We all know School Clubs Are Serious Business. However, some high school settings have those that take it a step further. Though they pose as regular clubs, they actually exist as a coverup for some extracurricular activity that is usually supernaturally-oriented.
The members will often be ordinary high school students that are the only ones equipped to investigate and battle some shadowy threat, and a school club presents the perfect story to keep up The Masquerade. They can take advantage of funding, equipment and gathering after school without unfortunate questions arising.
The club advisor will either be a non-existant figurehead or a grown-up who supports the students from behind the scenes because he is unable to interfere directly. Commonly found in an Academy of Adventure.
Compare Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club.
- The Exorcists in Blue Exorcist train the students exorcists in the academy under the guise of a "Cram-Class". Which is technically true as they do do extra studies there.
- The Chosen Children of Digimon Adventure 02 have referred to their group as the "Computer Club". It's basically a cover for their afterschool trips to the Digital World, using one of the school computers to get there. An early episode shows that there is a teacher who acts as the club's advisor - but he doesn't know the first thing about using computers and is a nonentity for the rest of the series. (His story purpose was to send Taichi away for an episode by forcing him to run interference.)
- In Hallelujah Overdrive: The group(s heavy metal band), masquerades as a "Experimental Physics Club" to avoid getting closed down by the principal.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: The S.O.S. Brigade is one of these with a twist. On paper, it exists to find supernatural stuff (espers, aliens and time travellers, among other things). On application, it exists only to cater to every crazy whimsy that Haruhi Suzumiya has. The 'twist' lies in that there is an alien, an esper and a Time Traveller amongst the members of the club-and their objective is to observe, report, and keep The Masquerade in front of Haruhi's eyes, because she's a Reality Warper of massive power who could bring along The End of the World as We Know It without even wanting to... and her getting bored increases the chances of it happening a whole damn lot. The Lemony Narrator and POV character of the show is the club's sole normal member, an Unfazed Everyman who is on the Dark Secret, and supports The Masquerade whole-heartedly (if snarkily).
- Negima!? has a Chupacabra-based club being used as a cover for those who discovered Negi's secret.
- Shugo Chara!: The Guardians use their Absurdly Powerful Student Council position to hunt X-Charas and fight Easter.
- Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!:
- The titular Earth Defense Club, a student club organized by an alien wombat for the purpose of defending the earth with The Power of Love. All five members are Magical Girl Warriors.
- Similarly, there's their rivals the Conquest Club, another school club of (male) Magical Girl Warriors backed by a different, evil alien.
- Rosario + Vampire: Subverted with the Newspaper Club, which is part of a school exclusively for yokais. It is a genuine Newspaper Club, but they cover up some parts their stories to not attract more attention from their schoolmates than they already have. The supernatural aspects of their activity itself isn't a problem, since everyone in school is already supernatural.
- The S.O.S. Brigade, in addition to its regular purpose of keeping Haruhi entertained from the source material, has a second hidden purpose in SOS Pretty Cure—specifically, it's to hide the fact that all five of them are also the eponymous magical warriors. This is most evident during the Magical Mystery Patrols.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore's Army was formed with this intention (although they weren't keeping its purpose a secret, they weren't exactly openly advertising for members), but Umbridge got wind of it and had a rule allowing her to veto clubs introduced. As a result it became more of a secret club, the only one openly acknowledging Voldemort's return, and La Résistance in the 7th book.
- The Haunting Hour: The episode "Alien Candy" features the alien club, which is for actual aliens planning to take over the school instead of sci-fi fans, as the club advertised.
- Kamen Rider Fourze has the Kamen Rider Club at school, which is actually made up of the students helping the Kamen Riders and has a portal to a base on the moon. It is unclear just how much the club claims to be a legitimate school club - said portal is hidden in an old locker in a closed-off classroom, and they don't have a teacher sponsor until Ohsugi finds out.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the episode "Inca Mummy Girl" Buffy tells the visiting exchange student, Ampata, that she's meeting with the Archeology Club in the school library.
- In Persona 3, the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (known as SEES) is registered as a school club with Chairman Ikutsuki as its advisor, and members even stay in the same dorm. However, the true purpose of the "club" is to investigate the Shadows, Tartarus and the Dark Hour, supernaturally phenomena that can only be experienced by a few. All members possess the ability to summon a Persona, which is the only known weapon against the Shadows.
- Dear Children: The journalism club mostly uses their club status so the teachers don't question them using equipment to investigate paranormal mysteries. They are still tasked with writing the school's news paper.
- Paranatural features the Paranatural Activity Club, whose purpose is to keep paranormal activity around the school in check, and to help young spectrals like Max understand and control their powers, while Invisible to Normals creatures roam around the town.