|“||It's a Nachzehrer. A ghoul and vampire-like creature. Some breeds feed on the flesh of the dead. Others feed on the blood and hearts of the living. They run in small packs, but they usually keep an extremely low profile.||”|
Nachzehrers, also called ghoul-pires by Dean, were monsters that were similar to ghouls and vampires. Their existence was known since ancient Greece and by the Men of Letters. They can be cured by killing the pack alpha.
According to the lore Castiel was reading at the Men of Letters bunker, some nachzehrers feed on the blood and hearts of the living, and others the flesh of the dead. They run in small packs and usually keep a low profile. Nachzehrer seem to have a pack-mentality; newly transformed members are utterly devoted to the pack alpha, even to the point of killing those they loved as humans for refusing to join the pack. If the alpha of the pack is killed, the others will turn back into human form. The only way to kill one is to put a Charon's obol or copper coin in its mouth and then decapitate it.
In 2015, the Darkness was released, something that was detected by all monsters. Desperate to live as long as possible, a nachzehrer named Deputy Donelly turned sixteen people in one month to create an army to survive. However, one of his newly turned pack, Lily Markham, was unable to correctly hide the body of her husband after he refused to join and his death drew the attention of hunters Sam and Dean Winchester. During a fight, Dean shot Donelly with silver and decapitated him, neither of which killed him, resulting in Dean sending a picture of Donelly's fangs to Castiel. Using the Men of Letters archives, Castiel was able to identify Donelly as a nachzehrer and how to kill him. After Lily restored Donelly's head to his body, Donelly explained his motives to Dean. During a fight that followed, Dean was able to shove pennies down Donelly's throat and decapitate him with the door of the Impala, killing him and reverting the rest of the nachzehrer pack back to normal.
Power and Abilities
- Super Strength - Nachzehrer's possess enough strength to beat humans almost to a bloody pulp, however, they seem less strong than other monsters; a bulky, well-trained human could engage an old nachzehrer with minimal difficulty.
- Indestructibility - They can only be killed by decapitation after putting a copper coin in their mouths. If decapitated without a copper coin in their mouths, the head will remain animated.
- Infectious Bite - They can infect normal humans through a bite.
- Limited Regeneration - Once their heads are reattached if decapitated without a copper coin in their mouth, the decapitating injury will heal itself. However, the head has to be manually reattached.
- Immortality - Nachzehrers can apparently live forever unless killed. Deputy Donelly was over a hundred years old and showed no signs of being weakened by age.
|“||Well, they're already dead. So in a manner of speaking, they just need to be reminded that they're dead. You need a Charon's Obol. You place a coin in a Nachzehrer's mouth, then sever their head, and that will kill them. According to the lore, if you kill the packs alpha, everyone they've turned will revert back to human form.||”|
- Silver - Slows down nachzehrers but causes no serious harm.
- Copper Coins - Placing a copper coin in its mouth combined with decapitation is the only thing that can kill it.
- Decapitation - Complete removal of the head and placing a Charon's obol or copper coin in their mouth kill nachzehrers. The nachzehrer Dean killed was done with pennies from a woman's purse and the Impala's car door.
- Killing the Pack Alpha - Turns everyone turned by the alpha, back to human.
- Deputy Donelly (deceased)
- Deputy Donelly's pack (cured)
- Nachzehrer is a sort of German vampire. Nachzehrer translates "after (nach) living off (zehren)" likely alluding to their living after death or living off humans after death in addition to the choice of "nach" for "after" which is similar to "nacht" ("night"). The nachzehrer was prominent in the folklore of the northern regions of Germany, but even in Silesia and Bavaria, and the word was also used to describe a similar creature of the Kashubes of Northern Poland. Though ostensibly a vampire, they are also similar to ghouls, and in many ways different from either undead. The nachzehrer is not a blood-sucker, but like a ghoul, rather consumes already dead bodies. According to the lore, nachzehrer is created most commonly after suicide, and sometimes from an accidental death. According to another German lore, a person does not become a nachzehrer from being bitten or scratched; the transformation happens after death and is not communicable. Nachzehrers are also related to sickness and disease. If a large group of people died of the plague, the first person to have died is believed to be a nachzehrer. The "official" killing myth says a nachzehrer can be killed by placing a coin in its mouth, and then chopping off its head. It can be discerned from this that a mere coin in the mouth may result in paralysis as some myths say that a stake through a vampires heart does.
- Beside vampires, rabids, werewolves, and demons, nachzehrers are the fifth known type of supernatural creatures to have a cure.