Peyton List's Voice Change In School Spirits Explained: Why She Sounds So Different

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Peyton List as Maddie Nears in School Spirits

What exactly is up with Peyton List’s voice in School Spirits?

The show, which originated on Paramount+ and is now streaming on Netflix, follows List’s Maddie Nears, who becomes stuck at her high school. Though this is no ordinary situation—she inexplicably finds herself in the afterlife, completely unaware of how she died and unable to leave the property line.

With the series getting a second wave of life, many fans started to point out how List’s voice differs from her previous roles.

Does Peyton List Sound Different in School Spirits?

Peyton List as Maddie Nears in School Spirits
Peyton List

Peyton List’s fanbase is convinced she sounds different as Maddie Nears in Paramount+’s School Spirits than her previous roles

There’s no denying Maddie is a soft-spoken character, with many of her lines being quiet and gentle.

This notably differs from List’s other work, including Cobra Kai’s Tory Nichols and Bunk’d’s Emma Ross. In those two projects, Peyton’s characters, and therefore her performance, are far louder—confident, strong, determined, and sometimes aggressive.

But for School Spirits, Maddie is a different character. She is saddled with some heavy trauma and carries not an ounce of certainty in herself.

Everything around her is unknown and strange, especially the other dead spirits who immediately try to befriend her. She feels alone and separated from everything that once made sense.

So, the change in Peyton’s voice that audiences think they are hearing is nothing more than a performance choice. There’s no weird conspiracy here, just an actress expanding and showcasing her talents.

Maybe Peyton List’s performance as Maddie Nears will align better with her past characters. After all, given the situation, it's hard to see how she won't be dealing with insane amounts of anger and frustration.

The world is unfair, but it seems to have taken a particular issue with Maddie. No one would blame her for losing it and getting some of that sharp edge to her performance that viewers can see in Cobra Kai.

It might be a while before Season 2 of School Spirits becomes a reality. While the show is renewed, the recent strikes likely gave the production heavy setbacks.

This means the viewers might need to wait until 2025 to learn what happened with Mr. Martin and Janet.

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.