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Damn right it was a poltergeist, practically tore our house apart.
Jerry Panowski explaining the poltergeist to Sam and Dean
in Phantom Traveler

Poltergeists are invisible and telekinetic spirits that uniquely seek attention through sometimes violent and deadly actions.

Basic Info[]


Poltergeists are a type of spirit that seeks recognition and attention, and will do anything to receive it. However, a Poltergeist is not a human spirit; it is a separate being of its own. Therefore, burning their remains is ineffective (and impossible). However, in John Winchester's journal, he claims that poltergeists can be destroyed the same way a normal hunter would deal with any other ghost, salting and burning the remains, this was later proven by Sam and Dean (and Gary) while dealing with Maggie Briggs. This suggests that the term "poltergeist" is used to describe more than one kind of spirtiual beings, some of which are human spirits and some of which aren't. As their whole existence solely encompasses receiving attention, their M.O. is different than of other ghosts; apparently, most poltergeist are either unable or unwilling to cross the Veil to manifest visually like most ghosts do, which means they are normally invisible to humans. There are some exceptions though.

When in a state of distress, they're strong enough to bench press a piano, they can also be quite powerful, one was able to perform several telekinetic attacks, in different areas of the house it was haunting at the several times, and when concentrated are very powerful telekinetic displays of power, able to throw grown men around like rag dolls. According to Missouri Moseley, they are sometimes attracted to the paranormal energy in places where beings of great evil (such as powerful demons like Azazel) manifested when they leave wounds of humans behind.


Most poltergeists remain within the Veil and manifest solely with growling and ghostly screaming sounds. They can only be seen by ghosts like Mary Winchester. Certain poltergeists, particularly ones that are human spirits like Maggie Briggs, can take the form they had in life or death, much like other ghosts.

Powers and Abilities[]

  • Biokinesis - One poltergeist can carve the words "Murdered Chylde" into Katie's skin.
  • Invisibility - It can become invisible to the naked eye. The only poltergeist that stood invisible was the Poltergeist, but only Mary can see her.
  • Telekinesis - One poltergeist was able to manipulate Ritchie's monkey toy, pin Missouri with a drawer, throw knives in front of Sam and violently shake Jenny's bed. throw around Dean simultaneously once while he took Sari and Ritchie out. It was also shown that Maggie Briggs can break stuff and throw around Sam, Dean and Gary Frankle.[1]


  • House Purification Ritual - It is possible to use this to destroy a Poltergeist, if it is placed, in all the floors, of the north, south, east and west corners of the building it's haunting. However, to stronger Poltergeists, this might just wound them.
  • Salting and Burning remains - John Winchester made it clear that poltergeists can be killed if you find its remains and you salt and burn them, that is if a spirit had manifested into a Poltergeist. Gary learned this the hard way to defeat Maggie Briggs.
  • Ghosts - If another ghost with powers (like Mary Winchester's spirit) that cancel out the Poltergeist, fights the Poltergeist then it will destroy both of them. Mary uses her pyrokinetic powers to defeat the poltergeist.
  • Salt - Like all ghosts, salt repels and weakens Poltergeists.

Non Canon[]

Titaniccanonnoncanon.png The Titanic. Yes, well, uh, it was meant to sink, and I saved it.
This article or section is about a canonical subject but contains information from sources (novels, animated series or comics) that are either not canon or are dubiously canon.

John Winchester's Journal Entry

February 2003


Lithobolia: or, the Stone-Throwing Devil. Being an Exact and True Account (by way of Journal) of the various Actions of Infernal Spirits, or (Devils Incarnate) Witches, or both; and the great Disturbance and Amazement they gave to George Waltons Family, at a place called Great Island in the Province of New-Hantshire in New-England, chiefly in Throwing about (by an Invisible hand) Stone, Bricks, and Brick-bats of all sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and Other Domestick Utensils, as came into their Hellish Minds, and this for the space of a Quarter of a Year.

Hell of a title. 1698 account by Richard Chamberlain of 1682 haunting attributed to the neighbor being a witch. No record of whether neighbor was tried. Other notable American poltergeists-the Wizard of Livington, Virginia, 1797; Bell Witch, Kentucky, 1817; Fox sisters, 1848, were a hoax but initial events might be real.
Overlap with incubus/demonic possession in Entity and Smurl cases, both in the 1970s.
Missouri says poltergeists are unquiet spirits, not psychokinetic projections. They want attention and if they don't get it they progress from nuisance to danger. Only way to get rid of them is the same way you get rid of any spirit. Find the remains, or the haunted object, salt and burn, repeat as necessary.

Known Poltergeists[]

  • Winchester House poltergeist - Attacked Joe the plumber by mangling his hand in the garbage disposal and trapped Ritchie in the refrigerator when it lured him to its trap while trying to get his juice. Tried to kill Sam and Dean by strangling him to death with a lamp and throwing knives at him respectively. Was wounded by the ritual. Came back and tried to trap Sam inside of the house. Canceled out when Mary Winchester told it to get out of her house.
  • Maggie Briggs - Buried in the basement by Isaiah Pickett when he killed her for carrying his illegitimate child. Made bumping, knocking and scratching noises in the walls, began breaking things and started attacking Katie with the words "MURDERED CHYLDE" carved into her skin. Was dispatched when Gary Frankle salted and burnt her bones.