Supernatural urban legends: A vengeful spirit explained


Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

Vengeful spirits have been used countless times in Supernatural. Here’s a look at the lore behind the creature.

While the pilot episode of Supernatural included a vengeful spirit, it was a very particular spirit: the woman in white. It was only in Episode 3 “Dead in the Water” that we saw a typical, every-day-run-of-the-mill vengeful spirit.

More from Supernatural

The brothers go to Lake Manitoc as wildlife officers, investigating another mysterious drowning. Despite numerous drownings in a lake, no bodies have ever been recovered. There is just one survivor to date, but a dark secret that two men want to take to their graves.

It’s during the investigation that Sam and Dean learn about the vengeful spirit behind the drownings. Now one of the most recurring monsters on the show, vengeful spirit lore is commonly overlooked. Each spirit will have its own reason for attacking and some have specific victims and methodology.

Here’s a look at the lore for the vengeful spirit in Supernatural Season 1, “Dead in the Water.”

Supernatural’s lore on vengeful spirits

So to start with a vengeful spirit is basically a ghost that is not only very common, but also extremely dangerous. They are the ghosts of someone who has had something terrible done to them (usually a violent death) and upon their death were unable to cross over. Instead, they seek their revenge.

As a vengeful spirit becomes older, they become more powerful. Later on in the show, it is clarified that they also become more obsessed with seeking out their vengeance. This usually results in innocent people getting caught in the cross-hairs.

Usually, the vengeful spirit will either take on the appearance or habitat of the place they had the wrong done to them. In the case of “Dead in the Water,” the spirit had taken over Lake Manitoc because the spirit had suffered a violent death in that lake.

In future episodes, other places where the death had occurred had become the spirits hunting ground. However objects such as a Truck or a mirror have featured as well.

This is why the vengeful spirit is so dangerous. No spirit is the same, which makes it more difficult to hunt. And these spirits will stop at nothing until they get their vengeance, unless a hunter stops them.

In order to stop one it is best to salt and burn the bones of the deceased. If the body has already been cremated, hunters need to find the object their connected to or hope that there’s a little left of them somewhere to salt and burn. There have been cases when the Winchesters had had to find creative ways.

Occasionally the spirit will move on on its own accord if it has achieved its goal. This happened in “Dead in the Water.”

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

The real lore

Well, Supernatural pretty much got this one 100% accurate.

According to mythology and folklore, a vengeful spirit (or more commonly known as a vengeful ghost) is the result of person who has suffered a violent death, aka cruel, violent, unnatural etc. They have returned to seek out justice (or revenge, depending on your view) for what has happened to them.

There is also a small reference to spirits returning if they have not been given a proper funeral as well. They seek out those who have not helped them pass onto the next life.

This ideology has been expressed and viewed across many different cultures, making it one of the most commonly known urban legends. It’s not surprising vengeful spirits show up so much.

Next: Supernatural rewatch recap: Season 1, Episode 3 Dead in the Water

Don’t forget that Supernatural returns to The CW on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

So what do you think about vengeful spirits? Did you know the story behind this element of Supernatural urban legends? Share your thoughts with us below.