The Complete Hunter’s Guide to Supernatural’s Monsters | Explore the Lore

 In General Geekiness

Welcome back to Explore the Lore. For those of you who missed last time around, we talked about the Titans & the rise of Azeroth from the World of Warcraft. This week we’re diving into the world of Supernatural.

One of my favorite T.V. shows is Supernatural.  I loved the pilot episode, but the one that reeled me in was season 1, episode 2- “Wendigo.” I grew up in northern Minnesota and remember reading the Native American legend of the Wendigo, so this one hit home for me. From that point on I was hooked. Supernatural has a very rich lore when it comes to the creatures they hunt and how to kill them. For this post I am going to focus on the monsters that have been seen up through season 10.

Werewolves

 The werewolves of Supernatural differ from your typical monster-movie werewolves. They don’t go full wolf, sprouting hair everywhere, looking more canine than human. Supernatural’s werewolves instead sprout a mouth full of fangs and grow sharp claws. They also have super human strength and heightened senses.
They still follow the lunar cycle and usually only hunt during the full moons. They seek the sustenance of human hearts to keep them satisfied, but they can be sustained on animal hearts.
Werewolf from SupernaturalPhoto credit: supernatural.wikia
Supernatural werewolfPhoto credit: supernatural.wikia
The first time we see werewolves is in Season 2, episode 17- “Heart.” We meet Madison who has been bitten by a werewolf and, unbeknownst to her, is turning into one during the full moon and hunting people she knows. The brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, hunt down the werewolf that bit her hoping that this will cure her. In the end it does not and she turns, forcing Sam to kill her. At this point in the lore there is no cure for the bite of a werewolf; you will become one if bitten. Another thing we learn is that new werewolves don’t know they are turning or that possibly they repress this memory.
The only way to kill a werewolf is with silver. The boys use both silver bullets and silver knives. In the case of Madison they use a silver bullet.
Now when hunting a werewolf you may want to keep in mind that even when there’s not a full moon, they can still transform and hurt you, so best to be on your guard.

Vampires

 When I was growing up, when asked what a vampire was, most people would describe Dracula; with his black cape & slicked back hair and fangs. Now you ask most young people to describe a vampire and you will get a description of Twilight; sparkly vampires falling in love (vampires don’t sparkle!). In Supernatural they are like neither.  Your average vampire looks human. They do not combust in sunlight but it will give them a bad sunburn. They have retractable fangs in their mouth; not just two though, their whole mouth is full of them. They have super human strength and heightened senses (they can hear a human’s heart beat).
Supernatural vampire
Photo credit: teamfreewill
Decapitating a vampire in Supernatural
Photo credit: supernatural.wikia
The first time we see vampires is in season 1, episode 20- “Dead Man’s Blood.”  We learn in this episode that the way to kill a vampire is to decapitate them. We also learn that if you inject them with a dead man’s blood it will put them in a catatonic and weakened state. We also learn that vampires live in groups or nests.
There are two other things I want to cover while in vampires. The first being “Alphas.” All monsters came from “Eve.” She is considered the mother of all monsters.  The first generation of offspring for each type of monster is known as the Alpha. The monsters we see today are but shades of their original selves. The first generation monsters are far stronger and superior to the average ones you fight nowadays. The Alpha vampire shows up most often of all the Alphas in the series and is still currently still out there.  The Alpha vampire has insane speed and strength. To capture him it took a whole team of hunters take him down, but then he managed to escape.
Alpha vampire from SupernaturalThe Alpha Vampire | Photo credit: supernatural.wikia
Post-mortem fang in SupernaturalPhoto credit: taliesinttlg.blogspot

 The second thing I want to cover is abnormal monsters. This is the term I have for monsters that don’t feed on humans, but seek other forms of sustenance. In season 2, episode 3- “Bloodlust” we meet a group of vampires that feed off of cattle instead of humans. There are other monster that we have seen along the road of Supernatural that try to not eat humans, but they are a rarity and few and far between.

Ghouls

Ghoul Adam

Ghoul impersonating Adam |
Photo credit: supernatural-fan-wiki

 Ghouls are a shape shifting type of monster that can take on the form of a human it has consumed.  They tend to live in dank, underground areas feeding on the dead in order to not get noticed.  However, they do prefer human flesh.  We first meet them in season 4, episode 19- “Jump The Shark”.  Like many monsters, the only way to kill them is to decapitate them.

Shapeshifter

 These monsters can take on the form of any human they encounter. When they shift forms, they shed the skin, teeth, & hair of their prior visage. If they keep the human in their presence, they can even receive memories from them.  Unlike other monsters, they tend to be more driven by human desires and a god complex (aka, they think they’re invincible).  We first meet them in season 1, episode 6- “Skin” where a shapeshifter is taking the form of people who are gone (think deployed military personnel) and then raping and torturing there wives/girlfriends.  We encounter another one in season 2, episode 12- “Nightshifter.” This shapeshifter has decided to take the shape of security guards and rob local banks.
When hunting shapeshifters it is important to pack plenty of silver, whether in knife or bullet form. Even touching silver to their skin will cause it to burn. You can also tell if someone is a shifter by looking through a video device; their eyes will glow!
Supernatural shapeshifter shedding skin
A shapeshifter shedding as it changes form |
Photo credit: supernatural-tv-series.wikia
Supernatural shapeshifter
Shapeshifter eyes glowing through a lens |
Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

Wendigo

Wendigo

Photo credit: supernaturalwiki

Wendigos were once human. A Wendigos turns when they are forced into a dire circumstance (e.g. lost in the woods without food) and consume human flesh.  Once they have consumed human flesh they begin to crave it even more and transform into the perfect hunter.  They can camouflage like a chameleon with their surroundings.  They can mimic voices to trick you into thinking they are a loved one or another animal.  They can move super fast and are very strong.  We first meet one in season 1, episode 2- “Wendigo.” The brothers are out in Blackwater Ridge, Colorado and think they are hunting something else.  They find themselves trapped in the woods with little supplies against this hunter.  The way to defeat a Wendigo is to set it on fire.  They will combust once lit.   They are most commonly found in northern Minnesota or Michigan.  They live for 100’s of years and tend to go into hibernation cycles, but when active they will store lots of food (aka humans) for when they go into their hibernation period.

Djinn

Djinn monster

Photo credit: thesupernaturalfoxsisters

 The Djinn are a race of tattooed beings who feed off of blood.  They will trap their prey by touching them and releasing a hallucinogen into their blood stream. When they do this their tattoos and eyes will glow blue.  This takes their victim into a dream reality were everything they have ever wanted has come true. We first meet one in season 2, episode 20- “What is and What Never Should Be”. Dean is trapped by a Djinn and put into a reality were his mother never died. The only way to kill a Djinn is to stab it with a silver blade coated in lambs blood.

Rugaru

feeding rugaru

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

 Rugaru appear to be human when they are younger, but at a certain age they begin to change. They become hungry and consume anything they can, but they can never seem to satisfy that hunger. Finally, they eat human flesh.  Once they do this, there is no turning back; they become a full-fledged rugaru. Their eyes will turn black and there skin will look wormy with veins popping out.  They become insatiable hunters and have super strength and stamina.  The only way to kill one is to start it on fire and burn it.  We first meet one in season 4, episode 4- “Metamorphosis.” The brothers meet up with another hunter to track a rugaru that hasn’t changed yet.  There is some theory that if they can resist the urge and not eat human flesh, they will not change into a monster.  But this has not been proven yet.

Wraiths

Wraiths, like many monsters, appear human in form but when seen in a mirror they look disfigured with sunken eye sockets.  They feed off the fluids in the brain and can infect you with a mind-altering drug by touching you.  In season 5, episode 11- “Sam Interrupted” we find a wraith feeding off of mental patients in an asylum.  Apparently they love the elevated dopamine levels, and because the patients are already mentally disturbed, no one raises particular alarm when they die.  Wraiths suck out the fluids from the brain by injecting a spike that shoots out from their wrist. When hunting a wraith, bring silver; even the slightest touch will burn the wraith.
Wraith reflection in a mirror
Photo credit: fandomania

 

Wraith wrist-spine from SPN

Photo credit: fandomania

Rakshasa

Rakshasa

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

 Rakshasa are ancient Hindu creatures that shape-shift and live in squalor.  You can find them sleeping on a bed of insects.  They live off human flesh but can go 20-30 years without eating.  They can turn invisible, making them hard to kill.  We meet our first Rakshasa in season 2, episode 2- “Everybody Loves a Clown”.  We find that the Rakshasa has started dressing like a clown to get kids to invite them into their home; where they kill and devour the parents.  Apparently they must be invited into your home in order to be able to enter.  The only way to kill a Rakshasa is to stab it with a brass knife.

Leviathan

 If there is one monster that is truly the big bad of all monsters in Supernatural, it would be the Leviathan.  The Leviathan were the first creations of god.  Unfortunately they were not a very good creation.  God thought they would consume and destroy everything he sought to create, so he locked them away in Purgatory. We first learn about the Leviathan in season 7, episode 1- “Meet the New Boss,” were Castiel has absorbed all the souls of Purgatory and is secretly being controlled by the Leviathan.  When he tries to return the souls to Purgatory, the Leviathan latch on and get released into the human world.
When first released, the black serpentine shapes of the Leviathan sought out host bodies. Once in a host body they have complete control over it. The Leviathans appear to have a hierarchy; having one Leviathan in control of the rest. For the TV show, that Leviathan is Dick Roman. We never learn if the Leviathans have another name other than the one of the host that they take over.  Their favorite food is humans, however they will consume other things -even other Leviathan.
Dick Roman
Dick Roman- Leader of the Leviathan |
Photo credit: supernaturalwiki

 

What happens to a leviathan when you hit them with borax
Effect of borax on a leviathan |
Photo credit: supernaturalwiki
 When it comes to appearances they look human, but when they show their true face, their head turns into a giant gaping mouth full of teeth, with a reptilian tongue. They have the ability, once they have a host, to shape change into other humans by coming in contact with the desired human they wish to shape-change into. Dick Roman uses this to his advantage by keeping a frozen arm of the original Dick Roman around to allow other Leviathan to take his shape and help hide him.  They also use this ability to infiltrate the upper echelon of the U.S. to try and take over.
There are very few ways to deal with Leviathan because, for all intents and purposes, they are immortal.  Spraying them with Borax can slow them down. This will cause an acidic reaction, but this only slows them down for a short time and does not kill them.  If you decapitate them, you can stop them for a short time but their body will try and fuse itself back together.  So, if you decapitate one, separate the body and head by burying them miles away from one another.  Witchcraft can slow them down but will not destroy them.  The only way to for sure kill one is to use a god weapon (the bone of a righteous mortal washed in the blood of 3 beings (a fallen angel, the king of hell, and an Alpha monster). But it should be noted that all god weapons have consequences and this particular one will suck the person wielding it into Purgatory. A Leviathan can kill another Leviathan by consuming them or putting a bib on them.  Once a Leviathan has a bib on them they will consume themselves, leading to a very gruesome end.
Leviathan from Supernatural
The true form of a leviathan |
Photo credit: supernatural.wikia
Killing a leviathan with a god-weapon
Leviathan being killed by a god weapon |
Photo credit: cobwebqueen

Dragons

We don’t know much about Dragons. They were thought to be extinct but showed up in season 6, episode 12- “Like a Virgin”.  We find out that they live in caves, but any under ground dwelling will do.  Dragons can appear in human form but also have another form that we never get to see.  In their other form they have huge wings and can fly.  When in human form they do have reptilian eyes. They can produce super heat from their hands that’s hot enough to melt steel or incinerate humans. The only known way to kill a dragon is with a sword forged in dragon blood. Dragons are highly intelligent and love gold.  They also will seek out female virgins. The reason for this is unknown.
Supernatural dragon
Photo credit: supernatural.wikia
Dragonscales in SPN
Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

Phoenix

 The Phoenix are another extremely rare monster with very little known about them. We meet one in season 6, episode 18- “Frontierland.” Dean goes back in time to find one because they need the ashes to kill Eve. We know that iron burns them but can’t kill them.  They appear human, but like dragons, can produce heat from their hands that can incinerate humans.  They are immortal with the only known thing that can kill them being Samuel Colt’s revolver.  When they do die they combust into flames and leave a pile of ash. We also know that they can regenerate and heal injuries; but to what extent we do not know.
Supernatural phoenix
Supernatural phoenix
Photo credit: powerlisting.wikia

Arachne

Supernatural Arachne

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

Arachne are a spider-like race of monsters that can turn humans into their species by biting them. They also appear to feed on humans though, so it is unclear as to whether they choose which ones are turned and which ones they eat.  They can spin webs and will cocoon their victims in them.  They appear human-like but have spider like eye’s so they can track multiple targets at once.  They are also very agile and very strong.  The only way to kill them is by beheading.  We first meet them in season 6, episode 13- “Unforgiven.”  Sam and Dean come back to a town where Sam has previously hunted and killed an Arachne. After killing the original one, he shoots and burns the victims cocooned up.  Unfortunately they are already Arachne so this does not kill them.

Shtriga

Striga

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

 Shtriga are a witch-like supernatural being that feed off of the life force of children through touch.  This gives them the ability to live very long lives. At night they appear as an old and wrinkled individual. But by day they take on the form of a human to hide amongst their prey.  Their ability to drain the life force from people means their touch will rot wood as seen in season 1, episode 18- “Something Wicked”.  The only way to kill a Shtriga is to pierce them with consecrated iron while they are feeding.  Upon their death, all of their victims who are still alive will have their life force returned to them.

Crocotta

SPN Crocotta

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

The Crocotta is a soul-sucking monster seen in season 3, episode 14- “Long Distance Call”. They appear human but when feeding they sprout fangs and will unhinge their jaws to suck out their prey’s soul.  They hunt by imitating the voice of a deceased love one, driving their prey to commit suicide, usually by walking off into the woods.  Once this happens the Crocotta will suck the soul of the departed to feed themselves.  The modern Crocotta will use electronics to transmit their imitated voice to lure their victims to commit suicide so they can feed.  Their dens are often full of filth. The way to stop a Crocotta is to stab it in the back of the neck.

Okami

Okami monster

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

 This monster is mainly found in Japan. We meet one in season 6, episode 4- “Weekend at Bobby’s.” Rufus brought a “dead” one to Bobby’s house.  The okami appear human but have canine teeth.  They have specific types of prey they prefer. The one in this episode likes lone women.  The only way to kill one is to stab them 7 times with a bamboo dagger blessed by a Shintō priest.  Bobby also throws it through a wood chipper and this appears to work? Other than this there is not much lore on them from the show.

Siren

Siren from Supernatural

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

The Siren is a gaunt, hairless humanoid monster.  They are a shape-shifting creature that will take on a form that is desirable to their prey. In season 4, episode 14- “Sex and Violence” the Siren is using a strip club as its front to attract its prey. The Siren has a venom gland in its mouth that releases a toxin high in oxytocin. This causes the victim to become enthralled with the siren.  Once the victim is under their control they will have them commit some unspeakable act to prove their devotion.  These acts give the Siren intense pleasure and they will use them till they are bored, then they will vanish to leave their victim to suffer the consequences of the actions, and the Siren will move on to her next prey. In order to kill a Siren you must stab them with a Bronze dagger coated in the blood of one of their victims.

Skinwalkers

Supernatural Skinwalker

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

 Skinwalkers are a type of shape-shifter that can shift between human form and dog form. They are considered to be cousins of werewolves because they feed on human hearts, they can be killed by silver, and if bitten by one, you will become one.  But unlike werewolves, they don’t follow a lunar cycle.  They follow pack mentality and there is usually a pack leader who is in charge of the rest of the Skinwalkers. In season 6, episode 8- “All Dogs Go to Heaven” the Alpha Skinwalker has put undercover Skinwalkers in many family homes; waiting for the moment when the Alpha gives the signal for them to bite their owners.  This would make him an army of Skinwalkers.

Vetala

Vetala

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

 Vetala is another monster that is only briefly touched on in the show. In season 7, episode 11- “Adventures in Babysitting” we get just a short glimpse of what they are.  They appear human except when they feed they grow fangs and have blue reptilian eyes. Their bite is venomous and will paralyze their victim so they can feed of their blood.  They will feed for several days on their victims till they are bled dry.  They always hunt in pairs, so never think there is just one. The only way to kill them is to stab them in the heart with a silver dagger.

Changelings

Changelings from Supernatural

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

We meet changelings in season 3, episode 2- “The Kids Are Alright.” In this episode we meet probably one of the scarier monsters they encounter.  This monster will kidnap kids and replace them with her offspring.  She then cages up the kids and feeds off of them while her kids feed off of the human mothers.  They suck fluids out of the neck of their victims, taking weeks to kill them.  They look human in appearance but when seen through a mirror you see a humanoid with hallow eyes and a round sucker mouth full of teeth, similar to a lamprey.  The changeling children will do whatever it takes to keep their victims isolated and will even go as far as to murder their surrogate fathers to have the mother to themselves.  Some mothers may notice a difference in these changeling children since they will act more cold towards them.  Once they have finished feeding in a town they will leave to find more victims elsewhere.  The only way to kill a changeling is to burn them with fire. If you burn the mother the children will die as well.

Kitsune

 Very little information is available for Kitsune. They are human in form but can extend claws from their fingertips when needed. This also causes their eyes to turn yellow and look fox-like.  They feed on the pituitary glandes and will starve and die without it.  We meet them briefly in season 7, episode 3- “The Girl Next Door”.  In this episode we meet a Kitsune, that Sam let live prior, that is forced to hunt again because her child is sick from eating the glands of the dead. You can kill a Kitsune by stabbing them in the heart with a knife.
Kitsune monster
Photo credit: supernaturalwiki

 

Kitsune

Photo credit: supernaturalwiki

Pishtaco

We meet these monsters in season 9, episode 13- “The Purge.”  They are running a weight loss spa because they feed on human fat.  These creatures tried to developed a symbiosis with us, but one wanted to go back to the old days where they would consume the fat till their victim died.  They look human in appearance till they move to feed, then their eyes roll back and become clouded and a sucker comes out of there mouth to siphon off the fat (thus leaving large suction marks). They, like many creatures, are vulnerable to silver and you can kill one by stabbing them with a silver blade. They are thought to be more parasitic then predatory.
SPN pishtaco monster

 

pishtaco sucker

Photo credit: supernatural.wikia

Rawhead

Rawhead

Photo credit: foreveryoungadult

 This will be short since they only make a brief appearance in season 1, episode 12- “Faith”.  These creatures are hairy humanoids with claws on their feet and hands.  They have huge nostrils and live underground.  They feed on children and they can only be killed with electricity.

With the popularity of the show, and many more seasons to come, I am sure I will be doing a follow up post soon enough (angels, demons, gods & spirits *hint hint*). Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Next time we’ll be exploring the planes from Magic: The Gathering. As usual, if you have a request for me to write about, leave it in the comments. Till next time may your road ever be full of adventure.


Ron, author of Explore the Lore
Meet the Author: Ron
Hello, I’m Ron. I’m a passionate nerd who loves a good
back story. I look forward to sharing that love with you.

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Showing 19 comments
  • Ashlee
    Reply

    Whew!! As someone who has never really watched Supernatural (just a few episodes here or there), I can definitely say that I’m both creeped out and intrigued:P I love a good monster, and this show seems to have a whole lot of them.

    • Ron
      Reply

      Thank you for reading Ashlee. If you think the monsters are creepy wait till I touch on the other things they encounter.

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      I just finished catching up with the series this year Ashlee. Even after seeing it I didn’t quite realize how many different monsters there were. Haha. Was a nice recap for myself.

  • Nichole aka CuppaGeek
    Reply

    This makes me want to watch Supernatural. It just got bumped up on the bucket list. All those awesome monsters!

    • Ron
      Reply

      Glade you want to watch Nichole. This made me want to watch it to. I am currently half way watching season 1. This will make my 4th time going through the whole series.

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Given your interests Nichole, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret that decision! I’ve only recently caught up and I’d like to have a go at round 2 🙂

  • Kelsey
    Reply

    This is so handy to have it all in one place! Great guide!

    • Ron
      Reply

      Thanks Kelsey have any future requests for lore?

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      I totally agree Kelsey!

  • Charlie
    Reply

    What a great and comprehensive guide to the monsters in Supernatural. A great reminder of everything creeped me out along the way!!

    • Ron
      Reply

      Thanks Charlie what monster creeps you out the most.

  • pepi
    Reply

    I loved this post! Monsters in SPN are diverse and interesting 🙂 Gotta love Supernatural!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      That’s one thing I love about SPN -even though they may cover some “old” monsters, they always seem to have a fresh take or twist on them to keep things interesting.

  • Mandy Stone
    Reply

    This was awesome and very comprehensive! I LOVE SPN!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Likewise! I only wish I had found & watched the show sooner myself 🙂

  • Dina
    Reply

    I still can’t jump on the supernatural bandwagon no matter how I try. Just not a show I can watch.

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      That’s okay Dina. Everyone can’t like everything, right?!

  • Katy
    Reply

    Anddddddd I need to rewatch all of Supernatural now. lol you just took me on a trip down memory lane 🙂

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      I feel the same way Katy…and I only just finished the series in the past year! Haha. To be honest, I had already forgotten about a monster or two, so I definitely want to rewatch and catch up on all the baddies.

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