This article is about a subject that is from official sources but is not considered canon.
The Forty Year was the name given to a spell in the novel Supernatural: Witch's Canyon
After her son banished her to a cabin in a small canyon near the Grand Canyon due to her evil activities, witch Elizabeth Claire Marbrough came up with the Forty Year as a revenge plot. The Forty Year was a spell Elizabeth cast that would take effect upon her death wherein every forty years everyone who had died, both human and animal on the land of her son's ranch would come back to life and attack the nearby town, killing indiscriminately in the ways that they themselves were killed. Some of the human spirits would return in their own forms while others would be skinwalkers, able to take on animal forms. The spirits would be vulnerable to rock salt and dumdum bullets as well as the method that originally killed them. The spirits would then kill around ten percent of the people before going back to rest for another forty years. Elizabeth told this plot to her one confidant, the wife of one of her son's ranch hands before dying in 1886, putting the spell into effect.
In 1926 and 1966 the Forty Year took place starting on December 4. Over these time periods, what the locals would come to call the Cedar Wells Murder Cycle and Harmon Baird The Forty Year, many people were killed, including Baird's father and aunt in the first cycle and Baird's wife in the second. While its unknown how many people were killed in the first iteration of the Forty Year, around thirty were killed the second time.
In 2006, hunters Sam and Dean Winchester investigated the Forty Year after learning of the murder cycles from Detective Marina McBain of the NYPD. With the help of Harmon Baird and the notes of Neville Stein, the Winchesters were able to put together what was going on. While Sam worked with the local police to prevent a massacre by the reanimated spirits at a local mall opening, Dean traveled with Baird to the remains of Elizabeth's cabin to perform a counterspell from John Winchester's Journal to break the Forty Year. With the help of Baird and rancher Juliet Monroe, Dean performed the counterspell while battling Elizabeth's ghost. Dean's counterspell combined with the salting and burning of Elizabeth's bones broke the spell and ended the Forty Year.
In order to break the Forty Year, Dean Winchester used a counterspell listed in John Winchester's Journal. Dean performed the spell with the help of rancher Juliet Monroe while Harmon Baird kept Elizabeth's ghost busy. As Dean recited the counterspell, Juliet performed a salt and burn on Elizabeth's bones, performing each task as instructed by Dean. After the counterspell was finished and Elizabeth's spirit was destroyed, the Forty Year was broken.
The caster must dig up the bones of the witch who cast the spell they are countering. The caster then recites as a second person opens the witch's coffin:
- Witch's spell, so long since cast, I'm here to tell you your time is past. Witch's spell, that's ruled the night, hear my knell, which brings the light.
At this point, the witch's coffin must be opened at which point her spirit may appear. The caster must then recite:
- Witch's spell, of evil unknown, cannot repel salt 'pon your bone!
The second person must then pour salt over the witch's bones. The spell cannot be continued until the bones are salted. Once they are, the caster then recites:
- Witch's spell, so late interned!
After that is recited, the second person must pour an accelerant upon the witch's bones and prepare to set them alight. Once the bones have been doused, the caster finishes with:
- Now all's well, your bones be burned!
Once the final lines are recited, the second person must ignite the witch's bones at which point the witch's spirit will be destroyed and the spell that is being countered will be broken.