|“||I don't trust other hunters, Dean. Don't want their help, don't want them around my family.||”|
Samuel Campbell was a hunter married to Deanna Campbell. He was the father of Mary Winchester and the maternal grandfather of Sam and Dean Winchester. He also served as a vessel for the Prince of Hell Azazel so he could make his deal with Mary. After The Apocalypse, Samuel was resurrected by Crowley to help him find Purgatory, but was killed again by Sam when he was possessed by the Khan worm.
In In The Beginning, it was shown that Samuel Campbell was a hunter married to Deanna Campbell. He was the father of Mary Winchester, father in-law of John Winchester and the grandfather of Sam and Dean Winchester, as well as Sam's namesake. Dean met him when Castiel sent Dean back to 1973 to investigate the origins of the yellow-eyed demon's involvement with his family. He was killed in 1973 by the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
Samuel was a gruff, suspicious and anti-social man who neither trusted nor liked other hunters, though he grudgingly tolerated Dean as he proved himself capable on the job. After he, Mary, and Dean encounter the yellow-eyed demon at the home of Liddy Walsh, one of Mary's friends, the demon possessed Samuel. While using Samuel's meatsuit, the yellow-eyed demon stabbed Samuel himself in the gut, snapped the neck of his wife, killed young John Winchester and made a deal with Mary to bring John, but not her parents, back to life in exchange for entering Mary's home in ten years (1983). Dean arrived and tried to shoot Azazel and Samuel with the Colt, but Azazel fled Samuel's body before he could fire, leaving Samuel dead.
Sometime after The Apocalypse, Crowley now Ruler of Hell sought the location of Purgatory and resurrected Samuel who was spending eternity in Heaven. Crowley promised to resurrect Samuel's daughter Mary Winchester should he comply. Samuel agreed and was able to rally some of his remaining relatives to help in his search while they hunted. At some point, he met his younger grandson Sam Winchester and they teamed up but left Sam's retired brother to his peaceful life.
In Exile on Main Street, when Dean is attacked by a djinn, Sam rescues him and reveals he has been back from Lucifer's Cage for a year and hunting with their cousins Christian Campbell, Mark Campbell, Gwen Campbell, Johnny Campbell, Tyler Campbell and Samuel himself. Samuel doesn't know how he returned from the dead, he tells Dean "We're guessing whatever pulled Sam up, pulled me down." He adds that he wanted to come and get Dean and get him back into hunting but respected Sam's wishes to leave Dean out of it. Samuel is obviously still adjusting to living in the 21st century as he doesn't know the term 'soccer mom' and refers to the internet as the "intranet".
Samuel knows an antidote to the Djinn's poison, which they use on Dean. The Campbells go back to the house Dean is sharing with Lisa and Ben Braeden to catch the djinn, but when they realize the djinn are watching the house, Dean suggests they need to leave so the djinn will attack. While the Campbells do, Samuel returns in time to save Sam from the djinn, killing one and capturing Brigitta after sending Sam after Dean.
In Two and a Half Men, Samuel receives a call from Sam, who is investigating a string of suspicious child kidnappings. Sam thinks the case may not be their "kind of thing," and Samuel questions his lack of concern for the situation. Sam asks him to find out if the previous victims used the same brand of home security. After rescuing a child from another kidnapping, revealed to be perpetrated by shapeshifters, Sam and Dean bring the child (who is itself the offspring of a shapeshifter) to the Campbell's compound. Despite Dean's suspicions that the Campbells might harm the baby, Samuel says that they will raise it, and let it hunt when it's old enough if it wants to. Samuel presents the child to Christian as an adoptive son.
Moments later, however, an exceptionally powerful shapeshifter arrives in Samuel's form and demands the return of its child. The Campbells attack the shapeshifter but it easily overpowers them and kills Mark despite being shot, stabbed in the heart with a silver knife, and hit with several elephant tranquilizers. It then takes the baby from Sam and Dean and escapes. Samuel later reveals the monster to be the alpha shapeshifter, the progenitor of all shapeshifters. He is later seen on the phone with someone, promising that he will capture the alpha shapeshifter for them.
In Live Free or Twihard, Samuel seems certain that vampires are involved in the disappearances in Limestone, Illinois because they follow a pattern: this is the fourth town where kids have gone missing and a blood bank van has been jumped and the blood stolen. In this town, the driver of the blood bank van was found with his throat ripped out. Samuel convinces Sam that he and Dean need to investigate further.
After Dean is turned into a vampire, Samuel tells them that the have a possible cure for vampirism written in Samuel's grandfather's journal, but it can only be used if Dean doesn't drink any blood. Samuel and Sam will gather most of the ingredients for the cure, but Dean has to get the blood of the vampire, Boris, who turned him. Dean insists that he will go into the vampire nest alone: he can sense where they are and he's sure that Sam would just attract attention because he "reeks" like "a walking hamburger." Samuel gives Dean a syringe of dead man's blood to use against Boris, and Dean leaves. Once they're alone, Samuel confronts Sam about his apparent knowledge of the cure. He's worried that Sam purposefully let Dean get infected so that he could get inside the vampire nest and help them capture the Alpha Vampire they've been looking for. Sam denies everything, but Samuel doesn't seem convinced. Later, once Dean has Boris' blood, Samuel helps Sam and Dean to create the vampirism cure that saves Dean.
In Family Matters, when Sam and Dean learn that Sam no longer has his soul, they question Samuel about his own resurrection and he meets Castiel who tests him to see if he still has his soul. They learn that Samuel's soul is still present, and Samuel reiterates that he doesn't remember anything before waking up alive. After Castiel leaves, Sam and Dean learn that Samuel is preparing to attack the nest of the Alpha Vampire, but Samuel seems reluctant to invite Sam and Dean along. Eventually, Dean convinces him to let them help. Before they leave for the attack, Dean, who is suspicious of Samuel's motivations, tries to break into his office but is waylaid by Christian.
Once they reach the house where the Alpha is hiding, Samuel orders Dean and Gwen to stay back and "sweep any stragglers" they flush out, but Dean is unsatisfied with this and heads around the back of the house, where he sees Samuel, Sam, and the other hunters loading the alpha vampire into the back of a van. He waits until he's alone with Sam to confront him about it, and learns that Samuel is taking the creatures he captures somewhere to be interrogated. They activate a GPS tracker in one of Samuel's cell phones so that they can track him to where he takes the alpha vampire, and they arrive to find Samuel torturing it, but not getting anywhere. He leaves the room and Sam and Dean take the opportunity to question the alpha themselves.
Eventually, he tells them that Samuel is trying to get information from him about Purgatory and where it is located, and that he's doing it on someone else's orders. Before they can learn more, Samuel, Christian, Gwen, and another hunter interrupt them and hold them at gun point. They're forced to disarm, but then the alpha escapes and they join forces to try to kill it. Just when things are looking dire, demons show up and take the alpha away with them, and Crowley appears.
Crowley, as the new King of Hell, had the power to resurrect Samuel and Sam, and he did so because he wanted their help. Crowley reveals that Christian has been possessed for a while and serving as his mole, and that Samuel has been working for him, gathering high-ranking creatures and trying to learn the location of Purgatory because Crowley is interested in "developing" it. He tells them that if Sam ever wants the return of his soul, he and Dean need to help Samuel continue to capture creatures for him.
Castiel tries to locate Crowley with a ritual, but is unsuccessful. He, Dean, and Sam travel to the Campbell compound and break in so that they can search for clues as to Crowley's whereabouts. Samuel catches them in the act, and when they ask for his help he refuses to tell them how they can find Crowley. Dean asks him why he won't help them and why he's been working for Crowley, and they discover that Crowley promised Samuel that he would resurrect his daughter and Dean's mother, Mary. Dean tells him that it's a bad idea to bring her back from the dead, and Samuel calls Dean a hypocrite. He tells Dean that he never learned how to live without Mary, and leaves.
Eventually, though, Samuel comes around, and he tells them where he's been bringing creatures to Crowley. Using Samuel's information, they find Crowley's prison and Castiel helps them break inside. Unfortunately, Samuel led them into a trap. Samuel uses an angel banishing sigil to get rid of Castiel, and demons grab and imprison Dean and Sam. Dean is horrified by Samuel's betrayal, and he tells Samuel that once he escapes, he is going to escape and kill him. Dean is then taken to a room to be fed to ghouls while Sam is left in his cell, and Samuel does nothing to stop it.
In Unforgiven, a year ago in Bristol, Rhode Island during the time when Sam was still without his soul he and Samuel were on a hunt hunting an arachne, a spider-like monster which was taking men in their thirties and poisoning them in order to turn them into an arachne. Sam and Samuel confided and reveal their true identities as hunters to the towns local police sheriff Roy Dobbs along with his wife Brenda.
Eventually after Sam and Samuel figure out that they're dealing with an arachne, Sam suggests that they use Roy without his knowledge, as bait since he fits the profile of what the arachne has been taking. However, the plan doesn't go well as Roy is taken by the arachne back to her lair, leaving Sam and Samuel to eventually follow both the arachne and Roy back to the arachne's lair where they find the rest of the kidnapped men bound in web and also poisoned as well.
A fight between Sam and Samuel and the Arachne breaks out but it quickly ends with Sam killing the arachne by decapitating her. After Sam kills the arachne, Samuel tries and goes to help Roy but Sam quickly declares Roy and the rest of the kidnapped men that have been poisoned are beyond help and shoots all of them. As they leave the building, Sam tells Samuel that they need to burn the building and destroy all the bodies of Roy and the rest of the kidnapped men. Samuel seems uneasy about Sam's ruthless attitude and is worried about a deep wound on his arm, but Sam tells him they need to get out of town.
Unfortunately, as they are trying to leave town, Deputy Atkins stops them and asks them where sheriff Roy Dobbs is but when he notice the large wound on Sam's arm, he doubts their cover as FBI Agents and tries to arrest them. However, before Deputy Atkins can go and arrest both of them Sam beats Deputy Atkins unconscious and they leave town. Unknown to Sam and Samuel, Roy and the rest of the kidnapped men that were poisoned didn't die by Sam's gun shots or by the fire that burned down the building that held the arachne's lair; they survived because the arachne's poison turned them all into Arachnes.
In ...And Then There Were None, Samuel is hunting with Gwen, investigating deaths related to a spike in the activity of supernatural creatures. While investigating the murders, they run into Bobby Singer, Rufus Turner, and the Winchesters at a cannery. Dean quickly moves to kill Samuel, as he promised he would in Caged Heat, but Sam persuades him that Samuel might be useful in the hunt. Samuel notices Sam's change in demeanor before he learns that the latter regained his soul and realizes that he has no memory of their year hunting together. He soon reveals the existence of Eve, the Mother of All Monsters who Sam, Dean, and Bobby had only heard of before and explains about her. Samuel argues with Bobby before his betrayal of his grandsons is revealed to Gwen who goes out and tells Dean that she didn't know about Samuel betraying Sam and Dean to Crowley. While they are alone, the creature responsible for the deaths, the Khan worm, infects Dean and uses him to kill Gwen. The creature leaves Dean, and together all the hunters try and work out a way to find and kill it.
When Samuel leaves the room, Sam and Dean follow and confront him about what happened with Crowley, but Samuel is not apologetic. He then pulls a gun and tries to shoot them, as he is infected with the worm. They stop him and he escapes, but Sam finds and confronts him alone. Samuel says he will tell Sam about the things he did without a soul, but he advances on Sam, and Sam is forced to shoot him in the head, killing him.
Bobby and Rufus decide to cut into Samuel's skull to see if the worm is still there but as they do, he comes back to life under the control of the worm. In the ensuing fight, he is electrocuted. This forces the worm to leave his body and seek refuge by possessing Bobby. Samuel's electrocution, however, provides Sam and Dean with the information on how to kill the worm.
In There Will Be Blood , when Dean and Sam meet the Alpha Vampire, the latter brings up his capture and torture. Dean states that was what their grandfather Samuel did, Dean is then slammed into a table for making that remark.
During Southern Comfort, while possessed Dean mentions Sam's mistakes namely running around soulless with Samuel for a year and not telling him.
In Stuck in the Middle (With You), a resurrected Mary Winchester gives Arthur Ketch the Colt and tells him that Samuel used to tell her stories about the gun including how it can kill all but five things in existence.
Samuel grew up in the hunter life and had years of experience under his belt. His ancestral relatives, including his grandfather Jebediah have all been hunters. He had a hunter mindset and was very stubborn. In addition, he did not trust other hunters. He also could not understand why his daughter Mary refused to hunt and wished to be normal instead. Samuel believed his daughter's notion to be foolish. Despite their different outlook, Samuel was a family man and loved and protected his immediate family. Although, given a choice between his grandsons and daughter, he chose Mary. In fact, he deemed both his grandsons as strangers to him and with no remorse sold them out to Crowley. When confronted by his actions, Samuel seemed somewhat conflicted but stated he wouldn't apologize for it.
The seasoned hunter had always been a leader as well. When he gave orders, he expected them to be followed. Samuel, due to both his own experience and the experiences of his family for hundreds of years had a massive amount of knowledge of the supernatural, more than any other hunter Sam and Dean knew including Bobby Singer and their own father. Crowley called him a "walking encyclopedia of the creepy and the crawly". Among the things he knew was a cure for djinn poison, a cure for vampirism and information about Eve who hadn't been on Earth in 10,000 years and had little to no lore on her. This knowledge seemed to make him slightly arrogant as he told Dean that he knew "things your daddy never even dreamed of" and tells Bobby that "you don't know half the things I know, kid" but despite this and somewhat flaunting the knowledge when he revealed it, he never hesitated to use it to help. Despite dismissing the Colt as a bedtime story, Samuel was aware that it couldn't kill five things instead of being able to kill everything as the common legend suggested.
Samuel is shown to be a bald man who dresses in simple dark shirts and jeans. He usually wears a thick jacket while going outside. Like most hunters, he also wears disguises while questioning suspects and witnesses.
Powers and Abilities
Samuel was a regular human, but possessed exceptional abilities due to his decades of hunting experience.
- Expert Hunting Skills - Samuel was an expert hunter with decades of experience.
- Encyclopedic Knowledge of Lore - Samuel possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of lore, as stated by Crowley. Samuel's knowledge included information on previously unknown subjects such as Eve, Arachne and cures for djinn poison and being a vampire. Previous to Samuel's resurrection, it had been believed that there was no antidote to djinn poison or vampire cure. Though Samuel believed the Colt to be a mere fairytale, the version of the legend he knew and told as a bedtime story to his daughter included the fact that there were only five things in existence that it couldn't kill rather than it being able to kill everything as the common legend suggested.
- Master Tactician and Leader - Following his resurrection, Samuel showed himself to be a master tactician and leader in the way he led the Campbell Family in hunting monsters.
- Spell Casting - Samuel is capable of casting some spells as seen when he used the angel banishing sigil on Castiel.
- Azazel (First Time)
After taking possession of Samuel, Azazel forced Samuel to stab himself in the stomach with a knife. After Azazel left Samuel's body, Samuel died of his wounds. He was later resurrected by Crowley to help in Crowley's search for Purgatory.
- Sam Winchester (Second Time)
After Samuel was possessed by the Khan worm, he approached Sam despite Sam repeatedly telling Samuel to stay back. When the possessed Samuel failed to comply, Sam shot him in the head, killing Samuel once more.
- Season 4
- Season 6
- Season 7
- There Will Be Blood (mentioned only)
- Season 8
- Southern Comfort (mentioned only)
- Season 12
- Season 14
- Lebanon (mentioned only)
- Supernatural: One Year Gone (non-canon)
- The Khan worm shares similarities with the Goa'uld from the Stargate series. Mitch Pileggi, the actor who played Samuel, also played Colonel Steven Caldwell on Stargate Atlantis who got possessed by a Goa'uld like Samuel got possessed by a Khan worm. Unlike Samuel, Caldwell survived the possession.
- When Dean chose to retrieve Sam's soul over resurrecting Mary, Samuel accused Dean of abandoning his own mother. This notion is kind of ironic given Mary's decision years ago to be with John instead of Samuel.
- Samuel's accusation implied he did not know the circumstances surrounding his or Mary's deaths.
- Samuel's secret alliance with Crowley and the belief that what he was doing was for the sake of his own daughter mirrors Mary's actions in Season 12. Mary believes working with the British Men of Letters will free her sons from the burden of hunting, despite their vocal desire for her to stay away from said organization.
- Samuel is the first Campbell shown under possession of any kind, though several seasons later after she was resurrected, his daughter was possessed by the spirit of Hugo Moriarty.
- Samuel appears in the non-canon novel Supernatural: One Year Gone where he works with Soulless Sam hunting a Shtriga. To Samuel's anger, Sam uses him as bait. Later, Samuel and Sam hunt witches in Salem, Massachusetts after Samuel is alerted to Dean's presence there by Crowley. Samuel aids Ben Braeden in escaping and is briefly mentioned to Dean by Ben, but Dean is left unaware of who he is as Samuel never gave Ben his name.
- It is unknown if Sam or Dean ever told Mary of Samuel's brief resurrection and his actions against them.