|“||Hell is like, well, it's like hell. Even for demons. It's a prison, made of bone and flesh and blood and fear.||”|
Hell, also called Downstairs, Hades, The Basement, The Pit, The Hot Box, MotherShip, The Deep Fryer, The Underworld or even Perdition by angels, is the spiritual realm for punishment and pain of the afterlife, as well as a prison for some inhuman creatures. Human souls who are sent to Hell are tormented until their humanity is stripped away and they become demons. Hell is said to be so terrible that even the demons, with the exception of Alastair and Belphegor, hate and fear it.
Appearance and characteristics
Hell is described to be a place so bad that even its own inhabitants fear and despise it. Only one demon, Alastair, so far has been described to enjoy Hell. Ruby described Hell as not being able to remember who you used to be. Her earthbound life existed during the 14th century and even with the plague erasing lives, she still desired the memory of the human she used to be. While possessing Sam, Meg described it as a prison of "flesh, and bone, and blood, and fear," that one of the reasons demons keep on returning to Earth is because they themselves do not want to suffer the tortures of Hell.
During his time in Hell, Dean is seen connected to "racks," long dark chains that look very similar to meat hooks, which are provided as extra torture, while demons such as Alastair use "razors" to torment souls further. It could be assumed that Hell, much like Heaven, is also a varying landscape. When the demon Crowley became King, he drastically altered Hell changing it into a never-ending queue. In recent times, Crowley seems to have returned Hell to its former more terrifying and savage state. However, there appear to be multiple levels of Hell, each one bearing a different landscape. Time in Hell is about 120 times faster than time on Earth. Despite the time difference, there is cellular reception in Hell's domain, allowing inhabitants to call or text inhabitants on Earth or other dimensions, even from the furthest reaches of Hell. Hell, like Heaven, can allow humans to see Archangels in ways that doesn't burn out their eyes.
Similar to Heaven, the fabric and reality of Hell are very different than Earth. Alastair describes Earth's reality as "too concrete" compared to Hell's, mentioning that Hell reality allows for much more forms of torture due to its more magical structure. The very environment of Hell has been described as being very hostile and savage, often being described as a firey scorching place, with Ruby saying Hell being hot enough to sizzle flesh off bones.
While the shape and size of Hell have never been clearly stated, it has been mentioned that Hell does have depth, as Azazel described Lilith being trapped "neck-deep in the pit". Hell also has inaccessible sections as well as hard-to-reach places, such as where the Shedim reside, which are locked away in an unreachable location. Lucifer's Cage is somewhere in a place very hard to reach, as most demons could not find it for a very long time.
Access and location
Hell is a realm often pictured to be underneath the Earth. Whether this is true has not yet been proven. Rather, it does not seem to be fixed and could be accessed from different locations. One well known passageway between Earth and Hell is the Devil's Gate located in southern Wyoming. It was sealed by Samuel Colt with the use of a heavy door with a devil's trap lock, unlocked only by the Colt, and by placing a massive devil's trap consisting of five frontier churches connected to each other by pure iron railroads. This portal was capable of releasing demons who are normally unable to escape hell unaided, such as Lilith, or the souls of humans who were being tortured in Hell, such as John Winchester.
Lucifer's Cage is a special part of Hell designed solely for the purpose to keep the fallen archangel Lucifer incapacitated. The Cage is located in the furthest reaches of Hell, possibly Limbo. It is found beneath St. Mary's Convent in Ilchester, Maryland. Another known way of entering the Cage is through the rings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Angels are capable of forcing their way into Hell, as evidenced when they laid siege to the gates of Hell to save Dean. Fairies also claim that they know backdoors to Hell that not even angels know. This was never proven, though. Demons, regardless of their location on earth, are forced directly back into Hell once exorcised.
Rogue reapers are able to secretly access Hell through a portal located in Purgatory that acts as a "backdoor." Any being can use this door both ways as long as they are aware of its location on both ends and have access to Purgatory.
In the furthest reaches of Hell, there is a place called Limbo. Crowley described it as being where he sent unruly souls for timeouts. The realm is completely engulfed with countless thunderstorms in the middle of darkness and void, adorned by countless scattered skeletons that led to an empty cage. In this place, Sam, Crowley, and Rowena performed a ritual to safely summon Lucifer.
Creation of the first Demon and the Princes of Hell
It has never been clearly stated who made Hell and when exactly it came to be, but most likely it was God who created it, as evidence by the amount of control and knowledge he has over it. In defiance of God, as the Mark corrupted him further, the archangel Lucifer snuck into the Garden and corrupted humanity. Lucifer then asked Michael, his older brother, to stand by him in conflict and the war, however Michael refused and beat him down, on God's order, starting a war in the process. To spite God, Lucifer then corrupted a human soul into the first demon called Lilith. Lucifer then began to create Hell's hierarchy, as he made the first generation of demons after Lilith, called the Princes of Hell which he created himself. They were named Azazel, Ramiel, Dagon and Asmodeus.
At some point later, Asmodeus sought to please his creator by releasing the Shedim, "things so dark and base God himself would not allow them into the light." Asmodeus believed that he could train and use the Shedim despite Lucifer fearing them. Lucifer instead punished him by inflicting two scars upon Asmodeus' face. Lucifer then re-imprisoned the Shedim.
Creation of The Knights of Hell
One of the first sons of man, Abel, was attempting to pray to God. In actuality he was praying to Lucifer, making his soul hellbound. His older brother Cain refused to let this happen and made a pact with Lucifer: to have his soul in Hell for Abel's to be delivered to Heaven. Lucifer agreed on the condition that Cain would murder his brother and bear The Mark, a curse which Satan had and desired to pass onward. Cain killed Abel who was then sent to Heaven. To avoid the corruption of the mark Cain killed himself only to be resurrected as a demon and the first Knight of Hell. Lucifer handpicked the rest of the Knights of Hell  and had Cain train and lead them.
Imprisonment of The Devil
God, realizing the threat that Lucifer posed to humanity, made a cage in the depths of Hell that contained over 600 seals on it. Lucifer was then defeated and thrown into Lucifer's Cage by Michael. He was not seen by any demon for thousands of years, and those who knew of existence gave up looking for him; most others thought of him only as a myth. The only demon who did not give up searching was Azazel.
As Lilith was "Neck deep in the pit", the next in line for the throne was the Prince of Hell Azazel. After years of searching, Azazel finally located the doorway to Lucifer's prison in 1972 and contacted the fallen archangel by slaughtering a mass of nuns in a Church. Lucifer instructed Azazel with two tasks, important in his plan to escape his Cage: freeing Lilith from Hell, and raising a very special child strong enough to kill Lilith and break the final seal, releasing the Devil himself.
Breaking the Seals
Dean Winchester spent four months in Earth time in Hell, but he stated that time passed differently there, and for him it was more like forty years. This made three days on Earth roughly equivalent to a year in Hell. During this time, Dean was tortured mercilessly, being ripped apart and then put back together at the end of each day so that he could be torn apart again. At the end of every day, Alastair would offer Dean freedom from torture if he would start torturing souls himself, as an effort in the demons' plan to free their creator Lucifer from his cage. After thirty years of refusing this offer, Dean finally broke and started torturing other souls. This resulted in the first of the 66 Seals of Lucifer's Cage falling. When the Angels learned of what was happening, they laid siege to Hell to rescue Dean. An angel named Castiel personally pulled Dean out of Hell, but was too late as the first seal had already been broken. After the fall of the first seal, the first demon Lilith and the other demons started to break more and more seals, the Devil getting closer to escape each time. Unbeknownst to most angels, demons, and humans, the archangels Michael and Raphael and the angel Zachariah wanted the apocalypse to happen as they believed it was destiny for Michael to fight Lucifer. Their plan worked, as Lucifer's destined vessel, Sam killed Lilith, unknowingly breaking the final seal of Lucifer's cage setting him free, and ultimately starting the Apocalypse.
As the apocalypse begun and Lucifer's arrival on Earth, the Whore of Babylon emerged from Hell also and the Cambion Jesse Turner grew in strength. Demons began to dream for the first time since they were human.
Before Lucifer and Michael had a chance to fight, Sam managed to take control of himself and pulled himself, Lucifer (who was possessing Sam), Adam, and Michael (who was within Adam) into the Cage, ending the Apocalypse, though Sam was trapped in Lucifer's cage with two very angry archangels.
After the Apocalypse was averted, but with Lucifer in the Cage and Azazel (the first Prince of Hell) and Lilith (the first demon) and Alastair (a powerful demon) dead, Hell was left without leadership. Crowley, an influential, clever, and powerful demon, King of the Crossroads (the head of all demons who make deals with humans to corrupt their souls), took two powerful gifts (Lance of Michael, The Colt) to the next Demon Prince, Ramiel, and hoped to be rewarded when Ramiel ruled Hell. Ramiel, however, didn't want the job, and offered it back to the ambitious Crowley, who took it immediately. In a flashback in The Man Who Would Be King, he changed Hell to a never-ending queue, where the souls find themselves sent right back at the end of the line once they reach the front of the queue. It was also revealed that it was Castiel who pulled Sam from the pit, but unintentionally forgot Sam's soul. By the time Death retrieved Sam's soul, it had spent a year in the cage being tortured by Lucifer. As a result, when reunited with his soul, Sam found himself plagued with memories from Hell.
After absorbing all the souls in Purgatory and declaring himself the new God, Castiel made plans to "downsize" Hell. He let Crowley keep his position as King of Hell, under the condition that he only took souls that Castiel allowed him to take. Castiel said he would have gotten rid of Hell entirely, but he needed it as a threat to use against his enemies, and also because he wanted to keep Michael and Lucifer imprisoned.
In recent times Crowley seems to have returned Hell to its former more terrifying and savage state. People in this version seem to be tortured constantly and are locked in their own room constantly hoping and praying to be saved. Using the backdoor from Purgatory, Sam is able to enter Hell and rescue Bobby Singer's soul from his prison there.
The ascendant of Abaddon
After traveling to 2013, the Knight of Hell Abaddon was infuriated to find out that a mere 'salesman' was leading Hell. She started to act in the creation of a regime change that would remove Crowley from the position of King of Hell and create an army strong enough to enslave not just humans but the fallen angels as well. Although initially incapacitated by Sam, she managed to restore her vessel and began to amass her army. She gained the most momentum when Crowley was being kept prisoner by the Winchesters. During that period of time, many, if not all, of Hell's deals and contracts were broken, as Abaddon did not believe in using deals to power Hell. She eventually managed to convince the more bloodthirsty and aggressive demons to her side, but many played both sides and waited for Crowley to return.
Upon Crowley's release, the rivalry between the two hit a standstill, with demons taking orders from Abaddon yet disregarding her orders to have Crowley killed. Crowley told Abaddon that their conflict was more than just brute force, it was also about gaining the support of lower demons, who enjoy having their opinions taken into consideration. Abaddon had also begun having demons steal people's souls to create her own army of demons loyal only to her to conquer everything without having to worry about the demons that weren't sure of where their loyalties lie. After Dean Winchester killed Abaddon, Crowley regained full control over Hell.
After taking possession of Castiel's vessel, Lucifer was able to escape the Cage and proceeded with torturing and breaking Crowley, making him into his "dog". The demons quickly changed sides and were shown to despise Crowley, taking pleasure in watching him suffer at the hands of his new master.
Lucifer's first command for the demons was to search and find a Hand of God, so he could use it to defeat Amara. A trap set up by the Winchesters eventually rendered Lucifer absent from Hell and the throne, and so Crowley made a move to reclaims his title. However, his tenure as pet and servant and general failure as King caused the demons to abandon him.
After the Battle with the Darkness
After God and the Darkness reconciled and decided to leave, Lucifer felt abandoned once again, for that reason he no longer has an interest to rule Hell nor Heaven thus leaving the throne of Hell empty until he was re-imprisoned (this time in chains made of the same material as his cage and in the repaired and improved body of his old vessel Nick) and Crowley later retaking the throne.
After the death of Crowley and the imprisonment of Lucifer in an alternate reality, Asmodeus decided to act as King of Hell until Lucifer returns or Jack could take his place. However, upon the return of a weakened Lucifer, he was imprisoned by Asmodeus who desired to keep power for himself. Asmodeus' reign was rather short as he was killed by the Archangel Gabriel, leaving Hell without a proper ruler for the first time.
After breaking out of the Ma'lak Box, an enraged Jack escapes the Bunker. Castiel attempts to go to Hell to inspect the Cage as a means of trapping him. God suddenly shows up and interrupts him. Eventually, for his creations' defiance against him, God decides to throw the world into darkness and unleashes many (if not all) of the souls from Hell, bringing them back as ghosts or zombies and leaving the condition of Hell uncertain. Due to the opening of all of Hell's gates, some creatures who have never previously left Hell have ascended to Earth, such as the demon Belphegor.
Hierarchy and denizens
The Ruler of Hell
Hell has its own hierarchy, but it is not quite as rigid and controlled as Heaven's. There are many demons with various positions and titles, such as "Hell's Grand Torturer" (Alastair), "Knights of Hell" (Abaddon, Cain) and "Ruler of the Crossroads" (Barthamus, Crowley, Lilith).
The most powerful demons often assume control of Hell. Before Lucifer could walk free, high-tiered demons acted in his behalf, such as Azazel and the white-eyed demons Alastair and Lilith. After the death of all three, and Lucifer's subsequent escape, Lucifer assumed direct control of the demons both in Hell and on Earth. Crowley usurped the throne after Lucifer was re-imprisoned, proclaiming himself as the King of Hell. Unlike Lilith and Azazel, Crowley had no intention of helping Lucifer, since he figured that Lucifer would destroy all demons once he destroyed humanity. For a time, Crowley met opposition from loyalists of Lucifer, who were led by Azazel's daughter. Crowley eventually surfaced as the victor and remained the undisputed king of hell.
Recently, Knight of Hell Abaddon began to work to change regimes, recruiting demons to work for her instead of Crowley. However, she had met some resistance from at least one crossroads demon, partly due to her recent emergence, and due to the fear Crowley had imposed and elicited from his subordinates in recent years. A campaign had been introduced for demons to choose the new leader of Hell: Crowley or Abaddon, which basically comes down to who can convince the most demons to side with them. Abaddon began winning the campaign, but Dean Winchester killed her with the First Blade, ending her campaign and restoring Crowley to full rule of Hell.
The Cambion is one of the most powerful beings of the armies of Hell. When Lucifer was released his power grew. He was destined to be The Antichrist and to destroy the Host of Heaven with a single word.
Samhain is one of the most powerful demons, able to raise the dead, summon ghosts, revenants, ghouls, and more. He is known as the Demon of Halloween and was mistaken for a god by the Ancient Celts. He can only be summoned once every six hundred years on Halloween.
The higher demons of demonic armies are the Crossroads Demons. They partake in deals with humans as means to get their souls to damn. They have blood-red eyes and can teleport unlike lesser demons.
These seven demons are the demonic manifestations of the biblical sins. They have existed for hundreds of years.
The Black-eyed demons are the most common and some of the weakest demons. They are subservient the throne and higher demons. Daeva appear to be lesser and more rare demons that are more animalistic in nature compared to most demons. Due to their nature and strength, Daeva need to be controlled. Along with Daeva, another unique demon called Acheri reside in Hell. Acheri unlike most demons do not require vessels and instead materialize human form.
The Shedim are upon the worst entities in Hell, being so vile that God himself cast them into an unreachable part of Hell.
It is unclear precisely what sort of crimes one has to commit during their life to have their soul damned to Hell. Murdering innocent people in God's name appears to be one such offense, as Castiel stated. Murder of the innocent in significant quantities seems to also be a worthy offense, as Jeffery's demon stated he would go to Hell, for being a serial killer. Human souls can also be sent to Hell after making deals and selling their souls to Crossroads Demons or other demons, which hellhounds then collect when the person's time is up. In some special cases, the King of Hell can arrange for a rogue Reaper to divert a soul to Hell, as was the case with Bobby Singer.
Human souls are repeatedly tortured in Hell. Once they reach their breaking point, they find themselves completely healed, only to suffer the torture once more. After hundreds of years of hellish torture, humans soon forget what they once were and begin to transform into corrupted and twisted versions of themselves. Eventually they become demons.
- White-eyed Demons (status unknown)
- Princes of Hell (formerly, extinct)
- Knights of Hell (formerly, extinct)
- Belphegor (type unknown)
- The Heart of the Dragon (Demon)
- The Collectors
- Crossroads Demons
- Green-eyed Demons
- Orange-eyed Demons
- Black-eyed Demons
- Tempter Demons (Apocalypse World's Hell)
- Adam Milligan (sealed in Lucifer's Cage)
- Amanda Burns
- Bela Talbot
- Bobby Singer (formerly)
- Borrower Witch
- Bloodied Soul
- Carl Granville
- Constance Welch (formerly)
- Dean Winchester (formerly)
- Elizabeth Higgins
- Francis Tumblety (formerly)
- George Darrow
- Gunner Lawless
- John Wayne Gacy (formerly)
- John Winchester (formerly)
- Kevin Tran (formerly)
- Lizzie Borden (formerly)
- Margo Cassidy
- Mary Worthington (formerly)
- Renee Van Allen
- Robert Johnson
- Rowena MacLeod
- Sam Winchester (formerly)
- Sean Boyden
- Silvia Pearlman
- Unnamed Robber
- 3 billion humans that are evil or sold their own souls who have died.
- Sera Gamble, suggested that Dean's location in "No Rest For The Wicked" is more of a waiting room. "In my mind, that isn't even necessarily Hell itself. It's the starting place. I like to think of Dean as sitting in the chair in the waiting room to Hell. It's not even what he's going to experience once he gets into the first chamber of Hell. That's just where they stick you before they hand you the sign-in sheet. There's much, much worse to come for him!" 
- According to the book "Supernatural The Official Companion Season 3", the original vision for the final scene in "No Rest For The Wicked" would have placed Dean in a "really nasty, bloody slaughterhouse, hanging from meat hooks". Here, Dean would start screaming as shadows fall over him. Discussions between Eric Kripke, Kim Manners, and Ivan Hayden led to the decision to present "one epic glimpse" of Hell. Though the scene matched with the many versions of "chains and people being ripped apart", art director John Marcynuk felt they should have made it "a little more mysterious and dark". He commented, "My opinion is, the vaguer the better, because you let the imagination take over. People have different fears, and Hell's such a personal torment."
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Lazarus Rising
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester (flashback only)
- I Know What You Did Last Summer (mentioned only)
- Heaven and Hell (mentioned only)
- Family Remains (mentioned only)
- Sex and Violence (mentioned only)
- Death Takes A Holiday (mentioned only)
- On The Head Of A Pin (mentioned only)
- The Monster at the End of This Book (mentioned only)
- Lucifer Rising (The Cage)
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Meet the New Boss (flashback only)
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Season 15
- Back and to the Future (mentioned only)
- Supernatural: The Unholy Cause (non-canon; mentioned only)
- ↑ Back and to the Future
- ↑ Born Under A Bad Sign
- ↑ On the Head of a Pin
- ↑ Back and to the Future
- ↑ Heaven and Hell
- ↑ No Rest for the Wicked
- ↑ Heaven and Hell
- ↑ O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- ↑ As Time Goes By
- ↑ Sympathy for the Devil
- ↑ Swan Song
- ↑ Meet the New Boss
- ↑ King of the Damned
- ↑ Stranger in a Strange Land
- ↑ 99 Problems
- ↑ Repo Man
- ↑ Supernatural writer talks season four