|“||Saving people, hunting things. The family business.||”|
Hunters, also ハンター (Hanta) (in Japan) and Breakers (in Scotland) are people, usually humans, who hunt down the supernatural and save people from monsters, demons, ghosts and other creatures and supernatural events.
They usually are just typical humans who, unlike others, believe in supernatural beings and, even more, they fight against them to protect normal people from harm. One of the most recurring reasons to go into the hunter lifestyle is a tragedy in their lives that involved the supernatural (Mary Winchester, John's wife and Dean and Sam's mother, being killed by the demon Azazel; Bobby Singer's wife being possessed by a demon and Bobby having to kill her). However, there are other reasons to decide being a supernatural hunter, such as being raised as one.
It is also shown that supernatural hunters typically pass their knowledge onto their children, as they could be killed by supernatural creatures that look for revenge or could appear. When they do so, a family of supernatural hunters is formed, like the Campbells, Harvelles or the Winchesters.
Many of the supernatural hunters depicted in the series do not have a single place to live (or at least, they cannot do so), as they move throughout the country looking for cases and protecting the people. They live on the move, and because of it, they have few belongings which allows them to move easily and quickly. However, they can have a house, but they do not spend too much time in them, and do not try to act friendly towards their neighbors.
It is implied that supernatural hunters know each other, or at least some groups do so. In the series, it has also been shown that there are special places where supernatural hunters unite, like the Harvelle's Roadhouse in Nebraska.
It was revealed by Henry Winchester that the Men-of-Letters, prior to their extinction, used to share their information with only the most elite hunters, and took on an advisory role, or as Dean referred it, "Being Yoda to our Jedi".
On occasion, shop owners who are aware of the supernatural world will put hunter symbols in their windows to show that they can be of assistance.
Skills and Abilities
Most hunters have a good physical condition suitable for hunting, and possess an extensive knowledge of the supernatural and mythology as well. There is a basis about how a supernatural hunter must be, as most of them can be recognized by common traits (it is speculated that supernatural hunters use similar ways to do their hunting: whenever they are together, it can be confirmed in the series).
Hunters are skilled fighters, proficient with firearms, shotguns and melee weapons they might acquire and are also expert marksmen. When weapons are scarce and they are in a dangerous situation, they use hand-to-hand combat or whatever is available as a weapon. They also appear to be proficient trackers and possess prudent tactical skills and an instinctive ability to "read" behavioral characteristics and manipulate people. In addition, they need to be virtuosos of escape, evasion and silent movement, when the situation requires subtlety and stealth, such as surprise attacks.
And throughout the series, it has been shown they can read and recall Latin incantations, which can be used to summon, exorcise, and vanquish demons. Aside from Latin, some hunters are also able to read and/or recite other languages. An excellent example of this is Bobby, who uses his linguistic knowledge in translating ancient and foreign texts to identify a foreign monster and its weaknesses. Also, it's been seen that most of them have journals, or books, with information, details and methods to kill the different creature they must face, as John Winchester wrote a journal that he passed onto his sons. Veteran hunters possess massive and in-depth knowledge on supernatural lore, and often keep the hunter community updated on any new or recent developments.
It is shown they possess many abilities that are frowned upon by law, including, but not limited to: lock picking, breaking into security systems, computer hacking, disguised conning, car jacking and gaining an 'advantageous purchase'. They are versed with how police, fire departments and various government agencies (FBI, CDC) typically operate and conduct investigations, and know how to both impersonate and evade them effectively. Most of these methods are used to gather information about the cases they're working on, though methods can differ between supernatural hunters.
Hunters also keep their weapons close to themselves, as they can be attacked at any moment or to easily transport them to any location they need to go.
Hunters possessed a large amount of weaponry, as they need to be practical enough so they can easily adapt to the different situations they may face and the creatures they may encounter. Depending on the enemy, they use weapons and other items that weaken and kill them. All supernatural hunters have a common list of equipment that is useful in most of the cases they are in, such as:
- FireHandguns/Long Guns - One of the most useful weapons supernatural hunters have. By modifying their bullets, they can use them against many creatures (e.g. Silver bullets can be used against skinwalkers and werewolves, while shotgun cartridges can be loaded with salt.) They also can be used without any modification if only greater fire-power is needed, as when facing and destroying zombies). Includes rifles, shotguns and revolvers. Hunters may require snipers when dealing with monsters too dangerous to confront in short-range combat.
- Knives - As close range weapons, they can be useful when there is no possibility to use a gun, or use them to decapitate vampires for example. They can also use other cutting weapons, like axes, machetes and even swords.
- Salt - Supernatural Hunters have considerable amounts of salt, as it can be used for protection against demons, ghosts, hellhounds, etc., as most of them cannot pass a line made of salt. However, you can use it as a form of gun with shotgun shells.
- Silver Items - This works very well against werewolves, skinwalkers and many other monsters, so it is practical to have weapons (like knives, for example) and bullets made of silver.
- Iron Items - Used to harms ghosts, demons, and other supernatural entities.
- Stakes - Used to kill mostly deities, and the Whore of Babylon.
- Palo Santo - Used to harm and immobilize demons.
- Holy water - It can be used against demons, as it is very harming and painful for them.
- Other Items - Other useful equipment includes tasers, lighters, oils, lanterns, binoculars, syringes, mirrors, swords, flashlights., that can be used anytime (e.g. oil and lighters can be used to burn corpses and bones, while syringes can be used to inject vampires with dead man's blood).
- Supernatural Weaponry - This includes any conventional weapon that is often empowered with some supernatural effect. Also they are sometimes even one of a kind, such as the demon-killing knife, The Colt and Divine Weapons.
- Magic - This includes summoning spells for ghosts, demons and several other supernatural entities. However those like Sam and Dean despite on occasion, uses magic they don't consider themselves witches or any other kind of legitimate magic user.
- Seals and Sigils - These comprise a vital part of their defensive arsenal. It could range greatly in size, from Devil's Traps or Solomon Keys in the ceiling, to smaller ones like tattoos. They could be used on entire houses, or on cars, and even on boxes to contain cursed objects.
- Hex Bags and Charms - Works similarly to seals and sigils. These are items imbued with defensive or concealing magic.
Highly resourceful, they frequently need improvised weapons and explosive devices; as they demonstrate knowledge in chemistry by constructing Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices, or in electronics and reverse engineering, just like creating an electromagnetic field detector from an old Walkman.
Known Hunters and Associates
Many hunters are depicted in the franchise, such as:
The Winchester Family
The Campbell Family
The Mills Family
The Harvelle Family
The Chambers Family
The Cuevas Family
The Scooby Gang
- When a hunter dies, the body is laid down on a row of logs with a white sheet over the body and then salted and burned. This is to prevent the hunter's soul from becoming a variety of things (ghosts, demons, etc.).
- Although hunters track down different supernatural entities, some of them, like Daniel Elkins and Gordon Walker, specialize on certain beings. Both of the hunters specialized in tracking and hunting vampire nests, there was also Jack Fiddler, who specialized in using his shaman abillities to hunt wendigos, or the Ghostfacers, who (although not good at it) tried to hunt only ghosts.
- During Season 6, demons under Crowley's control acted similar to hunters, albeit specializing on capturing and torturing monsters to locate Purgatory.
- Although most hunters shown were based in the United States of America, it is implied that there are hunters all over the world. This is suggested by the fact that certain supernatural creatures can only be found in certain parts of the world.
- Hunters typically eat burgers and drink beer and live in cheap motels. There are a few exceptions. While some hunters are constantly on the move, others prefer to remain stationary and work a secondary job.