|“||Well, they weren't evil people, you know. A lot of them were good, just something happened to them. Something they couldn't control.||”|
— Sam, explaining Ghosts
A ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal who can appear in visible form or other manifestation to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely: the mode of manifestation can range from an invisible presence to translucent or wispy shapes, to realistic, life-like visions.
A ghost is the spirit of a deceased person that, for some reason or another, was unable to pass on to the next life, or whose rest had been disturbed. Ghosts are neither good nor evil, as their behavior is ultimately dictated by who they were in life and how they died.
Normally, a ghost will start out confused and disorientated before realizing they are dead. In some cases, a trauma of sudden death can so great that a ghost will think that are still alive and continue in a routine from their lives, oblivious to the fact they are dead.
A reaper explained to Dean Winchester that the longer a ghost remains on earth the more dangerous and violent it becomes. Sam once explained to the ghost of a woman they helped that ghosts can become like injured animals - they become so angry and upset that all they can do is lash out at anyone who crosses their paths. Ghosts have scewered views of existance as Sam puts it, "ghosts only see what they want to see."
It's also been stated as a fact that ghosts are the most common type of paranormal activity that Hunters encounter and hunt on a daily basis.
Ghosts are often bound to an object or a place, normally the building they died or lived in or the area they died at, as such there movements are restricted, but this isn't universal, and some very powerful ghosts can move over larger distances, but unless they can move what they're bound to, they can never be totally free. They are also sometimes bound to there bodies, unless there bodies have been put to rest.
A ghost encountered in Of Grave Importance, who had been active for eighty years, explained to Bobby that a ghost's power to interact with the physical world comes from two places. One is complete calm where the ghost has to "tell" an object what to do and the other from blind rage. The ghost also explained in more detail the degradation of a ghost into a violent spirit saying the longer a ghost remains on earth and depending on the ghost they lose more and more of themselves until they become little more than a wild animal. He also pointed out a worse case, where trapped spirits were little more than a listless zombies; a state Bobby called "Ghost Alzheimer's".
On rare occasions, it is possible to summon a spirit back to earth for any reason. However, this is a risky practice considering the unpredictable nature of ghosts. Ghosts summoned through black arts can turn violent if the summoner loses control of them, usually as a result of having their rest disturbed and being forced to do things against their will.
It can be possible to obtain information from a ghost if one has something or is able to do something that will please them. This is shown when Bobby summons Crowley's human son, Gavin McLeod, in order to find information. Upon learning Bobby's predicament and his father's involvement, the spirit was more than happy to tell Bobby anything in return for someone putting his dad in his place.
It is also possible to bind ghosts and control them, to do so however, is very powerful black magic. Certain powerful beings can also naturally summon and control ghosts, the only known examples are the multicoloured demon Samhain and the Egyptian god of the dead Osiris. The demon Lilith was also able to raise the witnesses, but she could not control them.
There are many different types of ghosts in the series, as they are created through different kind of deaths and situations they were in when alive. They include:
- Violent Spirits
- Death Omen
- Death Echo
- Vengeful Spirits
- Woman in White
Powers & Abilities
Ghosts possess several powers, though it is speculated that some have not been revealed yet. The following is a brief list of powers displayed by ghosts so far. Not all ghosts have the same abilities, but many of them share similar powers.
Common Ghost powers:
- Telekinesis - They are able to move virtually anything with their minds if they have enough concentration on the objects. With practice they can become stronger telekinetics, able to manipulate many simple objects at once. Very powerful ghosts are highly capable telekinetics, able to throw people like higher demons can.
- Electromagnetic Interference - All ghosts disrupt nearby electronics with their presence.
- Invisibility - Ghosts remain invisible to the living, but they may appear as a blur or faint light. However, when they want, they can appear as they were in life.
- Teleportation - Ghosts can teleport (be able to move in the blink of an eye to other locations). They often display a flickering appearance when using this ability.
- Super strength - They are also much stronger than when they were as humans (although it could just be an extension of their telekinetic abilities). Venegeful, angry ghosts, have proven to be strong enough to fight with much higher beings, such as Higher-tier Demons, and even the head Leviathan.
- Super speed - After Death, many ghosts are able to move at incredible speeds.
- Thermokinesis - Nearly all ghosts can lower or drop the surrounding temperature with their presence.
- Intangibility - As a spirit, they are naturally intangible, as such they can phase through solid matter without any kind of injuries, however it requires them to get angry (or very calm) to become tangible.
- Environment Manipulation - Most ghost have shown to have the ability to manipulate the elements like wind, fire, electricity, water, and dropping temperature. Manipulating electricity and dropping temperature are the two common signs that indicate a ghost's presence.
Rare Ghost powers:
- Ectoplasm Creation - Very angry ghosts, can create Ectoplasm, but it is generally beyond the anger range of most spirits, even most violent spirits.
- Possession - A rare ability, a ghost can possess humans like demons do, but only a really angry ghost could do it.
- Electrokinesis - A step up from Electronic Manipulation, rather than simply intefreating with electronics, some stronger ghosts can generate electricity themselves, control and manipulate machinery, and even use electricity offensively.
- Biokinesis - Some ghosts can inflict wounds like the ones they recieved on others. Stronger ghosts can create the wounds in the victims, without needing to have recieved the wounds themselves.
- Death Induction - Some ghosts are powerful enough to kill someone by touching them. Sometimes a ghost can just scare a human so bad, the person dies without tactile contact with a ghost.
- Disease Manipulation - Some ghost can infect people with sickness and disease. Some can infect people with a supernatural disease called ghost sickness.
- Mental Influence - Angry, vengeful ghosts or spirits can sometimes manipulate peoples minds and drive them crazy and can then manipulate the people they drove crazy to do their will. This will change the person's personality and turn them violent and suicidal. As shown in the episodes Asylum and Bedtime Stories.
- Hydrokinesis - Some Ghosts (Like ones that drowned, or whose deaths were linked to water) can, to an extent, manipulate or even create water.
- Reality Manipulation - Some angry, powerful ghosts can bend the rules of reality and affect people, such as giving them enhanced strength, endurance and speed.
- Voice Mimicry - Some powerful ghosts can perfectly imitate others' voices.
- EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) - A rare ghost ability, where they can communicate through electronic devices, cassette records, cell phones etc.
They are also skilled at whatever they did during their lives.
- Repellants- Hunters have only two real methods to repel ghosts:
- Salt - Ghosts can be repelled by salt and can't cross a line made of salt. Most hunters use rock shot rounds to dissipate ghosts by blasting them with it. Salt is also useful whenever a ghost is possessing a human. Feeding salt in the mouth of the person a ghost is possessing, will cause the ghost great pain and force the ghost out and free the human from the ghost's control.
- Iron - Like salt, iron keeps spirits at bay. Some hunters use an iron crowbar or fire poker. Contact with it will dissipate a ghost for a couple of minutes.
- Hoodoo - Hoodoo can be used to stop ghosts, and keep them under control, however this is not a solution, and is mearly a preventive, as such it will stop working eventually. Due to this, hunters rarely use this method.
Putting a Ghost to Rest - There are generally four ways to permanently defeat a ghost by putting them to rest:
- Salting and Burning the Bones - The best and most common method to put a ghost to rest. Digging up a ghost's remains and salting and burning the bones, will help the spirit to cross over to the next life. When a ghosts bones are successfully salted and burned, it will go up in flames. This method is used for violent and vengeful spirits.
- Destroying the Haunted Object - Salting and burning the object the ghost is using to stay active in the human world, will put a ghost to rest if there are no bones to burn, or if the objects re considered to be extensions or remains of the spirit.
- Resolving the ghost's issues - Helping a ghost to resolve its issues can put a ghost to rest. This method is rare but is used to help benevolent spirits find peace.
- Ghosts - If two ghosts fight each other, they will both destroy each other and will no longer exist. At least one ghost has shown the ability to destroy other ghosts and make himself stronger through their energy in the process.
- Overstraining - If a ghost is too weak, and/or overstretches its abilities, it can stop them for a while until they recover. Bobby described this, like being out cold.
Ghosts are the second most recurring creatures on the series having appeared at least once in every season, and having appeared in a total of 38 episodes.
- Season 2
- Season 4