A revenant is a rare type of supernatural creature. As stated by Dean in Season 13 is sort of like a zombie, a person risen from the dead.
Differences from common ghosts
- Ignorance - Probably the most important and key element that makes a ghost a revenant is that they do not know or believe they are dead. They have either forgotten or suppressed the memories of their deaths, or believe they truly have risen from the grave.
- Continuous Manifestation - Unlike "normal" ghosts, which often appear violently in short bursts, once revenants manifest themselves, they maintain their presences. Their embodiments do not flicker or jerk with motion.
- Corporeal - Unlike all other ghosts, which are naturally incorporeal, and require calmness or anger to become corporeal, revenants are naturally solid. They cannot pass through walls and are able to interact with their environments as easily and constantly as the living, possessing the same metaphysical constraints as they did when they were alive (i.e. weight, strength; having shadows, etc.). This also means they can be wounded and bleed like humans, and they also feel pain.
- Full Awareness - Unlike many ghosts, a revenant's consciousness is fully intact. Their thoughts are not erratic or governed completely by emotion (fear, anger, pain, etc.), allowing them to have complete thoughts and progressive, linear thinking. They can carry on full conversations and be reasoned with, and do not always see things strictly as "black and white"
- Remains - Revenants do not need remains to be bound to this realm. A simple motive (vengeance, unfinished business, fear of the beyond, guilt) will suffice.
- Lack of Ghostly Powers - Revenants do not demonstrate common ghost abilities. They cannot appear or disappear, teleport, move objects/people remotely, pass through walls, or know/read the hearts and minds of the living.
It's implied though, that like normal ghosts, if enough time passes they will eventually go wild, in which case hunters have to stop them. As they don't require remains, they can't be salted and burned, so the only thing they can do is lock them up. However, if a hunter can find what's causing them to remain on Earth and help them through it, they can be made to move on.
Garth warns another hunter to be wary of their bite, saying it won't turn you, it will just hurt, implying they commonly bite attackers.
In The Big Empty. Dean tells Jack that "a revenant is more like a zombie." The Winchesters initially suspect that they are dealing with a revenant, but change their minds after finding the suspected revenant's body in her grave. Sam states to Jack that "a body rules out a revenant." Its eventually determined that they are dealing with a shapeshifter.
- Silver - Revenants are negatively affected by silver. It's unknown whether this means they cannot handle it or if being pierced by it causes them harm. This is their only known weakness. Garth told another hunter, who was dealing with an (apparently violent) Revenant, to use silver spikes to immobilize it, and lock it in a casket, deep under ground, suggesting silver causes them harm.
- Salt - As ghosts, revenants are hurt by salt and are incapable of passing over a line of it, though this was never specifically confirmed.
- Resolving the Ghost's issues - Helping a revenant to resolve its issues can put it to rest. This method worked in the case of Molly McNamara.
- Season 2
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 8
- Southern Comfort (mentioned only)
- Season 13
- The Big Empty (mentioned only)