The Book of the Damned is a spell book for creating or undoing any kind of damnation there is.
— Charlie
in Book of the Damned

The Book of the Damned is a very powerful dark magic book. It was once possessed by the Styne Family. It disappeared 100 years ago, but later it was unearthed by Charlie Bradbury from a monastery library in Spain. It was found along with some research notes in the monastery crypt by the friar that buried it.


About 700 years ago, a nun locked herself away after having "visions of darkness". After a few decades scrawled away by herself, she emerged with this. Each page is made out of slices of her own skin, written in her blood. (...) It's been used by cults, covens... even the Vatican had it for a while.
— Charlie
in Book of the Damned

According to Charlie Bradbury, the Book of the Damned was written about 700 years ago, by a nun named Agnes who dedicated her life to breaking curses after she received "visions of darkness". The nun locked herself away and, using her own skin for pages and her own blood for ink, she compiled it.[1]

According to the research notes that Charlie found, it has been owned and used by cults and covens, and the Vatican had it for a while. It later came into the possession of a monastery in Spain which burned down years ago. It remained there until Charlie found it.

After a gun fight in order to protect the book from the Styne Family, Sam later gave it to Rowena secretly in hope she could crack it and extract a spell that can be used to remove the Mark of Cain. Rowena revealed that only the codex of the witch Nadia could break the code and Sam tracked it down in the Werther Box in St. Louis, Missouri. Sam turned the codex over to Rowena, but also chained her so that she would only decode the cure before he destroyed the Book of the Damned to prevent Rowena for using it for herself.

Even with the help of the codex, Rowena proved unable to translate the Book of the Damned as the codex was coded too, so Sam called in Charlie to help with her IT skills and Castiel to watch over them. Even working together, neither Charlie nor Rowena could translate the Book of the Damned, so, overwhelmed, Charlie left with just her notes on the her work. Working privately, Charlie managed to figure out how to decipher the codex, but was interrupted by Eldon Frankenstein who was looking for the Book of the Damned. Unwilling to give him her decoder or the Book of the Damned, which she didn't have, Charlie destroyed her Surface Tablet and with it her decoder, causing Eldon to kill her. However, Charlie was first able to email her decoder to Sam, which would enable him to crack the codex and through it the Book of the Damned. After Sam received Charlie's email, Rowena was able to crack the Book of the Damned and use it to remove the Mark, inadvertently releasing the Darkness. Rowena then escaped with the Book of the Damned and the codex.

Following her escape, Rowena began reading the Book of the Damned and stated that it was turning her into "a force of nature." Rowena attempted to use this to recruit her own coven, and used a witch-killing spell from the Book of the Damned to kill three witches who refused to join her. When Crowley started targeting her, Rowena attempted to flee, but was captured again by the Winchesters. However, while she possessed the codex and Charlie's decoder, Rowena had kept the Book of the Damned separate and they were not able to retrieve it. While held prisoner, Rowena tells Dean that she has read much of the Book of the Damned and it had no information on what would happen once the Mark of Cain was gone. After Rowena's escape, Sam notes that they have the decoder and codex which will hopefully slow down Rowena's use of the Book of the Damned.

She was later recaptured in hopes of using the Book of the Damned to safely contact Lucifer in Hell. Rowena was able to use the Book to summon Lucifer, but was in fact working with him. While Rowena was eventually forced to reverse the spell, Castiel allowed Lucifer to possess him and the spell was ineffective.

After getting the Horn of Joshua, Crowley demanded that Lucifer be returned to his Cage as the price. However, Rowena hid the Book of the Damned and as far as the Winchesters were aware, was dead. Unknown to everyone, Rowena had been resurrected by her Resurrection Seal and used a spell from the Book of the Damned to heal Amara's injuries. After learning of the extent of Amara's plans, Rowena contacted Crowley and the Winchesters and attempted to help them return Lucifer to the Cage. However, the effort failed and Rowena fled. Afterwards, the Winchesters figured that Rowena and the Book of the Damned would stay hidden until the crisis was over.

With the situation escalating, Rowena approached Clea with an offer to use a time travel spell from the Book of the Damned to escape into the past, one that needed two witches to work. The two initially prepared the spell, but were interrupted by Sam with the request that they help defeat Amara. As part of the attack plan, Rowena, Clea and three other witches used a spell from the Book of the Damned channeled through Rowena to attack Amara. The spell successfully did some harm, but Amara was able to backfire it, killing all but Rowena.

With God now mortally wounded, the Winchesters questioned if there was anything in the Book of the Damned that could help him, but Rowena informed them that the Book of the Damned was useless in their situation. Later, after the Winchesters came up with the idea to use a Soul Bomb to kill Amara, Rowena provided them with a spell from the Book of the Damned to achieve that purpose. The bomb was ultimately never used as Dean got God and Amara to reconcile and God removed the souls used from Dean.

After being kidnapped by Lucifer, Rowena used a spell that she stated was a hybrid of Celtic magic and Book of the Damned magic on his vessel. Instead of giving Lucifer a permanent vessel, the spell accelerated his vessel's decay and banished him to the bottom of the ocean.

At some point, the Book of the Damned ended up in the Winchesters' possession in the Men of Letters bunker until Rowena stole it again following the Exodus from Apocalypse World. Rowena brings the Book of the Damned which she borrowed with her when called for help with Jack's illness.[2]

In an attempt to stop Dean from trapping himself in the Ma'lak Box with Michael, Castiel has Rowena go through the entire Book of the Damned in search of anything useful. However, Rowena can't find anything that can help and apparently curses Castiel out when he asks her to try again.[3]

While trying to strengthen the Soul Containment Barrier Spell, Rowena uses a powerful transubstantiation spell from the Book of the Damned. However, the spell fails. After seeing Rowena look through Book of the Damned, Sam asks if there's anything useful in it and she claims there's not, but hastily closes the book so that Sam doesn't see the spell she was looking at. When Rowena suggests a spell to close the Rupture to Hell, Sam asks if its from the Book of the Damned. However, Rowena tells Sam that the spell, Sanetur Acre Vulnus, is instead one of her own creation. As Rowena cuts out her Resurrection Seal, the Book of the Damned lies open on the ground nearby as she prepares to cast Death Is an Infinite Vessel. Following Rowena's death shortly thereafter, the Book of the Damned falls back into Sam and Dean's possession.[4]


Talking some black mass, dark magic, end-of-times nastiness.

The book contains various dark spells. It is said to have a spell for everything. It is written in an obscure Sumerian dialect, that Sam is able to partially translate.[1] However, after translating it finds that it is also ciphered by an unknown means: even modern computers and Men of Letters's decoders cannot decipher it. The only known thing that can is Nadia's Codex. Using the Book however can have grave effects if it's not properly handled. Rowena indicated that only the most powerful and experienced witches are capable of using the Book's power safely.

The Book of the Damned contained a spell to remove the Mark of Cain. However, the Book of the Damned didn't warn of the consequences of removing the Mark, specifically, releasing the Darkness. The spell, while not requiring a lot of ingredients, required a few very rare ones as well as the blood of the person the caster loved the most and some hair from the person with the Mark.[5] It also contained information about Lucifer's Cage, especially how to conjure Lucifer and how to open the cage itself.[6] It also contained a a spell to travel back in time.[7] Another spell called the Necromantiorum was created by Agnes to resurrect her dead friends from prison.[8] Rowena later tried a transubstantiation spell from the Book of the Damned to strengthen a magical barrier, but it failed. Following the failure of all other options, Rowena was able to use the Death Is an Infinite Vessel spell from the Book of the Damned to contain the vast multitudes of Hell souls within her own body.[4]

Known Rituals and SpellsEdit


Any person that holds the book will feel an evil aura emitted from the book. If a person handles it for a long time, it will influence the reader's mind to a certain degree. The effect will be more profound if the reader is the bearer of the Mark of Cain. Powerful witches are shown to be affected by the aura as well, though they don't seem to be affected by the Book's influence over people's minds.

Trivia Edit

  • The book, its origin, and anything about it is likely taken and based from several pop culture icons:
    • The book's name was taken from "The Book of the Damned", a work of nonfiction by Charles Fort, and whose approach the Fortean movement was based upon. It was published in 1919. The book deals with various types of paranormal phenomena ranging from UFOs to the existence of giants and fairies.
    • The book history is likely inspired by the pseudo-history of the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire (textbook of magic) appearing in the stories by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and his followers. Both of the books shared a similar history (being written after their respective authors received visions of darkness). However, in the series, it was altered and differed significantly.
    • The version that appears in has more in common with the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis from the Evil Dead film series, which was bound in human flesh and inked blood, and written in ancient Sumerian.
    • The book might have a connection with the Darkness, since it was written by a "vision of darkness" and it had connection with the Bearer of the Mark of Cain who was directly connected with the Darkness.
  • The Book of the Damned is the first powerful spellbook sought by both the Winchesters and Rowena MacLeod for their own purposes. The second is the Black Grimoire which ultimately ends up in the Winchesters possession both times they encounter Rowena over it. Unlike the Book of the Damned, Rowena does not fight them on keeping the Black Grimoire.
  • The Book of the Damned, despite its wealth of information, does possess limits on the magic it can grant its bearer. The Book of the Damned lacked a way to save God after he was mortally wounded by the Darkness in Alpha and Omega. The Book of the Damned also lacked a way to break the Power Sealing Spell since Rowena had to seek out the Black Grimoire to find a ritual to break it. As seen in The Rupture, the Book of the Damned also lacked a way to stop the souls God had unleashed upon the world.
  • In Season 14's Unhuman Nature, its revealed that the Book of the Damned somehow ended up in the Winchesters' possession until Rowena stole it again following the events of Season 13's Exodus. When the Book of the Damned had last appeared, it was still in Rowena's possession and was implied to remain there in Season 12's The Foundry. It isn't clear exactly how it ended up in the Men of Letters bunker or when it was left there.


See alsoEdit


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