Molly McNamara and her husband David are driving along Highway 41 in Nevada when they see a man standing on the road. They swerve to avoid him, crashing off the road. Molly wakes up in the car, smashed in the woods, but David is gone. While trying to find him she comes upon a house. The man she saw on the road appears, bloodied and eviscerated, and he pursues her. Molly runs back to the road and flags down a car – driven by Sam and Dean.
She explains her story to them, but when she tries to show them her wrecked car, it’s gone. Sam and Dean agree to take her to the police, but as they are driving, a man appears on the road. Rather than swerve, Dean drives at the man and he disappears. The boys explain to Molly that the man is Jonah Greely, and he was killed on this stretch of road fifteen years ago. He haunts the road and each year on the anniversary of his death, finds someone to punish. They explain that in order to stop him they must find his body and salt and burn his bones.
With Molly, they find Greely's hunting cabin. Jonah tries to grab Molly, but Dean dispatches him with a blast of rock salt from the shotgun. The party then find a house in the woods. While searching it, Sam and Molly find a photo album and letters belonging to Jonah and his wife, showing they were very much in love. Sam explains that ghosts, even vengeful ones like Jonah, in life may have been good people. Dean finds the body of Jonah’s wife, who killed herself out of grief after Jonah’s death.
Jonah returns and grabs Molly, taking her to his cabin to torture. Sam works out that Jonah is buried near the house with a tree as a grave marker, and he starts to dig while Dean goes to rescue Molly. As Jonah fights Dean, Sam exposes his corpse and salts and burns it. The boys take Molly into town and show her that her husband is alive – and married to someone else. They reveal to Molly that she died fifteen years ago, in the car accident that killed Jonah Greely. Molly has been unable to accept that fact and has continued to relive that night. Finally she accepts the truth, and she disappears as the sun rises.
- "The House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals
- (plays on the car radio, first when Molly is driving before the accident, and again when Sam and Dean are driving. Also plays on the radio in Jonah Greely's house)
Molly: It's our five-year anniversary.
Dean: A hell of an anniversary.
Dean: Really? About as nuts as a vanishing guy with his guts spilling out. You know what you saw.
We think his name is Jonah Greely. He was a local farmer that died 15 years ago on this highway.
Every year, Greely finds someone to punish for what happened to him. Tonight that person is you.
Molly: Why me? I didn't do anything.
Doesn't matter. Some spirits only see what they want.
That thing shoots rock salt?
Molly: And plain salt keeps away spirits?
Simple remedies are always the best. In most cultures, salt's a symbol of purity, so it repels impure and unnatural things. Same reason you throw it over your shoulder.
Look at this. It's Greely and his wife. It's a love letter he wrote her. My god, it's beautiful. I don't understand how a guy like this can turn into that monster.
Sam: Um... Spirits like Greely are, uh... like wounded animals. Lost. In so much pain that... they lash out.
Molly: Why? Why are they here?
Well, there's some part of them that... that's keeping them here. Like their remains or, um... unfinished business.
So... So, if you manage to put Greely to rest, too... What happens to them?
Dean: Lady, that answer is way beyond our pay grade.
Molly: You hunt these things, but you don't know what happens to them?
Dean: Well, they never come back. That's all that matters.
After they let go of whatever's keeping them here, they... they just go. I hope someplace better, but we don't know. No one does.
Molly: What happens when you burn their bones?
Sam: Umm... Well, my Dad used to say that was like death for ghosts, you know? But... The truth is, we still don't know. Not for sure. Guess that's why we all hold on to life so hard. Even the dead. We're all just scared of the unknown.
Molly: I know... I know about your wife. Hurting me won't bring her back.
Jonah: My wife is gone. All I got left's... hurting you.
Molly: Oh, thank god.
Dean: Call me Dean.
Molly, we brought you here so you could move on.
Molly: I have to tell him --
Sam: Tell him what? That you love him? That you're sorry? Molly, he already knows that. Look, if you want to go in there, we're not gonna stop you.
Dean: Yeah, but you are gonna freak him right out. For life.
Sam: David's already said his goodbyes, Molly. Now it's your turn. This is your unfinished business.
Molly: What am I supposed to do?
Sam: Just... let go. Of David. Of everything. You do that... we think you'll move on.
Molly: But you don't know where.
No. But Molly, you don't belong here. Haven't you suffered long enough? It's time. It's time to go.
I guess she wasn't so bad... for a ghost. You think she's really going to a better place?
Sam: I hope so.
Dean: I guess we'll never know. Not until we take the plunge ourselves, huh?
Doesn't really matter, Dean. Hope's kind of the whole point.
Trivia & References
So this is really what you guys do? You're like Ghostbusters?
- Ghostbusters is a 1984 comedy about a group of friends who catch supernatural entities.
Follow the creepy brick road.
- The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy and her friends follow a yellow brick road to reach the Wizard.
Sammy's always getting a little J. Love Hewitt when it comes to things like this. Me, I don't like 'em. And I sure as hell ain't making apologies for 'em. There's nothing downstairs. You find anything?
- The Ghost Whisperer was a TV series starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda Gordon who can communicate with ghosts, and specializes in bringing them peace. Dean made a similar reference in 1.10 Asylum.
Well, all right, Haley Joel. Let's hit the road.
- Haley Joel Osment is an actor who played a young boy who could see and speak to dead people in The Sixth Sense.
While it is stated in the show that the killings took place on Highway 41. However, there is no Highway 41 in Nevada, but there's a Highway 41 that goes into the Sierra Nevada mountains in central California and that has an interchange with the Highway 99 mentioned in the dialogue in the city of Fresno. The mention of this happening "40 minutes ago" also fits geographically. Later on Dean describes the ghost as being of a "local farmer", and again this fits the CA-41 location given that Fresno is in the middle of a major agricultural region
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts