After the ghost of Victoria Dodd reveals that he is behind the hauntings of the Van Ness House, Whitman Van Ness plants the key on Sam Winchester, attaching himself to the object so that he can follow the hunters as they leave the house. Van Ness' actions are witnessed by the ghosts of Bobby Singer and Annie Hawkins who realize that Van Ness used the same trick Bobby did to stick around after his own death.
Originally hiding in the back of the Winchesters' car invisible, Van Ness reveals himself after Sam discovers the location of his bones. After Dean manages to pull over, the Winchesters realize what Van Ness must've done and search themselves for an object that could've been planted on them by Van Ness. Sam discovers the key moments before Van Ness attacks again. As Van Ness is distracted attacking Sam, Dean snatches the key, throws it on the ground and shoots it. The shot destroys the key, forcing Van Ness back to his house without anything to tie him to a location outside of it.
- Usually when a ghost is tied to an object that has to be destroyed, it is because they have been cremated after death or their bones are already burned by a hunter. Whitman Van Ness attaching himself to the key and it being destroyed before his bones are destroyed is a unique occurrence thus far and is a testament to how powerful Van Ness is.