Netflix series The Midnight Club breaks jump scare record

By Sanj Atwal
Split image of a girl screaming and of Guinness World Records official adjudicator presenting The Midnight Club cast with a certificate

The Midnight Club, a new Netflix horror mystery-thriller series, has broken a record for the most scripted jump scares in a single television episode, with 21 in total.

For the purpose of this record, a scripted jump scare is a pre-planned action executed with the intent to make a person jump or scream in fright.

Hours before its worldwide debut on 7 October, the first episode premiered at New York Comic Con, where it scared the pants off an unprepared audience.

Afterwards, at the beginning of a Q&A session with the cast, our official adjudicator Andy Glass announced the record attempt and successful result, "to the surprise and delight" of the costumed crowd.

Official adjudicator Andy Glass presents the Guinness World Records certificate to cast members William Chris Sumpter (left) and Aya Furukawa (right)

The Midnight Club, co-created by Mike Flanagan (who was also behind The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass) and Leah Fong, is based on Christopher Pike’s 1994 novel of the same name.

The show follows protagonist Ilonka Pawluk (played by Iman Benson), a graduating high school senior excitedly awaiting admission into Stanford University.

However, her life takes an unfortunate turn when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer and ends up at Brightcliffe, a mysterious hospice run by an enigmatic doctor.

There, Ilonka joins a group of terminally ill teens who meet every midnight to share scary stories. One night, they make a pact: the first to die must send a sign from beyond the grave. 

After one of them succumbs to their illness and passes away, a series of bizarre occurrences begin.

Still from the Midnight Club of a girl with white eyes shrieking

Before the event at Comic Con, adjudicator Andy had a chat with Mike Flanagan, who was "extremely excited" to receive the Guinness World Records title.

Flanagan joked that one of the reasons he wanted to break the record was to pacify producers who are always asking him to add in jump scares, which he doesn’t actually like doing.

By breaking the world record, he would be able to refuse future requests by citing his title credential.

"He is already plotting about how to achieve more," Andy said.

One record Flanagan expressed interest in is the most on-screen deaths (TV), for which we don’t have a record holder…yet. Watch this space!