Is Hannah Baker real? The 13 Reasons Why TikTok account explained

22 June 2021, 13:10

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Are the Hannah Baker tapes real? Here's what we know about the mysterious 13 Reasons Why account on TikTok.

A TikTok account which claims to have the tapes from the real Hannah Baker from 13 Reasons Why is blowing up right now. Many believe that the recordings are actually from Hannah Baker.

In case you didn't know, 13 Reasons Why is a teen drama series based on the 2007 novel of the same name by author Jay Asher. The series revolves around the aftermath of Hannah Baker's (played by Katherine Langford) death, who took her own life. Before Hannah's death, she left behind a box of cassette tapes in which she explains all the reasons why she decided to end her life. She also details the people she believes are responsible for her death.

Although the controversial series prompted criticism from mental health professionals, it was an instant hit for Netflix upon its release in 2017. The show ran for four seasons, airing its final episode in June 2020.

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Is Hannah Baker real?
Is Hannah Baker real? Picture: Netflix, @13reasonswhyrealtapes via TikTok

Is Hannah Baker real?

No, Hannah Baker is not real. Hannah is based on a character from Jay Asher's novel. However, Jay was inspired by a relative who attempted to take their own life while in high school so you could say 13 Reasons Why is lightly inspired by true events.

In 2016, Jay told students at Marquette University that he used insight from the women in his life on their high school experiences, as well as what happened to his relative, to develop the Hannah character.

Are the Hannah Baker tapes real?

Because Hannah Baker isn't actually a real person, the tapes cannot possibly be real either. Although the TikTok page has convincingly shared multiple clips of the tapes, the entire thing appears to have been made up by a fan. However, it's not clear who started the page.

The idea of the tapes actually came to Jay after he visited a casino in Las Vegas. Jay decided to incorporate tapes while listening to a recorded audio guide on a tour of an exhibition about King Tutankhamen of Egypt. Speaking during a 2016 visit to Edina High School, Jay said: "At the very end of the tour, I thought I want to write a book set up like this where instead of chapters you have sides of cassette tapes."

He also told New York Times: "This would be a really cool format for a book that I had never seen."