Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
9 user 1 critic

Fear Itself 

On Halloween, Buffy and her friends find themselves trapped inside a haunted frat house complete with real bats, zombies, and a terrifying demon.


Tucker Gates


Joss Whedon (created by), David Fury | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon ... Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan ... Willow Rosenberg
Seth Green ... Oz
Anthony Head ... Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Kristine Sutherland ... Joyce Summers
Marc Blucas ... Riley Finn
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Anya (as Emma Caulfield)
Adam Kaufman ... Parker Abrams
Lindsay Crouse ... Professor Maggie Walsh
Marc Rose Marc Rose ... Josh
Sulo Williams Sulo Williams ... Chaz
Aldis Hodge ... Masked Teen
Walter Jones ... Edward (as Walter Emanuel Jones)
Adam Bitterman ... Gachnar


In the Halloween night, Buffy is very depressed due to her non-corresponded feelings for Parker, and Willow, Oz and Xander convince her to go to a famous Halloween party in a fraternity with them to have some fun. Anya is also invited by Xander to join the group. However, while decorating the place previously, one of the hosts paints a magic symbol, the Mark of Gachnar, on the floor, and an accidentally spilled drop of Oz's blood awakens the Fear Demon Gachnar who is fed by fear, bringing panic and horror to life on the house. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The filming location was the same house used for the first and eighth seasons of American Horror Story (2011). See more »


In Anya's first scene in bunny costume, the ears are flopped. In her second scene, the ears are straight, and in her third scene in costume they're flopped again. See more »


[first lines]
[Xander has carved a pumpkin]
Xander Harris: I don't know. Uh, I was going for ferocious-scary but it's coming out more dryly-sardonic.
Willow Rosenberg: It does appear to be mocking you with its eye-holes.
Oz: Yet its nose-hole seems sad and full of self-loathing.
Xander Harris: What do you think, Buff?
Buffy Summers: I was just thinking about the life of a pumpkin. Grow up in the sun, happily entwined with others... and then someone comes along, cuts you open, and rips out your guts out.
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Featured in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #14.17 (2008) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Performed by Nerf Herder
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User Reviews

A Halloween episode which provides both scares and laughs
1 April 2019 | by TweekumsSee all my reviews

It is Halloween again and one of the fraternity houses is throwing a 'haunted house' party; unfortunately one of the decorations is a symbol copied from a book on demons. The party is inevitably going to be much scarier than planned. Initially Buffy isn't keen to attend as she is still upset after what happened with Parker but turns up, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, and joins Willow, Oz and Xander. They enter the house and things quickly get scary; something is causing everybody's fears to become real. Anya arrives slightly late, by then the house's door has vanished and as she looks a window similarly disappears, so she goes to get help from Giles.

This was a top quality episode; the haunted house contained elements that are genuinely scary at times. This includes some fairly gruesome items by the standard of the show. It also provides some funny moments; particularly at the episode's conclusion. The scares are nicely varied as they relate to each person's fears so Buffy feels abandoned, Willow imagines her magic going wrong etc. Other highlights, which I won't describe in too much detail are Anya's choice of 'scary' costume and Giles entrance to the house at the end of the film. It must be admitted that the final confrontation isn't scary... it is however very funny. Overall a really enjoyable episode.

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