|“||Imagine a salt circle a mile wide. No ghosts get in, no ghosts get out.||”|
After God begins the end of the world and releases all of the souls of Hell upon the world, the demon Belphegor suggests casting the spell to contain the ghosts to the area around the cemetery where they were released to buy time. After evacuating the nearby town of Harlan, Kansas, Dean and Belphegor gather a bag of rock salt and the heart of the local sheriff who was killed by the ghost of Constance Welch. Belphegor casts the spell, putting up a barrier around the town that contains the ghosts within. Sam, Castiel and a mother and daughter manage to escape to the other side of the barrier while chased by John Wayne Gacy, Mary Worthington, Lizzie Borden and another ghost who are unable to follow them, proving the effectiveness of the spell.
Over the next few days, the barrier begins to weaken with ghosts repeatedly testing it. Belphegor reveals that the barrier will eventually fall and he cannot repower it as it was a one-time spell. The trapped ghosts led by Francis Tumblety try to force the Winchesters to let them out and failing that, attack the barrier's weakest point to break through. After Rowena captures most of the ghosts in the Soul Catcher, Francis, possessing Arthur Ketch which let him cross the barrier, tries to use the Soul Catcher to blow open the barrier but is forced from Arthur by Dean and the remaining ghosts are captured. At Kevin Tran's request, Belphegor opens a doorway in the barrier briefly to let Kevin out, but the group becomes alarmed by the arrival of more souls from Hell with Belphegor warning that the barrier won't last.
With more and more ghosts emerging from Hell, Rowena tries to use the Rafforza l'incantesimo spell from the Book of the Damned to strengthen the barrier. However, by that point, the barrier is too weak for any spell to work with the ghosts continually assaulting it. Instead, the Winchesters, Rowena, Castiel and Belphegor enact a plan to send the ghosts back to Hell through the initial rupture and seal it before the barrier falls. The plan succeeds and the escaped souls and demons are locked away again before the barrier inevitably falls.
Its eventually revealed that the soul of Eileen Leahy escaped before the barrier went up because she fled as fast as she could after escaping from Hell.
The spell requires "a big bag of salt" and a fresh human heart. The entire bag of salt is poured out on the ground and the heart is placed in the middle. The following incantation must be said:
- Animi... infernoroum... spiritus abyssi surrecti... defigo... vos intra confinia. Vinciamni!
The caster then strikes the ground near the salt and heart causing a line of red energy to run from their hand to the salt and heart. The salt and heart pulse several times before sending out a wave of red energy in all directions, stopping when they have reached a one-mile radius and forming a red energy barrier that becomes invisible. Living beings can cross the barrier, but ghosts are stopped from crossing it in either direction, effectively containing them.
The barrier weakens over time and will eventually fall. It cannot be recharged or recast as it is a one-time spell. However, the caster has the ability to manipulate the barrier to a degree and create doorways in it to let the souls out. Additionally, a ghost is able to leave the barrier by possessing a living person to walk through. Its indicated that the Rafforza l'incantesimo from the Book of the Damned could strengthen the barrier again if it has not weakened too much by the time the spell is tried.
The barrier appears to contain demons without a vessel as well as Hell's demons are able to escape from Hell, but are indicated to be trapped by the barrier. The exceptions are Belphegor and Ardat who both had a vessel which, as seen with Francis Tumblety possessing Arthur Ketch, allows a soul to cross the barrier when it is active.
- Season 15