Who killed Maddie in School Spirits Season 1?

SCHOOL SPIRITS: (L-R)Spencer Macpherson as Xavier Baxter, Peyton List as Maddie Nears and Kristian Flores as Simon Elroy in School Spirits, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. CREDIT: Lindsay Siu/Paramount+
SCHOOL SPIRITS: (L-R)Spencer Macpherson as Xavier Baxter, Peyton List as Maddie Nears and Kristian Flores as Simon Elroy in School Spirits, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. CREDIT: Lindsay Siu/Paramount+ /

Fans of School Spirits are happy to hear the supernatural mystery is being renewed for Season 2, which should arrive in 2024. However, latecomers may be confused as to what the fuss is about and its key mystery. Just what happened in the Season 1 finale, and what will it mean for Season 2?

Caution: This article contains SPOILERS for the School Spirits Season 1 finale

School Spirits is the story of Maddie Nears (Peyton List), a typical high school student who suddenly finds herself wandering the halls of her school. Maddie soon realizes she’s dead as she meets up with a “support group” of other students who have died on school grounds over the years.

Realizing she was murdered, Maddie tries to find out what happened and soon discovers the secrets of her classmates, starting with how her boyfriend was cheating on her with her best friend. She’s able to make a connection to classmate Simon, who becomes her living accomplice.

Throughout the season, Maddie goes through a variety of false leads and red herrings on who her killer was, starting with her boyfriend and even including her mother. But no one could have possibly guessed the truth behind the mystery and how it sets up Season 2.

What happened in the School Spirits Season 1 finale?

The solution to who killed Maddie is simple: No one did because she’s not really dead.

While Simon was figuring out Maddie’s mother didn’t kill her, Maddie’s friends Xavier, Clarie, and Nicole were investigating another lead when a figure attacked them and stole the truck.

Meanwhile, the ghosts were struck that when spirit Dawn “moved on” to the other side, they felt different than when ghost Janet vanished around the time Maddie died. Their “counselor,” Mr. Martin, was elusive as the ghosts learned he died in a 1958 fire, with Janet among the victims. The group soon discovered Mr. Martin had been keeping mementos from each of their deaths and manipulating them all this time.

Maddie met Simon, pouring out her heart on how she loved him, only for him to berate her for being a figment of his imagination. As proof, he showed the video of the person who stole Xavier’s truck: Maddie herself. As Simon walked away, Maddie finally remembered that she had heard voices from the old fallout shelter and opened it, only to find Janet and Mr. Martin arguing. Before Mr. Martin could stop her, Janet raced to possess Maddie’s body, knocking Maddie’s spirit out.

In other words, Janet took over Maddie’s body so she could finally escape the school grounds, and Mr. Martin has been covering for it to hide how he was culpable in the fire that likely created the “curse” that keeps all the ghosts bound to the school.

What does this mean for School Spirits Season 2?

The final scene of Season 2 was Maddie once more stuck in the school, trying to free her trapped ghost friends as Mr. Martin found her. Meanwhile, Janet, in Maddie’s body, was buying a bus ticket out of town.

The revelation that Maddie has never been dead explains a lot of things, such as how her spirit could leave the school grounds and communicate with others. But now, her situation is worse as her friends assume she just left town after a robbery spree and are not interested in going after her, while Simon thinks he’s been going crazy imagining her.

There’s also the question of what Mr. Martin has been up to and if he’s somehow keeping these other ghosts trapped. The big push of Season 2 will likely be Maddie trying to find a way to track down Janet and get her body back. The focus will also be on if Simon can realize what’s happening to help her.

It was a wild ending and cliffhanger, so no wonder fans are happy to know School Spirits will be back to resolve it next year.

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School Spirits Season 1 streaming on Paramount+.