‘Fear Street: 1994’: Who Was Kate’s Aunt During the Camp Nightwing Massacre in 1978?
Every detail matters in Netflix‘s Fear Street trilogy, no matter how small. That’s why, in Fear Part 1: 1994, many fans took note when Kate briefly mentioned her aunt’s presence at the Camp Nightwing massacre in 1978. Naturally, some viewers assumed they’d meet her aunt in Fear Street Part 2: 1978, which traveled back in time to show that tragic night at camp.
Several characters appeared in the trilogy’s second film, but Fear Street: 1978 never clarified the identity of Kate’s aunt. Who was she? Thankfully, director Leigh Janiak has provided an answer.
[Spoiler alert: The following story may contain minor spoilers for Fear Street Part 1: 1994 and Fear Street Part 2: 1978.]
Some fans had guesses for Kate’s aunt’s identify in ‘Fear Street: 1978’
In Fear Street: 1994, when Josh (played by Benjamin Flores Jr.) revealed the identities of past Shadyside Killers, Kate (Julia Rehwald) recognized Tommy Slater (McCabe Slye), a.k.a. the Camp Nightwing killer. She explained that her “mom’s sister” was at camp that night, and the tragedy “screwed my family up for a long time.”
When Fear Street: 1978 arrived, many fans went to work deciphering the identity of Kate’s aunt.
Some fans on Reddit wondered if a Camp Nightwing counselor might have been Kate’s aunt. One theory suggested it was Joan (Jacqi Vene), the hippie Shadyside counselor. Kate and Joan looked similar, and both used drugs, which Janiak might have included as a connection between the characters.
“I feel like it’s Joan, I know this correlation isn’t strong, but both Kate and Joan had a connection to drugs in the show,” one Reddit user said.
Another theory suggested Kate’s aunt was Alice (Ryan Simpkins) because of the similar way the characters nicknamed drugs.
“Alice called them something like ‘bluecaps and yellowjackets’ in 1978, and then Kate caught the reference by nurse (B)eddy to pills as ‘blueberries and bananas’ in 1994,” another user wrote.
Some fans even thought Kate’s aunt might have been Sheila (Chiara Aurelia), the teen bully from Sunnyvale.
“My guess is Sheila, actually. They look similar, and we don’t know Sheila’s fate. She never said that her aunt died, just that she was there. Could very easily be Sheila,” one person added.
Director Leigh Janiak set the record straight on Kate’s aunt
According to Janiak, Kate’s aunt did appear in Fear Street: 1978, but only for a brief moment. She was actually one of the young Shadyside campers whom Tommy killed in the Arts & Crafts building. Played by Lana Spraley, the character appeared in the credits as “Shadyside Prisoner #1.” The death wasn’t shown, but it was implied when Tommy entered the building, and the match fell to the ground.
“The idea here is that it’s possibly that girl that dies in the Arts and Crafts cabin when Tommy comes in, and we kind of have the match go out,” Janiak told Den of Geek. “We didn’t go into it much further because, ultimately, it was kind of like, we don’t want to make the moment bigger than it needs to be.”
Janiak added that she spoke to Rehwald during filming about including Kate’s aunt.
“That was the conversation that I had with Julia and then the young actress who played that part in the ’70s. Maybe that was the idea there for discerning audience members, to be like, ‘Wait, is that the person that Kate’s related to?’”
Janiak said she wanted to draw connections between the three ‘Fear Street’ movies
Kate’s aunt in Fear Street: 1978 was just one example of Janiak’s connections between the three films. Each movie featured a different era with many different characters, so Janiak felt it was important for them to have unifying elements. The flies circling the killers in each Fear Street film acted as another unifying element, as well as some of the music in the first two parts.
“There’s a lot across the three movies where we tried to recreate moments,” Janiak said to Den of Geek. “The mixtape that Deena [Kiana Madeira] makes for Sam [Olivia Scott Welch] references the Pixies song, ‘Hey,’ that plays…There are other little moments like Sheriff Nick Goode [Ashley Zukerman] is limping in the first movie. And then when you reach the second movie, you realize what happened to him in the ’70s that gave him that limp.”