|“||Dean, Samhain is the damn origin of Halloween. The Celts believe that October 31st was the one night of the year when the veil was thinnest between the living and the dead, and it was Samhain's night.||”|
Samhain, also known as the origin of Halloween, was a powerful and special demon of Hell and was one of the 66 Seals. He could only rise when summoned by two powerful witches through three blood sacrifices over three days, with the last sacrifice day on the final harvest, Halloween. Once risen, Samhain could raise ghosts, zombies, and ghouls, among other creatures.
Samhain is one of the oldest demons in existence. When God made the archangel Lucifer's cage, he made the summoning of Samhain one of the sixty-six seals. The ancient Celts worshiped him as a god on Halloween. When he reigned on Earth on Halloween night, people kept their children indoors. They wore masks to hide from him, carved faces into pumpkins to worship him, and left sweets at their doors to appease him. He was exorcised centuries prior to Sam and Dean's time by an unknown party. As he could only be summoned once every 600 years, he was trapped in Hell.
Samhain then killed Tracy and went a rampage, entering a mausoleum in a cemetery and releasing ghosts and zombies to kill his host's students. While Dean Winchester dealt with the summoned monsters, Sam Winchester armed himself with the Demon-Killing Knife and went to face Samhain. Though his White Light had no effect on Sam, Samhain proved too powerful for Sam to beat with the knife, and Sam was forced to use his psychic powers to exorcise him. Samhain proved to be powerful enough to resist Sam's powers but was ultimately exorcised and sent back to Hell by Sam. Despite Samhain's exorcism, his rising broke one of the 66 Seals.
In I Know What You Did Last Summer, while Anna Milton was locked up in a psychiatric ward, she had a sketchbook where she drew images of seals that have been broken and the demons involved in them, including Samhain and Lilith.
Samhain was shown to be cruel and sadistic, he took pleasure in trapping his host's students and summoning zombies to devour them, so much so, that he playfully rubbed his hand against the gate as he walked off. However, he seemed more interested in simply creating and causing destruction, rather than running it, as rather than consolidating his efforts or powers, he simply passed through the area, causing chaos.
He also showed no loyalty, casually killing Tracy Davis, despite the witch loving and freeing him. He was also shown to be treacherous and cunning, with a violent and ferocious side to his personality. Although willing to use his powers to dispatch attackers, he was also willing to enter physical combat with his opponents and try to rip them apart with his bare hands.
He was quiet and didn't talk much. When angered, he would snarl like a wild animal.
Powers and Abilities
Samhain is an incredibly powerful demon who displayed multiple rare abilities as well as abilities unique to himself. That his rise was one of the 66 Seals marks Samhain as a special demon; the only other demon who was a seal was Lilith. His rank in the hierarchy of Hell is unknown.
- Summoning - Samhain had the ability to summon creatures without the need for an external power source. Sam stated that the longer Samhain was free, the more dangerous monsters he would summon until everything the Winchesters had ever fought would come to him.
- Necromancy - Samhain could summon ghosts and command them, as shown when he had one attack Dean.
- Reanimation - Similarly, Samhain could turn nearby corpses into zombies and command them, as shown when he had them attack a group of party-goers.
- Immunity - As one of the most powerful and ancient demons, he had a great amount of immunity similar to the White-eyed Demons. He was immune to iron, being able to run his hand over an iron gate without getting burnt. He could also resist Sam's powers better than most other demons.
- Immortality - Although Samhain's exact age was not stated, he was at least over six hundred years old and was implied to have been thousands of years old.
- Photokinesis - Samhain had the power to emit a fiery blast of white light that could destroy anything in its path. He was one of only two demons known to have this ability, the other being Lilith.
- Invulnerability - Samhain could not be harmed or killed by conventional weapons.
- Demonic Possession - Samhain used the corpse of one of his witch followers as his vessel.
- Super Strength - Samhain was able to throw Sam across the crypt with great force and minimal effort. He was also able to effortlessly break Tracy's neck with his bare hands.
- Astral Perception - He could perceive the true form of Tracy Davis, despite her young appearance.
- Flight - Samhain could fly while in his true demonic smoke form.
Harming, Misleading or Trapping
- Exorcism - Like most demons, Samhain could be exorcised and sent back to Hell. Since he could only be summoned once every 600 years, an exorcism would greatly prolong Samhain's time in Hell.
- Partial Blindness - Samhain's eyesight was impaired, causing his vision to be blurred; because of this, he was apparently unable to make any distinction between genuine monsters and humans wearing monster masks.
- Demon-Killing Knife - The knife cause irritation when sliced with it and was quick to disarm Sam of it.
Banishing and Killing
- Special Children - Samhain was vulnerable to the powers of a Special Child, and he was eventually exorcised by one.
- Season 4
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- A drawing of Samhain can be seen in Anna Milton's journal. The description says "Samhain. The next seal is broken." In Anna's drawing, Samhain's eyes are completely whitish.
- Samhain is the second of two demons to only show their true eye color instead of their vessel's eye color for most of their screen time, the other being Azazel.
- Despite the students wearing costumes in the mausoleum, Samhain was able to see them, even though he couldn't see Sam or Dean properly when they were covered in blood. However, some of them were not wearing masks, which is identified as the key component for tricking him, possibly revealing their humanity to him.
- In reality, Samhain is the Wiccan holiday on Halloween where the Wiccans celebrate their dead ancestors, loosely based upon an older Celtic holiday of a similar name.
- The ancient Gaelic holiday of Samhain, historically celebrated in Ireland and Scotland, actually fell on November 1st, not October 31st, and signaled the start of winter. It was one of the four main Gaelic holidays, each marking the beginning of a new season. The others were Imbolc (February 1st), Beltane (May 1st), and Lughnasa (August 1st). It was traditionally believed that on Samhain, otherworldly spirits would enter this world and blight all crops and green vegetation with their breath Link
- The festival of Samhuinn is at the end of the year for the Celts, when the Otherworld and the normal world could be crossed. It represented ending the year with darkness and beginning the year not too long after, which corresponds with some of the character's thoughts and actions.
- In this episode the name 'Samhain' was pronounced Sam-Hane, its correct pronunciation is Sow-ann
- The Celtic festival of Samhuinn is celebrated in the myth the Kelpie, in which souls are brought back from the dead, supporting Samhain's powers.
- In Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting, Samhain is described as a blue-eyed demon. On close inspection, his irises appear to be a very pale blue or possibly grey.
- Since Samhain's raising was one of the 66 Seals, this indicated that Samhain already existed by the time Lucifer had been trapped in his cage. The only demons confirmed to have existed at that time were Lilith, the Princes of Hell, and Knights of Hell.
- Samhain's White Light ability was the second trait he shared with Lilith, the first one being part of the 66 seals.
- Samhain and Ramiel are the only high-tier demons that only appeared in one episode.
- Samhain's eyes are similar to those of the Rakshasas.
- There are multiple things unique about him that separate him from the rest of demonkind.
- He is the only known demon to possess the power of necromancy.
- He is the only high-tier demon that is the only known member of his type.
- He is the only known demon that required a specific ritual to be released, as other demons could be released through basic summoning or through the opening a gate of hell.