Supernatural urban legends: Hook Man lore explained


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

Supernatural Season 1, Episode 7 featured one of my favorite urban legends: the Hook Man. Just what is the lore in the show and in real life?

The Hook Man is one of the oldest urban legends and one of the most notable. You’ve likely heard a version of it in your lifetime, even if it was just telling horror stories around the campfire.

In Supernatural Season 1, Episode 7, the lore was used for the creature. In the episode, the Hook Man is actually a vengeful spirit, but in real life the lore is slightly different.

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Supernatural’s Hook Man lore

The Hook Man in the series is a vengeful spirit, so the lore of the vengeful spirit also connects to this episode. In the episode, the spirit was of Jacob Karns, a preacher who killed 13 prostitutes one night in 1862. He used a hook for the killings, and he was later hanged for his crimes and buried in an unmarked grave. The hook used was melted down, so the silver could be used for items within the church.

During the episode, Sam and Dean mention that the urban legend “Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Lights” is connected to the Hook Man. In real life, they are two different urban legends, although do have some similarities.

In “Hook Man,” the spirit of Karns attaches himself to priests and their daughters. He remains angry at the loose morals and the red light district, and attacks those he views as being sinners.

Because he is a spirit, he can be vanquished by salting and burning his bones. The episode shows the first time that this is done by the Winchesters.

The real Hook Man lore

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

The real urban legend takes many forms. The most popular is linked to an escaped patient from a mental asylum. It’s a warning tale for young teens and an attempt to scare them from sneaking off with their partners.

In the urban legend, a young girl and boy make out in the town’s known makeout spot. The boy wants to take things further, but the girl is uneasy about it. She hears a report about an escaped patient from an aslyum and asks to go home. As the boy continues to pressure her to stay, the girl starts to hear scratching noises on the case.

There are two endings to this urban legend. The first involves the boyfriend going outside to find the source of the scratching noise. The girl ends up getting out of the car when the boyfriend doesn’t return, only to find him hanging from the tree above the car. Depending on the story, either his feet or his hands are scraping the roof of the car.

The second ending involves the boyfriend driving the girl back home. When they return, they find a hook on the car door. By driving away, the hook had been removed from the hook man, saving the couple from untimely deaths.

Initial tellings of the story date back to at least the 1950s, and it was possibly developed based on the real-life Lovers Lane murders.

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