A group of teenagers in Richardson, Texas, visit a reputedly haunted house, but the thrills turn tragic when they find the body of a girl hanging in the cellar. However, by the time the police arrive, the body is missing.
Sam and Dean, who are engaged in a prank war, decide to investigate and track down Craig Thursten, who relates the legend, told to him by his cousin Dana, of Mordechai Murdoch, a farmer who lived in the house during the 1930s, and who killed his daughters, hanging them in the cellar.
Sam and Dean visit the house, which has symbols painted from many different origins freshly painted on the walls and floor. While searching the house, the boys run into Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spangler, paranormal investigators, who run a website called Hell Hound's Lair.
Sam and Dean do some more research, but can’t find any evidence to support the legend of Mordechai Murdoch. They are preparing to leave when they hear that the previous night a girl did die in the house – hung from the rafters.
Returning to the house they again run into Ed and Harry – and the spirit of Mordechai who chases them from the house and is not slowed by a blast of rock-salt.
Back at their motel, the boys try and work out what is happening. Mordechai’s spirit appeared to have slit wrists, which was previously not part of his legend. The story on the Hell Hound's Lair website has also changed.
Dean recognizes one of the symbols painted in the house, and he and Sam return to visit Craig. The symbol is from a Blue Oyster Cult album cover – and Craig works in a record shop. Craig admits that he and his cousin painted the symbols and spread the rumour about Mordecai as a prank.
Sam postulates that Mordechai is a Tulpa – the manifestation of a thought. One of the symbols painted in the house is Tibetan spirit sigil, which assists in concentrating mental energy. Sam thinks that as people view the website, they are willing into reality what they read there.
In order to “kill off” Mordechai, the boys tell Ed and Harry that they have found out that being shot with iron rounds will kill him. They wait for the boys to post it on their website, and enough people view it so that it becomes real.
Sam and Dean return to the house to finish off Mordecai, but Ed and Harry are there and tell them the server crashed, so the new legend will not manifest. As Mordechai attacks them, Dean sets the house on fire, figuring that without that part of the legend Mordechai won’t exist.
Sam and Dean farewell Ed and Harry – Sam with a prank call from a Hollywood producer and Dean with a fish in the back of their car. The boys call a halt to their own prank war – for now.
- "Fire of Unknown Origin" by Blue Öyster Cult
- (the song on the radio Dean is singing)
- "Jaded Little Love Song" by Terramara
- (the song on the radio Dean is singing; Netflix version)
- "Burnin' for You" by Blue Öyster Cult
- (plays when Dean and Sam interview the kids, and also at the end of the episode, when they leave the trailer park)
- "Slow Death" by Zach TempestS1Com (Extreme Music)
- (plays when Dean and Sam go to the music store to talk to Craig for the first time)
- "Anthem" by Zach TempestS1Com (Extreme Music)
- (plays when Dean and Sam go to the music store to talk to Craig for the second time)
- "Point of No Return" by Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys
- (plays while talking about the Tulpa in the diner)
- "Fast Train Down" by The Waco Brothers
- (plays in the restaurant when Dean gets his hand glued to his beer)
Man, we’re not kids anymore, Dean. We’re not gonna start that crap up again.
Dean: Start what up?
Sam: That prank stuff—it’s stupid, and it always escalates.
Dean: Oh, what’s the matter, Sammy, you afraid you’re gonna get a little Nair in your shampoo again, huh?
All right. Just remember, you started it.
I thought the legend said that Mordechai only goes after chicks.
Sam: It does.
Right. Well, I mean, that explains why he went after you, but why me?
Looks like Old Man Murdoch was a bit of a tagger during his time.
Sam: And after his time, too. The reverse cross has been used by Satanists for centuries, but this sigil of sulfur didn't show up in San Francisco until the sixties.
Exactly why you never get laid.
Dean: (After Sam glued Dean's hand to his beer bottle)I barely have enough skin left on my palm.
Sam: I'm not touching that line with a ten foot pole.
Dean: Who ya gonna call?
Sam: What the hell kind of spirit is immune to rock salt?!
So there was an incident in Tibet in 1950. A group of monks visualized a golem in their heads, then meditate on it so hard, they bring the thing to life out of thin air.
That was 20 monks. Imagine what 10,000 web surfers can do. I mean Craig starts the story about Mordechai, then it spreads, it goes online. Now there are countless people all believing in the bastard.
Dean: People believe in Santa Claus. How come I’m not gettin’ hooked up every Christmas?
Sam: ‘Cause you’re a bad person.
Ed: This is our ticket to the big time. Fame, money, sex... With girls.
Dean: Look at that... Action figures in their original packaging. What a shocker.
Ed: We have an obligation to our fans, to the truth...
Dean: Well I have an obligation to kick both of your little asses right now.
Yeah, as a matter of fact, they say if you shoot him with a .45, loaded with these special wrought-iron rounds, you could kill the son of a bitch.
Harry runs back to the trailer. Ed follows more slowly.
Harry, slow your roll, buddy. Don't let them know we're excited.
That's your solution? Burn the whole damn place to the ground?
Dean: No one will go in anymore. Look, Mordechai can't haunt a house if there's no house to haunt. It's fast and dirty, but it works.
Sam: What if the legend changes again and Mordechai is allowed to leave the house?
Dean: Well then, we'll just have to come back.
Kind of makes you wonder. Of all the things we've hunted, how many exist just because people believed in them?
Harry: So this morning, we got a phone call from a very important Hollywood producer.
Dean: Oh, yeah? Wrong number?
I have a confession to make.
Dean: What's that?
Sam: I was the one who called them and told them I was a producer.
Dean: [laughs] Well, I'm the one who put the dead fish in their backseat.
Sam: [laughs] Truce?
Yeah, truce. At least for the next hundred miles.
Trivia & References
This was the first Supernatural episode to air on a Thursday night. Previous to this episode, Supernatural had its regular time slot on Tuesday nights.
The location of this episode, Richardson, Texas, is Jensen Ackles
' home town. However, the real city of Richardson is a major suburb located within the Dallas metroplex, not a rural town as depicted in the episode.
The pranks are as follows:
- Dean puts a plastic spoon in Sam's mouth while he is asleep, takes a photo, then turns the music on really loud, waking Sam up and startling him.
- Sam turns the car radio's volume all the way up, startling Dean with a tango song.
- Dean puts itching powder in Sam's underwear while he's in the shower.
- Sam glues Dean's hand to a beer bottle.
- Sam calls Ed & Harry, pretending to be a producer offering them a movie.
- Dean puts a dead fish on the back seat of Ed & Harry's car.
- Dean mentions putting Nair in Sam's shampoo bottle as part of a prank war when they were younger.
The website in this episode, "Hellhounds Lair" is now an actual tie-in website created by the producers of the show. On it are the pictures from the character's ghost encounter and stories submitted by fans. Fans are allowed to submit their own scary stories with the understanding that they will not be paid if any ideas are used by the show. www.hellhoundslair.com
In the scene while Sam and Dean are getting coffee, the kid handing Dean his coffee appears to have said "Here you go, Jensen," although it could have easily been "Here you go gents" (short for gentlemen).
The power of Christ compels you!
- A line taken from the 1973 movie The Exorcist, from the Roman Catholic rite of exorcism.
I hate rats.
- This could be a reference to Harrison Ford's character "Indiana Jones", who has a similar adversion against snakes. (His father, Henry Jones, reveals in Indiana Jones III that he doesn't like rats.) Harrison Ford also plays Han Solo in Star Wars, a character, Dean has been related to by series producer Eric Kripke.
The door to Ed and Harry's trailer has several bumper stickers. They say "Paranormal Scouting Unit," "Step into the Light Carol Ann" (a reference to the movie Poltergeist
), "I'd Rather Be Surfing," "Clean House - Get Exorcized," and "Visualize Using Your Turn Signals."
Sam and Dean stay at Wyeth’s Western Inn in Richardson, Texas. The room features a Wild West theme.
When Sam checks the Hell Hound's Lair website in the hotel room, the posts on the main page are all dated June 7, 2006, but the "Mordechai Murdoch Hell House" post is dated "Sat June 10, 2006" and Sam indicates, this post is not the same as the one he read the night before they arrived.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts