Midweek Madness: Soaps’ Craziest Characters

Credit: NBC

Jan Spears, DAYS

Like many soap psychos, Jan Spears didn’t start out crazy. Introduced in 1999 as part of the show’s new teen scene — which included beloved characters like Shawn, Belle, Chloe, Philip and Brady — Jan was just the mean girl. She picked on Chloe, calling her “Ghoul Girl,” and plotted with Mimi Lockhart to humiliate her at Salem High’s annual Last Blast dance. Jan and Mimi filmed Chloe in the shower, then projected it for the whole school to see at the dance, ruining Chloe’s relationship with Philip.

The cruel fun and games took a much more serious turn when Jan was raped by Paul Mendez during summer vacation. Jan was impregnated, and nice guy Shawn offered to raise the baby with her. But Jan took a tumble and lost the baby, and ultimately left Salem with her mother.

Jan returned to town in 2003, and something was decidedly off about the troubled girl. Her parents had supposedly died, leaving Jan very wealthy, and she started counseling with Marlena. Her real reason for coming back to Salem was to break up Shawn and Belle, but things quickly spun out of control when Nicole convinced Jan to kill Victor for her in exchange for helping to break the couple up. Jan casually electrocuted Victor while he was taking a bath (though he would end up alive and well on Melaswen, along with the victims of the Salem Stalker).

Jan then went full psycho when she kidnapped Shawn and kept him captive in a cage at her country house, brainwashing him against Belle. He escaped via motorcycle, but got into an accident and woke up thinking he was in love with Jan! The desperate woman resorted to blackmail when Mimi found out she had held Shawn hostage (Jan had found out that Mimi had a secret abortion). Finally, during an argument with Mimi, Jan fell and hit her head, going into a coma. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.