Wraith lore: The Supernatural vs. real mythology

Supernatural -- "Mommy Dearest" -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Mommy Dearest" -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

In Supernatural Season 5, the wraith was introduced for the first time. Just how close is the show’s lore to the real mythology?

Wraiths were first introduced in Supernatural Season 5. They’ve been used since, although one of the more sparingly-used creatures in the show. The show’s mythology has one really scratched the potential surface, but how close does the wraith lore in the show match the real mythology?

You may be surprised to hear that this isn’t a mythology from real lore. It’s mostly taken from fiction.

Supernatural wraith lore

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In the fifth season, the wraith was introduced as a creature that would feed off the human brain. This wraith preferred patients in a psychiatric hospital because of the dopamine and other positive chemicals fuelling the body. However, jumping to Season 13, the wraith there preferred psychics.

A wraith could take on any form it wanted, which made it difficult to find. However, they couldn’t keep their form in mirrors — using some of the mirror lore that we’ve previously looked at.

Killing a wraith in the series is through silver; anything silver. This is similar to werewolves and shapeshifters, putting them in that category of demons.

Supernatural — “Patience” — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “Patience” — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Real mythology about wraiths

The creatures aren’t actually a species of their own in real mythology. It’s the Scottish term of “ghost,” a specter of a dead person. When looking at popular culture, most will show a wraith as the vision of the dead, usually with some sort of dark power.

They can also be linked to witchcraft, usually created when a spell goes wrong. Most of the spells that cause the creatures to appear are those to do with time, whether changing time or extending someone’s life. Wraiths will take the souls of the spell caster, dooming that person never to reach the afterlife.

Supernatural likes to add its own lore to any creature, so it’s not surprising that this happened with this creature. After all, we’d already come across vengeful and violent spirits. We needed the wraith to be something different. However, with the use of spellcasting and taken souls, in a way, it is a shame that this wasn’t the lore used for the series.

Next. Baozhu pearl lore: Supernatural vs. real mythology. dark

What did you learn about real wraith lore? Do you wish the show had stuck to the real mythology? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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