|Dates||???? - 2009 (sacrifices herself)|
|Location|| Harvelle's Roadhouse, Nebraska|
|Episode(s)|| 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown|
2.06 No Exit
2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two
5.02 Good God, Y'All
5.10 Abandon All Hope...
6.17 My Heart Will Go On
You mind your tongue with me, boy. This isn't just your war, this is war. Now, something big and bad's coming and it's coming fast, and their side holds all the cards. Now, at best all we got is us. Together. No secrets or half-truths here.
– Ellen Harvelle, 2.05 Simon Said
Ellen is a hunter who ran a saloon in Nebraska called Harvelle's Roadhouse, which was frequented by hunters until its destruction by demons. She is the widow of Bill Harvelle, who died on a hunt with John Winchester in 1995, and the mother of Jo. She was an old friend of John Winchester's, having met him at least as early as 1994, but hadn't spoken to him for a long time before his death.
Four months prior to John's death, Ellen leaves a voice-mail message on his phone saying she can help him with the demon he is tracking. As the boys recuperate at Bobby's place, Sam retrieves the message and the boys travel to the Roadhouse. Ellen explains that she knew John and that he "was like family once." While waiting for Ash to analyze John's information on the Yellow-Eyed Demon, Ellen passes on to the boys a case she was "saving for a friend."
Sam speculates as to whether Ellen and John ever "you know," but Dean thinks not. After the boys kills the rakshasa, they return to the Roadhouse where Ash has set up a computerized demon tracking system. Ellen invites the boys to stay, but they decline and return to Bobby's.
After encountering Gordon Walker during a hunt, Sam rings Ellen for information, and she warns him that Gordon Walker is a damn good hunter, but dangerous, comparing Gordon as a hunter to Hannibal Lecter as a psychiatrist.
Sam and Dean go to the Roadhouse for help after Sam has a vision. After dealing with Andy and his evil twin Ansem, the boys get a call from Ellen and return to the Roadhouse. She indicates she knows the boys are part of something big, and that they all need to stick together to beat it.
Ellen is trying to prevent Jo from hunting on her own, but even though Ellen gives the case to Sam and Dean, Jo sneaks off and joins them. Despite getting Ash to help her cover her tracks, Ellen works out that Jo is in Philadelphia with the Winchesters. When she rings, Dean confesses that Jo has being kidnapped by the spirit of Dr. H.H. Holmes. Ellen flies out to Philly, and, after Jo is rescued, drives back in the Impala with Sam, Dean and Jo in angry silence. Back at the Roadhouse, Ellen finally reveals to Jo that her father was killed while hunting with John Winchester.
As he searches for the other Special Children, Sam seeks help at the Roadhouse. Ellen tells him that after they last met, Jo insisted on continuing hunting, and Ellen said "not under my roof." Ellen explains that she doesn't blame Sam and Dean. Later Gordon reveals someone at the Roadhouse told him about Sam's powers.
At the beginning of the episode, Sam is on the phone with Ellen, trying to get leads on Ava's disappearance from the previous episode. Although she has no information for him on Ava, she does give him and Dean a case on a hotel in Cornwall, Connecticut that turns out to be haunted.
At the beginning of the episode, Dean is on the phone with Ellen, asking if she has heard from Sam, as Sam has been gone for a week now. Later on, Meg (while possessing Sam) asks Jo what Ellen told her about how Bill died, and after Jo tells her, says that Ellen does not know the truth about Bill's death; Meg claims that the reason John stopped going to the Roadhouse was that he couldn't face Ellen or Jo after having killed Bill to end his suffering when Bill was badly wounded on their hunt together.
Ellen turns up at Bobby's place, explaining that she was out buying pretzels when demons attacked the Roadhouse, killing everyone and burning it to the ground, however Ellen rescued Ash's research from the safe. Bobby makes her drink a shot of holy water to ensure she isn't possessed. At the Devil's Gate in Wyoming Jake uses his mind powers to get Ellen to point her own gun at her head. After the gate opens, it is Ellen and Bobby who finally close it.
Ellen has been hunting with Jo, when she answers a call for help from Rufus to a town he thinks is under attack from demons. When Sam and Dean arrive she has been separated from Jo and Rufus. She says she didn't know Dean was alive until Rufus told her. When she and Sam go looking for them, and find them, she thinks they have been possessed by demons. Jo calls her a "black-eyed bitch" indicating she thinks Ellen is possessed. After they work out War is tricking them, they try to stop Rufus and Jo. Ellen is about to be killed by one of the townsfolk when Sam cuts off War's ring, and the spell is broken.
When Jo, Ellen, Dean and Sam arrive at the town they meet Meg the demon, now in a new host body. She has brought some hellhounds to help kill them. When she unleashes them, Dean kills one of the dogs, but he is nearly killed until Jo saves him, shooting it three times, before she is attacked herself and is badly wounded. Dean carries her to a store and the group barricades themselves with salt. After a while, they realize that Jo will not survive her wounds, and Jo volunteers to kill herself to destroy the hellhounds. Sam and Dean set up explosive devices, gas tanks, buckets loaded with salt and iron-nails. Ellen refuses to leave her daughter, and instead sits down beside her, crying. Sam and Dean then escape the store, leaving behind Jo and Ellen. Jo succumbs to death and Ellen is left to destroy the hellhounds herself. She clears the salt line from the door and window to allow the hellhounds come inside the shop. When she hears them inside, Ellen sets off the explosive devices, killing the hellhounds and herself.
Ash tells Sam and Dean that he hasn't seen Ellen or Jo in Heaven to the point of not knowing that they were dead, despite his ability to move around in Heaven and meet other people, including Pamela Barnes. He is also shown to mourn their deaths and asked if they went down fighting, to which Sam replied "'Til the end."
The brothers are captured by Meg, who wants to find Crowley. After Sam suggests that the brothers work with her to kill Crowley, Dean is enraged, pointing out that she killed Ellen and Jo with hellhounds. Sam sways him by assuring him that Meg will be killed once she has helped them.
When Balthazar saves the Titanic, he creates an alternate timeline in which Ellen is alive and married to Bobby. Ellen arrives at the salvage yard after a week's hunting with Jo, who is also living, and tries to help Bobby get over Rufus' death. She orders him to shower and to slow down on his drinking. When he tries to get a beer out of the refrigerator, she takes it from him and pours it into the stew she is making. Ellen coordinates between Jo's team of hunters and Sam and Dean as they investigate a rash of strange deaths. Ellen determines that all the victims are descended from people who sailed on the Titanic. When the timeline is restored, Ellen is gone.
While investigating the deaths of psychics in Lily Dale, New York, a museum curator grabs Dean and gives him a message from Ellen. He tells Dean that she is concerned about him and says:
- "If you don't tell someone how bad it really is, she'll kick your ass from beyond. You have to trust someone again eventually."