High
“Oh, snap!”

There are glee clubs, and then there are glee clubs populated by mutant Cretins. With dips into LGBT issues, bullying and contaminated food supplies, this delicious sci-fi horror comedy—currently making the festival circuit—is a follow-up to Troma B-movie classics like The Toxic Avenger (1984) and Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986).

Tune in for more high school mystery gossip with the writers and stars of Pretty Little Liars on THE WRITERS’ ROOM, airing Mon., Jun. 2 at 11PM/10c.