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Powers and Abilities
  • Enhanced senses
  • Enhanced strength
  • Fire
  • Sonic vibrations
Appearance Humanoid with wormy skin, rotted teeth and black eyes (after feeding).
Episode(s) 4.04 Metamorphosis
6.10 Caged Heat
8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
12.13 Family Feud
14.10 Nihilism

Travis: He'll turn ugly soon enough. They start out human, for all intents and purposes.

Sam: So, what? They go through some kind of metamorphosis?

Travis: Yep, like a maggot turning into a bull fly.

Travis to Sam Winchester, 4.04 Metamorphosis


The rugaru is the result of a genetic mutation that, when expressed, causes the affected human to experience a murderous, cannibalistic hunger.

Outwardly the rugaru can appear human for years, never knowing its true nature, but eventually it becomes consumed with a terrible hunger. During this time, it feeds on any meat it can get its hands on, until it finally gives in to the craving for human flesh. The rugaru will also demonstrate superhuman strength, and its bones will move under its skin. One bite of human flesh is all that's necessary for the rugaru to transform outwardly into a monster, at which point it can never appear or be human again. The only way to kill it is by setting it on fire, otherwise it will continue killing people to sate its hunger.

Theoretically a person with the rugaru gene can hold back their transformation if they do not consume human flesh, however all records on the subject are deemed conjecture.

Powers and abilities

  • Enhanced senses – Jack Montgomery in his pre-rugaru state was able to sense a woman undressing in a building from across the road.
  • Enhanced strength and speed – Upon their change, rugarus become stronger and faster than their previous human selves. Capable of snapping human bones with ease and breaking free of hancuffs. Rugarus are also strong enough to tear through human flesh with ease


  • Fire – Burning a rugaru alive is typically the best method of putting them down permanently.
  • Severe brain trauma – In Purgatory, Dean was seemingly able to "kill" a rugaru by driving the demon-killing knife through its chin and into its brain.
  • Sonic vibrations – A special gun that emits sonic vibrations created by the British Men of Letters, was capable of killing a group of rugarus by melting their brains.


4.04 Metamorphosis

A hunter named Travis asks for help from Sam and Dean. He reveals to the Winchesters how he once killed a rugaru, but unbeknownst to him, it had fathered a child that was adopted after his death. Travis explains that the rugaru "gene" runs in families.

Travis argued that the rugaru only operates on base instinct and cannot be reasoned with, but Sam argues against killing the rugaru, Jack Montgomery, on the grounds that Jack has not actually killed anyone yet, stating that there are records of rugarus resisting their darker appetites (although Travis claims that they are all conjecture rather than fact). Although the Winchesters try to save Jack by warning him about his heritage, he is overcome by his nature when Travis threatens his pregnant wife Michelle, and kills and eats Travis. In the final stage of his transformation, Jack is still able to communicate and demonstrate horror, anger, love and remorse, lying to protect his wife and clearly trying not to eat Dean, but his newly-awakened hunger finally proves too much for him. Sam finally burns him to death, leaving Jack's wife Michelle to escape, and the fate of their child unknown.

Dean interrogates a rugaru in Purgatory.

5.22 Swan Song

Following the events at Stull Cemetery and Dean's departure, Bobby Singer goes to hunt a rugaru.

6.10 Caged Heat

Sam and Dean hand a rugaru over to two demons working for Crowley.

8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?

While in Purgatory, Dean and Benny come across a rugaru (that Dean refers to as a "mutt"), who gets tortured by Dean to get the location of Castiel. Dean kills it afterwards by stabbing it through the chin and into its brain with the demon-killing knife.

8.06 Southern Comfort

Garth mentions working a rugaru case with Bobby a few years back.

8.18 Freaks and Geeks

Sam mentions that he and Dean met Victor Rogers sometime in the past when they hunted a rugaru in Washington.

A rugaru getting its brain melted.

9.07 Bad Boys

In 1995 John Winchester is on a rugaru hunt in the Catskills in upstate New York, when Dean is arrested for stealing food.

10.15 The Things They Carried

When Dean comes to Sam with case involving cannibalism, Sam quickly suggests that they may be dealing with a rugaru. However, while investigating the death of Private Jacki Prescott, they learn that there were no bite marks on her body, ruling out that she was killed by a rurgaru.

11.04 Baby

Dean mentions to Sam a hunter acquaintance, Heather, whom they worked a wendigo case a few years prior, is hunting a rugaru in Texas and hasn't returned his text.

11.19 The Chitters

Sam tells Dean how he would worry that him or their father would end up dead on a hunt, citing a rugaru as a possible reason.

12.12 Stuck in the Middle (With You)

While meeting with the Winchesters and Castiel, Wally tells them that hunting demons is outside of his usual area of expertise, but he's the hunter to go to if you need help hunting a rugaru.

12.13 Family Feud

Mary uses a sonic gun from the British Men of Letters that melts the brains of three rugarus, while Mr. Ketch stands by and times her.

One of Michael's enhanced rugarus infiltrates the Men of Letters Bunker.

13.11 Breakdown

A rugaru is shown bidding on Sam Winchester's heart in an online auction for monsters on the dark web.

14.05 Nightmare Logic

Sam tells Dean that Mary and Bobby are working a rugaru case in Texas.

14.10 Nihilism

A rugaru is one of the monsters to attack the Men of Letters Bunker in an attempt to rescue Michael. The rugaru was able to kill one of the Apocalypse World hunters, Smithy, by slashing his throat bare handed. It was then disintegrated by Jack alongside the other monsters.

14.16 Don't Go in the Woods

Rugarus are one of the monsters that Jack lists off to a curious Eliot, when he prompts Jack on what type of monsters exist in the world.

Rugaru in Lore

The rougarou, also spelled roux-ga-roux, rugaroo or rugaru, is a werewolf-like creature with lore from the French-speaking communities of southern Louisiana ("garou" means "a man who transforms into an animal"). It is disputed whether they are related to the monsters of Native American lore. More on the rougarou legends.

Loup-garou or Rugaru?

In lore, loup-garou and rougarou (or rugaru) are often used interchangeably for the same type of werewolf with French origins. However, in the Supernatural universe the loup-garou is a distinct type of creature which appears as as a bipedal monster with a wolf-like head, which rugaru's remain human in appearance. Rugaru's are caused by a genetic mutation, while it is not known how the loup-garou originates.


  • In 4.04 Metamorphosis Dean appeared to not know what a rugaru was, but in 9.07 Bad Boys transpires that he knew that John was on a rugaru hunt in 1995. In 11.19 The Chitters, Sam tells Dean that as a kid, he was always afraid that a vampire or rugaru got Dean and John if they wouldn't return, again even though he didn't know they existed as a kid. However, in this case, Sam may have been listing monster types off the top of his head as he didn't know vampires were real as a kid either.
  • Graem Beddoes portrayed the Purgatory rugaru in 8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?.