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Powers and Abilities Varies; can include telekinesis and possession.
Vulnerabilities Varies; one standard is the salting and burning of the ghost's physical remains. Purification rituals.
Appearance Varies; the form of the deceased, which may have visible signs of trauma or decay.
Episode(s) 1.09 Home
5.12 Swap Meat


A mischievous ghost, especially one that makes mysterious noises.

Pad of Definitions (1.04 Phantom Traveler), Official Website


A term used to describe a supposed spirit or ghost that manifests itself by moving and influencing inanimate objects.

Reports of poltergeist activity typically feature heavily on raps, bumps, thumps, knocks, footsteps and bed-shaking, all without a discernible point of original or physical reason for occurrence. Many accounts also detail objects being thrown about the room, furniture being moved, and even people being levitated.

Though rare, a few reported poltergeists have been purported to speak, including The Bell Witch in 1817 and Gef the Talking Mongoose in 1931.

Pad of Definitions (2.18 Hollywood Babylon), Official Website

Poltergeists are malevolent vengeful spirits, although unlike typical vengeful spirits, poltergeists do not target people who committed crimes similar to how the spirit died, and are more indiscriminate.


1.01 Pilot

Dean comes to Sam about their father having gone missing, Sam is quick to tell Dean that it's nothing new. Sam mentions that John had gone missing during poltergeist hunts in Amherst as well as at the Devil's Gate in Clifton, and always ended up "fine."

1.04 Phantom Traveler

Jerry Panowski calls one of Dean's cell phones, telling him he and John helped him a few years back. Dean recalls it being a "poltergeist thing" and asks Jerry if it had come back.

1.07 Hook Man

Sam and Dean theorize that they may be dealing with a poltergeist that has latched on to Reverend Sorenson's repressed emotions and is feeding off of them.

1.09 Home

When Sam has a vision involving the family that has just moved into their childhood home, the Winchesters head to Lawrence, Kansas, where they meet Jenny, the woman who has moved into the house with her two children Ritchie and Sari. While talking with Jenny, she comments on the state of the house, telling the brothers that the lights begin to flicker almost every hour, on top of a backed-up sink and scratching noises in the basement, which she assumes to be rats.

After the visit from the Winchesters, the poltergeist begins to escalate things, first by mangling the hand of a plumber with the garbage disposal while he attempts to unclog the sink, then by trapping Ritchie in the refrigerator. After that particular incident, the Winchesters return to the home with Missouri Moseley who convinces Jenny to let them help. While Missouri and the Winchesters are investigating the house, Missouri tells them that the death of Mary Winchester all those years ago has caused the home to become a magnet for paranormal energy, which is what has attracted the poltergeist along with another unknown spirit. Missouri formulates a plan, which involves placing Angelica Root, Van Van oil, and crossroads dirt, among other herbs, in the walls of the four corners on each floor of the house. Doing so will purify the home and get rid of the poltergeist.

The three begin placing hex bags in the walls. Sam is suddenly attacked by the poltergeist, which uses a cord to wrap itself around his neck and choke him. Before the poltergeist can kill him, Dean saves him by kicking a hole in the wall and placing the last bag in it, which causes a blinding white light to fill the home, seemingly getting rid of the poltergeist.

Later that night, Jenny is in bed, reading a magazine; just as she is about to fall asleep, she is startled as the bed begins to shake violently. She screams and gets out of bed. Sam and Dean, who have been staking out the home to make sure that the poltergeist is truly gone, see Jenny screaming through her bedroom window and rush into the house. Dean is able to get Jenny, while Sam goes for the kids. He places Ritchie in Sari's arms and tells her to run outside as fast as she can, just before he is dragged away by the poltergeist. When Dean attempts to go in after Sam, the front door slams and locks in Dean's face, prompting him to retrieve an axe and a sawed-off shotgun from the Impala and smash down the door. Inside the kitchen, Sam gets flung into a set of cabinets. He stands up and is pinned against the wall by the poltergeist, not able to move any part of his body. A figure engulfed in flames begins to make its way towards Sam, just as Dean is able to break in. As Dean points the shotgun at the figure, Sam tells him not to fire, as suddenly, the fire vanishes to reveal Mary Winchester, exactly as she was the night she died. She shares a moment with her children, telling Sam she is sorry, before she once again bursts into flames, telling the poltergeist to leave her home and let go of her son. When she is entirely engulfed, the fire reaches the ceiling and Mary disappears along with the poltergeist.

5.12 Swap Meat

Sam and Dean get a call from one of their old childhood babysitters, Donna, regarding a possible haunting. Donna explains that the problems started after they moved into their new home with simple bumps, knocks, scratching on the walls, and objects breaking. Eventually the poltergeist graduated to attacking Donna's daughter Katie, carving the words “Murdered Chylde” into her skin.

Sam and Dean begin researching the house, finding out that in the 1720s it belonged to a man by the name of Isaiah Pickett, who hung a woman -- Maggie Briggs -- in his backyard for witchcraft. However, Gary Frankel, who has taken possession of Sam's body, learns that, Maggie Briggs was never hung for witchcraft, but rather she was carrying Pickett's illegitimate child, so he killed her and buried her in the basement, explaining why Donna's daughter Katie had “murdered chylde” carved into her.

When they arrive at the home, Dean and Gary/Sam enter the basement and find willow moss, which is only known to grow on the graves of witches. As Dean begins to dig the grave, Gary/Sam is suddenly thrown into the wall. As Dean goes to help him, he too is thrown into the wall. As Maggie Briggs begins to approach Dean, she suddenly burns up as she rushes towards him, her bones having been salted and burned by Gary/Sam.

See also