Hidden Details In Buffy The Vampire Slayer's "Fear Itself" S4 E04

Fear Itself is Season 4 Episode 4 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. While still upset about being ghosted by Parker, Buffy reluctantly agrees to visit a haunted house at Halloween with Willow, Xander and Oz. Here are some behind the scenes facts about the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode Fear Itself.

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Fear Itself is Season 4 Episode 4 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. While still upset about being ghosted by Parker, Buffy reluctantly agrees to visit a haunted house at Halloween with Willow, Xander and Oz. 

“Fear Itself” is the second of three Halloween-centric episodes in Buffy The Vampire Slayer; a Halloween episode happens every second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In the first episode “Halloween” (S2 E6), Giles mentions that Halloween is usually quiet for demon and un-dead activity with Buffy sarcastically asking whether it was because they thought it had become too commercial. In “Fear Itself” Giles kind of agrees with this statement and says that the supernatural find it “much too crass”. 

Air Date: 26th October 1999

Written by: David Fury

Directed by: Tucker Gates

Halloween Costumes:

Buffy: Little Red Riding Hood

Willow: Joan of Arc

Oz: “Hello, my name is God”

Xander: James Bond in a Tux

Anya: A Large White and Pink Bunny

Giles: A Sombrero and Poncho

Interestingly “Fear Itself” is the seventh and last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without any actual vampires present. 

The other 7 episodes are:

 “Witch” (S1 E3): Amy Madison’s Mum Catherine, a powerful witch, is the central antagonist here.

 “The Pack” (S1 E6): Hyenas worshipped by a group called The Primals possess students including Xander.

 “I Robot, You Jane” (S1 E8): A trapped Demon from 1418 Moloch is released and turns into a robot.

 “The Puppet Show” (S1 E9): The last member of the Brotherhood of Seven is looking for a heart and a brain at Sunnydale High School.

 “Inca Mummy Girl” (S2 E4): The spirit of an Incan Princess swaps her mumified body to that of a Peruvian exchange student.

• “Living Conditions” (S4 E2): Buffy’s College roommate Kathy Newman turns out to be a Mok’tagar demon.

The episode, “Fear Itself” marks the beginning of Riley Finn as a regular character in Buffy The Vampire Season 4 until his departure in “Into The Woods” (S5 E10). “Fear Itself” is also the first time Buffy and the Scoobies encounter the Initiative or “The Commandos” but the gang assume they are in costume because of Halloween.

This is the first episode in which we learn Anya is scared of Bunnies. She dresses up as one after Xander tells her to come in a scary costume to the Alpha Delta’s fraternity house party.

At the beginning of the episode, Willow, Xander and Buffy are carving Pumpkins in the Harris’ basement and Buffy is visibly still upset about Parker Abrams. Parker saw her as a college fling; She however assumed that she was more special than that. Xander contemplates “smack[ing] that guy” here in “Fear Itself” and this wish does actually come true. Buffy knocks Parker over the head with a club in, “Beer Bad” (S4 E5). Riley Finn also punches him in the episode, “The Initiative” (S4 E7).

Willow Rosenberg dresses up as Joan of Arc in “Fear Itself” as a reference to the episode “Gingerbread” (S3 E11) where she, Buffy and Amy Maddison are tied to wooden posts in the Sunnydale City Hall ready to be burnt at the stake by Mother’s Opposed To The Occult.

The title of this episode is a reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous line from his March 1933 speech, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

The exterior shots of the Alpha Delta fraternity house were filmed at the Rosenheim Mansion which was built in 1908 and designed by the architect Alfred Rosenheim. It has 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and was named number 660 of the Historical and Cultural Landmarks in Los Angeles, California. It has been used as a location in many TV Shows and Films including American Horror Story (Murphy, Falchuk, 2011) as The Murder House, The Twilight Zone (Sterling, 1959), and The X-Files (Carter, 1993). It is located at 1120 Westchester Place.

While Oz and Xander are helping set up the sound equipment for the Halloween Party inside the fraternity house, one of the members is drawing a spooky symbol on the floor as decoration. The book that he is using as a reference is meant to be an old and magical text. However, it really is a 1963 edition of “Picture Museum of Sorcery Magic and Alchemy” written by Émile Grillot de Grivy with it’s dust jacket and inside adapted as a prop for the Buffy set. The book itself is full of old drawings about the occult but the ones relating to “The Seal of Gachnar” have been added by the props team. The actual text written in the old book can be clearly seen in one shot and can be hilariously translated as, “A special bus route will open in Dublin today despite reports that it may cause traffic congestion as a result.”

Willow speaks to a hall mate dressed in drag on Halloween night in “Fear Itself” - he is played by Darris Love. Love went on to star in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin off, Angel as George (a member of Charles Gunn’s crew) in the episode, “The Thin Dead Line” (S2 E14) and “Belonging” (S2 E19).

Some International titles of the episode “Fear Itself” are very different including: 

 In Finnish, it was named Pelon kokokuva meaning Fear The Whole Picture.

 In French, it was titled Le Démon d’Halloween obviously The Demon of Halloween.

 In German, it was named Der Damon der Angst meaning The Demon of Fear.

 In Italian, it was named Il Sapore del Terrore which translates to The Taste of Terror.

Three Buffy The Vampire Slayer action figures were created for this episode, “Fear Itself” including Fiesta Giles, Bunny Anya and Fear, Itself Anya.

A small Gachnar demon is the antagonist in “Fear, Itself”. It is later established in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Comic Series that Gachnar isn’t the name of one single demon but a species as one appears in the issue, “Fight or Flight” (Angel & Faith Season Ten, Issue 15).

The Scooby Gang begin to face their own real deep fears in the haunted fraternity house. Willow fears that she may one day lose control of her magic and this is confronted when her spell backfires on her. Oz fears losing control of his werewolf side and this is confronted when he starts changing with no warning. Xander fears being abandoned by others especially with all his friends being at college and he isn’t then he ends up being alone inside the house. Buffy fear is said out loud by one of the fraternity, she fears being isolated from her friends.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fear Itself - Hidden Details In Buffy The Vampire Slayer's

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