Lori Sorenson is in a car parked in the woods on 9 Mile Road, making out with her boyfriend Rich, when she hears a noise outside. Rich goes to investigate. When he disappears and Lori hears banging on the car roof, she gets out and finds Rich dead, hanging from a tree above the car.
Sam and Dean arrive in Ankeny, Iowa to investigate the case. They are intrigued because the witness, Lori, reported that the attacker was invisible. At the fraternity house where Rich lived, they find out he was seeing Lori, who is the daughter of Reverend Sorenson. They attend a service at the Reverend’s church and speak to Lori. They think the story sounds like the Hook Man Legend, and go to the local library to research it. They find that in 1862 a preacher named Jacob Karns killed 13 prostitutes using the hook he wore in place of the hand he lost in an accident. He was later arrested and executed.
That night the boys travel to 9 Mile Road in search of the Hook Man, but they are discovered by the sheriff. The next morning, Lori wakes up in her dorm room to find her roommate Taylor dead and the words “Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?” written in blood on the wall. After being released by the sheriff, Sam and Dean hear about Taylor’s murder and search the dorm room, noting a cross symbol drawn in the blood that they recognize from their research. They also find other killings that have occurred in the area, also by clergymen. The boys postulate that the spirit of Karns is latching onto the reverend’s repressed emotions and killing those he feels are immoral.
While Dean goes to find Karn’s grave, Sam watches over Lori. They talk, and she shares with him that she has found out that her father is having an affair with a married woman. Dean salts and burns Karns' corpse at the Old North Cemetery but it doesn't stop Jacob Karns reappearing and attacking Reverend Sorensen, witnessed by Sam and Lori. The next day, Sam proposes that Jacob’s spirit has latched onto Lori, rather than her father. Sam and Dean are bemused that burning the corpse didn't stop Jacob, until they find out his hook wasn't buried with him, it was melted down and made into objects for the church.
They race to gather all the silver from the Sorensen’s house and the church and start throwing all the silver objects into a furnace. Sam finds Lori in the church praying, and then the Hook Man appears and attacks them. They finally realize that Lori is wearing a silver necklace made from the hook, and Dean races to throw it into the furnace while Sam holds off the Hook Man. When the necklace melts the Hook Man disappears.
- "Higher Mathematics" by Split Habit
- (plays at the beginning of the episode, when Lori's getting ready for her date)
- "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" by Quiet Riot
- (plays when they're arriving at the fraternity house)
- (plays when they meet Murf ("purple man") and question him about the death of the fraternity guy)
- "At Rest" by Leslie Pearson (Bruton Music)
- (plays at the sermon for Lori's dead friend)
- "Royal Bethlehem" by Leslie Pearson (Bruton Music)
- (plays while Sam and Dean do research at the library)
- "U Do 2 Me" by Paul Richards
- (plays at the college party)
- "Peace of Mind" by Boston
- (plays at the end of the episode, when Sam and Dean hit the road)
- "Dancing on a Wire" by Keygrip
- (plays at the end of the episode, when Sam and Dean hit the road; Netflix version)
Dean: Your, uh, half-caf, double vanilla latte is gettin’ cold over here, Francis.
Sam: Bite me.
Sam, I’m tellin’ ya, I don’t think Dad wants to be found. Check this out. It’s a news item out of Planes Courier. Ankeny, Iowa. It’s only about a hundred miles from here.
Sam: 'The mutilated body was found near the victim’s car, parked on 9 Mile Road.'
Dean: Keep reading.
Sam: 'Authorities are unable to provide a realistic description of the killer. The sole eyewitness, whose name has been withheld, is quoted as saying the attacker was invisible.'
Could be something interesting.
So you believe her?
Sam: I do.
Dean: Yeah, I think she’s hot, too.
Sam: No, man, there’s something in her eyes. And listen to this: she heard scratching on the roof. Found the bloody body suspended upside down over the car.
Dean: Wait, the body suspended? That sounds like the—
Sam: Yeah, I know, the Hook Man legend.
Dean: That’s one of the most famous urban legends ever. You don’t think that we’re dealing with the Hook Man.
Every urban legend has a source. A place where it all began.
Sam: Hey, check this out. 1862. A preacher named Jacob Karns was arrested for murder. Looks like he was so angry over the red light district in town that one night he killed 13 prostitutes. Uh, right here, 'some of the deceased were found in their bed, sheets soaked with blood. Others suspended upside down from the limbs of trees as a warning against sins of the flesh.'
Dean: Get this, the murder weapon? Looks like the preacher lost his hand in an accident. Had it replaced with a silver hook.
Here you go.
Sam: If it is a spirit, buckshot won’t do much good.
Dean: Yeah, rock salt.
Sam: Huh. Salt being a spirit deterrent.
Dean: Yeah. It won’t kill ‘em. But it’ll slow ‘em down.
That’s pretty good. You and Dad think of this?
I told him you were a dumbass pledge and that we were hazing you.
Sam: What about the shotgun?
Dean: I said that you were hunting ghosts and the spirits were repelled by rock salt. You know, typical Hell Week prank.
Sam: And he believed you?
Well, you look like a dumbass pledge.
'Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?' That’s right out of the legend.
Dean: Yeah, that’s classic Hook Man all right. It’s definitely a spirit.
Yeah, I’ve never smelled ozone this strong before.
Dean: All right, let’s find the dude’s grave, salt and burn the bones, and put him down.
You must have missed something.
Dean: No. I burned everything in that coffin.
Sam: Did you get the hook?
Dean: The hook?
Sam: Well, it was the murder weapon, and in a way, it was part of him.
Dean: So, like the bones, the hook is a source of his power.
Sam: So if we find the hook...
We stop the Hook Man.
I’ve been trying to understand what’s been happening. Why? Now I know so I’m praying for forgiveness.
Sam: Forgiveness for what?
Lori: Don’t you see? I’m to blame for all this. I’ve read in the Bible about avenging angels.
Sam: Trust me, this guy—he’s no angel.
Lori: I was so angry at my father. Part of me wanted him punished. And then he came and he punished him.
Sam: It’s not your fault.
Yes, it is. I don’t know how, but it is. I killed Rich. Taylor, too. I nearly killed my father.
Trivia & References
The title of the episode, "Hook Man" refers to the urban legend known as "The Hook" or "Hook Man.
The "Hook Man" legend in this episode is actually a combination of 3 urban legends: "The Hook Man", "The Dead Boyfriend", and "Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Lights."
The message above Taylor's bed after she is killed ("Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?") is a reference to an old urban legend entitled 'The Roommate's Death.'
Or it could be nothing at all. One freaked out witness who didn’t see anything? Doesn’t mean it’s the Invisible Man.
- The Invisible Man is a science fiction novella by H.G. Wells, first published in 1897. The story tells the tale of a scientist named Griffin who learns the secret to invisibility. However he fails to learn how to reverse the process.
Saved your ass! Talked the sheriff down to a fine. Dude, I am Matlock.
- Ben Matlock is an attorney played by Andy Griffith in the TV show Matlock.
Dude, sorority girls! Think we’ll see a naked pillow fight?
- Reference to National Lampoon's Animal House where in a scene the character Bluto, played by John Belushi, gets to see some sorority girls in a naked pillow fight.
was asked to come in an work as a co-director on this episode, as the original director had troubles getting the "scare" across.S1Com, p.47
This episode was originally set to air after 1.02 Wendigo
. Eric Kripke
originally thought it might have been beneficial to air an episode about such a "classic" urban legend early in the show's run. 1.04 Phantom Traveler
was aired instead.
This is the first episode in which rock salt
was considered a threat to supernatural demons
. It was "invented" for Supernatural
by writers Ron Milbauer
and Terri Hughes Burton
. Eric Kripke
agreed it "...was the perfect combination of occult element - salt is a folkloric repellent of evil - and the blue-collar aspect of shotguns."S1Com, p. 47-48
Back in 1977 rock salt and a rock salt shotgun were used in the Doctor Who episode "Image of the Fendahl" written by Chris Boucher. The rock salt was used to kill the psychokinetic fendahleen.
- Doctor: Sodium chloride. Obviously affects the conductivity, ruins the overall electrical balance, and prevents control of the localized disruption of the osmotic pressures.
- Leela: Salt kills it.
- Doctor: I just said that. Probably the origin of throwing it over your shoulder.
Until season 3, the Impala
had spotlights. Sam can be seen using one of them in this episode, when he and Dean drive up to investigate the murder site on 9 Mile Road.
enters the church, looking for the object to which the murdering spirit is tied, he passes a bulletin board with the phrase "Reaping with Joy" on it.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts