Hex Bags are supernatural sacks commonly used by witches as a means to cast a hex, which injures or kills people who they seek vengeance against. Little bags of supernatural power, very similar to hex bags, appeared firstly in Season 1 episode Home, but it was only in Season 3 episode Malleus Maleficarum that they were described with the name "hex bag".
They are usually filled with substances used in witchcraft such as herbs, black cat bones, and even the charred bones of newborn babies. It can be made of other things as well.
Some witches instead use hex coins to accomplish the same purpose.
Hex bags have many purposes, most of which are offensive. They are often employed to curse someone with physical ailment and death. To produce an effect, hex bags need to be in physical contact with, or at least close proximity to, the intended victim; the person will die if that is what the spell caster intends. Once someone is being subdued, the only way out is to find the bag and burn it.
Most victims of hex bags have been human, but they are known to work on at least some supernatural creatures. The powerful witch Rowena invented a spell that could trap demons inside their vessels and make them purge their essence out in violent coughs, killing them. The spell is instantly activated when the the hex bag enters in physical contact with the victim. The psychic Missouri Moseley could also manufacture little bags, very similar to hex bags, to repel poltergeists from haunted houses.
Hex bags can also have defensive purposes. They can be used as means of hiding from demons and angels. However, it is completely ineffective against archangels in vessels. Ruby gave Sam and Dean hex bags at the end of Jus In Bello to throw Lilith off their trail for the time being. In Sympathy for the Devil, Sam reveals that Ruby taught him to make hex bags to hide him and Dean from demons and angels.
In The Rupture, it was revealed that Rowena's Resurrection Seal takes the form of small hex bags implanted within her body. By removing the last hex bag, she was able to remove her last resurrection spell to ensure she wouldn't come back after her upcoming death.
Romani culture has a similar tool known as a putsi bag. These can be used to lay curses or blessings on a person, depending on the user's desires. One of the key ingredients seems to be a lock of the target's hair.
As seen in About a Boy, a hex bag was an important part of a transfiguration spell that even Hansel, who was a regular albeit immortal human could use. Simply by squeezing the hex bag, the spell would be cast or reversed. Dean later burned the hex bag when he stuffed it into Katja's mouth to prevent her from casting spells while he killed her. In this case, the hex bag acted as a makeshift gag with no magical purpose to Dean's actions. Burning the bag did not break the spell upon Tina who remained transformed into a teenager. Though the Winchesters offered to try to reverse-engineer the spell so that it could be reversed, Tina refused and instead decided to use the chance to get a new start in life.
In The Rupture, a hex bag acted as a component for the Sanetur Acre Vulnus healing spell. In this case, the hex bag effectively acted as the carrier of the spell which was cast elsewhere. When the incantation was complete, the hex bag began glowing purple, the same as the ingredients and Dean tossed it into the Rupture to Hell, causing the spell to complete and the rupture to begin closing. However, in order for the spell to work, Dean could not use salt as a defense with Rowena specifically stating that there could be no salt circles, suggesting that salt circles around a hex bag as a spell is being cast could inhibit its use. Instead, Dean relied on an iron crowbar for defense.
In Golden Time, the Witch Mother hid a hex bag in the wheel rim of the Impala in order to take Sam down. Later, Sam is able to create a small hex bag using Rowena's magical stash and use it to cast a spell Rowena taught him to kill the Witch Mother.
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- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 8
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 13
- Season 15
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- In the non-canon book Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting, it is stated that the hex bags used to shield against demons and angels contain two bones from a chicken's foot, an unbroken spider egg, equal quantities of lavender and hemp, and Goofer Dust.