[[quoteright:350:[[Music/TheWall http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_wall_spanking_4189.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Let this be a lesson to you.]]

->''The most "worldly" society I have ever lived in is that of schoolboys: most worldly in the cruelty and arrogance of the strong, the toadyism and mutual treachery of the weak, and the unqualified snobbery of both. Nothing was so base that the school proletariat would not do it, or suffer it, to win the favour of the school aristocracy: hardly any injustice too bad for the aristocracy to practice.''
-->-- '''Creator/CSLewis''', ''On Stories and Other Essays''
%% Only one quote on the main page, please. Additional quotes can go on the quotes tab.

Not to be confused with your usual BoardingSchool trope, the Boarding School of {{Horror}}s is a place where your nightmares come true. There are no midnight feasts or jolly hockey sticks here. Presided over by cane-wielding {{Sadist Teacher}}s, you will be [[CorporalPunishment beaten]] or locked up for the slightest misdemeanor -- and that's if you're lucky. If summoned to the headmaster's office, don't expect to come out alive. Then there is the matter of your fellow students. At best, you'll have your head flushed down the toilet; at worst, you face years of unspeakable bullying. In a British school, you may be enslaved to the prefects thanks to the "fagging" system. And the AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil will only add to complications as they promote this form of cruelty as presumably girls or guys they like are sent to be lowly concubines within their ranks and is above the law with the Prefect acting as their muscle as they choose whom to beat up or torture.

The food is inedible slop, there is no central heating, and creepy crawlies are everywhere. If you complain or write home to your parents, [[CassandraTruth they won't believe you]] (assuming your mail even makes it out of the school, that is). The school might be a MilitarySchool, where you'll face the wrath of DrillSergeantNasty every day, and be subjected to horrific hazing rituals. In the worst cases you could be sexually abused or even murdered while staying there.

Had (has?) some elements of truth in television. Boarding schools were not a Victorian innovation, but the institution was embraced as a means of counteracting the softening, emasculating influence of mothers and preparing young men for the harsh rigours of the world of business and Empire. The move to purposefully harsh institutions as a solution to parental mollycoddling took place in the context of the early-mid Victorian love of childhood and doting parenthood, which it was later feared would render the new generation of the better sort of people - i.e. the middle and upper classes - too soft to maintain Anglo supremacy. Thus, boarding schools were intended to break the attendents and thus prevent them from becoming 'soft' and/or homosexual. More specifically they would instil discipline and self-discipline, deference to authority, strict morals, a vague sense of the Christian religion, and teamwork. This was of course in addition to all the usual things one expects a public school (a school open to the paying public as opposed to a private school, which was more exclusive) to do. For real life examples, see also the section in the StrawmanU page for "St. Jim Jonestown Academy."

You are likely to find yourself in one of these places if sent OffToBoardingSchool by the CardCarryingVillain, often doubling as a SchoolForScheming or AcademyOfEvil. Still, count yourself lucky. At least you're not in an OrphanageOfFear. If you're unlucky, your summer is only apt to be marginally better - but see SummerCampy for that.

A sub-trope of this is the Day School of Horrors, of which the most notable exponent was probably the Overly Strict Catholic School (circa 1930-1960). It was bad enough when the nuns could make you stand in a trash can or beat you with a yardstick in front of the class for such minor infractions as improperly polished shoes or sneezing in church, all the while telling you that beating the tar out of your living body was good for your immortal soul. Got turned UpToEleven when we all found out the extent of sexual assault at the hands of the clergy. In Australia at least this was paralleled in the state-run orphanages, in which the sexual abuse of minors was also depressingly common...

Not to be confused with an AllGhoulsSchool, where the pupils and teachers are [[MonsterMash stereotypical "horror" entities]], but are usually quite pleasant. A SuckySchool is a downplayed version; it's unlikely to threaten your life, but it ''is'' going to give you a terrible experience in other ways.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''GakuenAlice'' has the titular school, which seems to involve children being abused horribly, sent on dangerous missions and forbidden to contact their families.
* While most of the students and teachers of the {{Youkai}} Academy in ''RosarioToVampire'' are not terribly evil, there is an AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil who devolved into KnightTemplar {{Yakuza}} over the years, a few {{Sadist Teacher}}s (including [[GreekMythology Medusa]]), and all the students (save [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent one]]) are shape-shifting demons and if any of them reveal their true forms they're threatened with [[DeadlyEuphemism "permanent expulsion"]], although this is not followed through on.
* ''Manga/{{Shitsurakuen}}'''s Utopia Academy, and specially for the girls, the guys have it easier as they can treat the girls anyway they want.
* The hentai ''Shusaku'' is about a janitor who blackmails and fornicates with the students of an all-girl boarding school for gifted musicians.
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'': Ange's time at St. Lucia Academy was made pretty miserable because she had no friends and she was often bullied mercilessly by her classmates. The teachers never were around to put a stop to it either. It got so bad that she ordered the Seven Sisters of Purgatory to kill her classmates. [[spoiler:And when they couldn't (because they could only do it when Ange herself was willing to do it with her own hands), she denied their existence and got them killed.]]
* ''LightNovel/KamisamaNoInaiNichiyoubi'' has Goran Academy in the third arc. Children with special abilities are kidnapped by the staff and aren't allowed to leave, and the trigger-happy headmistress prefers to use her revolver to keep the students in line.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* In the adult comic ''{{Viz}}'', the character "Spoilt Bastard" briefly attended one.
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' featured a school like this in a side story in ''Season of Mists''. It was quite a normal BoardingSchool in modern days, but since Hell had just been emptied and the dead came back to Earth during holidays when there was just one living boy present with a skeleton staff because he couldn't go to his absent father, all the people who died in relation to the place somehow returned there and made it into a BoardingSchoolOfHorrors. The devil-worshiping bullies had attended the place just before UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, at the time when the place had apparently fit the trope.
* Greytowers School in the British comic ''TheDandy'', attended by popular character Winker Watson.
* In ''HollowFields'', the titular school features steam-powered {{Sadist Teacher}}s, a patchwork security guard, a variety of alarming classes, and once a week the student with the lowest grades is sent to [[DeadlyEuphemism detention... permanently.]]
* ''Manga/TheDreaming's'' Greenwich Private College barely makes it into this trope. While the teachers, though strict, are not sadistic, and the students are friendly, you run the risk of being snatched by a Quinkan whenever you go to sleep.
* Was a staple of the comic strips in old-style British magazines for young teenage girls, like ''Bunty'', ''Jackie'' and ''Pony School''.
* The ''St. Trinian's'' public school for girls, as illustrated by Ronald Searle's wonderful comics.
* A 3-issue story arc in ''Comicbook/{{Excalibur}}'' had Kitty Pryde attend one of these, complete with being specifically targeted by the popular girls, when the rest of her team had gone missing.
* ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'' has Morben, that is a mix of this and OrphanageOfFear: its students were either {{Street Urchin}}s who have been placed in the wrong orphanage or unwanted relatives of powerful families (like Eva Kant, bastard daughter of a member of the powerful Kant family and placed there by her uncle while her father believed her dead), the staff regularly beat up the students for minor infractions or beat them up ''and'' closed them in a dark cell for days with little food once every three days, and favourite students of the director Clothilde [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Luger]] are free to bully the other students as they wait to be taken in by a rich family. [[FromBadToWorse And then there's the REALLY horrible part]]: [[spoiler: at least four kids with a huge inheritance were duped into giving their money to the director and then murdered, with a fifth noticing in time what was happening and running away and replaced by a lookalike who signed off the money and was murdered]]. As one of the victims of the ''very'' bad part [[spoiler: (actually the one who successfully escaped)]] was Eva's only friend during her stay there, [[LaserGuidedKarma miss Luger was tracked down and slain as soon as Eva found out about it]].
* The Franchise/{{Batman}} storyline ''Gothic'' pits the Caped Crusader against a mobster and child-killer who long ago made a DealWithTheDevil. Batman connects Mr. Whisper with the headmaster[[note]]It was a Brithis-style school in the US, hence the job title[[/note]] at his own childhood boarding school
* The first issue of ''ComicBook/TheInvisibles'' has a Borstal of Horrors run by malevolent extra-dimensional entities who are consuming the mental independence and imagination of the inmates.

[[folder: Fan Fic ]]
* PlayedForLaughs in the ''Fanfic/OfficialFanfictionUniversity'' metaseries. Being taken to a school where the teachers are all your favourite book or movie characters sounds like fun until you realise that [[FourthWallMailSlot they have seen the fanfic you write about them.]] And they are not flattered.
* Lily Potter attends one in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfic "Petal in the Rain" by pratty-prongs-princesse.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' fic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5055274/1/The-Graduation-Class The Graduation Class]], a younger Miss Alice Band revisits her own schooldays at the Quirm Academy for Young Ladies, ''far'' less fondly than Sybil Ramkin does. To Alice, schooldays became purgatorial, following an all-too-brief visit to Paradise. Miss Butts and Miss Delcross are seen far less sympathetically and come out as somewhat hypocritical[[note]]There is a strong implicatiion, even in canon, that Delcross and Butts are not just unmarried spinsters of a certain age - they are a long-standing lesbian couple themselves.[[/note]], in that Alice is punished both by the School and her own father for breaking one of the most fundamental rules in ''any'' single-sex boarding school. Her latter years there are Hell at the hands of both unkind peers and head-teachers who are closely watching her for any further infractions. This colours her later career as a boarding-school teacher at the Assassins' Guild School, where she resolves never to punish any of her girls for the same "crime" and to protect and guide them if she can. (See ''Literature: The Historical Illuminatus'', below.)
* In the webcomic Webcomic/KillLaKillAU, we have Honnouji Academy and it is this, along with being TheDreaded, or so it is rumored to be. According to Nui, it's like a prison and those that go in are never allowed out and the only way out is in a body bag. When she finds out Ryuko was to be sent there so she could still go the same school with her and Satsuki, she was furious.
-->'''Nui''': "Remedial School" my ass, more like "Slaughterhouse School", 'cause everyone that goes there may as well be going there to die.

* Lindsay Anderson's 1968 ''Film/{{If}}'' was Creator/MalcolmMcDowell's breakthrough role and embodies this trope.
* ''DeadPoetsSociety'': OK, no Wackford Squeers, but we do have an authoritarian headmaster who beats free-thinking students and a school board who squashes creative kids and teachers beneath "the way things are done here." The fact that most, if not all, of the parents are wealthy in some way and support the school's view doesn't help much, either.
* ''[[Film/ChildsPlay Child's Play 3]]'' has the boy from the first two movies in a military school, showcasing how brutal such schools can be in real life. Several DrillSergeantNasty types come to a sticky end at the hands of Chucky: "Don't fuck with the Chuck!"
* The first parts of Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheWall'' featured the main character Pink as a child at a non-boarding School of Horrors, complete with SadistTeacher, uniforms, single file marching... and [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic children being turned into obedient putty-faced zombies]] and then mindlessly walking over a platform and toppling into a giant meat grinder.
* ''Film/{{Scum}}'' offers an example of this trope, though in fact it is set in a borstal (what we would now call a young offenders' institute), so the less-than-pleasant nature of it is understandable...if not in any way justified, since some pretty horrific stuff happens. The film (and the play it was based on) were an AuthorTract against the institution of borstal, and the details are not entirely inaccurate.
* StTrinians is an all-girl boarding school where the only rule is anarchy. Although it is presented in a pleasant way past the first 10 minutes, it is no wonder the Minister for Education wants it closed. Among the mischief shown on screen: a girl is dragged after a tractor by a fellow student, another is dropped in a staircase head first, a third one is broadcast live on Website/YouTube while running naked in the corridors, the teachers are drunk, the first years play with dynamite and the students make and sell vodka in their science lab.
* The small all-girls school in ''Film/TheWoods'' doesn't seem very horrifying at first (just rather isolated) save for one bully, but soon you notice how [[StepfordSmiler unnaturally pleasant]] the teachers are, then your friends start to disappear, and then you start [[ManEatingPlant coughing up leaves and twigs]]...
* Satan's School for Girls. Just look at the ''title''!
* The Italian horror film ''Film/{{Suspiria}}'', which has a dance academy [[spoiler:run by a coven of witches.]]
** Done again by Argento in ''Film/{{Phenomena}}'', where the school is being menaced by a SerialKiller. [[spoiler: Whose mother is one of the teachers.]] There's also the fact that the Headmistress tried to have the main character locked in a mental hospital before she escaped.
* Combined with OrphanageOfFear in ''Film/TheDevilsBackbone''.
* ''Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory''. Although [[NonIndicativeName he never gets into the dorm itself]].
* The School in ''Unman, Wittering and Zigo''
* A variation of this appears in ''Film/DisturbingBehavior'', where it's done with a ''town''. Parents move to Cradle Bay with their troubled teens so that they will be "[[{{Brainwashed}} made]]" into model students and citizens.
* The Korean Horror Movie ''Destination Hell'' takes place in one of these.
* The Korean drama ''Film/TheCrucible'' was actually based on the true story of a sex abuse scandal at a school for the hearing-impaired, which was suffered by both resident and non-resident students.
* In ''Film/TheImitationGame'', we see flashbacks of how the introvert and mildly autistic hero was bullied by his classmates in boarding school.

* OlderThanRadio: Lowood School in CharlotteBronte's ''Literature/JaneEyre'', though the conditions improve after the big typhoid outbreak: the filthy cook is fired, Brocklehurst is edged out of his post and donors put up a new building. It overlaps a little with the OrphanageOfFear, since the pupils have all lost at least one parent. [[note]]A school drawn from life: the model for Lowood was the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge, where two of Bronte's sisters contracted fatal illnesses. Lowood's proprietor Mr. Brocklehurst is similarly based on Cowan Bridge's William Carus Wilson. Several of Bronte's contemporaries noticed the resemblance and complained loudly (Carus Wilson among them), while some survivors complained that she'd left too much out. The real horror is that Clergy Daughters was considered one of the best schools of its kind, and Rev. Bronte sent his girls there because it ''seemed'' in general to be a pleasant place where they'd get an inexpensive but high-quality education.[[/note]]
* While, at the outset, Hailsham from the novel ''Literature/NeverLetMeGo'' seems to be a great, loving place to grow up. That is, until you find out that [[spoiler:the place is really a maturing ground for cloned children, who will eventually have all their organs harvested and die very young.]]
** You also find out that Hailsham is actually quite nice compared to the schools run by [[spoiler: people who approve of the whole scheme instead of reformers who settled for giving the clones normal(ish) childhoods when they realized that they couldn't convince the public to scrap the project entirely.]]
* Robert Cormier's ''Literature/TheChocolateWar'' is set in a Catholic one.
* Dotheboys Hall in Creator/CharlesDickens' ''Literature/NicholasNickleby''. The villainous Wackford Squeers is said to be based on a real headmaster, who was so cruel that he [[MultipleReferencePun blinded some of his pupils]].
** It was reported that Dickens had created a minor backlash against Boarding Schools and a demand for quality assurance from his readers because of that gruesome description.
** Squeers was based on a man named William Shaw, headmaster of the Bowes Academy in northern England. Dickens made no effort to disguise this; the novel ruined Shaw and led to the closure of Bowes. However, there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that Dickens unfairly maligned Shaw -- the incident with the blinded boys, for example, has been attributed by some historians to an illness which arrived in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, and Shaw is recorded as having employed an eye specialist (at great expense) to try and cure them. Whatever the truth about him, quite a few people weren't happy with Dickens' treatment of him and apparently installed a window to him in the local church after his death.
* David's boarding school in ''Literature/DavidCopperfield''. Had it not been for people like [[HandsomeDevil Steerforth]], Mr. Bell or Tommy Traddles, it would've been even worse. And it ''was'' pretty bad, thanks to [[SadistTeacher Mr.]] [[FatBastard Creakle]].
* ''AChristmasCarol'' rounds out the Charles Dickens hat-trick: Ebenezer Scrooge spent his childhood years at one. Uniquely, ''A Christmas Carol's'' horror is on a more abstract, intellectual level: at Scrooge's school, his teachers strove to pound out any and all glimmers of imagination and fantasy and replace them with cold, hard, facts. Said teachers are not presented as out-and-out villains (indeed, we never see them as characters in their own right), but as practitioners of [[SocietyMarchesOn then-accepted teaching standards]]. As an amusing side note, the Ghost of Christmas Past effectively punctures Scrooge's NostalgiaFilter over his school days and forces him to confront what it ''really'' did.
* The Stjärnberg boarding school in the Swedish novel ''Ondskan'' by journalist and action-novel author Jan Guillou, recently turned into a film. It was based on Mr Guillou's own boarding school experience in the 1950s. When he became a journalist in the 1960's, he managed to shut down that school by exposing its horrors to the general public.
** Funny story, he actually decided to become a journalist because it turned out to be the most effective way to shut down the school. Then he spent twenty years practicing his writing in journalism and in lesser novels like the Carl Hamilton series before he felt confident enough to write the book. We might call that dedication.
* The school in Creator/MercedesLackey's ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Brightly Burning]]'' isn't a boarding school, but otherwise matches this trope. An elite group of "sixth form" students can get away with anything, including severely beating a younger boy for not stealing on their behalf.
* Jill's and Eustace's school, Experiment House, in Creator/CSLewis' ''Literature/TheSilverChair''. Rather than the "abusively strict and draconian" type, however, Experiment House is the less-common variant of the trope in which the trouble is the complete ''lack'' of discipline; its faculty, fancying themselves modern and progressive, allow bullies to run wild, creating a hellish environment for the rest of the students like Jill and Eustace.
** Also, either Experiment House or another BoardingSchoolOfHorrors is also implied to have contributed to Edmund's mean and resentful behavior in the first book; upon his recovery, Lucy observes that he looks better than he has "since his first term at that horrid school which was where he had begun to go wrong."
* Creator/GeorgeOrwell's essay "Such, Such Were the Joys" is about his experiences in such a school.
** In the RealLife, the teachers of the school considered young Eric Blair as one of the truly rising stars in achievement and predicted him a bright future in the literature.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** The Fools' Guild School. A thoroughly miserable place where students sleep on hard pallets, are woken at the crack of dawn, and spend hours memorizing ancient jokes that simply aren't funny and being drilled in slapstick routines that are even less so. The irony is amped up by it being next door to the Assassins' Guild, which is a much more cheerful place and lets the students go outside.
** The downside of the Assassins' Guild is that the number of students tends to be considerably smaller at the end of the year than it was at the beginning due to the student rivalries.
** Discworld also has Hugglestones, a boarding school for the sons of the very rich designed to turn boys into men... apparently by making them play a lot of violent full-contact sports and only allowing those who survive (either by brute force or just being smart enough to avoid the scrum while still acting like they're involved in the action) to graduate; William de Worde from ''Discworld/TheTruth'' is an example of the latter sort of student. Hugglestones is also described as physically resembling a maximum-security prison, with the difference that prison inmates get better treatment. In ''Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook'', Mrs Bradshaw watches the boys getting on the train at the end of term; some in wheelchairs, some on stretchers, and two in coffins.
** ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' has the Girl's Working School, which cranks this up to {{Room 101}} levels. Three of the main characters were in it at some point, and it shows in different ways. (Unlike most Boarding Schools of Horrors, it's for ''poor'' girls; it's something between an OrphanageOfFear and a Magdalene laundry). Lt Blouse went to a less extreme version - he's perfectly happy to eat scubbo (soup made of boiled water and anything remotely edible) with the men, as it's what he got at school. Jackrum later quips that "He went to a school for young gentlemen, so prison will be just like old times."
* Hogwarts turns into this in Creator/JKRowling's ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', thanks to Umbridge (former trope namer for TyrantTakesTheHelm).
** It gets mostly better in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]'', then rather '''''a lot worse''''' under the Carrow siblings in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]''. As the PowerTrio have dropped out to pursue Horcruxes, we mostly only hear about the horrors secondhand.
** Hogwarts toes the line between this and AcademyOfAdventure. The CrustyCaretaker likes to reminiscence about the good old days when he could hang troublemakers from the ceiling by their ankles, although he may have just been running his mouth. The BigBad himself went there half a century ago and arranged a lot of "nasty incidents", including the murder of another student (who still hangs around as a ghost).
** Another example is (potentially) Durmstrang Institute, first mentioned in ''Goblet of Fire'', which is one of the premier wizarding schools of Europe. We never actually ''see'' Durmstrang, but there's tell that the faculty and students are cruel and that it involves setting people on fire. It also doesn't help that their headmaster, Igor Karkaroff, was one of [[BigBad Voldemort]]'s minions before the events of the series ''or'' that it was the school where Gellert Grindelwald (who is basically the wizarding world's version of Hitler) attended as a student.
** Although it is noted Grindelwald [[EvenEvilHasStandards was expelled for "twisted experiments".]]
** The uniform of Smeltings Academy[[labelnote:*]]The school Dudley goes to[[/labelnote]] includes a gnarled stick for the students to hit each other with when the teacher's not looking. This is supposedly a great help in preparing the students for the future.
** These could be just a case of [[TruthinTelevision Truth in Television]]: in real life, people believe all sorts of stories about their schools' arch-rivals that have no basis in reality whatsoever (and deep down, most of us usually know it).
* The Prufrock Preparatory school in ''The Austere Academy'', Book The Fifth of ''ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents''. The buildings are even shaped like ''gravestones''. The school is run by Vice Principal Nero. When the Baudelaire siblings first arrive he informs them about the fine dormitories they have, but that unless students have parental permission, they must sleep on hay in a tin shack (known as the Orphan's Shack). He considers himself to be a genius and thinks that he plays the violin well, but in fact he is unworthy, stupid, mean, arrogant, obnoxious, annoying, and cannot play the violin well at all. Nonetheless, students must attend his lengthy violin recitals every day, or else they must buy him a large bag of candy and watch him eat it. The Baudelaires are forced to live in the Orphans' Shack which is infested with crabs, fungus drips from the ceiling, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and the tin walls are covered in horrible wallpaper (green with pink hearts)]]. They are also regularly bullied by a rude, violent girl named Carmelita Spats and Sunny (a baby) is made to be a secretary for Nero. There's also a rule that if students are late to class (or Sunny is late to work) their hands will be tied behind their backs during meals and they'll have to "lean down at eat their food like a dog". Sunny has her silverware taken away because she must work in the administrative building where students are not allowed. Also if students are late to meals (which are not at specified times) their glasses are taken away and beverages are served in large puddles on the trays.
** The school motto: MEMENTO MORI (Remember You Will Die). It can also be translated as "Remember Your Mortality" which also indicates, that you aren't anything more than a human. Which means, that if you are a troublemaker (or if the teachers see you as one) you can -- and will -- be broken down, by any gruesome means possible.
* St Custards in the ''Literature/{{Molesworth}}'' books, and St. Trinian's, both drawn by cartoonist Ronald Searle.
* In the Inspector Linley detective novel ''Well Schooled In Murder'', a murder is covered up by the staff and all 600 pupils of a Boarding School of Horrors.
* Happens in a ''{{Goosebumps}}'' short story, "The Perfect School"
* The school that Literature/AlexRider attends in ''Point Blanc''. The school appears awesome, it's just that the other students are all {{Stepford Smiler}}s. [[spoiler:The real students are held underground while the clones of the BigBad study them in order to imitate them properly]]
* The Afrikaaner boarding school in ''Literature/ThePowerOfOne'' fits this trope, though Peekay's experience is worse than most because he's English.
* The horribly built school in ''Literature/TheWarBetweenThePitifulTeachersAndTheSplendidKids'' is not only a dumping ground for "bad" students (the main POV character is actually very intelligent but infuriated his teacher by making up words ("inkwart- that blister that develops when you write too many stupid English assignments") and sticking to them; another is a very smart CloudCuckooLander; another was [[RaisedByWolves raised by hyenas]]) but also for ''bad teachers'' like the self-absorbed art teacher who jousted as The Rococo Knight.
* Crunchem Hall in Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' fits the trope to a T, despite being a day school. The headmistress delights in, among other things, locking students in an iron maiden-style closet full of broken glass and nails, forcing students to eat chocolate cake until they either vomit or explode, and picking students up by their hair and hammer-throwing them across the school grounds.
* Similarly, Creator/RoaldDahl wrote about his horrific experiences at a boarding school in his first autobiographical book, ''Boy: Tales of Childhood''.
* In LoisDuncan's ''Literature/DownADarkHall'', the headmistress is forcing her trapped students to channel the ghosts of dead geniuses...which causes enough mental damage to drive them to insanity or suicide.
* The school in Cinda Williams Chima's ''[[Literature/TheHeirChronicles The Wizard Heir]]'' is mainly a way for its wizard headmaster to locate young wizards to bind to him; the non-magical students are tormented -- and sometimes killed -- by the others, and when the protagonist refuses to go along, he's subjected to months of constant mental torture.
* In ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'', Felix Jongleur, evil mastermind of the Grail Brotherhood, grew up in the UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne era and was sent to Cranleigh, a British boarding school that he remembers as a place of abject misery and torture, not the least of which because he is French. Even nearly two hundred years later (yes, he is that old), these memories give him BadDreams. Interestingly, they also cause him to pick Paul Jonas as his OppositeSexClone "daughter's" tutor, because he went to the same school, and this forms a minor plot point late in the story.
* The 19th century Austro-Hungarian military academy portrayed in ''Literature/TheConfusionsOfYoungTorless '' is one of these. While we never see much of the rest of the student body, the plot centers on the sadistic torment of one of its students, observed dispassionately by the title character.
* ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'': Ella attends one which she eventually escapes. It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for Hattie ordering her about and the punishment of meals being taken away if you talked back to a teacher.
* Coates Academy from ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' might count. It starts out as a boarding school for "difficult" kids, which translates into sadists, sociopaths, juvenile delinquents, bullies, and a few decent kids who talked back too often, or whose parents just wanted to get rid of them. It is described as a cold, foreboding place where the bullies rule. Then, things only get worse (for the few decent kids) after some of the kids develop super powers, the adults all vanish, and the bullies ''really'' rule. Eventually, it gets to be unbearable for every character except Drake.
* Drearcliff Grange in Creator/KimNewman's Literature/DiogenesClub story "Kentish Glory: The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School" combines this with SuperheroSchool for a {{Deconstruction}} of Girls' School stories such as ''The Silent Three''. The main character is warned that the prefects can punish her for having a red mark on her face by slapping her (and can continue to do so as long as she continues to have red marks on her face), and will already have ritually burnt the doll in her luggage at the stake (as it turns out they haven't, they're waiting to torture it in front of her). But then ''that'' gets deconstructed, when we're told that after three weeks she no longer sees the school as either good or bad; it's simply how things are.
* In ''Literature/RedPlanet'', the main characters are sent to a dispassionately oppressive boarding school where the headmaster attempts to steal the hero's (sentient) pet and the heroes discover a plot against the entire colony.
* In Morton Rhue's ''Boot Camp'', The boot camp "Harmony Lake" is this, its methods a mix between ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' (on the instructors' part) and the Experiment House from ''Literature/TheSilverChair'' (on the bullies' part)... and things still manage to go FromBadToWorse in the end. Given that it was based on "Tranquility Bay" (see RealLife below), it's understandable.
* In Creator/RobertAntonWilson's ''[[Literature/{{Illuminatus}} The Historical Illuminatus II]] - The Widow's Son'', Edward Babcock lives through Hell at Eton when the School launches a witch-hunt to find and detect actively gay pupils. Wilson describes a Gestapo-like interrogation of all pupils who are called, one by one, in front of a panel of teachers and urged to confess to the cardinal and disgusting sin of sodomy, so that they can repent and their souls may be saved before God. Knowing to confess to being gay means expulsion, disgrace, and lifelong ostracism, Babcock bluffs and lies his way out of it, although he is both frightened and intimidated. After the first flush of elation at having successfully lied to his teachers, he is pulled up cold by the appalling realisation his lover is yet to be questioned. As the boys are being called in by alphabetical order, he realises Geoffrey Wildeblood will have a long agonising wait... eventually he realises Geoffrey has fled the school and has killed himself, rather than face shame and disgrace.
* Cackle's Academy in ''TheWorstWitch'' teeters on being an example. The school is described as cold during the winter and the girls are forced to spend break outdoors even when it's cold. The food is also always served cold (mostly because it takes half an hour to carry up to the Great Hall from the kitchens). And while there is a SadistTeacher Miss Hardbroom and a few strict others, the headmistress Miss Cackle is good natured and friendly. The school's conditions are all in the name of tradition rather than any desire to be cruel. The TV series does also help make the school a little more welcoming.
* ''Literature/{{Murderess}} features a [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] version of this trope. The James Centre Boarding School is shabby and grey, the food served in the cafeteria is awful (rumours say that a boy who ate everything he was served for a week [[LethalChef died because of it]]), the teachers are a bit mean and grating (but by no means blatantly sadistic), and the magic-wielding AlphaBitch Bridget seems to terrorise her fellow student, but all in all, it could be much worse.
* The school Carrie attends in ''Literature/PetalsOnTheWind''.
* TPU in ''Literature/MorganvilleVampires'' is a collegiate example.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Farringham School for Boys in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' adventure [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E8HumanNature "Human Nature"]], more so in the [[ExpandedUniverse novel]] the episodes were based on. And that was before the Doctor turned up, Cosmic Horror-Show in tow. The school was fairly representative of similar British schools at the time.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'''s River Tam went to a SchoolForScheming version of one of these that was presided over by [[MadScientist Mad Scientists]]. She came out...a bit touched.
* Francis spends the first few seasons of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' in military school.
* ''Series/PoltergeistTheLegacy'''s tenth episode "The Substitute" was a classic example of this trope.
* Ned from ''Series/PushingDaisies'' gets sent to a school that is not necessarily a BoardingSchoolOfHorrors as it is a Boarding School of Abandonment and Gloom For Unloved Children.
* The Graybridge school in "Tomkinson's Schooldays", the pilot episode of ''RippingYarns''. At Graybridge, School Bully is actually an official position functioning as a one-man AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil.
** "I was seventeen miles from Graybridge before I was caught by the school leopard."
* [[TropeBreaker Broken]] in ''Series/{{Zoey 101}}''. The bording school is so perfect it's literally unbelievable.
* ''TowerPrep'', where kids with special gifts are knocked out and wake up at this school with no explanation, have no idea where they are, a giant wall keeps them from leaving, they are not allowed to contact the outside, and they are forced to act like they are simply normal students.
* Jennie Garth starred in a LifetimeMovie style ''WithoutConsent'' which is about teenage "re-education" facilities (see Real Life below). Along with torturing the students in their control, whether they've actually done anything wrong or not, the program ditches a clearly-troubled young man as soon as his parents' insurance runs out of money, claiming that he is now "cured". [[spoiler: He kills himself.]]
* The un-named boarding school in ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'' could be considered this. While it is a rather clean and rich school, and students are (usually) well taken care of, it is also a school where [[EvilTeacher the teachers tend to be evil]], ancient secrets haunt Anubis House, and it seems to be a hotspot for ancient evil activities, as well as endless dangers the students face daily just to sometimes simply survive. The school WAS only started for the teachers to succeed in their plots of achieving immortality...

* ''Radio/BleakExpectations'': St Bastard's.
** Antarctic House is even worse.

* It's the main premise of the deck building game ''TabletopGame/MiskatonicSchoolForGirls'', which involves a girls' school staffed by {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.

* One of the characters in ''SpringAwakening'' is sent to such a school.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' takes place in one of these. It starts out miserable and ends up just really sucky. Cliques run the school, classism runs rampant, and physical violence is the only way to solve your problems. It ascribes more to the AdultsAreUseless end of things, though, so there isn't a SadistTeacher.
* According to herself, the 'famous actress' Gloria Van Gouten in ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' went to one of these. Then again, considering how we found out, and Gloria's condition, it may not be true.
* Henry from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' was sent to a [[WizardingSchool magical-based]] version of these in the English version of the game [[spoiler: after he awoke to his powers and [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge killed those]] who murdered his OnlyFriend, the local wolf]]. (The Japanese original only mentions "an institution", likely an OrphanageOfFear). And [[BloodKnight it]] [[AxCrazy didn't]] [[SociopathicHero do him]] [[BlueAndOrangeMorality many]] [[CutePsycho favors.]] (Moreso in the English version)

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* Webcomic/NoNamed is set in a school described to be this, though at first the rules seem relatively lax in some respects and it looks like an InformedAttribute. [[spoiler:It isn't. The school is under the control of an EldritchAbomination, and what you have to beware of is the ''other students'', who he controls.]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* ''Grave Academy's'' students and protagonists, are all monsters, and all are at least Deuteragonists.
* Dorian Sanders from v3 of ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' apparently went to one of these, though so far the only clue about said school is the description of how he was psychologically changed by his time there in his bio.
* In the flash series WebAnimation/{{XIN}}, the story takes place during a fictional time in America where, in an effort to prevent street gangs and violent delinquent crimes, the punishments of suspension and expulsion have been made illegal in all schools (not just boarding ones). Instead, corporal punishment has been reinstated, and as you may have guessed, it doesn't take long for staff to start abusing these powers. However, due to falling academic standards, along with rigorous school evaluations, a new system needed to be created. This lead to the hierarchy system known as the Pillar System, created by the main antagonist. The Pillar System takes advantage of the existing student hierarchy, and gives a select group of students, called monitors, complete power in setting rules and administering punishment to students. This goes about as well as you'd think. It's made worse by the fact that many main characters (including the top monitors) in the series know some insane superhuman fighting techniques (the series ''is'' anime-esque). You also know a system is bad when you find yourself cheering for the delinquents who are trying to expose and break it.
* Literature/{{Addergoole}} is a boarding school for faeries who've been raised human. There's mind control built into the walls. Slavery and rape are encouraged. The older kids are geased to not tell the new kids anything until it's too late. A lot of them don't want to warn them anyway. The whole school is a training version of their society.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" showcases the military school example. Although that was something of a subversion; the school itself was fairly decent (the principal even seemed a fair and friendly man) and the only abuse we see was focused entirely on Bart and Lisa (later only Lisa), and was based on other students resenting Lisa for being given the good dorm.
** Well, that and the DeathCourse that's getting retired at the end of the year due to silly things like "students dying".
* WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil has a yet unseen example: "St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses".
-->''It's a reform school, cupcake, not jail. [[NoExceptYes Although admittedly it is a lot like jail.]]''
* {{Daria}}'s dad is traumatized by his father sending him to a military boarding camp with dreaded Corporal Ellenbogen and "boys who can smell fear". In fact, his subplot in ''Is It College Yet'' is him trying to convince her not to go to military school (which she never wanted to do in the first place).