|“|| The Shadow: Before God and Amara, creation, destruction, Heaven, Hell, your precious little Earth, what was there?|
The Shadow: Yes. That's right. Nothing. Nothing but empty and you are soaking in it. Angels and demons, you all come here when you die (...) sleeping an endless, peaceful sleep.
|“||The good souls here, the bad souls there... Angels are mine.||”|
According to The Shadow that controls the Empty, the realm's existence predates everything, even God and the Darkness. Upon death, every angel and demon is sent to the Empty where they sleep for eternity.
In Form and Void, hunter Sam Winchester meets the Reaper Billie, who tells Sam about the Empty. Billie states that when the Winchesters die, she will throw them into the Empty so that they can never be resurrected again. Billie notes that Sam will soon go to the Empty due to his Rabid infection.
In Red Meat, Dean commits suicide via drug overdose to negotiate with Billie to bring Sam back. Billie refuses, stating that she would never make a deal with Dean even if Sam wasn't dead. "The Empty awaits" Billie announces as she prepares to take Dean to it. However, Dr. Kessler manages to revive Dean and he avoids being sent to the Empty.
In The Big Empty, Castiel then wanders the black void, calling out for anyone as he is followed by a strange being. He is soon greeted by the being revealed to be the The Shadow who takes on Castiel's form to communicate with him. The Entity explains to Castiel what the Empty truly is and is shocked that Castiel is awake as it says not even God has power over the Empty. The Shadow is enraged that Castiel is awake because as long as Castiel is awake, the Shadow can't sleep.
The Shadow searches through Castiel's memories, much to Castiel's dismay, and finds nothing. Castiel suggests the Entity get rid of him by sending him back to Earth but The entity suggests that it instead throw Castiel so deep into the Empty that he can't bother it anymore. However, Castiel recognizes that the entity is bluffing and that it won't work as the entity would've already done it if it would work. The entity acknowledges that Castiel is right, but refuses to send him back and tries to convince him that he is worthless and has nothing to return to. Castiel refuses to accept this and demands that the Entity send him back to Earth, threatening that he will fight the Entity for eternity if it doesn't release him. Castiel's efforts were ultimately successful and the Entity returned him to life on Earth in order to be able to return to its slumber.
In Tombstone, Castiel tells Sam and Dean that he was sent to the Empty and informs them of his experience in the realm of nothingness. He also explains he was awakened from his slumber by Jack's voice.
In Unhuman Nature, once Nick kills the man who was possessed by the demon that killed his family, Nick expresses remorse and prays that he wants to feel the same way as when Lucifer was possessing him. Nick's prayer to Lucifer awakens the latter in the Empty where Lucifer forms as a liquid skeleton and opens his red glowing eyes.
During Byzantium, The Shadow invaded Heaven and attempted to claim Jack and bring him to the realm. Castiel later describes the realm to Jack and Kelly, to emphasize what fate awaits Jack if he is captured. The Shadow later attacked Jack and his group, managing to defeat them as he moved to take the Nephilim. However, Castiel bargained with it for him returning to the empty in Jack's stead and it accepted but held off on claiming him since it wanted him to be truly happy to take him. After the deal was made, The Shadow returned to its domain.
- Season 11
- Season 13
- Season 14
- The dark void known as the Empty has similarities to Sheol from the Hebrew Bible. Sheol is described as a place of darkness and stillness, where the righteous and unrighteous go after death. This is similar to how angels and demons going to the Empty. Another similarity is Sheol is described as absent or cut off from life and God, similar to God having no power over the Empty.
- It is unknown if angels and demons from Apocalypse World come to The Empty after their death or if Apocalypse World has its own version of the Empty.
- The Shadow says God had no power in the Empty, yet Castiel was "rebuilt" by him several times.
- The Empty is the only thing confirmed to predate The Darkness.
- Both Castiel and Lucifer were awoken because of a person calling out to them.
- From the Shadow's attempts to claim Jack, it seems Nephilim come here as well. However, the Shadow was also stated to believe that Jack belonged here due to his being half-angel and when he died, his soul went to Heaven instead of the Empty.
- It's unknown if the Shadow had already attempted to collect the other Nephilims that had already died or if they had gone to the Empty after they died or if the Angels sent them there.
- In Byzantium, the Shadow is also referred to as the Empty by Naomi in conversation.
- The Shadow considers The Empty as even worse than Hell, saying that "at least Hell is something". This is a contradiction as during the initial meeting with Castiel, the Shadow says the demons and angels within the Empty peacefully sleep.