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Elizabeth Claire Marbrough was a witch in the late nineteenth century who cursed the town of Cedar Wells, Arizona.


In the late nineteenth century, Elizabeth lived in the town of Darien Center, New York where she kidnapped people and brutally dismembered them. Eventually, one of a group of girls Elizabeth kidnapped escaped and reported it to the townspeople who sent a group to investigate. Only two returned and one had lost his mind. The townspeople went back in force to stop her, but Elizabeth fled. John Winchester would later note in his journal that Elizabeth was eventually suspected of more than seventy disappearances of people ranging in age from three to eighty.

After fleeing Darien Center, Elizabeth went to her son Jens in the Arizona Territory where he reluctantly took her in. There, Elizabeth either mainly stopped her evil activities or it was less detectable as there were no mass disappearances around her as there were in Darien Center. However, she continued to use magic and one witness claimed that Elizabeth turned a horse that threw her grandson into a lizard. While Jens was a respected rancher and community leader, Elizabeth's ill-tempered, spiteful and malicious nature cost him many friendships he had spent years building and angered many people in the town. Things came to a head when Elizabeth cursed a Basque ranch hand named Bacigalupi for failing to bow sufficiently low when he ran into her, causing the man to wither to death a week afterwards. Unable to get rid of his own mother, Jens built her a cabin in an isolated canyon that would become known as Witch's Canyon, causing her mood to sour even more when she learned of the plan.

Elizabeth was eventually banned from the small community of Cedar Wells and got into a horrific argument with Jens when he forced her to move. Only Elizabeth's unwillingness to use magic to harm her own family kept her from using that on her son and she eventually had no choice but to settle in to the cabin where she began plotting her revenge. Elizabeth would ultimately cast a spell that would reanimate anything that died violently on the ranch property, be it human or animal every forty years. Some would come back human while others would come back as skinwalkers, able to change shape between human and various animals. These spirits would then kill indiscriminately for a few days in the way they were killed before going back to rest until the forty-year cycle would repeat itself. Elizabeth would go on to confide this plan to her only friend, the wife of one of the ranch hands before dying of old age in 1886. She was then buried on the grounds of her cabin in a coffin enchanted to keep her spirit from escaping. Her power was such that her coffin remained pristine after one hundred and twenty years and was surrounded by a patch of dead earth.

A schoolteacher named Neville Stein would eventually come to record the history of the Copper Bell Ranch before his murder. As part of this, Neville recorded people's tales of Elizabeth who was long dead by then. At that point, there were many fanciful tales of Elizabeth mixed in with the truth including ones about her flying across the rangelands on a flaming broom, killing Apache warrior Geronimo with a spell that caused his head to explode and taking multiple werecats in their human forms as lovers.

Elizabeth's spell would take effect in 1926 and 1966, killing many people as she hoped and becoming known as The Forty Year. In 2006, hunters Sam and Dean Winchester learned of the occurrences and set out to stop it. With the help of Harmon Baird who survived both of the forty year events, the Winchesters were able to locate Neville Stein's notes on the ranch's history and the story of Elizabeth. They also discovered John Winchester's entry about her in his journal along with a counterspell that could end Elizabeth's curse combined with the burning of her bones. While Sam set out to the local mall to stop a massacre by Elizabeth's reanimated spirit army, Dean and Baird set out to perform the counterspell and salt and burn her remains.

Locating the remains of Elizabeth's cabin, Dean, Baird and rancher Juliet Monroe dug up Elizabeth's coffin. As Dean started his counterspell, Juliet opened the coffin which released Elizabeth's ghost. Elizabeth attacked Dean and Juliet, but Baird restrained Elizabeth, allowing Dean to complete the counterspell. Juliet then ignited Elizabeth's bones and her spirit incinerated a moment later. With the counterspell and the salting and burning of her remains, Elizabeth's spell was broken and the reanimated dead were returned to their rest, ending their attack on the town. However, the effort of restraining Elizabeth was too much for the ninety-one year old Baird and he died of the strain.

Powers and Abilities[]

In life, Elizabeth was a powerful witch and remained powerful as a ghost.

  • Spell Casting - Elizabeth was capable of powerful spells, including one that caused anything who died violently on the Copper Bell Ranch or the land to come back to life every twenty years and kill. This brought back people and animals and some of the people reanimated by the spell came back as skinwalkers. She was also able to curse a ranch hand she felt too disrespectful so that he withered to death over the course of a week.
  • Weather manipulation - When Elizabeth's ghost rose from her coffin, she was able to create hurricane-force winds to try to disrupt the attempt to dispatch her and break her spell.
  • Immunity - Elizabeth's ghost was immune to rock salt, being enraged rather than harmed by it.


  • Mortality - As a human, Elizabeth died of old age.
  • Salting and Burning of remains - As a ghost, Elizabeth was destroyed by salting and burning her bones.
  • Magic - Elizabeth's ghost was kept trapped in her coffin for a hundred and twenty years by magic. A counterspell could also break her revenge spell.