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Asylum is the 10th episode and the mid-season finale of Season 1. It aired on November 22, 2005.


Dean Purgatory Blade.png.png There was something about being there... It felt pure.

This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.

Sam and Dean investigate an abandoned sanitarium and discover that when the hospital was open, the patients held a revolt against the cruel and unusual punishments inflicted by the head doctor. While the brothers search the premises for four lost college students, the tortured spirits cause them to go insane, turning Dean against Sam.


At the deserted Roosevelt asylum in Rockford, Illinois, police officers Walter Kelly and Daniel Gunderson roust some kids who have broken into the asylum. Afterwards, Kelly goes home and inexplicably shoots his wife and himself.

Sam has been checking up on their contacts - Caleb, Jefferson, Pastor Jim - to see if John has been in touch. While Sam and Dean argue about John's whereabouts, Dean receives a text message from him containing coordinates. The boys travel to Rockford and speak to Daniel Gunderson about his partner's death. Gunderson tells them that his partner chased the kids into the south wing of the asylum.

They find a reference in John's journal to kids who disappeared from the south wing in 1972. After a brief visit to the asylum, Sam and Dean track down a psychiatrist, James Ellicott, whose father, Sanford Ellicott, was the Chief of Staff at the asylum. Sam poses as a patient and finds out from Dr. Ellicott that the south wing housed the criminally insane. He learns that in 1964 the patients rioted, killing the senior Dr. Ellicott, whose body was never found.

The boys return to the asylum, where they discover Kat, who has been separated from her boyfriend Gavin. She insists on helping the boys find Gavin, and she goes with Dean while Sam goes off on his own. Sam finds a terrified Gavin who says that a ghost kissed him and tried to whisper something to him.

Meanwhile, Kat is trapped in a room with a ghost, and Dean is unable to open the door. When Sam arrives he works out that it's trying to communicate with her, not hurt her. It whispers "One thirty-seven" to her before it leaves, which the boys deduce is a room number.

Dr. Ellicot messes with Sam

While Dean goes to find the room, Sam tries to lead the kids out, but finds they are trapped. He leaves Kat with a shotgun to protect them, and responds to a phone call he thinks is from Dean. Sam doesn't find Dean, but is found by Dr. Ellicott, who uses his powers on Sam.

Dean finds journals documenting Dr. Ellicott's cruel experiments, designed to test his theories that provoking extreme anger in patients would be therapeutic. When he finds Sam has left Kat and Gavin to respond to the phone call, which Dean didn't make, Dean takes off to find him.

Dean finds Sam in the basement. He locates a secret door which he thinks led to the hidden procedure room where the experiments were carried out. Sam, under the influence of Ellicott, confronts Dean, aiming the shotgun at him. Sam shoots him in the chest with rock salt, blasting him through the fake wall, knowing it wouldn't kill Dean, "but it'll hurt like hell". Standing over Dean, Sam expresses his rage at Dean, for thwarting his attempts to find John. Dean hands over his gun to Sam, who fires it repeatedly at Dean, only to find it is not loaded.

Dean overpowers Sam, and knocks him out. He searches the room and finds the corpse of Dr. Ellicott, stuffed in a cabinet. As he prepares to salt and burn it, the ghost of Dr. Ellicott appears and attacks Dean until he manages to toss his Zippo onto the corpse. As it burns, the ghost disappears.

Sam recovers and seems unaffected. The boys escort Kat and Gavin away from the asylum.

The next morning, while the boys sleep, Dean's cell phone rings. Sam answers the phone – it is John.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Featured Supernatural Beings[]



  • Antagonist: Sanford Ellicott
  • Early in the episode, Sam and Dean scheme in order to get the story on the asylum. Part of the scheme involves Sam shoving Dean away from the police officer whose partner shot his wife and then himself, to garner the police officer's trust. When Sam exits the bar, Dean tells Sam off for shoving him so hard, to which Sam says "It's method acting". He could just be talking about their ploy, or Sam could be breaking the 4th wall; method acting is when an actor will really get into their role, and, in this case, Jared may have actually shoved Jensen into the table.
  • Combined with the previous episode, this is the first time two episodes in a row have featured ghosts as the primary antagonists.


Featured Music[]

  • "Hey You" by Bachman Turner Overdrive

Culture References[]

Dean: I love the guy, but I swear he writes like friggin' Yoda.

  • Yoda is a character in the Star Wars universe. Yoda speaks in an unusual manner by placing verbs (and more frequently, auxiliary verbs) after the object and subject. In linguistic typology, this is the "Object Subject Verb" format, sometimes called "regression of syntax."  Two typical examples of Yoda's speech pattern are from Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith: "Not if anything to say about it, I have." or "When 900-years old you reach, look as good you will not."

Dean: I'm Nigel Tufnel, from the Chicago Tribune.

  • Nigel Tufnel is the (fictional) lead guitarist of the heavy metal/glam rock band Spinal Tap, who were the stars of the flim This Is Spinal Trap, a 1984 mock documentary, directed by Rob Reiner. He was portrayed by actor Christopher Guest.

Dean: Let me know if you see any dead people, Haley Joel.

  • Haley Joel Osment starred in The Sixth Sense, in which he played 9-year-old Cole Sear. Cole has psychic abilities; he "sees dead people," and is rather emotionally scarred by this ability.

Dean: Hey, Sam, who do you think is a hotter psychic: Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt, or you?

  • Arquette plays psychic Allison Dubois in the TV series Medium ; Hewitt plays psychic Melinda Gordon in the TV series Ghost Whisperer.

Dean: So. Whaddaya think? Ghosts possessing people? Sam: Maybe. Or maybe it's more like Amityville, or the Smurl hunting.

  • The Amityville Horror is a book by American author Jay Anson, published in September 1977. It is also the basis of a series of films released from 1979 onwards.
    • The Smurl Haunting refers to claims made by Jack and Janet Smurl of West Pittston, Pennsylvania, who alleged that a demon inhabited their home between 1974 and 1989.


  • Dean: "Who do you think is a hotter psychic: Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt or you?"

  • Sam: "You were running from what?"
  • Gavin: "There was... There was this girl. Her-her-her face... It was all messed up."
  • Sam: "Okay, okay. Listen, listen. This girl, did she try to hurt you?"
  • Gavin: "What? No. She, uh..."
  • Sam: "She what?"
  • Gavin: "She kissed me."
  • Sam: "Uh, uhm, but ... but she didn't hurt you physically?"
  • Gavin: "Dude, she kissed me. I'm scarred for life."
  • Sam: "Well, trust me, it could've been worse."

  • Kat: "So, how do you guys know about all this ghost stuff?"
  • Sam: "It's kind of our job."
  • Kat: "Why would anyone want a job like that?"
  • Sam: "I had a crappy guidance counselor."

  • Dean: [after burning Sanford Ellicott's body] "You're not gonna try to kill me, are you?"
  • Sam: "No."
  • Dean: "Good. Because that would be awkward."

International Titles[]

  • Finnish: Turvakoti (Refuge)
  • Brazil: Asilo (Asylum)
  • French: Terreur à l'asile (Terror at the asylum)
  • German: Asylum
  • Italian: La Rivolta (The Revolt)
  • Polish: Szpital Psychiatryczny (Mental Hospital)
  • Romanian: Azil (Asylum)
  • Hungarian:Tiszta elmebaj (Pure Insanity)

External links[]