Last modified on 25 September 2014, at 17:38

3.13 Ghostfacers


3-13 Ghostfacers.jpg
Title Ghostfacers
Episode # Season 3, Episode 13
First aired April 24, 2008
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB Ghostfacers
Outline Sam and Dean find themselves on a reality TV show Ghostfacers – and in real danger.
Monster Ghost
Timeline February 29th, 2008
Location(s) Appleton, Wisconsin
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Synopsis

Sam and Dean work a case at the same place where the boys from Hell Hound's Lair, Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spengler, are shooting the pilot for their reality show Ghostfacers. Every leap year, beginning at midnight, a ghost who used to be a janitor at a local hospital kills people and keeps their corpses at the Morton House for company. Their spirits remain trapped in the house as well as any living person in the house at midnight. Sam and Dean become trapped in the house with the Ghostfacers crew and must figure out how to kill the ghost as it hunts them one by one.

Harry Spengler and Ed Zeddmore of 1.17 Hell House fame are dressed up, sitting in front of a fireplace in chairs a la Masterpiece Theatre, touting their new pilot as the bold new future of "reality TV." Cue the Ghostfacers intro, showing Ed, Harry, Spruce, Maggie, Corbett, Sam and Dean through shaky camera work in what looks like a haunted house setting.

Phase I: Homework. Ed and Harry pull up in their vintage AMC Gremlin doing the fake slo-mo. They reveal they can start ghost hunting at six o’clock thanks to the flexibility of their jobs at the Kinkos, and they hold their strategy meeting with the team a la Ghost Hunters in Ed’s parents' garage. Corbett is the Intern/Cook and very gay, Maggie is Ed’s adopted sister, and Spruce is 15/16 Jewish and 1/16 Cherokee, thus making him a “Shamanologist.” They review a legend in which every four years on February 29th, Morton House becomes the most haunted place in America.

GFwashere.jpg

Phase II: Infiltration. The Ghostfacers break into the Morton House, hearing the roar of the Impala and Grand Funk's "We're An American Band" in the background. They see Sam and Dean roll by, scoping out the place. The Ghostfacers set up "Command Center One: Eagle's Nest" in the main room and start rolling the cameras, which never stop the entire episode, no matter what horrors happen, much to the ire of Sam and Dean.

Phase III: Face Time. The Ghostfacers search the house with their instruments, taking readings and run into Sam and Dean, who are impersonating cops. Ed recognizes them from their earlier encounter in Texas. Sam and Dean try to get them out of the house by showing them the missing persons reports, but Team 2 records a ghost reliving his horrible death. Sam and Dean figure out they're dealing with a death echo, which isn't the real threat. Corbett then disappears and they don’t make it out before midnight, trapping them in the house for the evening.

They search the house for Corbett and try to figure out why the death echoes are there, considering that the victims in the death echos didn't die there. They find the office of the home's owner, Freeman Daggett, who was a janitor at the hospital before he died in 1964. He was a survivalist, and took corpses from the morgue to "play" with. They go into another room where Maggie wandered off, and after another EMF surge, Sam disappears.

After some fake reality show drama involving Maggie and Harry in a compromising position, we see Corbett and Sam tied to chairs at a table with a birthday cake and "It’s My Party" playing in the background. A big creepy guy kills Corbett with a spike through the neck, and then slaps a party hat on Sam.

Dean figures out that a survivalist usually keeps a bomb shelter and heads for the basement, but the basement door locks behind him, separating him and Spruce from the others. The others meanwhile put themselves in a salt circle and see the ghost of Corbett reliving his death. Dean finds the bomb shelter just before Sam gets his own spike through the neck. Sam reveals Daggett was the "Norman Bates"-type of lonely and killed himself after stealing the bodies, and each February 29th, he takes people for his "party". Ed talks to Corbett to get him out of his death echo and manages to get through just in time for Corbett to take on Daggett, who is tossing around Sam, Dean, and Spruce in the basement.

Everyone (minus Corbett) leaves alive the next morning, taking Ed and Harry back to the fireplace to lament over the loss of their friend in a completely exploitative way, even showing the typical reality confessional moment. They show their pilot to Sam and Dean, who warn them that revealing such ghostly secrets usually lands them in straight jackets or gets them a punch in the face or both. Sam and Dean go, but leave a bag behind; Ed pulls out a large electromagnet, which proceeds to erase all the hard drives, including the Ghostfacers pilot. Sam and Dean peel off in the Impala, confessing they didn’t think the show was half bad.

Characters

Definitions

Music

(the amazing piece that opens the episode of Ghostfacers)
  • "We're an American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad
(plays in the Impala as Sam and Dean drive by when the Ghostfacers are breaking into Morton house)
  • "Hocus Pocus" by Focus
(plays when the Ghostfacers team are setting up their equipment)
  • "It's My Party" by Leslie Gore
(the ghost party song)

Quotes

Corbett: I first saw Ed putting up flyers down at the -- the outlet mall in Scogan, so I-I read one, and I thought to myself, 'Huh. Where do ghosts come from?' And now here I am.
Sam: Holy shit!

Dean: What?
Sam: Uh, West Texas... the... the tulpa we had to take out. Those two goofballs that almost got us killed... The hellhounds or something?

Dean: Fuck me.
Spruce: What's a death echo?

Dean: Echoes are trapped in a loop, okay? They keep replaying how they died over and over and over again, usually in the place where they were ganked. It's about as dangerous as a scary movie.

Sam:So maybe the echo's not dangerous, but maybe something else is.
Sam:Well, it's 12:04, Dean. You good? You happy?

Dean: Yeah, I am happy.
Sam:'Let's go hunt the Morton house,' you said, 'it's our Grand Canyon.'
Dean: Sam, I don't want to hear this.

Sam:You got two months left, Dean. Instead, we're gonna die tonight.
Maggie: So, what are they doing here?

Dean: Hey, give the lady a cigar. All right, seriously, does looking at this nightmare through that camera make you feel better or something? I mean...
Maggie: Um...I, uh... Well, yeah. Uh, yeah. I think so.

Dean: Oh.
Dean: There's some salt in my duffle. Make a circle and get inside.

Ed: Inside?
Harry: That's stupid.
Ed: Inside your duffle bag?

Dean: In the salt, you idiots!
Spruce: Earlier, you and Sam -- he said you had two months left?
Dean: Yeah, it's complicated. A while ago, Sam... No. No. No. I'm not gonna whine about my bullshit problems to some bullshit reality show. I'm gonna do my fucking job.
Sam: Seriously -- you're still shooting?
Dean: It makes him feel better. Don't ask.
Harry: Ed... You got to go be gay for that poor, dead intern. You got to send him into the light.
Sam:Yeah, um, I mean it's bizarre how you all are able to honor Corbett's memory while grossly exploiting the manner of his death. Well done.

Dean: Yeah. It's a real tight rope you guys are walking there.
Sam:Yeah, all right guys.
Ed: Nah, that's reality, man. Yeah, Corbett gave his life searching for the truth, and it's our job over here to share it with the world.

Sam: Right. Well, um, our experience, you know what you get when you show the world the truth?

Trivia & References

The framing mechanism of the episode of Ghostfacers - Ed and Harry suited and sitting in front of a fire - is reminiscent of Masterpiece Theatre, which would be introduced by the host who would be sitting in a great chair by an open fire.
Not dissimilar in format to Ghostfacers, there is a TV show called Ghost Hunters, a docu-soap following a group of paranormal investigators.
The hand held camera style of the episode references the horror movie The Blair Witch Project, in which a group of college kids are making a documentary about a witch.
The Ghostfacers theme song is very reminiscent of the Ghostbusters theme, also having a line about "who you're going to call." Furthermore, the Ghostfacers have a huddle cheer similar to the one used by the Ghostbusters.
A poster for the indie horror movie Coven is seen at the Ghostfacers' base. This poster is also seen, framed, at Charlie Bradbury's apartment in 7.20 The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.
Ed: We'll set up camp right here. This is command center one.

Harry: We'll call this the Eagle's Nest.

There are several places around the world with called the Eagle's Nest, but the most famous two are both associated with Adolf Hitler: a command center in Bad Nauheim, Germany called the Adlerhorst (Eagle's Nest in German), and a Bavarian chalet called the Kehlsteinhaus (dubbed the Eagle's Nest by a French diplomat), which Hitler used as a retreat and a place to entertain visiting dignitaries.
The "corpse birthday party" scenario is reminiscent of the climax of the 1980 Canadian slasher movie Happy Birthday to Me. This film was produced by the same team that made My Bloody Valentine. Jensen filmed a remake of it during the 2008 summer hiatus. It may also be a reference to the 1987 movie American Gothic, in which a deranged back-woods family welcomes stranded city folk into their house and then proceeds to murder and preserve/stuff them in order to make dolls to occupy an over-grown and over-aged "little girl" named Fanny.
Spruce: What's this guy Daggett's problem, anyway?

Sam: Loneliness.
Dean: What, he's never heard of a Realdoll?

A Realdoll is a lifesize silicone sex toy.
Sam: No, no, no, Daggett was the Norman Bates, stuff-your-mother kind of lonely. I mean, that's why he lifted these bodies from the morgue, threw himself a birthday party, except they were the only ones who would come. Anyway, so, at midnight, he sealed them in the bomb shelter and went upstairs and o.d.'d on horse tranqs.
Norman Bates was the main character in Psycho, who kept the preserved corpse of his mother.

Minutiae

This was the first episode filmed after the Writers Guild of America Strike ended. There is a meta element to the episode, which, as an unscripted show, is the type of programming that was predicted to replace scripted dramas like Supernatural if the strike had continued.
This episode was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the "Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character)" category in 2009. However it lost to an episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Ed and Harry first appeared in 1.17 Hell House.
This episode is presented as a pilot episode of Ghostfacers, so for the first time the Supernatural credits occur at the end of the episode.
This episode takes place somewhere in Wisconsin as Ed and Harry's car has Wisconsin plates.
Harry: Hey! Aren't they those assholes from Texas?
A reference not only to when Ed and Harry first met the Winchesters in 1.17 Hell House, but to the fact that Jared and Jensen are both from Texas.
Sam and Dean use strong swear words in this episode which are bleeped out, with a small Ghostfacers' skull logo over their mouths.
The deer's head, a regular of Supernatural sets, appears on the wall of the Morton House.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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