13: Fear Is Real
Show Logo
Created by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkThe CW
ReleaseJanuary 7 (2009-01-07) –
February 20, 2009 (2009-02-20)

13: Fear Is Real is an American horror reality competition series which premiered on January 7, 2009.[1][2][3] It follows a group of 13 contestants as they are trying to survive in a setting inspired by horror movies.[4][5][6]

On May 27, 2009, The CW canceled the series after one season.[7]

About the show

13: Fear Is Real was produced by Magic Molehill Productions, Inc. and Warner Horizon Television Inc. in association with Jay Bienstock Productions and Ghost House Pictures with executive producers Jay Bienstock (Survivor, The Apprentice), Sam Raimi (the Spider-Man films, the Evil Dead films) and Robert Tapert (the Evil Dead films, The Grudge films).[8]

The show involved 13 people competing against each other to avoid elimination in situations utilising their "deepest fears". The 13 will face shocking surprises, psychological scares and many "beware of the dark" moments, all designed by a "mastermind" of terror. In addition to frightening them, he will also entice individuals to work in concert with him and against the others, creating a situation in which the 13 will not only look over their shoulders but will also never be certain who is real before them. Each week, one or two unlucky victims will be "killed off" via frightening challenges and game-playing until only one person is left to win the grand prize of—fittingly—$66,666.[9][10]


Each round of the game consisted of two challenges: a "ritual" and an "execution ceremony."


"Rituals" were challenges designed to prey on players' deepest fears. They were played either as two-player teams or as individuals. In team rituals, if there is an odd number of players, one sits out and is granted immunity for that round.

The ritual was set up so that either one team or two individual players would fail the challenge. The two players that failed the challenge were "condemned" to the "execution ceremony."

Execution Ceremonies

The "execution ceremony" was an elimination challenge normally played between the two players that failed the "ritual." If the current "killer" was successfully accused, they would also participate in the execution ceremony, as would any player who falsely accused another player of being the "killer."

Normally, the execution ceremony would consist of the players racing to escape a death trap of some sort. If a player successfully escaped, they would return to the game. The last player still in the death trap will be "killed" and eliminated from the game.

Prior to the execution ceremony, players would record "last words" on video as a farewell to the group in case they lost. The player who was "killed off" would have their video viewed by the rest of the group.

The Death Box

The death box was introduced the day after the contestants arrived. It was able to kill off a total of three players. Whoever had the death box became the "killer" and could kill off any other player at any time other than during a challenge. Any player who was killed off by the death box was eliminated from the game immediately, without any chance to give any last words. A bloody glove would be left on the bed of any player who was killed off by the death box.

Possessing the death box posed a risk to the killer. If another player believed that a particular player held it, they could accuse that player of being the killer. In that situation, all of the remaining players had to decide whether they agreed with the accusation. If so, the accusation would stand, and if correct, the killer would have to surrender the death box and would be sent to the execution ceremony.

Accusing another player of being the killer itself carried a risk. If the accusation was false, the accuser would then be sent to the execution ceremony.

If a player was killed off while in possession of the death box and it still had one or more uses remaining, it would be re-introduced to the game prior to the next ritual.


Elimination Chart
Name Age Occupation Hometown 11 22 3 4 5 63 7 84
Ted Kirner 30 Teacher Philadelphia, PA Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Risk WINNER
Nasser Goins 20 Concierge Philadelphia, PA Safe Risk Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Dead
Erica Johnson 21 PR Consultant Waycross, GA Safe Immune Risk Risk Safe Safe Safe Dead
Melyssa Nocar 24 Trainer Columbus, OH Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Dead
Adam Wood 25 Musician Seattle, WA Safe Risk Safe Safe Safe Risk Dead
Leah Lucas 21 Bartender Philadelphia, PA Safe Safe Safe Safe Risk Dead
Cody Minshew 22 Ghosthunter Austin, TX Immune Safe Safe Safe Safe Dead
Rodney Craft 26 Salesman Los Angeles, CA Safe Safe Safe Safe Dead
Kelly Marquardt 23 Event Planner San Diego, CA Risk Safe Safe Dead
Ryan Norys 24 Sports Executive Yorba Linda, CA Safe Safe Dead
Steffinie Phrommany 29 Assistant North Hollywood, CA Safe Safe Dead
Laura Paul 27 Nursing Student Medford, OR Safe Dead
Lauren Harris 21 Model Cherry Hill, NJ Dead
^1 : In episode 1, Rodney found the death box and became the killer.
^2 : In episode 2, Nasser falsely accused Laura of possessing the death box, and was forced into the execution ceremony and did not take part in the ritual. As there was an odd number for the ritual, Erica sat out and got immunity.
^3 : In episode 6, Erica found the death box and became the killer.
^4 : In episode 8, Nasser found the death box and became the killer.
  The contestant won 13: Fear is Real, and claimed The $66,666 prize from The Mastermind.
  The contestant was "condemned" into the execution ceremony and was at risk of being “killed off”, but won the task thus saving themselves from being executed.
  The contestant lost the execution ceremony and was eliminated and "killed off".
  The contestant was "killed off" by the contestant who is in possession of the death box.
  The contestant was immune from the execution ceremony.


No. Ritual Execution Ceremony How Contestant Died Killed By Death Box Contestant Killed Off Contestant(s) Survived
1 MEET THE MASTERMIND. The contestants paired up and had to locate their partner, who was tied up in the woods. The last team whose contestant located their partner failed the ritual. In Order: Ted/Erica 1st, Melyssa/Ryan 2nd, Laura/Adam 3rd, Rodney/Leah 4th, Steffinie/Nasser 5th, Kelly/Lauren (6th, Last Place) "Buried Alive"
The first contestant out of the ground is saved from being executed.
Suffocated from being buried alive Death box introduced Lauren Kelly
2 THE ACCUSED. The contestants paired up and got into boats, which they then rowed into the middle of an alligator-infested lake. Initially, they would simply have to sit in the boat, but as the challenge continued, they would have to remove plugs in the bottom of the boat (allowing water to flow in), bailing the boat out with scoops found in a box with two snakes, and then, ultimately, one of the players on each team would have to take a snake in each hand and hold them above their heads. The first team to wave a white flag found in the bottom of the boat (signifying a wish to end the ritual and return to shore) would fail the ritual. The teams were advised that the ritual would last as long as necessary to produce a losing team. "Rat-Hat Cage"
The first two contestants to escape steel chains and a mask containing rats are saved from being executed.
Face eaten alive by rats No one, but Laura falsely accused by Nasser Laura Adam and Nasser
3 A KILLER AMONGST US. Prior to the ritual, the contestants were directed to repair a broken raft and use it to get to the other side of the swamp. The mastermind stated that he had left something for the contestants on the other side, and that it was up to them to choose whether or not to take what was left for them. Upon discovery of the crate, it was revealed to contain bottles of beer for each of the contestants. In the ritual, the contestants paired up. One member of each pair looked for pieces of a pentagram in scary locations while the other gave directions using a walkie-talkie and a map. Once the searching player found four pieces of the pentagram (to go with one they were provided at the beginning), they had to return to the starting point (a Satanic altar) and reassemble their pentagram. The last team to complete their pentagram failed the ritual. "Ropes that Bind"
The first contestant to break free of ropes while distracted by dogs, falling trees, and explosions is saved from being executed.
Crushed by a falling tree taken down by a chainsaw Steffinie- killed by Rodney Ryan Erica
4 FORT FEAR. The contestants headed to an old, abandoned military fort. They individually searched for keys which could each be used to unlock a box, inside which was a note saying, "REPRIEVE - You are safe". There were two fewer reprieves than players, so that the two players left without reprieves failed the ritual. "The Crucible"
The first contestant to unlock the word lock (password: fried) and free themselves is saved from being executed.
Chained and burned alive at the stake No one Kelly Erica
5 A LESSON IN TERROR. The contestants were transported to an abandoned high school. They individually searched for rings, which would be found in the favorite classrooms of the school's students who had been murdered. Hints as to where specifically in the classrooms the rings might be found were written on the classroom chalkboards. There were two fewer rings than players, so that the two players left without rings failed the ritual. "Slice and Dice"
The first contestant to untie themselves before the swinging pendulum chops them in half is saved from death.
Sliced in half by a pendulum No one – Rodney revealed as the killer Rodney Leah
6 A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL. The contestants were transported to a slaughterhouse. Partners were chosen by who was sitting in the room with them at the time of the ritual. One partner was locked in a cage, and the other partner had to find them. The partner then had to find a key to unlock the cage, which could have been in any of the holes in the wall marked "?". The last team to have the caged partner freed failed the ritual. "Snakes in a Bathroom"
The first contestant to unlock the handcuffs and solve the clues before the bathroom is fully flooded is saved from being executed.
Drowned and attacked by snakes in a locked bathroom filling with water Cody – killed by Erica Leah Adam
7 ALONE. The contestants are put into a dark room with a large snake. They were then put into straitjackets, and had to escape them. The last two contestants to escape their straitjackets failed the ritual. "The Car and the Compactor"
The first contestant to escape from the trunk of their car and get out of the car compactor is saved from being executed.
Crushed to death in the trunk of a car Adam – killed by Erica Melyssa Ted
8 BOOM. The final three contestants are taken to an isolated part of the woods in the Bayou and forced to outwit each other in the final ceremonies.
Prior to the final ceremonies, the contestants are directed to a shrine with pictures of the ten players who had previously been killed off. They are then directed to make a voodoo doll of the opponent who they believe poses the biggest threat to them and place a drop of their own blood on the doll (to "sanctify" it); they are provided with lancets to prick their fingers for this purpose.
"Alone in the Woods"
Part One – Contestants had to locate one of three single-use death boxes hidden in the woods. The challenge did not end until one contestant found a death box and used it to kill off another player.
Part Two – The first contestant to find bolt cutters in an animal grave, find a barrel, cut it open, and get the key covered in body organs inside is saved from execution.
Part Three – The final remaining contestant has to unlock a hut in which there is a bag containing the prize money. The hut is booby trapped with a trip wire connected to a time bomb set to detonate after 60 seconds. The contestant has to take the money, get out of the cabin, and row out of the blast radius before the bomb explodes.
Ambushed and killed by a minion wielding an axe Erica- killed by Nasser during Part One Nasser Ted


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  2. ^ Fuchs, Cynthia (January 6, 2009). "13 Fear is Real". PopMatters. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  3. ^ "SAM RAIMI'S 13 BRINGS HORROR TO REALITY SHOWS". IGN. March 14, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Shales, Tom (January 7, 2009). "'13: The Fear Is Real': Um, Afraid Not". Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Tobias, Scott (January 7, 2009). "13 Fear Is Real: "13"". AVClub. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Richmond, Ray (January 6, 2009). "TV Review: 13 -- Fear Is Real". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  7. ^ Kimball, Trevor (May 27, 2009). "2008 – 2009 Cancelled TV Shows: 10 CW Series That Won't Be Back for 2009 – 2010". TV Series Finale. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  8. ^ 13: Fear Is Real – About Archived 2008-12-18 at the Wayback Machine, The CW Television Network.
  9. ^ Wade, Will (2009). "13: Fear Is Real". Common Sense Meida. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  10. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (January 6, 2009). "'Boo!': Reality TV Puts on a Fright Wig". NY Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.