School Spirits: Who Is Janet Hamilton, Explained

By Russ Milheim Posted:
School Spirits, Peyton List as Maddie

Just who exactly is Janet Hamilton in Paramount+'s School Spirits?

The streaming show, which is now also on Netflix, follows Maddie Nears, a young girl who finds herself stuck in the afterlife at her high school with no memory of how she died in the first place.

It does not take long for Maddie to hear the name Janet. She was a fellow resident of the afterlife who was a part of group therapy but supposedly moved on just before Nears arrived.

While she comes up quite often in conversation, it’s not until later in the season that Janet’s story kicks into high gear.

Who Is Janet in School Spirits?

Maddie Nears as Janet in School Spirits
School Spirits

When the School Spirits begins, Janet Hamilton is only known as the person who once claimed a now-empty seat in the afterlife’s group sessions. According to the other trapped spirits, Janet successfully moved on—something they’ve been working on trying to do.

But things get complicated when the main characters try to perform an anti-seance with Dawn to help Maddie regain some of her memories. Instead of solving Maddie’s problem, Dawn finds closure of her own, leading her to properly move on.

When that moment occurred, it led to an intense surge of energy and a tangible feeling felt by everyone in the afterlife. Notably, this never happened when Janet supposedly moved on.

That’s likely because she never moved on, at least not in the sense everyone thinks. Instead, she was able to hijack Maddie’s physical body while Nears was at her lowest point, instantly swapping places.

Interestingly enough, School Spirits didn’t have an actress cast as Janet. When audiences see her run into Maddie, it is just a hooded silhouette.

Now, Janet is on the run in the real world, occupying Maddie’s body, something no other living person knows.

To make matters even worse, Janet has a questionable relationship with the leader of the Split River High Afterlife Support Group, Mr. Martin. 

Originally unbeknownst to everyone else in the afterlife, Janet was one of Mr. Martin’s students. Not only that, but she died in the same incident as him, in a fire the teacher started.

What Is Next for Janet?

Seance in School Spirits
School Spirits

While Janet Hamilton was hardly in Season 1, it's only the beginning for her character. When Season 2 releases, which is officially on its way, Janet’s character will undoubtedly take the spotlight.

Maddie’s living body is casually being possessed by Janet. So, the cast will have to run into her at some point, Simon especially.

But then there is who Janet was before she jumped back into the land of the living, both before and after her initial death. Perhaps the show could sprinkle in some intriguing flashbacks to help flesh out Janet’s story.

After all, in doing so, fans will probably learn more about Mr. Martin and if he’s as sinister as the show wants you to think coming out of Season 1’s finale. Maybe the story could also provide some answers about what “thinning” is, which was mentioned in Mr. Martin’s notes and is almost certainly involved in Janet’s entire situation.

School Spirits is now streaming on Paramount+ and Netflix.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.