|“||Monsters, simply put, are supernatural creatures that prey on humans. Often--but not always--they were once human themselves.||”|
— an overall description of Monsters
in Supernatural: The Men of Letters Bestiary: Winchester Family Edition
Monsters are the children and descendants of Eve, and other supernatural creatures. Although referring to many different species, some share a point of origin, and traits. They are supernatural creatures with extraordinary strength and powers and abilities. They commonly prey upon humans.
These are the supreme monsters, due to them being the very first of their species, which means they greatly outclass all of their children in terms of strength and abilities no matter how powerful their children are. They are very rare, which means the majority of hunters have never met one, nor will ever. The fate of most is unknown following Crowley's hunt for Alphas and through them, Purgatory. In There Will Be Blood it was implied that the Alpha Vampire was the last though this is unconfirmed.
- Alpha Vampire (deceased)
- Alpha Shapeshifter (deceased)
- Alpha Werewolf (mentioned, unknown)
- Alpha Skinwalker (mentioned, unknown)
- Alpha Djinn (mentioned, unknown)
These monsters are of the strongest type (under the Alphas), either by being physically stronger than the rest, have extremely powerful abilities or are so unique that it is hard for hunters to hunt them.
These monsters are significantly weaker than the elite or their respective Alphas.
These are creatures that have been featured as monsters-of-the-week but have an unknown origin and are unconfirmed to be descendants of Eve.
Monsters that have appeared only in material regarded as Non-canon.
- Aswangs (tie-in novels only)
- Borderwalkers (tie-in novels only)
- Alpha Borderwalker (tie-in novels only)
- Chimeras (tie-in novels only)
- Cyclops (mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- Harpy (tie-in novels only)
- Hupias (tie-in anime)
- Kappas (tie-in anime)
- Living House (mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- Naguals (tie-in novels and mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- Night Hags (tie-in novels only)
- Obakes (tie-in novels only)
- Onis (tie-in novels only)
- Ondines (tie-in novels and Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- Pombero (tie-in anime)
- Thunderbird (tie-in anime)
- Trogs (tie-in novels only)
- Tzitzimimeh (tie-in novels only)
- Unnamed Salt-sucking Critters (mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- Werecat (tie-in novels only)
- Yam (tie-in novels only)
- Yamaotoko (mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- Yetis (mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- See: Alphas
Alphas are the first of each monster, and the direct descendants of Eve. As a result, each one is more powerful than any other member of their species. They are the creators of the rest of their species, and as such are the undisputed leaders of their kind.
Although many monsters are solitary, some, particularly the intelligent ones, form groups or packs, where they live and hunt together in "nests". Pack leaders serve as the bosses of these groups. This is not always a definite rule however, as some prefer to live on their own as well.
Monsters Known to Live in Packs and Nests
- Jefferson Starships
Known Pack Leaders
- Luther - This leader governed a small pack of Vampires.
- Boris - He commanded a group that recruited/created new vampires.
- Lenore - She commanded a pack of vampires that fed on animal blood instead of human until Eve's influence pushed them back to feeding on human blood.
- Dixon - Created a pack to make new "daughters" after his own daughter was killed by hunters.
- Old Man - Led a pack of vampire pirates. Was so old he thought himself a god and forced his men to worship him as one.
- Desmond - Rogue vampire who wanted to create his own pack and tried to get Benny Lafitte to help him.
- Celia - Female vampire who created a "family" of vampires.
- Unnamed Pack leader - A certain High-tier leader of some Skinwalkers.
- Sal Lassiter - Led a pack of shifters from one of Chicago's ruling monster families.
- Julian Duval - Leader of a pack of werewolves from one of Chicago's ruling monster families.
- Reverend Jim Myers - Leader of a pack of werewolves that coexists with humans.
- Tasha - Werewolf who started to create her own pack after her sister turned her.
- Deputy Donelly - Led a pack of Nachzehrer in hopes of creating an army to try and survive the Darkness.
Becoming a Monster
Monsters are made in a great variety of ways. While this is not a complete list, it shows some of the more common methods of monster reproduction.
The original and most effective method is by tactile contact with Eve, the mother of all. She had the ability to turn humans into monsters or hybrids with a mere touch.
From Other Monsters
The most common method, is however simply be sexual reproduction between monsters, which Djinn's, Kitsune, Ghouls, Vetala and presumably all other monsters, whose method hasn't been stated do. Werewolves mostly reproduce by biting, but they can also reproduce sexually with other werewolves.
- By Biting - Werewolves, Skinwalkers, Arachnes, Nachzehrer and Jefferson Starships can pass on their curse by biting a human.
- By Genetics - Some monsters reproduce genetically without having to turn or infect humans. This is not the same as sexual reproduction between monsters, as in some of these cases their monstrous nature remains dormant for years, making them appear completely human before it emerges. Rugarus, Shapeshifters and Sirens reproduce in this way. Werewolves can as well though they more commonly reproduce through biting.
- By Transfusion - Introduction and admixture of Vampire blood with a human's blood turns humans into vampires.
- By Ingestion - A significant amount of vampire blood taken orally by a human causes him or her to turn into a vampire.
Reversing a transformation into a monster
While exceptionally rare, its possible for a monster transformation to be reversed.
- Vampires - Using a cure developed by the Campbell Family, a vampire that has not yet fed can be returned to humanity. However, that newly-turned vampire cannot drink even a single drop of human blood or it won't work and they need the blood of their sire.
- Nachzehrer - Killing the Nachzehrer pack alpha will reverse the transformation of everyone they have turned.
- Werewolf - Using an experimental cure created by the British Men of Letters, a werewolf transformation can potentially be reversed in the early stages of lycanthropy. However, the newly-turned werewolf must not feed and the sire's live blood is required. Of the two people this cure has been tried on, it has only worked a single time with the other person dying in excruciating agony instead. Prior to the development of this cure, it was believed that a werewolf transformation was irreversible by both werewolves and hunters.
Many monsters share traits and attributes:
- Feeding on Humans - Most, if not all, monsters feed on humans - either human flesh, blood, certain organs, souls or all four. Only Phoenixes don't seem to eat humans, they just kill them outright. Shapeshifters have never been seen eating people, or having any intent to; in effect, Bobby once compared Shapeshifters and the Leviathans, noticing that the latter can be distinguished from the former for not only being more resistant but also for having more of a preference for human flesh. However, it was implied by the Leviathan Edgar that at least some Shapeshifters do feed on humans, as, like other Monsters, they were included in the elimination plans of the Leviathans, who wished to have a monopoly on the consumption of human flesh. Some Monsters also have certain preferences in types of humans; Okami each eat a certain type of human, down to preference.
- Non-human Eyes - Shapeshifters, Jefferson Starships, Werewolves, Kitsunes, Skinwalkers, Vetalas, Dragons, Rugarus, can all be identified by their strange or unusual eyes, though some require certain conditions to be noticed (such as a Shapeshifter's eyes flashing yellow when seen through a camera).
- Claws - Werewolves, Kitsune, Skinwalkers (in dog form), Dragons, Lamia and Wendigos, all have razor sharp claws.
- Fangs - Vampires, Werewolves, Okami, Jefferson Starships, Skinwalkers, Rawheads, Crocottas, Nachzehrer and Vetala possess monstrous fangs. Vampires and Vetala use them to suck the blood of their victims, for others they are used to tear and devour flesh.
- Super Strength - All monsters typically possess some degree of superhuman strength, ranging from just stronger than humans, to being able to lift a man with one hand, throw a man several feet with great effort or none, rip through flesh with some to great ease, or snap steel chains. While some monsters need to exert greater effort to access superhuman strength other more powerful monsters can destroy objects with a light movement or gesture. Human hunters can fight off, stun, sneak up on, catch off guard and outmaneuver most monsters by using their weaknesses, such as damaging their bodies with a special object or in a certain way, therefore allowing a hunter equipped with their weakness to kill monsters that are stronger than them. The best way to kill monsters with great strength is to catch them off guard as Sam and Dean have done repeatedly throughout the series.
- Super Speed - Many monsters are much faster than humans so they can sneak up on humans unnoticed or outrun them in a chase. While weaker monsters seemingly have normal human speed or have the speed of the best human athlete, others can move at the speed of certain animals and can easily catch up to humans. Skinwalkers, Rugarus, Werewolves, Vampires, Kitsunes, Jefferson Starships, Djinns, Wendigos and Dragons (while flying).
- Shapeshifting - A common power of many monsters is the ability to change their form. Some, such as Shapeshifters, Sirens and Jefferson Starships, can change into whatever they want, while others are more limited. Dragons, Phoenixes, Kitsune, Skinwalkers and Djinns can only change between their true form and a human disguise. Some monsters have certain requirements or limitations to their transformations, such as Werewolves, the only monsters that can't control their ability to transform (however, pure blood werewolves can shape shift at will,) or Ghouls, which are able to change into anyone, but only if they eat the person's flesh.
Interaction and Society
Monsters have hunted men since the beginning of time. According to the Alpha Vampire, he was the thing that humans feared when they huddled around a fire. Eve created the first monsters, the Alphas, who in turn went on to father the rest of their species. Although powerful (at least in the modern era), most monsters preferred to hide from humans or blend into their society, taking great care to avoid detection, especially by hunters. Because most of them could assume human form, they could easily pass as a regular human to the untrained eye. Additionally, although some could be detected through video footage in security cameras, most people disregard the anomalies they see as a technical problem or malfunctioning of the device.
Many monsters targeted isolated locations and communities as their hunting grounds. In some cases, they would attempt to reproduce, in addition to simply hunting men for food.
Influence and Arrival of Eve
Following the beginning of Crowley's search for Purgatory through torturing monsters, Eve reached out to her children and ordered them to begin increasing their numbers to protect Purgatory's location. Eve also desired to condemn as many human souls to Purgatory as possible to deny them to Heaven or Hell. As a result of Eve's influence, monsters began acting far more strangely in the eyes of hunters, such as werewolves not transforming at the full moon. Furthermore, monsters began leaving their homelands such as the Lamia and Ōkami while monsters that hadn't been seen in centuries to millennia such as the Arachne and Dragons resurfaced. One of the tactics that Eve employed was, through the Alphas, ordering the existing monster species to build up armies.
Under the guidance of Eve, a group of dragons performed a ritual that brought Eve to Earth. Now with free reign to act directly, Eve took personal control of the efforts to build up monster armies and began working on creating new monster species. Eve created the khan worm as her first new species. Though the only known khan worm was killed by the Winchesters, it was revealed years later that a variant species survived in the Middle East.
Eve's efforts culminated in her creating the Jefferson Starships in Grant's Pass, Oregon, a new species that was undetectable to hunters and that she considered her perfect new monster species. Eve came up against the Winchesters, Bobby Singer and the Seraphim Castiel who had managed to obtain phoenix ash, Eve's only weakness. Dean Winchester was able to trick Eve into biting him after he ingested phoenix ash, killing Eve and ending her influence on Earth. A diner full of Jefferson Starships was wiped out by Castiel while demons sent by Crowley killed the last two, rendering the new species extinct and preventing their spread.
Following the death of Eve, monsters returned to their regular behaviors. The rare monsters that had appeared to the world for the first time in centuries disappeared once more, monsters stopped leaving their homelands and the various species stopped building up armies of monsters.
Following the Escape of the Leviathans, monsters appeared to mainly keep their distance from the conflict and continue on with their normal behaviors. The Alpha Vampire, aware that the Leviathan leader Dick Roman intended to engineer humanity into a perfect food source for the Leviathans, made a deal for the Leviathans and vampires to share the Earth. However, the Leviathans intended to wipe out the other monster species, or at least those that fed upon human beings.
To this end, the Leviathans created an additive that would become dubbed as "vamptonite" which effectively poisoned the blood of any human that ingested it. Their altered blood would become poisonous to monsters that tried to eat them, particularly vampires, werewolves and ghouls. Any monster that was infected by "vamptonite" would quickly die. Recognizing the gravity of the threat, the Alpha Vampire gave his blood to the Winchesters so that they could create a weapon to defeat the Leviathans. Within the year that followed the Leviathan defeat at the Battle of SucroCorp, the Leviathan additive disappeared from the human population and humans became safe for monsters to prey upon once again.
After the defeat of the Leviathans, monsters returned to their normal patterns of behavior.
Release of the Darkness
When the Darkness was released, many monsters began panicking. One Nachzehrer pack alpha, in spite of his species tendency to fly under the radar and live in small numbers, began amassing an army and turning dozens of people in his desperation to buy some time to survive. This drew the attention of hunters, something he had avoided for at least a hundred years and had even blended in perfectly with regular humans. Other monsters retained their normal behavior, but remained very aware of the approaching threat.
British Men of Letters American Campaign
Before monsters could react to the departure of the Darkness, the British Men of Letters arrived in America and changed the balance of power once more. Boasting weapons that were a combination of magic and technology, the British Men of Letters began a campaign to wipe out all American monsters. This campaign was extremely effective, with a single attack known to have wiped out twenty werewolves with little to no losses to the humans. These attacks had negative effects on the monsters that survived them with one werewolf that survived an attack going insane from loneliness and changing from peaceful to hostile in his sheer desperation to not be alone.
The British Men of Letters launched Project V, a concentrated effort to wipe out all American vampires. The project wiped out two hundred and thirty of the two hundred and forty one vampires in the Midwest Region of the United States alone and drew the wrath of the Alpha Vampire. In an attempt to stop the British campaign, the Alpha Vampire led a raid by the surviving Midwest vampires on the British Men of Letters compound. The raid killed several British operatives, but was ultimately a massive failure for the vampires. All but a few of the Midwest vampires were killed in the raid and the survivors were forced to scatter and flee. During the attack, Sam Winchester was able to kill the Alpha Vampire with the Colt on top of all the regular vampires that lost their lives. This left the vampires without their species progenitor and left the oldest and most powerful known living monster in the world dead.
After the vampire raid, the British Men of Letters continued their American operation undaunted, though Project V appeared to have ended following the raid. The death of the Alpha Vampire convinced Sam Winchester of the good the British operation could do and he signed on with them, eventually getting his brother Dean to sign on as well. This left the monsters having to face the British Men of Letters aided by two of the greatest American hunters in their campaign.
Ultimately, the British campaign in America was ended when the American hunters, who faced a great threat themselves from the British Men of Letters, destroyed the British operation in an attack on their compound.
Departure of the British Men of Letters
Following the departure of the British Men of Letters, monsters were able to return to their normal patterns of behavior without fear of being hunted to extinction.
Enhancements and Michael's army
After arriving in the Main Universe, the archangel Michael from Apocalypse World decided that monsters were the perfect allies in his quest to exterminate the human race as they only cared about eating. Michael began experiments to enhance monsters using angel grace. After some "misfires," Michael succeeded in discovering a method of successfully enhancing monsters and began building an army to destroy the humans. Michael started by making a deal with the werewolf pack leader Phillippe. After enhancing some of Phillippe's pack, Michael sent them after Sam and Mary Winchester as well as Bobby Singer as part of a trap. Michael's enhancements made the werewolves faster and stronger than before and immune to silver, putting the hunters at a severe disadvantage. However, they remained vulnerable to decapitation and the hunters emerged victorious.
Despite this defeat and abandoning Dean Winchester as his vessel, Michael continued his efforts, sending enhanced vampires to chase down the alternate Kaia Nieves who had the one weapon that could harm him. Like the enhanced werewolves, the vampires were stronger and faster and also had an immunity to dead man's blood, but ultimately fell to Kaia.
In his continuing war, Michael set up dozens of monster traps all over the place for hunters. In each case, he would have one of his enhanced monsters set up somewhere quiet and ambush hunters who came to investigate their activities. The Winchesters learned of this after encountering and killing the enhanced djinn Neil and spread the word to other hunters.
After learning of Michael's location in Kansas City from Naomi, Team Free Will 2.0 employed Garth, a werewolf and former hunter to infiltrate Michael's army and learn his plans. Garth discovered that Michael intended to have his army attack Kansas City over the course of one night, transforming the entire city into more of Michael's army. An attempt to stop Michael only ended with the destruction of the Spear and Michael repossessing Dean. Though the attack on Kansas City began, Michael redirected his monsters to the Men of Letters bunker to rescue him after being captured by Sam, Castiel and Jack. Though several enhanced monsters made it into the bunker, they were killed by Jack while Dean imprisoned Michael within his own mind.
After Michael was imprisoned, Michael's army disbanded and the monsters went their separate ways without Michael around to control them anymore. Michael was subsequently killed by Jack, putting a permanent end to his army of monsters. However, it appears that Michael's death did not reverse the enhancements he had made upon the monsters of his army, introducing the empowered monster variants unto the world.
Although there is no universal weakness that applies to all monsters (except God, Death or Amara), many share weaknesses:
- Decapitation - Vampires, Ghouls etc. can be killed by having their heads removed. This is also how Jefferson Starships are killed. This might work on most, if not all, monsters such as Nachzehrers. Werewolves also have this weakness as seen with the enhanced werewolves created by Michael.
- The Colt - The Colt can kill almost anything in existence. It is even capable of killing Alphas.
- Inability to Pass as Human - While most species can pass as human, some species (such as Wendigos and Rugarus) cannot do so.
- Fire - Several types of monsters can be killed by fire. Some are even especially vulnerable to it, and can be effectively killed by it.
- Mirrors - Sirens and Wraiths true forms can be revealed by mirrors.
- Silver - Several monsters are vulnerable to silver. Some of these include Werewolves, Skinwalkers, Wraiths and Shapeshifters.
- Electrocution - Electrocution is shown to be able to kill Rawheads and the original version of the khan worm. However, the variant species of the khan worm lacks this weakness.
- Vamp-Tonite - As well as dumbing down humans, a side effect of the Leviathan Corn Syrup additive, is it makes the blood toxic to any non-Leviathan monster (Vampires, Werewolves, Ghouls, Shapeshifters etc.) who drink it. This is to wipe out the monsters, so that the Leviathans don't have to compete for food resources.
- Eve - The mother/creator of all monsters has a certain degree of mind control over her creations, in one occasion, the vampire Lenore stated that she was still trying to escape her. Sam also asks about her nest and she tells them they could no longer resist Eve's voice and began killing again, due to Eve's voice in their heads and what it does to them. She was forced to hide in a basement and expressed the lust of feeding she battled, remarking that "everyone gives in".
- Angels - Angels can smite any monster. A seraph can also change any human-turned monster back into human by touching them (it was only seen during early levels of infection).
- Demons - Most Demons generally out class most monsters and overpower them. High-tier demons like Crowley can easily overpower and kill them.
- Shredding - Logically, shredding a monster destroys it, regardless of the type. After Bobby destroys an okami using a woodchipper, Rufus mentions that it could work on anything. After becoming a werewolf, Brian Wilcox was killed by this method also, literally ripped to pieces.
- Extreme Brain Damage - Djinn, Wraiths and Ghouls are able to be killed by significant damage to their brains.
- Death's Scythe - Death's scythe can kill any being.
- The First Blade - Being powered by the Darkness, this blade can kill any monster.
- Primordial entities - Beings such as Amara, God, Death and Archangels can easily annihilate them. Michael was able to overpower a werewolf with no problem and effortlessly made himself leader of an army.
- Nephilim - Jack was able to blast a shapeshifter away. Later on, he was able to keep several werewolves in place long enough for Sam and Dean to kill them. While using the power of his soul, Jack effortlessly combusted five of Michael's enhanced monsters
- Celtic Monster Trapping Sigil - According to Bobby Singer it could trap monsters. However, to date, it has only worked on Soul Eaters.
- Magic - Certain forms of magic have proven useful in killing various monster species or in some cases, binding them to the caster's will.
- Each Other - Monsters from the same or different species were shown in more than one occasion to be able to harm and/or kill eachother.
- Explosions - Garth Fitzgerald IV once blew up an entire monster fight club with C4, killing almost all of them (about 58-60 monsters of many species), with only one survivor, Garth later states that C4 is "a hunter's best friend", impling that he and other hunters have used this resource in past occasions, which can be backed up by the fact that the Winchesters and The Men of Letters having granade launchers as part of their arsenal.
Even though their appearances vary depending on what type they are, Monsters are among the most recurring supernatural creatures in the series, appearing in a total of almost 70 episodes so far, rivaling the appearances of Ghosts.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Exile on Main Street (Djinns)
- Two and a Half Men (Shapeshifters, Alpha Shapeshifter)
- Weekend at Bobby's (Lamia, Okami)
- Live Free or Twihard (Vampires, Alpha Vampire)
- Family Matters (Vampires, Alpha Vampire)
- All Dogs Go To Heaven (Skinwalkers)
- Caged Heat (Ghouls, Djinn, Vampire, Alpha Shapeshifter, Rugaru, Shapeshifters)
- Like A Virgin (Dragons, Eleanor Visyak's Species)
- Unforgiven (Arachnes)
- ...And Then There Were None (Khan worm)
- Frontierland (Phoenix)
- Mommy Dearest (Vampire, Jefferson Starships)
- The Man Who Would Be King (Vampire)
- Let It Bleed (Eleanor Visyak's Species)
- The Man Who Knew Too Much (Eleanor Visyak's Species)
- Season 7
- Season 8
- We Need To Talk About Kevin (Vampires)
- What's Up, Tiger Mommy? (Vampire, Rugaru; flashback only)
- Bitten (Werewolves)
- Blood Brother (Vampires)
- A Little Slice of Kevin (Vampire; flashback only)
- Citizen Fang (Vampires)
- Torn and Frayed (Vampire)
- Freaks and Geeks (Vampires)
- Taxi Driver (Vampires)
- Pac-Man Fever (Djinns)
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- Season 8, Season 10, Season 12 and Season 13 are the only seasons so far not to introduce any new types of Monster.
- According to Supernatural The Official Companion Season 6, the scene with Dean and the ghouls in the episode Caged Heat was originally scripted to introduce a new monster into the show's mythology. " The ghouls were originally going to be a big-ass, Lovecraftian tentacle," Story Editor Brett Matthews explains. "In the first draft Dean gets thrown into this underground pit where there's just sand and a huge trough of water. He starts digging and finds a bone, realizes he's been thrown into a monster pen. Then this huge tentacle reaches up and grabs him and sucks him under. Sam busts out with a fire axe and chops the tentacle off and pulls him out, but Dean's leg all messed up, It was going to be a very bold step into the realm of monster, but it was just too expensive."
- Of all Monsters, vampires have appeared the most, with shapeshifters coming in at second and djinn and werewolves coming in joint third place, respectively. (Even though werewolves have been mentioned more than any other monsters on the show).
- In Supernatural: The Animation, they showed for the first time a demon possessing a monster, that being a vampire.