Men of Letters Bunker
It is warded against any evil ever created. It is the supernatural mother lode. If knowledge is power, then this is the most powerful place on Earth.
The Men of Letters' Bunker is located in Lebanon, Kansas. Here, they stored their collected knowledge of "every object, scroll, spell ever collected for thousands of years under one roof... the safest place on earth, warded against any evil ever created.". The key to this place is in the Box.
Lebanon Kansas, where the Bunker is located, is the geographic center of the contiguous lower 48 states of the United States.
The Bunker took three years to build and was completed in 1935. The style of architecture and decoration in the Bunker is Art Deco and WPA style. The Men of Letter's crest, the Aquarian Star appears as a motif, such as in the floor tiles and on the telephones.
It is built between a WPA power plant that sits along a river and which supplies its power and water (Source).
In 1935, Peter Jenkins and James Haggerty are the first of the Men of Letters to be based there. The disappearance of Dorothy Baum and the Wicked Witch of the West is the first case dealt with in the Bunker.
Inside the Bunker
The door to the Bunker opens onto a balcony surrounding a large circular room containing a ham radio, telegraph, and switchboard. There is also a chess board. Leading of this room is a large library, full of books, weapons, and an extensive card file. At the far end is a large telescope.
When they first arrive, Dean refers to the Bunker as the Batcave, referring to the secret lair where Batman did his research and kept his weapons. Sam and Dean discover that the facility has power, running water (with excellent shower pressure), and sleeping quarters.
- Bunker Floorplan - Actual production plans for the Bunker
- The main space consists of the "warroom", which centres around a table with an illuminated map of the world. There is also a bank of computers and communication devices.
- There is a large library with shelves of books, a card file index, and many files. A variety of weapons are also on display. At the rear of the library is a very large telescope.
- The bunker has a fully equipped kitchen in which Dean shows off his culinary skills. There is also a small table and chairs.
- Dean and Castiel both report that the shower has very good water pressure.
- There is a firing range in the Bunker.
- Room 7B contains archived material. Two of the shelves push back to reveal a dungeon with a large devil's trap and manacles engraved with spellwork. This is where Crowley is held.
- Room 11 is Dean's bedroom. 
- Room 28, level 2 - A laboratory where Dorothy mixes up the spell to bind her soul to that of the the Wicked Witch of the West to keep her captive. It also houses a large computer which was installed in 1951.
- There is a garage where many vintage vehicles, including several motorcycles - one of which is Dorothy Baum's - are still stored. After its discovery, Dean stores the Impala here.
- There are a number of bedrooms.
I haven't had my own room. Ever. I'm making this awesome. I've got my kickass vinyl. I've got this killer mattress. Memory foam -- it remembers me! And it's clean, too. There's no funky smell. There are no creepy motel stains.
Dean takes great delight in decorating his bedroom in the bunker. He buys a copy of Led Zeppelin's first self-titled record to add to the collection presumably left by the Men of Letters, which includes Howard McGhee, Vol. 2, and "Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love". Dean has also bought a memory foam mattress for the bed. Dean mounts his weapons on the wall, including the axe he found in Purgatory, and places a photo of his mother and him, which he always carried in his wallet, on the desk.
Sam initially feels that the Bunker is a place of work, and not a home. He explains to Dean that he never had what Dean had with their parents "I don't have any memories of home. And whenever I've tried to make a home of my own it really hasn't ended well."
Sam's room has no decorations, and the shelves are lined with files and books for research. He has, however, installed a large TV and DVD player.
People aside from Sam and Dean who have visited the bunker:
- Hayley and Oliver
- Charlie Bradbury
- Kevin Tran
- Dorothy Baum
- The Wicked Witch of the West
- Linda Tran
- Eldon Styne
- Roscoe Styne
- Cyrus Styne
In 1958, Abaddon, one of the Knights of Hell, was sent by party or parties unknown to kill the members of the group who were gathered in Normal, Illinois. They were gathered for the initiations of Henry Winchester and Josie Sands. Abaddon killed David Ackers and Ted Bowen, and blinded Larry Ganem. After Henry bursts through to find out what was happening, Larry crawls to Henry and entrusts him with the Box which contains the key to the Bunker. Abaddon then burns down their quarters and follows Henry through the portal created by his blood spell. Sam visits Larry Ganem, the other survivor of the incident, who tells Sam about the Bunker, and gives him coordinates to it. He tells Sam to lock it forever to keep it out of the hands of the demons.
Abaddon, possessing Larry's wife, kills Larry and captures Sam. Abaddon then calls Dean for a trade: Sam and Henry for the Box. During the trade, Henry shoots Abaddon in the head with a bullet that had a Devil's Trap carved onto it. This immobilizes Abaddon which allows Dean to decapitate and cut her into pieces. After Henry's death, Sam and Dean decide to find out if the bunker is still intact.
Sam and Dean follow the coordinates provided by Larry, and find the underground Bunker, which they are able to enter using the key inside the box. The boys are stunned at what they find, with everything perfectly preserved. Sam is thrilled at the rich store of information contained in the bunker, although Dean is initially dismissive of its worth. While Dean is visiting Kevin, Sam researches the Men of Letters and their networks. During this he discovers the Judah Initiative, and finds out that a member, Rabbi Bass, recently died in what is reported as a case of spontaneous combustion. The boys leave to investigate.
After the case the boys return to the bunker, and Sam immediately starts entering information from the Thule Society's red ledger on the index cards. As Dean pours them each a scotch, he asks whether Sam is becoming a Man of Letters. Sam considers but doesn't reply. "Good," says Dean. And silently they toast each other.
Sam and Dean have completely moved into the Bunker as their new home and Dean sets up his own room, excited as he hasn't had a room of his own for most of his life. As Sam researches in the library, Kevin Tran calls saying he has something important and Sam and Dean leave to meet with Kevin.
Sam and Dean stay at the bunker while waiting for word from Kevin on cracking the next trial. During that time, Sam hides the fact that he is coughing up blood as a side effect of doing the trials. After reading in a magazine about an apparent zombie in Great Falls, Montana, Sam and Dean leave to investigate.
After finding out that it is actually Prometheus, Sam and Dean bring him and his ex-girlfriend Hayley and their son Oliver back to the bunker for protection. While there, they search through the Bunker's books for information on Zeus and find the journal of an ancient Greek hunter named Dracopolis who trapped Zeus and learned how to kill him. After learning how to trap and summon Zeus, the group leaves the bunker to get the ingredients and break the curse.
After everything is over, Sam and Dean return to the bunker and Dean prays to Castiel to look after Sam who he knows is not doing as well as he is trying to pretend. Castiel does not respond or appear.
While looking through the Bunker's artifacts, Dean finds the Spear of Destiny, a porn magazine and, unknown to him, the Key to Oz. Sam finds a case where people who die across the Midwest have burns on their hands and feet along with their organs being liquefied causing Sam and Dean to leave and investigate.
After the second trial takes a major toll on Sam, he and Dean return to The Bunker to rest. While Sam wants to go hunting for the missing Kevin Tran, Dean doesn't believe he is ready and proves it by having Sam shoot at a target on the Bunker's shooting range and miss the target completely. Charlie Bradbury contacts them with a case and they learn that The Bunker blocks a cell phone from being able to be tracked despite the fact that they can make and receive calls inside it. Charlie comes and introduces them to a case where the victim's insides have been turned to "jelly." After Charlie proves herself on the shooting range, she and Dean leave without Sam who eventually heads out to work on the case himself.
After finding a second victim and learning that the bodies have been burned, the three return to the Bunker to research what could be doing this. Eventually, Dean discovers in John's Journal that it is a "bastard off-shoot" of a djinn. Charlie heads out to supposedly get food, but when she doesn't return, Sam and Dean follow her using the GPS in her cell phone. They later briefly return to try to figure out who the Djinn responsible is and leave after figuring out that it is Jennifer O'Brien and where she is keeping Charlie.
After Jennifer and her son are killed and Charlie is rescued, the three return to the Bunker and Charlie leaves the next morning. Charlie is invited back to go through the archives anytime she wants and Dean embraces Sam and finally agrees to go looking for Kevin with him.
While at the Bunker, Sam and Dean receive an email from Kevin Tran containing a video message stating that he's probably dead or will be and that he's sending them his notes and translations on the demon tablet. Sam and Dean go through the notes, trying to figure out the third trial, but are unable to. However, Sam finds a symbol appearing repeatedly in the notes that belongs to Metatron, the angel who wrote the tablets. After remembering seeing it in one of his Stanford classes, Sam looks through one of the Bunker's books on Native American lore and finds that the symbol belongs to a tribe in Colorado that has managed to hold onto their land through everything and is supposed to be gifted by God's Messenger. Realizing that this could lead them to Metatron himself, Sam and Dean set off to follow the lead.
Sam and Dean look through the Bunker's files on demonic possessions for any clues on how to cure a demon. Their supplies of food are also running low and Castiel is staying with them as he recovers from the wound Crowley gave him. Sam and Dean find that there are files on every possession for 300 years up until the time the Men were destroyed. Sam finds a file numbered 1138 that has a note saying to look in Room 7B and that it's "weird!!!" In the room, along with a film, they find the Bunker's dungeon. The film was taken by Josie Sands and is of a new type of exorcism performed by two priests, Father Max Thompson and Father Simon. The exorcism fails and interested, Sam and Dean track down Father Simon to ask about it while Castiel later leaves to get supplies in an attempt to get back in Dean's favor.
After getting Father Thompson's records, they return to the Bunker and listen to the tape of his last attempt at curing a demon two days before he died. The attempt succeeded and now knowing how to do it from the tape and Father Thompson's notes, Sam and Dean leave to put back together Abaddon to cure her.
After everything is over, Sam and Dean return to the Bunker and Sam suggests they accept Crowley's deal to turn over the tablet and give up the Trials as innocent people are dying and they have no demon to cure though they now have the method. Dean, however, is determined to finish the job.
Sam and Dean send Kevin Tran to the Bunker for safety, and Dean and Castiel return to the Bunker to try to get the third Trial to close the gates of Heaven using the angel tablet. Dean later calls Kevin, who reveals that he can't find anything within the tablet that specifies the "Trials" they are currently completing, and he tries to leave the Bunker. Before he can leave, however, the Bunker's world map becomes fully lit and alarms go off as, all around the world, angels begin to fall from Heaven.
Returning to the Bunker with Crowley, Dean is shot at by a panicking Kevin. Kevin explains that after the angels fell, the Bunker locked down, which included blocking cell phone signals. Opening the Bunker from the outside seems to break the lockdown and Crowley is locked in the dungeon, left in the darkness to consider helping them hunt down the demons on Earth. After finding massive demonic omens, Sam and Dean leave to check them out while Kevin remains behind.
As Kevin goes over the angel tablet in the Bunker, he gets a call from Dean to get him to cover for his and Sam's FBI cover with a military sergeant which he does through blackmail. Looking through the file room attached to the dungeon, Kevin is taunted by Crowley and beats him up in revenge for being tortured by Crowley. Crowley tempts Kevin to set him free and flee the Bunker together by promising the location of his mother and claiming that the Winchesters will just use Kevin and discard him.
Returning to the Bunker, Sam and Dean find Crowley still locked in the dungeon and he offers a deal in exchange for helping them with the demons on Earth. Finding Kevin getting ready to leave, Dean convinces him to stay by telling him that he is family now and the Winchesters would do anything to protect him. Sam and Dean later sit in the main room discussing the current situation.
Sam goes on a run and to get food without Dean ever knowing he's gone, surprising him when he returns. While discussing Sam straining himself after being so badly affected by the Trials, Ezekiel takes control to tell Dean that Sam is feeling better and that he is slowly but successfully healing him. Ezekiel reveals that a faction of angels are after Castiel and after Ezekiel gives up control, Dean tells Sam this and they start searching for him.
After Castiel is rescued from a rogue reaper, he returns to the Bunker with the Winchesters, but Ezekiel warns that he must leave as he is too dangerous to have around with angels searching for him as even with the Bunker's protections, they won't survive a full angel incursion. As Ezekiel will leave Sam and flee if Castiel stays and this means a death sentence for Sam, Dean is forced to tell Castiel to leave the Bunker.
In 1935, after the Bunker is finished, James Haggerty and Peter Jenkins settle in as the first two Men of Letters assigned there. Six months later, they have grown bored with nothing to do - until Dorothy Baum arrives with the Wicked Witch of the West, trying to find a way to kill her using the Bunker's files. The three are unable to find anything and soon the Wicked Witch escapes and possesses Jenkins, forcing Haggerty to kill him. Dorothy then casts a spell to bind herself and the Wicked Witch to stop her and her plans. Haggerty spends the rest of his career trying to find Dorothy and stop the Wicked Witch, recording his efforts in the Bunker's files.
In 2013, Sam discovers that the map table is connected to an antique computer, so he and Dean call in Charlie Bradbury to hack it and use it to try to find the location of all the angels in the world. Dean accidentally knocks over the bottle containing Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, freeing them. As Charlie downloads all of the information in the computer, the three soon discover Dorothy who explains what happened. Sam, Dean, Charlie and Dorothy team up to hunt down the Wicked Witch who is still in the Bunker trying to get the key to Oz which the Men of Letters had somehow gotten into their possession and was now in Dean's room after finding it while doing inventory. Using poppy seed extract bullets, the four are able to fight, but not defeat the near-invincible Witch. Eventually Charlie figures out that the Oz books were written by L. Frank Baum to leave clues for his daughter Dorothy, and the two find Dorothy's motorcycle still in the Bunker's garage even after over 75 years. In the motorcycle, they find the ruby slippers which Dorothy figures can be used to kill the Wicked Witch. While Dorothy distracts a possessed Sam and Dean, Charlie kills the Wicked Witch with the slippers and stops her from bringing her army of Flying Monkeys to Earth through the door to Oz, which she opened with one of the Bunker's doors. With the crisis over, Dean moves the Impala into the Bunker's newly-discovered garage and Dorothy and Charlie travel to Oz to free it from the forces of evil.
Dean brings Kevin back to the Bunker after he has a rest in Branson, Missouri which he is still recovering from as he got drunk and is still hungover. Sam, looking through the Internet, finds a case in Enid, Oklahoma of a man constricted to death and he and Dean leave to investigate it.
Unable to translate the angel tablet into English, Kevin is able to use the Bunker's books to translate it into an obscure form of Cuneiform. As he, Sam and Dean set out to use the Bunker's 24 volume Cuneiform books to try to translate it, Dean gets a call from Castiel in Rexford, Idaho and leaves to investigate, using it as an excuse to get out of translating. Later, Kevin and Sam make a deal with Crowley to translate the bits referring to Metatron's spell in exchange for allowing him to call Abaddon. After the call, Crowley translates the text to learn that Metatron's spell is irreversible and Sam calls Dean to let him know. Alone in the dungeon, Crowley is later seen injecting himself with Kevin's blood.
In the Bunker, Kevin Tran finds a section of the angel tablet that's so obscure that it's as if Metatron wanted to keep it hidden from a prophet. Dean asks Kevin for a spell that would hobble an angel, so that one could speak to the vessel's owner without the residing angel listening in. Kevin uses the angel tablet and an old Men of Letters book to find a angel suppressing sigil which Kevin and Dean paint in the storeroom. Kevin knows Dean is withholding information, but trusts him anyway.
Dean takes Sam to the storeroom, where he activates the sigil with his blood and quickly admits everything about Ezekial's possession after the trials, urging Sam to expel the angel. Sam is furious at being tricked, and punches Dean unconscious. Dean awakens just in time to see Gadreel lay a hand on Kevin's head and smite him. Gadreel pins Dean to the wall, confessing that he’d overheard Dean and Kevin's earlier conversation, altered the sigils so they would fail, and pretended to be Sam in the storeroom. Taking the angel and demon tablets, Gadreel exits the Bunker, leaving Dean to weep beside Kevin's body.
After giving Kevin a hunter's funeral, Dean smashes up part of the bunker's main room in his anger. Castiel arrives and Dean explains what happened. After Castiel comes up with the idea to use Crowley to free Sam from Gadreel's control, the two visit him in the dungeon and eventually release him to help them.
In Sam's fantasy world, he is working in the bunker on a case involving ghouls and dead cheerleaders. Crowley, upon possessing Sam, meets him here in the main room and helps him realize the truth. Crowley and Sam battle Gadreel in the dream bunker and after pinning Gadreel to the floor, Sam expels him from his body.
After attempting to enjoy a sandwich in the Bunker's main room, Castiel continues the process of healing Sam which is nearly complete only to discover that he still has some of Gadreel's grace inside him. After learning from a file written by James Haggerty that if the grace is extracted it could be used in a spell to track Gadreel, Sam and Castiel go to a room with a chair set up for the procedure and Castiel proceeds to start extracting the grace. However, after it nearly kills Sam who doesn't care, Castiel stops the extraction and finishes healing Sam, eliminating the rest of the grace. The two try the spell, but find that they didn't have enough grace to do it. Castiel then leaves to find Metatron, believing him to be the key to setting everything right.
Sam finds Dean in the kitchen pouring over his laptop, having not slept at all. Dean has found a case involving a fat man in Stillwater, Minnesota, dying and being hundreds of pounds lighter afterwards. Sam and Dean leave to investigate the case.
Having solved the case, Sam and Dean meet up in the kitchen where Dean tries to clear the air between them about his actions to save Sam's life and is stunned when Sam claims he would not have done the same.
Sam and Dean discover the Bunker is haunted by the ghost of Kevin Tran. Kevin explains that as he died there and people who die can't get into Heaven now that its closed off, he is trapped on Earth. Kevin asks for Sam and Dean to find his mother who he has learned is alive from another ghost named Candy. Sam and Dean agree and leave.
Returning to the Bunker with Linda, Sam and Dean reunite mother and son. Linda decides to take Kevin's ghost with her despite the risks when she leaves and despite Kevin's request for Sam and Dean to put their problems behind them, they go to their separate rooms without talking.
At the Bunker, Sam is researching the Mark of Cain, while Dean is frustrated as he repeatedly calls Crowley to no avail.
Having captured the now-demon Dean, Sam traps him in a room in the bunker and attempts to treat him with the demon cure, although this is complicated due to the Mark of Cain further corrupting Dean's emotions. While the cure begins to take effect, it eventually reaches a point where Dean is physically cured to the point where anti-demon sigils will have no effect on him while still emotionally corrupting him to try and kill Sam. After pursuing Sam through the bunker, Dean is captured by Castiel, allowing Sam to complete the cure and return Dean to normal. It is revealed that they keep a master set of keys in a drawer in the War Room.
As Sam and Dean are researching the Mark of Cain in the bunker's main room using the Men of Letter's files, Sam gets a call from Sheriff Jody Mills who tells them about a body that has been eaten whole. Despite her insistence that they don't help her, they decide to go help her anyway.
Dean holes up in his room for a week pouring over any info he can find about removing the Mark of Cain. This prompts Sam to get Dean to join him on a missing person's case instead of obsessing over the Mark and letting it consume his life. After some poking, Dean reluctantly agrees to go on the case with Sam.
Olivette reveals that there are bunkers scattered across the world and when the Men of Letters plundered the Grand Coven's horde of powerful spells and potions, they were divided among the bunkers. Due to the weakened state of the Coven and the powerful warding on the bunkers, the Coven couldn't get at them.
As Sam is sleeping in his room, he hears Dean screaming out his name in his sleep. Sam rushes to Dean's room with his gun and discovers Dean having an intense nightmare caused by the Mark of Cain. The next morning Dean asks Sam if there are any cases available. Sam tells him that there is one but that another hunter named Rudy is handling it. Sam then tells Dean that he is going off to watch a French movie being aired at some theater and that Dean is welcome to join him, which Dean refuses. He also tells Dean to stay out of his room.
After Sam has left, Dean, being the good brother that he is, goes into Sam's room and proceeds to prank him in various ways including rubbing Sam's toothbrush under his armpit and taping his phone.
When Sam returns after having busted Metatron out of heaven along with Castiel, both he and Dean decline to mention any of the events that occurred during their time apart. Sam then goes into his room and reads a letter that Bobby had written to him concerning his mission to cure Dean of the Mark of Cain.
Having failed to retrieve the Book of the Damned from Charlie Bradbury, Eldon Styne suggests to his father that they raid the bunker, taking what they can and destroying the rest. Monroe agrees, getting Eldon a new arm to replace the one he ripped off and sending him, his cousin Roscoe and younger brother Cyrus to do it.
Arriving at the bunker, Eldon kicks the door off its hinges and finds it empty. He and Roscoe begin to steal what's valuable and prepare to burn the rest as Cyrus excitedly examines the books. Cyrus tries to convince his brother not to burn everything and fails, but they are interrupted by Roscoe stumbling in and dying after being stabbed in the back by Dean. In the main room, Dean and Eldon face off and Eldon taunts Dean about Charlie Bradbury's murder before Dean reveals that he wiped out Eldon's family in revenge. He then shoots Eldon dead and murders Cyrus as he believes that despite the fact that Cyrus isn't evil now, he has evil in his blood and will eventually turn. A horrified Castiel confronts Dean and tries to convince him to let them cure him, but Dean refuses and tries to leave. When Castiel tries to stop him, Dean beats him up and nearly kills him. Dean leaves Castiel alive ultimately and leaves, warning Castiel to leave him alone or he will kill him next time.
Behind the Scenes
The reveal of that [bunker], which I believe is in the next episode... it’s a really stunning set. It's full of mysteries, [and] it'll become kind of a home base for the boys. We're really excited about it. After eight years of never really having a home base, this will be home base for quite some time, and I think you guys will really dig the set. It's really cool. They'll go to great pains to keep it hidden. It's also kind of impenetrable. We've had places like this before [ie. Rufus' cabin]. They need a place, not just for us to have a set to shoot on, but I think that the boys need a place where they can decompress, have their bromance. When you see this set you realize they have lots of room to move around and there's lots of really cool things in there. Adam [Glass, the episode's writer] came up with this idea and we really latched on to it immediately. It's a very expensive set, and we're going to be using it [a lot].
When Adam Glass brought the Men of Letters into his episode, it was the opportunity to give [the Winchester brothers] a really, really cool atmosphere -- a rich kind of space for them to be in. Jerry Wanek has done a beautiful job making it real.
When Edlund first sat down to write the language to make the set become real he said that he:
Kind of got really prosey in the scripts because I was just so excited to do it I had to limit myself. It started out unproducible, and then we scaled it back. At one point, it was constructed as ‘an echo of the Axis Mundi’ and it actually was a mini-universe underground that had all of these spiral staircases. But this is just gorgeous. I made something that was unshootable, and Jerry made it something incredible.
– Ben Edlund, Source
"Because the Men of Letters were well-versed in everything from physics to astrology and the occult, they needed a power base. So I thought if they piggybacked off a WPA power station, that would license to have an art deco theme throughout the bunker. What started off as a bunker, we adapted into a sanctuary, that has a working laboratory and a huge library. We have a shooting range and a storage area with a dungeon behind it, as well as bedrooms and an observatory with a telescope."
- The map on the wall is marked with every city Sam and Dean have visited. Jerry Wanek said "I know it doesn't make sense for the Men of Letters to have this but we did it as a nod to our fans and our writers."
- The war room is inspired by the one in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. "All these gauges signified something at some time, but now we'll never know. We have an old teletype, a reel-to-reel tape deck, and old phones. We are historically accurate but it also has to have a sense of design and versatility."
- There are hidden symbols in the frieze around the library, plus sigils and devil traps above the bookcases. At the bottom is a bronze devil trap. At every doorway, there is a symbol which would be the next line of defense if a demon broke in.
- The library bookcases and columns are on wheels to make it camera-friendly.
- The staircase was originally used in Crowley's torture chamber in season seven.
- Detailed photos of the set by Clarissa of ScreenFad
- Blogger visit to the Bunker by Screenfad
- Actual location of the Bunker in Vancouver by SupernaturalLocations