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Nightmare is the 14th episode of Season 1. It aired on February 7, 2006.


Dean Purgatory Blade.png.png There was something about being there... It felt pure.

This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.

Sam has a premonition in which a man is killed, but the murder is made to look like a suicide. Sam convinces Dean that they must investigate the case, but the two are puzzled when they fail to find anything that indicates that the death was supernatural in nature. That is, until they find out that Max (Brendan Fletcher), the reclusive son of the first victim, has been using his recently acquired power of telekinesis to kill the family members that once abused him. Sam also discovers Max's mother was killed by the same fiery demon that took his own mom.


In Saginaw, Michigan, a man pulls into a garage. The garage door closes behind him by itself, the car doors lock, and the car starts pumping out exhaust fumes. The frantic man can't turn it off. The man slowly dies of carbon monoxide poisoning... and Sam wakes up from the dream he's been having of the man's death. He wakes up Dean and insists they have to head to Michigan immediately. Dean is skeptical but goes along with the plan due to how panicked Sam is. Going from the license plate he saw in his dream, Sam contacts the police and gets the name of the car's owner, Jim Miller, and his address. Two hours later they arrive... and find they are too late – Jim Miller is dead. Sam is convinced something, some spirit, murdered Jim Miller, even though everyone thinks he committed suicide. The next day they visit the house pretending to be priests and meet his brother, Roger. They talk to the dead man's wife, Alice, who reveals their son Max found him. While Dean checks out the house for possible spirit manifestations, Sam talks to a stoic Max. Dean finds nothing and the house's history shows nothing either.

At the hotel that night Sam begins to have excruciating head pains and gets a vision of Roger Miller at his apartment. He "sees" a window open, Roger closes it, but it reopens by itself. Roger tries to close it without success, and when he sticks his head underneath it to examine the outside the window comes down, decapitating him. The brothers head for Roger's address and intercept him outside his home, but he ignores them and goes into his secure apartment. They break in to the side door and run up the fire escape... but get there too late. Again, there's no signs or traces of ghostly activity and Dean suspects the family itself is cursed.

They visit Max who has nothing to add but he does mention that his family used to live in an old house across town and Uncle Roger lived next door. Visiting the address, they talk to a neighbor who reveals that Joe and Roger both beat Max regularly while the stepmother, Alice, did nothing. The neighbor reveals Max's mother died in a car accident, and then Sam is overwhelmed by another vision of Max confronting his stepmother about how she didn't stop them. Max levitates a knife and kills her with it. Sam partially sympathizes with Max because of what he went through and their shared psychic abilities. He asks Dean to let him handle it since he's not comfortable with killing Max, even though Dean is okay with it. They arrive at the house as Sam's vision starts to come true, and they bust into the kitchen, interrupting Max before he can kill Alice. They ask Max outside to talk with him but he notices Dean's gun and, catching on, seals the house and pulls away the gun. Sam tries to get through to him and get Max to let Dean and Alice leave, and Max agrees they can talk alone, but that Dean and Alice have to wait upstairs. Dean takes an injured Alice out while Sam tries to convince Max not to kill his stepmother and Max reveals his dad was still beating him just a week earlier. Max talks about how his mother died in the nursery with a baby Max... pinned to the ceiling and burned to death like Sam's own mother. A shocked Sam reveals that's how his mother died and deduces that they must be connected in some way. Their psychic abilities manifested at the same time (about seven months ago), but Max's are further along. Max refuses to let it go and shuts Sam into a closet. He then goes after Dean and Alice, drawing his gun on Dean. When Dean blocks Max from shooting his stepmother, Max shoots him through the head... and it becomes clear it's another of Sam's visions. A frantic Sam concentrates and manages to telekinetically open the closet, much to his disbelief. He runs upstairs to see the same scene play out. Sam busts in and appeals to Max, who realizes he can't fix anything and shoots himself.

Later, Alice provides a cover story to explain what happened before breaking down at the loss of her entire family. Sam realizes it was their father that helped stabilize them after the tragedy that befell their family, and wonders if the demon is after Sam and Max both. Sam reveals he used his own telekinesis to get out of the closet. Sam wonders if Dean is concerned about him getting out of control like Max, but Dean assures him that as long as he's around, nothing bad will happen.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]


Featured Supernatural Beings[]


  • Azazel was mentioned. He previously appeared in Pilot.
  • Sam is having visions about the future which occurred in the Pilot when Sam dreamt of Jessica's death.


  • Antagonist: Max Miller
  • This is the first and only episode Dean used the Infrared Thermal Scanner, which looked like a modified EMF scanner fitted with screen display and green laser pointers.
  • The CW's official summary has an error where actor Brendan Fletcher is not credited as a guest star.


Featured Music[]

  • "2+2=?" by Bob Seger
  • "Lucifer" by Bob Seger
  • "Money & Dealers" by Flickerstick

Cultural References[]

  • Dean: Good afternoon. I'm Father Simmons, this is Father Frehley.

References to Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley of KISS.

  • Dean: So he's a psychic. He's a spoon-bender.

Spoon-bending was the signature feat of the famous "psychic" Uri Geller. Geller claimed one of his first telekinetic acts was accidentally breaking a spoon during a meal when he was 4, and several televised recordings of his performances showed him bending spoons, among other tricks.

  • Sam: McCreedy. Detective McCreedy, badge number 15A

The 1988 horror movie Hobgoblins features a character called Mr. McCreedy.


  • Sam: "We're not gonna kill Max."
  • Dean: "Then what? Hand him over to the cops and say, 'Lock him up, Officer. He kills with the power of his mind.'"

  • Dean: "Our family's not cursed ... we just have our dark spots."
  • Sam: [chuckles] "Our dark spots are pretty dark." 
  • Dean: "You're... dark"

  • Sam: "Well, don't look at me like that."
  • Dean: "I'm not looking at you like anything ... but I do gotta say you look like crap."
  • Sam: "Nice ... thanks."

International Titles[]

  • Finnish: Painajainen (Nightmare)
  • Brazil: Pesadelo (Nightmare)
  • French: Télékinésie (Telekinesis)
  • German: Albtraum (Nightmare)
  • Italian: Incubi (Nightmare)
  • Polish: Koszmar (Nightmare)
  • Romanian: Coșmar (Nightmare)
  • Hungarian: Rémálmok (Nightmares)

External Links[]