Supernatural Wiki

Family Remains is the 11th episode of Season 4. It aired on January 15th, 2009.


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 the appearance of a young female ghost in an abandoned house, but things become more complicated when a family moves in. The brothers fail to get the family to leave, but when the son is kidnapped through the walls, they look to Sam and Dean to rescue the boy.


Sam tries to make a case for rest.

Sam wakes from sleeping in the back seat of the Impala, to find Dean researching cases. Sam complains that they haven't stopped hunting for the last month, but Dean insist they investigate a case in Nebraska, where Bill Gibson was found murdered in a room that was locked from the inside. Sam suggests to Dean that he is just as exhausted as he is, but is using non-stop work to avoid dealing with what he told him about his time in hell. Dean rebuffs him, but displays a look that Sam can't see that acknowledges his suggestion.

They arrive in Stratton, Nebraska to find the Carter family about to move into the house. Following the death of their eldest son a year ago in a car accident, Susan and Brian Carter are looking for a fresh start with their kids Kate Carter and Danny. Susan's brother Ted is helping them move.

Sam and Dean pretend to be Mr. Stanwyk and Mr. Babar with county code enforcement and tell them the house has asbestos in the walls and a gas leak and that they should stay in a motel, but after they leave, Ted declares the house okay and the family move in.

Sam and Dean visit Mrs. Curry, the housekeeper who found the body, and she tells them Bill had a wife who died in childbirth and his daughter Rebecca hung herself in the attic. While both women were cremated, the boys assume a ghost must be haunting the house.

The Carters receive a warning.

That night Danny encounters a girl - he encourages her to roll a ball to him and she communicates to him that he can stay, but she hates grown-ups and they have to leave. Then, as Kate lies in bed, she feels something licking her hand. She assumes it's their dog Buster until he appears at the bedroom door.

Kate realizes it wasn't Buster that licked her hand.

Kate's screams alert Sam and Dean who rush into the house. They try to get the family to leave but find the tires on all the cars slashed and the weapons gone from their car. They take refuge inside a salt circle in the house, but a girl appears and attacks them, crossing the salt line and proving to be human and not a ghost.

The family rushes outside but when they regroup Danny is missing. While Susan and Kate hide in a shed, Ted and Dean check inside the house, while Brian and Sam check the grounds. Dean and Ted find a hidden door into the wall space, and Dean finds a space beneath the floor where the remains of half eaten rats litter the floor. While he is there, the girl sneaks up from behind and kills Ted.

While Dean swears to Brian he will find Danny, Sam reads Rebecca's diary. The diary reveals that Rebecca Gibson was raped by her own father, Bill Gibson, became pregnant, and hanged herself. Entering through a hidden dumb waiter in the kitchen, Dean finds their weapons and Danny bound under the floor space. As he tries to free him, he is attacked by a boy - Rebecca's son. Sam and Brian manage to hoist Danny up from the basement with a lifeline made with curtains while Dean fights with the boy, whom he eventually shoots.

Meanwhile, the girl attacks Susan and Kate, until Brian arrives and stabs her. After the case, Dean says he feels pity - and empathy - for the children who were turned murderous by a life of torture. Sam remonstrates that Dean is not like them, and Dean retorts that he was worse, because he enjoyed the pain he inflicted on souls in Hell.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]


Featured Supernatural Beings[]


  • Dean was revealed to have tortured souls in Hell at the end of the previous episode Heaven and Hell.
  • Dean's empathy for Rebecca's children stem from his own experience in Hell. He feels guilty over his actions, reasoning that his time of torment in Hell was nothing compared to what Rebecca's children had to suffer their whole lives.


  • This is one of the few episodes that does not feature any supernatural creature. A notable other example would be The Benders, in which the antagonists were also human.
  • Kate's hand is licked by Rebecca's daughter at one point, with the former assuming it's the family dog. This is a reference to the urban legend "The Licked Hand," in which a serial killer breaks into a woman's house and does a similar thing; the woman later finds her dog dead. In the episode, the dog is later mutilated by Rebecca's children.
  • Dean refers to the situation as "a story ripped from an Austrian headline." This refers to the Fritzl case, where Josef Fritzl had imprisoned his daughter and fathered several children with her.
  • In this episode Helen Slater - the actress who portrays Sue, the mother - often gets confused with Samantha Smith, who plays Mary Winchester. This might be because Helen Slater plays another prominent mother figure in The CW/WB world: Lara-El, Clark Kent's mother in Smallville.
  • This episode is very similar to a 1996 episode of The X-Files, where an incestuous family lives in an isolated farmhouse and hides several dark secrets. The house in the X-Files episode is even identical to the one in this episode.


  • Ted: (to Dean) Hey, Fonzie. Question for you. This indestructible force field made out of salt... have to be the kosher stuff, or what?

International Titles[]

  • German: Familiäre Überreste (Family Remains)
  • Hungarian: Csonka család (Single-parent Family)

External links[]