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“'Chosen'? I never chose a bloody thing. As I recall, I was informed at the age of ten that I would become a Watcher, then summarily packed off to study horror and death alongside Latin and Geometry.
Rupert Giles[src]

The Watchers Academy was an educational institution from the Watchers Council. Traditionally, descendants of Watchers would attend the boarding school from the age of 10, to be taught and trained to be Watchers themselves.[1]


This is how you train Watchers? By bringing children to be slaughtered?
Edna Giles[src]

In early 20th century, Edna Giles, James, Roger, and the infiltrated vampire Sophie Downs underwent their studies in the Watchers Academy. As part of their training, they listened to stories from the captive vampire Roche, the first vampire they'd ever saw, while each holding a weapon for protection. Although, Edna grew suspicious of the situation such a powerful vampire was reduced into. Along with his sire Sophie, Roche had managed to deceive the teachers, including Dunworthy, into allowing the students into a trap, only for their impending attack to be discovered and stopped by 10 years old Edna.[2]

In 1964, ten years old Rupert Giles used the Shard of Stronnos to turn a light demon into a solid form, his use of such powerful magic at such a young age confirming his potential. Understanding the child would be a target for being like that, as well as a danger to himself and others, his father, Mr. Giles, send him immediately to the Watchers Academy to be properly trained. His great-aunts Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather uselessly opposed the decision, as they thought Rupert deserved a few more years as a child, as they knew how the Academy was like, and repudiated that "such a sweet boy" would be amid all the horror from the school.[3]

In 1972, as part of their training, Philip, Lucy, Charlotte, an unidentified student, and then head boy Rupert Giles were dispatched to the Highgate Cemetery, London, to deal with the mysterious "Highgate Vampire." As it turned out, the Council had sent them out on faulty intelligence, and the "vampire" revealed to be a Lorophage demon, who fed on the traumatic memories and experiences of humans, driving them insane and killing them in the process. As noted by Rupert, the students had seen much horror, peering into hell demons and spending much of the past decade being locked in rooms with starving vampires — ideal victims for such demon.[1]

While they attempted to slay it, the Lorophage demon killed four of the Watchers-in-training. It began to fed on Rupert, but two elder Watchers, one of them Mr. Giles, arrived and fought the demon off before it could complete the process. Because of the incident, Rupert chose to turn his back on his destiny and follow his own path.[1] Years later, after Rupert dropped out of his attempt at a History degree at Oxford University, a visit of his grandmother Edna convinced him to resume his Watcher studies.[4]

In 2002, the ex-Watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce momentarily lost all his memories from after the first 16 years of his life. Thinking to be a teenager, he identified himself as a head boy, studying at the Watchers Academy in southern Hampshire. According to him, there were stories of a test at the Academy, a secret gauntlet which only the most cunning could survive: a student would be locked in a house with a vicious, deadly vampire, and you would have to kill the creature before the creature killed you, similarly to the Tento di Cruciamentum for Slayers.[5]