John's Journal (diary entries)
The following are entries from John Winchester’s journal written immediately after Mary’s death. As well as the transcript, I’ve screencapped the pages themselves, so you can download/view them too, if you like. I’ve not made any editorial changes (any spelling/grammar mistakes are all c/o ‘John’), each entry is separated by page. In other words, I’ve changed nothing. You might get a kick out of looking at the screencaps too, though, the writing does change a little (gets more crowded in, anyway) at points.
The material here can be considered canonical - you can find the journal on the official Supernatural website.
November 6, 1983
I buried my wife today. Even as I write that down, I don’t believe it. Last week, we were a normal family… eating dinner, going to Dean’s T-ball game, buying toys for baby Sammy. But in an instant, it all changed… when I try to think back, get it straight in my head… I feel like I’m going crazy. Like someone ripped both my arms off, plucked my eyes out… I’m wandering around, alone and lost and I can’t do anything.
Mary used to write in these books she kept by the bed. She said it helped her remember all the little things, about the boys, me… I wish I could read her journals, but like everything else, they’re gone. Burned into nothing. She always wanted me to try writing things down. Maybe she’s right, maybe it will help me to remember, to understand.
November 13, 1983
Nothing makes any sense anymore… my wife is gone, my sons are without their mother… the things I saw that night. I remember hearing Mary scream, and I ran, but then… everything was calm, for just a second – Sammy was fine – and I was sure I h ad been hearing things – too many horror movies too late at night. But then there was the blood, and when I looked up, my wife….
Half our house is gone, even though the fire burned for only a few hours. Most of our clothes and photos are ruined, even our safe – the safe with Mary’s old diaries, the boys’ savings bonds, what little jewelry we had… all gone. How could my house, my whole life, go up like that, so fast, so hot? How could my wife just burn up and disappear?
I want my wife back. Oh God, I want her back…
‘‘‘ November 17, 1983 ‘‘‘
We’re staying. Mike and Kate, they’re helping me take care of the boys. They keep telling me they’re sorry, and that the fire was probably just a terrible accident… faulty wiring maybe. It doesn’t make me feel any better to think that faulty wiring took Mary. It doesn’t explain why she was on the ceiling, but what do I tell people? I tried to tell Mike, what I think… what I think happened that night. He just looked at me, this look… like he’s sure I’m crazy. He must have told Kate something too. Out of nowhere she said this morning, I should think about seeing a shrink. How can I talk to a stranger about this? I never saw a shrink for everything I went through in the Marines, and I got through that. My friends think I’m going insane. Who knows, maybe I am…
‘‘‘ November 26, 1983 ‘‘‘
Alright, I guess I’ll try this again but I can’t say it’s helping. I don’t even know if I want to remember what happened today. I spoke to the police. They say the investigation is ongoing, but I know they don’t have any real leads. I asked it they’d found the cause of the fire and they said they couldn’t say anything yet. They won’t even tell me if this is officially considered a crime. Here’s the odd thing about our discussion – they asked me the same questions they asked the night of the fire. Where was I? How was my relationship with Mary in the weeks prior to the fire? Any problems with the boys? What’s going on???
‘‘‘ November 30, 1983 ‘‘‘
It’s 4am and I can’t fall back asleep. I wake up to the smallest noise now, or maybe it wasn’t a noise. It’s like my senses are tweaked and I just can’t shut them off. Everything lately feels like those instances when you remember a dream a few days after had it, but then you can’t remember if it was a dream of if it actually happened? I keep going over that night in my head… why did I ever get out of bed? I’m so sorry, Mary. I’m so sorry I let this happen to you. Can you ever forgive me? What can I do to get rid of this pain?
‘‘‘ December 4, 1983 ‘‘‘
Last night I was sitting in Sam and Dean’s room, in the dark, and I heard these noises… Mike said it was the wind, and okay, maybe it was, but it sounded almost like whispering, like someone was whispering a name, under their breath, again and again… like something is out there in the dark, watching us… I stayed up all night, just watching them, protecting them. From what, I don’t know. Am I protecting them? Am I hurting them? I haven’t let them out of my sight since the fire. Dean still hardly talks. I try to make small talk, or ask him if he wants to throw the baseball around. Anything to make him feel like a normal kid again. He never budges from my side – or from his brother. Every morning when I wake up, Dean is inside the crib, arms wrapped around baby Sam. Like he’s trying to protect him from whatever is out there in the night.
‘‘‘ December 4, 1983 (continued) ‘‘‘
Sammy cries a lot, wanting his Mom. I don’t know how to stop it, and part of me doesn’t want to. It breaks my heart to think that soon he won’t remember her at all. I can’t let her memory die.tever is out there in the night.
‘‘‘ December 7, 1983 ‘‘‘
The police were back. I can’t believe it. More questions I’ve already answered a million times. More time spent away from my sons, going in circles, getting nowere… this is all so stupd useless!
Had a drink around seven… soon as boys went down. Having one now. IT doesn’t help me sleep, but I keep hopng itl clear my head… sometimes it does, just for a sec, and then it’s all muddled again.
One thing clear to me – the only way I’m going to kno
‘‘‘ December 8, 1983 ‘‘‘
Woke up this morning with a nasty hangover… Wasn’t in the mood to do much of anything, much less have a heart to heart with Mike, who jumped on me the second I walked into the kitchen. He was going on about how I have to get myself together, for the boys… but he seemed more concerned about the garage than anything else. Accusing me of phoning it in, you’ve barely been in to work… No kidding I’ve barely been to work.. My wife is dead, something horrible happened to her, maybe my boys are at risk too… how can I forget all that and go to work, for God’s sake?
Anyway, I told him he could have it. That stopped him cold – You’re telling me you’re gonna give up your life’s work over this? Watch me, Mike. It’s yours.
‘‘‘ December 8, 1983 (continued) ‘‘‘
My sons need me… and my wife’s investigation needs me. Those two things are all that matter to me now. I’ve been canvassing the neighborhood, asking questions… I swear, a lot of people conveniently aren’t home when I knock. Maybe they don’t want to face a grieving widow… or the man they think killed his wife.
A fire doesn’t just start. I’m convinced now that someone was in my house that night. It’s the only way any of this even starts to make sense. I started digging around at the library. I’m collecting old police files, going through microfiche… looking for any fires, arsons, with similar Mos. I’m gonna find this guy, and when I do… God forgive me…
‘‘‘ December 11, 1983 ‘‘‘
Sammy has finally started sleeping through the night, and now that Dean shares a bed with him, he’s out like a light as well. But me… I close my eyes and she4’s there. It always starts the same, I’m seeing her as she was before that night, beautiful and happy and alive. And I’m not seeing it, I’m living it, it’s like I’m there… it’s so real, I know I can reach out and touch her. And so I do… I reach out… and suddenly I’m back to that night, to the blood and the fire and Mary, Mary is on the ceiling, and how did she get on the ceiling… she can’t be on the ceiling…
Here’s the weird part. When I wake up, sweating and panting… I swear there is something there. I can feel it, hovering over me, over my boys. It’s watching, it’s waiting, I think it’s even mocking me… You couldn’t stop this. You couldn’t keep her safe. You can’t keep them safe.
‘‘‘ December 11, 1983 (continued) ‘‘‘
Got a few things from the house today… couple of photos, a toy or two the firemen recovered. They saved one of my guns… an antique single action revolver. Won’t really do much damage… but I plan to put it under my pillow tonight just the same.
‘‘‘ December 13, 1983 ‘‘‘
I called the police again… Nothing. All the forensics are back, and they didn’t find a thing. No fingerprints, no DNA, no blood, nothing at all left of my wife’s body, no sign of anyone else in that house. Exactly the kind of crack police work I’d expect. The investigators tell me an electrical short caused the fire. I asked them to show me the proof, to tell me which wire shorted out. And they couldn’t. Just some stupid mumbo-jumbo about burn marks and fire forensics and “no hard evidence” which is “to be expected, given the severity of the fire.” The one thing they did say was that all the evidence points toward the nursery ceiling as the fire’s flashpoint. Which doesn’t make a kit if sense from a fireman’s perspective – almost all electrical fires start in the walls. But to me… it makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.
‘‘‘ December 14, 1983 ‘‘‘
I actually fell asleep last night… then woke up in a cold sweat five minutes later. Feeling that presence again… and thinking about something I read in one of the books I got the other day. They were mostly books about fires, how they start, how quickly they spread… but one of them talked about strange fires, fires with no explanations… it said that some people believe fire can be controlled by certain evil entities, beings, and used to harm people. It’s crazy, the stuff of fairy tales… like fire-breathing dragons, right? But then I remembered… when I went back into Sammy’s room that night, when I tried to get to Mary… the fire leapt out. Leapt out at me… like it had a purpose, like it wanted to keep me away, to stop me from reaching her. Like someone was controlling it.
‘‘‘ December 14, 1983 (continued) ‘‘‘
That night… Mary, on the ceiling… I convinced myself I imagined it, made it up somehow. But now I know, without a doubt – she was up there. I don’t care what anyone says, the police or Mary’s family, or Mike. Let them call me crazy. I know what I saw.
I don’t have answers yet, but the questions are clearer in my mind. Something horrible happened in the baby’s room. Someone – or something – killed my beautiful wife.
I was up all night, thinking it over… wish I could talk to Mike, but he’s already telling me I need help. So this morning, first thing, I went out and bought some more books. Not about fire, but about… other things. Unexplained things. I also bought two new pistols and a shotgun. Just in case.
‘‘‘ December 17, 1983 ‘‘‘
I met someone… someone who I think might be a friend, to me and the boys. For the last couple of days I’ve been visiting… well, psychics, I guess would be the term. I wandered past a place, and I don’t know, I just walked in. Two months ago I would have laughed out loud if anyone told me I’d be doing this, but at this point I’m not sure where else to turn. Anyway, I went inside… it was a total scam. I watched this guy read some palms… he’d just parrot back what people were telling him, or give them broad stuff – “someone you love is worried” and they ate it up. Like I said, it was bull, but for some reason, later that afternoon I went to another… then today, I went to Missouri. And the second I walked in, I can’t explain it… it was like we’d been friends for years. She knew every detail, not just of my life, but also of me… my thoughts… fears. She was the first person who didn’t look at me like I was crazy when I told her my story… she just listened, and nodded, and then she told me she believed me.
An hour later I was back… with the boys. For some reason I wanted her to see them, to meet them… maybe to tell me they were okay. They both loved her immediately… Sammy sat in her lap the whole time, smiling, and Dean talked nonstop… he never does that anymore. I don’t know, if it were just me, maybe I wouldn’t trust her, but seeing the boys warm up to her like that… There’s something there. I think she can help me.
‘‘‘ December 20, 1983 ‘‘‘
I’m gonna try to get this down… I swear, I’m shaking so badly I can barely write. I just got back from my house… Missouri said she needed to go there, to really get a sense of what happened. I don’t know how to explain what I felt – first of all, just being there, in the home where I lived with my wife, in my baby boy’s nursery, seeing it all burned and barely recognizable. Already it feels like a different era, a different life… part of me can hardly remember what it was like to feel normal, but the rest of me… I could barely breathe, I wanted it all back so much.
Missouri shaken as freaked out too… She said she could feel the evil, she could sense the echo from that night… of a horrible presence that was there. She felt it, felt that thing that did that to us, to my wife.
Missouri couldn’t tell me what it was, - she’d never encountered anything like it – but she told me that it was the most powerful, awful thing she’s ever come across.
‘‘‘ December 23, 1983 ‘‘‘
We left Mike and Kate’s place this morning. I just couldn’t stay there anymore, and I can’t explain why. I feel like I can’t explain anything in my life any more. I just knew I had to take my boys away. I got up at the crack of dawn, loaded them in the back of the car while they were still sleeping. Maybe we should have said goodbye… but something in me said we should just go, now, fast and quiet. Whatever did this to Mary – there’s no trace of it here. It’s time to move on. I’m beginning to understand that there’s nobody else but me. If I want answers, I’m going to have to find them myself.
‘‘‘ December 25, 1983 ‘‘‘
Didn’t sleep again last night. Woke up in a cold sweat and realized it was Christmas. Where’s Mary? That was my thought all night, and it stayed in my mind all day. Christmas without my wife seems unreal. Out celebration was clumsy… a crooked two foot tall plastic tree, a bunch of junk food stuffed in the stockings, and a pile of sports equipment for the boys… football, basketball, soccer. My attempt to bring back some normalcy. Already Dean is too big for T-ball, this year we’ll be going to real Little League games. Or rather, I’ll be going to the games. Alone.
Mary will never see Dean hit a home run. She’ll never see Sammy walk, or hear him say his first words. She won’t take Dean to his first day at school, or stay up all night with me worrying the first night he takes the car out. It’s not right that she’s not here, and that’s all I could think about today. I’m so angry I can barely see straight – I want my wife back.
The police have officially declared our case closed. What a Christmas present, huh?
‘‘‘ January 1, 1984 ‘‘‘
Today a new year begins. Mary loved this time of year; she loved the idea of a fresh start for everyone. She always made a resolution, one a year, and unlike most people, she kept hers. And every year she tried to talk me into making one, but I could never see the point. I wish I could have seen her diary. Maybe it would help me remember her. Maybe it would clue me in to some over her secrets. Maybe that’s the point of a diary. Keep your stories, your life, from dying. So that other people don’t forget.
God I wish the boys could have known Mary for longer.
This year I’m making a resolution. I’m going to find out what happened to my wife.