The rumor mill is in overdrive about exactly what will happen during the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

[Editor's note: The following story contains plot spoilers. If you don't want to know about what the final episodes may contain, don't read it!]

The big question remains: will Buffy survive her final epsiode and ride off on her broom stick into the sunset?

Or will she suffer the fate she has so often dealt out to the evil others over seven, pop-phenomenal seasons?

The finale is set to air May 20, the culmination of the a four-episode story arc that starts in two weeks.

The latest debate is over whether the good/bad vampire Spike, played by James Marsters, is going to bite the dust in a noble effort to sacrifice himself and save Buffy.

The website spoilerzone.com claims some sort of insider told them Marster's character will die -- even though Marsters has already told reporters that he'll turn up next season on the Buffy spin-off, Angel.

"In the final battle, Spike sacrifices his life to save the world. Buffy tells him she loves him, but he thinks she is just being nice because he is about to die."

And just in case it's wrong, the site adds this disclaimer:

"This is currently preliminary information, and the scenes have not been filmed yet. We also have to consider the possibility of being misled."

E! Online TV gossip columnist Wanda, a reliable source in the past for inside info, writes that Spike "does not die. . . he disappears."

Big dif.

Just for fun, we tapped our own sources at Buffy to dig up some tid-bits about the finale, and here's what The Post found out:

* That Angel star David Boreanaz will make a surprise appearance.

* The town of Sunnydale, where Buffy is set, gets sucked down into the hellmouth.

* A beloved, regular character really does get knocked off.

* A regular cast member survives the carnage and moves to Los Angeles to join the cast of Angel.

Meanwhile, other rumors that a Buffy spinoff is in the works for next fall are not true, according to executive producer Marti Noxon.

"There's a lot of talk, but no decision has been made about a spinoff," Noxon told a reporter. "Any number of the characters could be in a spinoff, but there won't be a spinoff right away. The dust will settle first for Buffy'. Any spin-off couldn't happen until midseason next year, Noxon said.

A longtime front-runner for a spin-off, a series about Buffy's rival slayer Faith, wasn't possible for this fall because Eliza Dushku, is starring in a pilot for Fox.