|Powers and Abilities
| 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
5.04 The End
5.20 The Devil You Know
5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight
7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler
13.12 Various & Sundry Villains
An undead person commonly found in the spiritual belief system of voodoo. Zombies are humans who have had their soul stolen by supernatural means and are forced to work for their "zombie master". Another more morbid version, that are often portrayed in horror films, depict zombies as cannibalistic beings.
- 1 History
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Episodes
- 3.1 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
- 3.2 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- 3.3 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
- 3.4 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
- 3.5 8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler
- 3.6 8.16 Remember the Titans
- 3.7 11.14 The Vessel
- 3.8 13.12 Various & Sundry Villains
- 3.9 14.06 Optimism
- 3.10 14.20 Moriah
- 3.11 15.01 Back and to the Future
- 4 The Winchesters
- 5 Croatoan
- 6 Zombies in Lore
- 7 Trivia
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Zombies come in a variety of forms. They may be raised from the dead through the use of spells and necromancy, by the demonic power of Samhain, and even raised by Death himself. Another group of beings that behave in a zombie-like manner are humans infected by the demonically-engineered Croatoan virus. and those affected by the Leviathan food additive.
Methods of dispatch generally involve beheading, staking, or fire. Depending on the zombie, Sam and Dean appear to have varying success with each method. When Sam and Dean first encounter a zombie, a woman named Angela Mason, they seem overwhelmed by the amount of lore on the walking dead and how to kill them:
- Dean: We can't just waste her with a head shot?
- Sam: Dude, you've been watching way too many Romero flicks.
- Dean: You're telling me there's no lore on how to smoke 'em?
- Sam: No, Dean. I'm telling you there's too much. I mean, there's a hundred different legends on the walking dead, but they all have different methods for killing them. Some say setting them on fire, one said... where is it... right here: feeding their hearts to wild dogs. That's my personal favorite. But who knows what's real and what's myth?
- Dean: Is there anything they all have in common?
- Sam: No, but a few said silver might work.
They shoot Angela Mason in the chest and head with silver bullets, which seems to slow her down but has no lasting effect other than making her angry. Other lore Sam finds suggests "nailing the undead back into their grave beds," so Dean stakes Angela in her coffin, finally dispatching her.
The Winchesters also encounter zombies during the Apocalypse in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and after an encounter Sam learns that they can be killed with a headshot. Like ghouls, it seems that obliterating their heads, something that Sam and Dean attempted with Angela which did not work, could kill the zombies raised by Death.
Years later Sam and Dean encounter another group of zombies in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, that were created by the Thule Society. The reanimated men could be killed with a head shot but would come back to life unless burned within twelve hours.
The raising of zombies can cause the death of surrounding plant life.
Zombies characteristics vary according to the type of zombie involved. So far within the show there have been six types:
- Zombie (Necromancy) – A person who has been reanimated through the use of black magic (in one instance raised by the demon Samhain). Upon reanimation, their personalities will remain intact for a time, before becoming increasingly aggressive and attacking those they feel have wronged them in life. The longer these types of zombies exist they are required to consume human flesh in order to maintain their bodies. They are near invulnerable, only affected by silver, and the only way to permanently stop them is by staking them with silver inside their grave beds. When the Plum sisters attempted to raise their dead mother through the Black Grimoire, the spell was not performed properly, causing their reanimated mother to be a mindless zombie and "magic proof." Mother Plum, unlike other zombies raised through magic, was able to be put down via a bullet to the head.
- Zombie (Raised by Death) – These zombies are of the more traditional cannibalistic variety. Like zombies raised through black magic, these zombies appeared normal upon being raised from the dead, with their initial personalities still intact. Eventually, they became aggressive and consumed with cannibalistic hunger, losing any trace of humanity they once had. These zombies are capable of being stopped with simple headshots / destruction of their brains.
- See Episode: 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
- Croats – People afflicted with the demonic Croatoan virus, which was to be used as a part of Lucifer's end game for the Apocalypse by having the humans turn on themselves. Upon contact with the virus people will become wildly aggressive and volatile. While the virus gives the infected seemingly enhanced durability, they can be stopped via conventional means and are not invulnerable.
- Mottled Wretches – The people who had an adverse reaction to the Leviathan food additive. The food additive was an attempt by the Leviathans to make the human population fat and compliant, however there was 0.03% margin of hyperadrenalized cannibalism which transformed them into monstrous cannibals. The term "mottled wretches" was used in the script but not on screen.
- See Episode: 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
- Nazi Necromancers – Members of the Thule Society used necromancy to remain youthful and alive for decades. Members of the Thule are capable of being killed via traditional methods, however their bodies must be burned within twelve hours of their deaths otherwise they will reanimate. Unlike typical zombies raised through necromancy, the reanimated Thule show no weakness to silver or need for human flesh, and they retain their personalities without devolving into unchecked aggression.
- The Damned – When Chuck Shurley / God declared "The End", He opened up a doorway to Hell in a cemetery, unleashing the souls of the damned into the world (aka "Hell Ghosts"). Many of these souls burrowed under the ground, taking possession of the buried corpses and began exploding from the earth upon possession. Because they were possessed by ghosts, iron was an effective weapon against them, as contact with iron was able to jettison them from the corpses. Smiting and angel blades were also effective in casting out the spirits.
Powers and abilities
- Enhanced senses – A zombie's sense of hearing, sight, and smell become advanced past that of a normal human's after being brought back from the dead.
- Invulnerability – Traditional zombies are impervious to most harm.
- Superhuman strength – A zombie's strength far exceeds that of a human.
- Decapitation – Zombies of all types can be stopped through decapitation.
- Head shot – Zombies raised by Death were vulnerable to headshots. However, zombies raised through necromancy cannot be stopped with bullets.
- Fire – Nazi necromancers require the complete obliteration of their bodies to prevent being brought back to life.
- Silver – Zombies raised through necromancy can only be stopped by being staked inside a coffin with silver. Simple contact with silver will also burn and cause a zombie great discomfort.
- Spells – Rowena implies that certain types of magic are capable of stopping zombies. The demon Belphegor performs a spell using cemetery dirt and angel blood to blast all the Hell Ghosts out of their possessed corpses.
Angela Mason is raised from the dead by her friend Neil, who used an ancient Greek ritual. Upon her return to the world of he living, Angela goes around killing those who have wronged her. Angela eventually turns her wrath on Neil, whom she believed was going to abandon her, by breaking his neck. Eventually Sam and Dean stop Angela by luring her back to her grave and staking her with silver in her own coffin.
After Samhain is freed from Hell, the demon raises the dead from their graves in the mausoleum. Dean is able to fight off these zombies, staking them to the ground with silver.
Townfolk of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are raised by the Horseman Death and come back perfectly normal, until about 5 days later when they begin to kill. Among them are Bobby Singer's deceased wife Karen and Sheriff Jody Mills' son. The feral zombies begin attacking their loved ones and eventually gather together at Singer Salvage Yard where Bobby and Dean attempt to hold them off. Due to the sheer volume of zombies attacking, Dean and Bobby are forced to take refuge in a closet. Stating out loud he believes them to be too stupid to use a door knob, Dean inadvertently gives the zombies an idea and they begin to try to open the door with the knob. Dean and Bobby are eventually rescued by Sam and Jody Mills who put a stop to the remaining zombies.
Before Bobby puts down his wife one more time, Karen reveals to him that the zombie attack on the town was a warning for him from Death, telling Bobby to stop his interfering with the Apocalypse.
The Leviathans develop a plot to control the population. Dr. Gaines synthesizes a food additive which he has put into turducken which is served in a sandwich at a Biggerson's in New Jersey. It is very addictive, and consumption leads to weight gain, and dampens people's emotional responses until they are very apathetic. After cooking, the tainted turducken will revert back to the grey goo state.
However, in 0.03% of cases, consumption results in "hyper-adrenalized cannibalism" in which people become super strong, homicidal, and cannibalistic. Dick Roman sees this side effect as a drawback, as it draws attention to their plans and raises the specter that monsters do exist.
In World War II the Thule Society, led by Commandant Eckhart, carried out magical experiments on Jewish people in Vitsyebsk, Belarus, that eventually led him and his followers to reanimate the dead. He wrote these notes in his red ledger. After Eckhart was forced to flee and leave his red ledger behind because of the arrival of the Golem, both the Thule Society and the Judah Initiative began searching for the book. Rabbi Bass found the book first, but was killed by Torvald, a follower of the Thule. The book and the Golem were passed on to Rabbi Bass' grandson Aaron, but they were eventually found by Eckhart and captured. They escaped and killed Eckhart and his men, whose bodies they burned to make sure none of them would return. The book is then kept safe by Sam and Dean while Aaron vows that he will continue on the work of his grandfather and the Judah Initiative and look after the Golem.
After learning of a man who died in a hit-and-run accident and has come back to life, Sam and Dean believe him to be a zombie, but he turns out to be the Greek Titan Prometheus, who is cursed to die each day and come back to life.
After Befehlsleiter Gumprecht is stabbed in the neck and killed by Delphine Seydoux, he reappears on a German destroyer having crippled the USS Bluefin, demanding the Hand of God. When Delphine shows disbelief that he is still alive he tells her he is a "friend of the Thule," and if she wanted him to stay dead, she should have burned his body.
Rather than give up the Hand of God or let Dean die using it, Delphine lets the power consume her, destroying the Bluefin and German destroyer as Dean is teleported back to his time.
After stealing the Black Grimoire, sisters Jamie and Jennie Plum use the book to bring back their deceased mother. Believing they do not need the help of Rowena to perform the spell, their inexperience and unfamiliarity with the Druidic glyphs results in them only being able to complete the first step of the ritual, which brings their mother back to life as a mindless, brain-eating zombie.
When Rowena tracks the sisters down and attempts to get the book, the Plums sic their zombie mother on Rowena, who attempts to stop her with magic, only to learn that a side effect of the spell has made their zombie mother impervious to all magics. As Rowena tries to lock herself in the Plum's kitchen, she offers to fully bring their mother back, but the Plum sisters refuse, believing they can figure it out on their own. Mrs. Plum is soon able to break through as Sam and Dean arrive and fight the sisters. In a dire situation, Rowena asks for help from the Winchesters, who suggests she shoot the zombie in the head. Rowena is then able to get a hold of one of the Winchesters' guns and is able to put down the zombie Plum.
Angry that her boyfriend Vance wished to leave their hometown of McCook, Nebraska, after college, young necromancer Harper Sayles kills him and resurrects him as a zombie. Due to the magic, Vance is required to consume human flesh in order to maintain his body. When Dean learns they are dealing with a zombie, he orders Jack to take Harper to safety while he handles Vance. However, in the midst of their fight, Vance retreats from Dean.
Harper later reveals that Vance's killing and eating of victims in McCook is part of a sick form of roleplaying to enhance their relationship. Vance's attempts to kill Jack for trying to woo Harper are thwarted by the arrival of Dean, and with Jack's help the two are able to use silver handcuffs to restrain Vance, which allows Harper to escape. Vance is then dealt with by being staked into a grave bed.
When Sam and Dean refuse to go along with Chuck's story, Chuck angrily welcomes them to "The End." Day suddenly turns to night as a hole opens up the cemetery, unleashing damned souls from Hell. Some of these burrow underground and take possession of the buried corpses, which begin exploding out of their graves. As more and more zombies explode from the ground, they quickly surround Sam, Dean, and Castiel, and descend on the helpless trio.
The Winchesters and Castiel fight off the zombie horde using iron fence posts, Castiel's angel blade, and briefly Castiel's smiting. Eventually, they are forced to retreat into a nearby mausoleum, where they attempt to come up with a way out. Castiel suggests that as the zombies are actually the Hell Ghosts possessing the nearest bodies they found, salting and burning their bones might work, but the Winchesters dismiss this plan as impossible, due to the sheer number of ghosts. When Dean suggests Castiel smiting their way out, he also shoots that down as impossible, for the same reason. Breaking through a nearby wall, the three attempt to escape through the sewers, only to find a zombie coming out of the pipes that is slain by Castiel dropping a heavy slab on its head.
As the three debate what to do, the demon Belphegor possesses Jack's corpse and offers his help. Using graveyard dirt and angel blood, Belphegor casts a spell that blasts all the souls out of the bodies "for now," leaving the bodies lifeless.
Sam later finds no signs of "a world-wide zombie apocalypse" in the news. Dean comments that its apparently only a "ghostpocalypse" that is happening in that area.
While looking for files on the Akrida at a Men of Letters hideout, the Core Four come across zombie corpses littering the building. John and Carlos are soon attacked by two active zombies, while Lata attempted to active the Ostium, to no avail, Mary aids Carlos, allowing Carlos to stab the zombie in the head. After John brains his zombie with a lead pipe, he is attacked by a third zombie, and is saved by Mary whole throws the knife into it's head.
Good luck stopping the zombie apocalypse.
In 2.09 Croatoan, 5.04 The End, 5.20 The Devil You Know and 5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight, people infected with the Croatoan virus - called "croats" by Future!Dean - could be classed as zombies as they lose their sense of reason and become unthinking murderous creatures. They are part of the demonic plan for the Apocalypse.
Widespread distribution of the virus is planned using a new vaccine being produced by Niveus Pharmaceuticals - one contaminated with the Croataon virus. The vaccine is being rushed to stem an outbreak of flu caused by Pestilence. This potential disaster is prevented when Bobby, Sam, and Castiel blow up the distribution warehouse, although only after battling some zombies.
Zombies in Lore
Zombie is a term used to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli. Of voodoo origin, the word initially referred to a curse cast by sorcerers (or bokors) allowing them to take control of a person's mind, therefore affecting his or her actions. However, due to significant influence of Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo on witchcraft mythology, this meaning soon morphed into that of a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Since the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, especially in North American and European folklore.
In popular culture, zombies take a number of forms. There are those raised from the dead by a spell or ritual or reanimated by some supernatural event (such as the movies of George Romero), or people turned into mindless violent cannibals by a virus (such as in the movie 28 Days Later or the Resident Evil franchise). Some are mindless, shuffling monsters, others are cunning and quick. Methods of dispatch generally involve beheading, staking, or fire.
- Elizabeth Marleau, who played Karen Singer in 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me, was unable to reprise the role for 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid as she was very obviously pregnant at the time, and the production team thought a "pregnant zombie wife...would have been more than the episode could handle"S5Com
- In the script for 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters, the term that was used for the Turducken Slammer victims was "mottled wretch."
- What do zombies mean? by Mark Dery
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
- The Zombie Shuffle phenomenon
- A comprehensive guide to zombies
- 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
- 8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler
- 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
- 2.09 Croatoan
- 5.04 The End
- 5.20 The Devil You Know
- 5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight
- 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
- The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester