Dead...or are they?
What's dead should stay dead.
You throw away your life because you've come to assume that it'll bounce right back into your lap. But the human soul is not a rubber ball.
Getting killed in Supernatural is almost when you know you've made it. It's like getting a Weird Al song about you. You're no-one in Supernatural until you've died.
In Supernatural, death is a rather impermanent state of being. Some, like Sam and Dean Winchester, come back to life. Other characters - such as Bobby, Jess, Mary and John Winchester, Jo, Ash, Pamela, and Rufus - remain dead but reappear in the show as ghosts on Earth or as souls in Heaven, or through flashbacks, Time Travel, or Alternate Universes.
The following beings have the power to resurrect the dead:
- Demons can resurrect the dead within the context of making a deal (i.e. Sam in 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two). It is unclear if the Crossroads Demon does the actual resurrecting or if a more powerful demon does it for them.
- Crowley claimed to have resurrected Sam and Samuel Campbell, pulling them from Lucifer's Cage and Heaven respectively, after he became the King of Hell. He lied about Sam, who was raised by Castiel. It is unclear if he raised Samuel Campbell who could have been raised by Castiel as they were in an alliance at the time and Castiel has the power to resurrect the dead.
This page features the deaths and reappearances of recurring characters on the show (that is, those who have appeared in two or more episodes).
For who killed who - and what - check out the Table of Death
Dean may have the distinction of being the most-killed character. He was killed approximately 100 times on the repeating Tuesday and subsequent Wednesday in 3.11 Mystery Spot by the Trickster, who also brings him back to life.
- Ways Dean is known to have died in the episode:
- Shot at the Mystery Spot
- Hit by a car
- Crushed by a falling desk
- Chokes on a sausage
- Slips in the shower
- Poisoned by a taco
- Electrocuted by his razor
- Accidentally killed with an axe by Sam
- Shot with an arrow by Doris the waitress
- Mauled by a golden retriever
- Shot by a robber
Dean was later killed by hellhounds in 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked when Lilith collected on the deal he had made with a Crossroads Demon in 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two. Dean was brought back from Hell by Castiel in 4.01 Lazarus Rising.
Dean is killed by hunters in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon and brought back to life by Joshua. During this episode, Ash comments that when Sam and Dean have died before and been brought back, angels have erased their memories of Heaven. This may mean that they have died more times than they themselves are aware, and if so, no accurate death tally can be established for either brother.
During 6.11 Appointment in Samarra, Dean goes to an unlicensed doctor to have his heart stopped. Desperate to solve the issue of Sam's missing soul, Dean uses his time as a spirit to contact Tessa, and ends up making a deal with Death. After a full seven minutes of death, the doctor and his assistant are able to revive Dean.
In 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles? Dean is killed by Metatron, one of the first angels and the scribe of God, when he is stabbed in the heart with an angel blade. Because he died while the Mark of Cain was in power, he is later resurrected as a demon.
In 11.17 Red Meat, Dean takes an overdose and dies so that he can beg Billie the reaper not to take Sam, who it turns out actually wasn't dead. Dr. Kessler is able to resuscitate him a few minutes later.
In 13.05 Advanced Thanatology, Dean kills himself to speak to ghosts who are trapped in the veil. He encounters Billie the Reaper, who is now Death. She takes him to a place full of books and explains that all the books on the nearby shelves contain Dean's possible deaths, and what happens next depends on what he does. She says none of them say he dies today, though, and that she knows that he and Sam are important and have a job to do, so she lets him live.
Sam is second to Dean in number of deaths. He is killed by Jake Talley in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One and brought back to life when Dean makes a deal with a Crossroads Demon. His other known deaths are as follows:
- Killed by a wish from Hope Lynn Casey in 4.08 Wishful Thinking and brought back when Wes Mondale removes the coin from the Wishing Well.
- In 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday, the boys ask Pamela Barnes to send their souls into the veil so they can speak to a ghost.
- May have been killed by Zachariah, who removes his lungs in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil, and resurrected by the same after Castiel intimidates him.
- Killed by Anna in 5.13 The Song Remains the Same and resurrected by Michael.
- Killed by hunters in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon and brought back to life by Joshua.
- In 5.22 Swan Song Sam is trapped in Lucifer's Cage. He is bought back by unknown means in 6.01 Exile on Main St. In 6.07 Family Matters, Crowley takes credit for Sam's resurrection, but says he kept back his soul for bargaining purposes. This is a lie, as it is later revealed that Castiel raised Sam. Neither Castiel nor Crowley can restore Sam's soul. It is Death who eventually retrieves Sam's soul from the cage and returns it to his body.
In 8.19 Taxi Driver Sam is escorted by a reaper to Purgatory and then visits Hell to rescue Bobby's soul. He could technically be considered not living at these times.
In 11.17 Red Meat, Sam appears dead but he is not.
- John reappears as a spirit when he escapes from Hell in 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two.
- John's meetings with Sam and Dean when they travel back in time in 4.03 In the Beginning and 5.13 The Song Remains the Same both occur after his death from their point of view.
- It's a fake-out, but the crocotta imitates the voice of John Winchester in 3.14 Long-Distance Call. It is, however, the voice of Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
- In 14.13 Lebanon, John is pulled from 2003 to 2019 when the Boys find a Baozhu which grants a person their heart's desire. John gets to spend a day with his boys and his wife, before he has to go back to 2003.
- Appears as a spirit in 1.09 Home.
- Appears in Dean's Wish Verse in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be.
- Appears in a vision to Sam created by Azazel in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One.
- Meets Dean when he travels back in time in 4.03 In the Beginning.
- Appears as a hallucination to Sam as he detoxes from Demon Blood in 4.21 When the Levee Breaks.
- Meets Sam and Dean when they travel back in time in 5.13 The Song Remains the Same.
- Appears in Dean's childhood memory in Heaven during 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon. In the same episode, Zachariah torments the boys in Heaven by saying he's enjoying his sexual relationship with their mother, although this is most likely a fake Mary Winchester created by Zachariah in order to manipulate them.
- Appears as a face of Eve in 6.19 Mommy Dearest. Eve takes on Mary's form while talking to Sam and Dean.
- Bought back to life by Amara in 11.23 Alpha and Omega
Castiel is killed by Raphael after he helps Dean escape from Zachariah in 4.22 Lucifer Rising. At that time, the force that resurrected him was unknown. In 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon, it is confirmed that it was God.
When Zachariah transports Dean to a version of the future in 5.04 The End, Future!Castiel is presumed to have been killed by demons near the end of the episode during Future!Dean's attempt to kill Lucifer.
Castiel is also killed by Lucifer after he Molotovs Michael with Holy Fire in 5.22 Swan Song. He is brought back "new and improved" by God after Lucifer's defeat. It is worth noting that when killed by both Raphael and Lucifer, Castiel "exploded. Like a water balloon of chunky soup."
When Castiel takes in the souls of Purgatory, he quickly begins to deteriorate. With Sam and Dean's help, he manages to send the souls back, but other creatures from Purgatory, the Leviathans, are also inside him. They take over his body and declare that Castiel is dead before walking his vessel into a reservoir where it disappears under the water, seemingly exploding and releasing the Leviathans. Dean finds Castiel's Trench Coat washed up on the shore and takes it with him.
Castiel is later found by Daphne Allen, wet and naked, with no memory of who he is. She claims that God led her to him and takes him home. Using the site bouncingbabynames.com, she helps him choose the name Emmanuel for him. They later marry, and she supports his work as a healer until Dean turns up seeking his help.
After regaining his memory and taking on Sam's insanity, Castiel tells Dean "It's a punishment resurrection. It's worse every time."
Castiel is once again killed by Lucifer in 12.23 All Along the Watchtower. At the end of 13.03 Patience he is awakened by Jack Kline in the Empty and 13.04 The Big Empty, he is revived by the Cosmic Entity. Despite being resurrected by the Cosmic Entity, Castiel later attributes his resurrection to Jack for an unknown reason despite Jack having only woken him up in the Empty.
After being shot in 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters by Dick Roman, he enters a coma and then dies in 7.10 Death's Door. However, Bobby chooses not to cross over, and stays on Earth as a ghost.
Bobby's soul returns in 8.19 Taxi Driver where Sam travels into Hell to rescue him as part of the second trial. Despite being little more than a ghost, Bobby seems to be solid, as he is able to interact with Sam and Ruby's Knife with no issues. With the help of Benny Lafitte, Sam gets out of Purgatory with Bobby's soul in his arm, and thanks to Naomi stopping Crowley, his soul is released into Heaven where it belongs. However, Bobby expresses interest in being resurrected again if Sam and Dean find a way.
In 10.17 Inside Man Sam and Dean contact him in Heaven to help free Metatron.
A version of Bobby exists in Apocalypse World.
Crowley appears to die in 6.10 Caged Heat when Castiel incinerates his bones, but reappears alive in 6.19 Mommy Dearest. He dies in 12.23 All Along the Watchtower when he stabs himself with an angel blade, sacrificing his life to imprison Lucifer in Apocalypse World.
The Impala has had her own brushes with death. In 1.22 Devil's Trap, the Impala is crushed by a semi-truck being driven by a demon. Bobby refers to the Impala as having been totaled, but Dean is able to repair her. The Impala is also shown destroyed in the alternate future of 5.04 The End. The Impala is damaged in 6.14 Mannequin 3: The Reckoning, and Dean is seen repairing it at the end of the episode. It is later overturned by a cloud of demons in 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much, and left upside down with all its windows blown out. Dean straightens her body, fixes the windows, and repaints her in 7.01 Meet the New Boss.
Samuel is possessed and killed by Azazel in 1973 in 4.03 In the Beginning, and later resurrected by Crowley sometime prior to 6.01 Exile on Main St. (nearly 40 years later). Sam kills him in 6.16 ...And Then There Were None while Samuel is possessed by the Khan Worm.
Lucifer is finally killed by Dean with the archangel blade in 13.23 Let the Good Times Roll while Dean is acting as a vessel for the Apocalypse World Michael. However, he is awakened in the Empty by Nick's prayer in 14.07 Unhuman Nature. Nick performs a spell to resurrect Lucifer in 14.17 Game Night, successfully pulling the archangel to Earth. However, they are interrupted by Jack Kline who kills Nick and sends Lucifer back to the Empty before he can be fully revived.
Lucifer's primary vessel Nick is apparently burned out by the archangel's possession over the course of a year from 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil to 5.22 Swan Song. He is seen lying, apparently dead, on the ground after Lucifer possesses Sam. However, in 14.01 Stranger in a Strange Land, Nick is revealed to be alive following the death of Lucifer. It is left unclear if he was actually dead after Lucifer left him or if Crowley resurrected Nick when he restored his body to act as Lucifer's vessel again prior to 12.08 LOTUS and 12.13 Family Feud. Nick is later killed by Jack Kline in 14.17 Game Night for trying to resurrect Lucifer.
Deaths of Other Recurring Characters
- Abaddon: In 8.12 As Time Goes By, Henry Winchester shoots Abaddon in the head with a bullet engraved with a devil's trap. Dean decapitates her and she is then cut into small pieces and buried in cement. Technically she is not dead at this point, and Dean and Sam later dig her up and sew her back together. She is eventually killed by Dean with the First Blade in 9.21 King of the Damned
- Adam Milligan: Killed by ghouls sometime prior to 4.19 Jump the Shark. Resurrected by angels in 5.18 Point of No Return and subsequently serves as Michael's vessel before falling into Lucifer's Cage in 5.22 Swan Song.
- Alastair: Killed by Sam in 4.16 On the Head of a Pin. Reappears during Sam's hallucinations in 4.21 When the Levee Breaks.
- Anna Milton: Killed by Michael in 5.13 The Song Remains the Same.
- Andy: Killed by Ava in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One.
- Arthur Ketch: Killed by Mary Winchester in 12.22 Who We Are. Revealed to be alive thanks to a resurrection spell in 13.07 War of the Worlds.
- Ash: Killed by demons in the Roadhouse in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One. Seen in Heaven in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon.
- Ava: Killed by Jake in 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One.
- Azazel: Killed by Dean with the Colt in 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two. Reappears in a flashback in 4.22 Lucifer Rising and in the time travel episode 4.03 In the Beginning. Appears as a djinn-induced hallucination in 6.01 Exile on Main St.
- Balthazar: Killed by Castiel with an Angel Blade in 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much.
- Bela Talbot: Killed by hellhounds when Lilith collects on the deal she had made with a Crossroads Demon ten years previously.
- Benny Lafitte: (AKA Benjamin Lafitte) Killed by Dean to guide Sam and Bobby out of purgatory in 8.19 Taxi Driver.
- Charlie Bradbury: Killed by The Wicked Witch of the West in 9.04 Slumber Party when she jumps into the witch's spell to save Dean. She is brought back to life by Ezekiel at Dean's request. She is later killed in 10.21 Dark Dynasty by Eldon Styne. A version of Charlie exists in Apocalypse World.
- Christian Campbell: Neck snapped by the Alpha Vampire in 6.07 Family Matters. However, it is quickly revealed that Christian was possessed, as he revives with black eyes. He disappears with a group of demons that capture and transport the Alpha Vampire. The demon possessing Christian is killed in 6.10 Caged Heat when Dean stabs him with Ruby's Knife.
- Daniel Elkins: Killed by vampires in 1.20 Dead Man's Blood. Reappears when Dean travels back to the past in 4.03 In the Beginning.
- Death is killed by Dean in 10.23 Brother's Keeper. The role is taken over by Billie.
- Dick Roman: Dick is killed by Dean and Castiel using their specially-prepared weapon in 7.23 Survival of the Fittest.
- Dr Gaines: Bibbed (made to eat himself) by Dick Roman in 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters.
- Eleanor Visyak: Fatally wounded by Castiel and Crowley, who torture her for information. We see her die in Sam's fractured memories in 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much.
- Ellen Harvelle: Killed by a bomb in 5.10 Abandon All Hope.... In the alternate timeline of 6.17 My Heart Will Go On, Ellen is alive and married to Bobby.
- Eve: Killed by drinking Dean's phoenix ash-laced blood in 6.19 Mommy Dearest.
- Frank Devereaux: Killed by leviathans in 7.16 Out with the Old, though no body was recovered.
- Gabriel: Killed by Michael in 13.22 Exodus. Gabriel previously faked his death in 2.15 Tall Tales, 5.08 Changing Channels, and twice during 5.19 Hammer of the Gods.
- Gadreel: Killed himself in 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?.
- Gordon Walker: Turned into a vampire by Dixon and then killed by Sam in 3.07 Fresh Blood.
- Gwen Campbell: Killed by Dean while he was possessed by the Khan Worm in 6.16 ...And Then There Were None.
- Jo Harvelle: Killed by hellhounds in 5.10 Abandon All Hope.... In the alternate timeline of 6.17 My Heart Will Go On, Jo is alive and hunting with her own group, and occasionally her mother. Reappears as a ghost in 7.04 Defending Your Life.
- Kevin Tran: Killed by Gadreel in 9.09 Holy Terror. A version of Kevin existed in Apocalypse World before he killed himself in a suicide attack on Jack and his group of resistance fighters.
- Karen Singer: Killed (stabbed) by Bobby when she becomes possessed. Killed again (shot) by Bobby after she is raised by Death as a zombie in 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. Reappears as a manifestation of Bobby's subconscious in 7.10 Death's Door.
- Kubrick: Killed by Gordon in 3.07 Fresh Blood.
- Lenore: Killed by Castiel at her own request in 6.19 Mommy Dearest.
- Lilith: Originally killed and turned into a demon by Lucifer. Killed by Sam in 4.22 Lucifer Rising.
- Metatron was killed by Amara in 11.21 All in the Family.
- Meg Masters: "Killed" when she falls from a window in 1.16 Shadow and dies when Sam and Dean exorcise the demon Meg in 1.22 Devil's Trap. Reappears as a vengeful spirit in 4.02 Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester. The demon possesses Sam in 2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign and reappears in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil. She is then thrown into a ring of Holy Fire by Castiel in 5.10 Abandon All Hope.... The demon returns in 6.10 Caged Heat and in 7.21 Reading Is Fundamental. The demon is killed in 8.17 Goodbye Stranger by Crowley.
- Naomi: Faked her death in 8.23 Sacrifice and revealed to be alive in 13.19 Funeralia.
- Pamela Barnes: Killed by a demon in 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday. Seen in Heaven in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon.
- Raphael: Killed by Castiel, who took in a massive amount of souls in 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much.
- Ronald Resnick: Killed by a SWAT sniper in 2.12 Nightshifter. Reappears as a vengeful spirit in 4.02 Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester.
- Rowena: Killed by Lucifer in 11.10 The Devil in the Details. She is later revealed alive in 11.18 Hell's Angel, having protected herself with a resurrection spell. Killed again by Lucifer in 12.23 All Along the Watchtower. Revived again via the same spell and shown to be alive in 13.12 Various & Sundry Villains.
- Ruby: Died sometime in the Dark Ages, then became a demon. Lilith appears to perform something equivalent to an exorcism on her in 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked. When she returns, Ruby claims to have been sent to the far reaches of Hell, but her complicity with Lilith calls her story into question. She is killed by Dean in 4.22 Lucifer Rising.
- Rufus Turner: Killed by Bobby while he was possessed by the Khan Worm in 6.16 ...And Then There Were None. Reappears as a manifestation of Bobby's subconscious in 7.10 Death's Door and in a flashback in 11.16 Safe House.
- Tessa: Killed herself with the First Blade in 9.22 Stairway to Heaven.
- Uriel: Killed by Anna in 4.16 On the Head of a Pin. A younger version of him appears in 5.13 The Song Remains the Same.
- Victor Henriksen: Killed by Lilith in 3.12 Jus in Bello. Reappears as a vengeful spirit in 4.02 Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester.
- Zachariah: Killed by Dean in 5.18 Point of No Return.