Last modified on 26 July 2014, at 19:00
Sam examining John's salt ring.

Rock Salt/Rock Salt Gun

Non-lethal weapon and ammunition often used by police to control crowds or riots. Spirit hunters also use them as a defense against ghosts and other supernatural spirits. The fired salt alone will not destroy the spirit, but it does act as a deterrent, forcing the spirit to dissipate briefly.

Pad of Definitions, (1.07 Hook Man), Official Website

The idea of using salt as a supernatural deterrent was "invented" by writers Ron Milbauer and Terri Hughes Burton. Eric Kripke agreed it "...was the perfect combination of occult element - salt is a folkloric repellent of evil - and the blue-collar aspect of shotguns."S1Com, p. 47-48. At Salute to Supernatural L.A. 2009, a fan asked Jensen and Jared how Ruby could eat fries, presumably with salt on them, if she was a demon. The question was also put to Eric Kripke at Comic Con 2009.

In The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons and Ghouls Sam and Dean mention that they know hunters who salt their beer. This practice stems from an old Scottish tradition in which salt was added to a batch of mash to keep witches away.BoM

Ring of Salt

A positive symbol of protection used against demons and evils protecting or trapping anything within it.

Pad of Definitions, (1.20 Dead Man's Blood), Official Website

Salt is used in:

  • Shotgun shells, to disperse ghosts as well as slow down demons.
  • As protection of space - laid in an enclosing ring or around the boundaries of a room to prevent spirits and demons from entering.
  • To purify a corpse before burning its bones - commonly known as a "salt and burn."

Episodes

Simple remedies are always the best. In most cultures, salt's a symbol of purity, so it repels impure and unnatural things. Same reason you throw it over your shoulder.

Sam Winchester, 2.16 Roadkill

1.01 Pilot

When Sam and Dean find John's motel room, Sam notices the line of salt on the floor.

1.07 Hook Man

"Hook Man" is the first episode in which salt was used as a weapon against spirit of Jacob Karns.

Dean: [hands Sam a shotgun] Here you go.
Sam: If it is a spirit, buckshot won’t do much good.
Dean: Yeah, rock salt.
Sam: Huh. Salt being a spirit deterrent.
Dean: Yeah. It won’t kill 'em. But it’ll slow ‘em down.
Sam: That’s pretty good. You and dad think of this?
Dean: I told you. You don’t have to be a college graduate to be a genius.

1.10 Asylum

While investigating the Roosevelt Asylum, in Rockford, Illinois, Sam and Dean enter the Asylum armed with shotguns and rock salt. Dean is able to dispatch the spirit of Sanford Ellicott when he salt and burns Ellicot's remains.

1.13 Route 666

Sam and Dean fish out the remains of Cyrus Dorian from a swamp and salt and burn his body. However, as some of the remains had fused with Dorian's truck salting and burning did work.

1.17 Hell House

Sam and Dean attempt to use shotgun shells filled with rock salt against Mordechai Murdoch, however when rock salt proves ineffective, they later realize they aren't dealing with a spirit, but tulpa.

1.19 Provenance

Sam, Dean and Sarah Blake salt and burn the remains of Isaiah Merchant, when they believe him to be the spirit behind the murders of his paintings owners.

1.22 Devil's Trap

While interrogating, and ultimately exorcising the demon Meg, Bobby salts all doors and windows in his home, as a means of keeping any other demons from entering. When rescuing their father who has been held captive in an apartment complex, Sam and Dean trap the demons guarding John in a closet, and place a line of salt in front of the door, Sam then proceeds to salt the bedroom door and the windowsill to keep any other demons from following them as the escape.

2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown

Thinking they are dealing with a spirit, Dean shoots the rakshasa with rock salt, which has no effect.

2.06 No Exit

Sam and Dean use Jo as bait to trap the ghost of Dr. H.H. Holmes in an underground chamber. When Holmes begins to approach Jo, she dives out of the chamber where several bags unroll and spill salt in a perfect circle around Holmes, trapping him forever.

2.16 Roadkill

Sam and Dean use rock salt to fight of the ghost of Jonah Greely, eventually finding his corpse and salting and burning it.

2.18 Hollywood Babylon

The idea of using salt is debated during the filming of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning. Eric Kripke has said that many of the remarks in this episode were actual comments from the network executives:

Tara: Salt. Doesn't that sound silly? I mean why would a ghost be afraid of salt?
McG: Marty, what do you think?
Marty: I'm not married to salt. Are we still sticking with condiments?
McG: Mmm, it just sounds different, not better. What else would a ghost be scared of?
Marty: Maybe shotguns.
McG: That makes even less sense than salt.

2.19 Folsom Prison Blues

While incarcerated at the Green River County Detention Center, investigating a haunting, Sam and Dean steal shakers of salt from the prison cafeteria. Believing the prison to be haunted by a prisoner named Moody, Sam sneaks into an old cellblock where Moody was placed, when he enters the Moody's cell, and lifts the cover on the bed, he finds a large bloodstain. He sprinkles salt and lighter fluid onto the bloodstain, lights a match and sets the bedding on fire.

Later while in solitary, Dean is confronted by the ghost of Nurse Glockner, and uses a his stolen salt shaker to repel her back. When Sam and Dean realize Glockner is the spirit haunting their prison, they learn where she is buried and make their escape from the prison and proceed to salt and burn the remains of Delores Glockner.

2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One

When Sam and the other Special Children are taken to Cold Oak, South Dakota, Sam tells the others to look for salt, iron and silver to use as weapons against whatever is happening. The group lines the windows and entrance of one of the abandoned buildings.

3.01 The Magnificent Seven

After coming face to face with the Seven Deadly Sins; Sam, Dean, Bobby, and Tamara hold up in a house and cover the entrances with salt lines for protection. Once the demons have defeated, they are shown salting and burning the bodies of the possessed that didn't survive.]]

3.06 Red Sky at Morning

Dean fires rock salt at the Sailor’s Ghost, in attempt to save Peter from being its next victim.

3.12 Jus in Bello

When the Sheriff's Department is laid siege by demons after Sam and Dean, they place road salt in front of the windows and entrances to keep demons from entering, and use shotgun shells filled with salt.

3.13 Ghostfacers

While investigating the Morton House, Sam and Dean use rock salt shotgun shells to dissipate Freeman Daggett. After Corbett is killed, Dean orders the Ghostfacers to make a ring of salt and stay in the circle.

4.01 Lazarus Rising

After Dean has been resurrected, he makes his way to a gas station, where he beings to loot it for supplies, when suddenly the TV and radio begin to turn on by themselves. Not missing a beat he goes to shelf and gets a carton of salt, and begins to pour it along the windowsill.

When Dean and Bobby set their trap for whatever resurrected Dean, the place a line of salt at the entrance of the barn.

4.02 Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester

A hunter named Olivia Lowry realizes her home has a spirit in it, and creates a salt line, however the spirit was on the same side as her as was able to attack and kill Olivia.

Sam and Dean learn of Bobby's panic room, and how it is 100% ghost proof, as it is solid iron completely coated in salt. Later when they are fighting off the Witnesses in Bobby's living room, Sam creates a slat circle to protect them while bobby tries to perform a spell to stop the ghosts.

4.10 Heaven and Hell

The Winchesters take Anna Milton to Bobby's panic room for protection, which has "iron walls drenched in salt."

4.11 Family Remains

When they believe they are dealing with a haunting, Sam and Dean tell the Carter family to stay in the salt circle. However the "ghost" was revealed to be human, and was able to cross the salt line.

When Sam is attacked by a young woman, who is possessed, he forces salt into her mouth, ejecting the ghost.

4.13 After School Special

When there is a haunting at an old high school Sam and Dean attended in 1997, they initially believe to be the ghost of a bullied boy Sam was friends with, who committed suicide, and precede to salt and burn his remains. They later learn that the spirit attacking people is that of Dirk McGregor a bully Sam stood up to. The brothers learn he was cremated, but that his father, a bus driver, keeps a lock of his hair in his Bible on his bus.

When Sam and Dean attempt to destroy the hair, they are confronted by Dirk who is possessing his father, and attempt to subdue him with rope soaked in salt water, while they look for the hair. He escapes and Sam shoots him with rock salt, expelling him from the body.

4.15 Death Takes a Holiday

When people stop dying in Greybull, Wyoming; Sam and Dean decide they need to have an out of body experience in order to make contact with the last person to die in the town, a boy named Cole Griffith. When the reaper Tessa is kidnapped by demons, Sam and Dean track her to a funeral home where they are onfronted by Alastair who shoots rock salt at them. The Winchester learn that being shot with salt not only forces a spirit to dissipate temporarily, but also inflicts pain on it.

4.16 On the Head of a Pin

Dean uses salt when he tortures Alastair, first by mixing it with holy water and pouring it down Alastair's mouth, and later by pouring salt on Ruby's knife and stabbing him with it.

4.17 It's a Terrible Life

In an alternate universe, Sam Wesson and Dean Smith, have to deal with a haunting at their place of employment. When learning about ghost hunting they watch a video by the Ghostfacers who tell them salt is like acid to ghosts.

When Dean is being attacked by the ghost of P.T. Sandover, Sam flings salt at him, causing Sandover to briefly dissipate.

4.19 Jump the Shark

Sam places salt along every window and door, while Adam boards up all the vents, as the prepare to face whatever killed Kate Milligan.

4.20 The Rapture

When Jimmy Novak sees that his neighbor is possessed by a demon, he attacks him and pours a line of salt at the doorway.

5.02 Good God, Y'All

The people of River Pass, Colorado use rock salt shells and salt lines to defend themselves from the "demons."

5.04 The End

Future Dean tells Dean that he has given him all the tests (silver, salt, holy water) while he was knocked out.

5.06 I Believe the Children Are Our Future

Julia Wright swallows salt after giving birth to Jesse Turner in order to force out the demon possessing her.

5.09 The Real Ghostbusters

Dean salt and burns the remains of Leticia Gore. However when it is reveled that Leticia was keeping the Ghost Children, Sam and Dean gather all the Con attendees in the auditorium and lay down a salt line at the entrance. Later Demian and Barnes salt and burn the remains of the Ghost Children, saving Sam and Dean.

5.10 Abandon All Hope...

Dean and Sam use salt as a barrier to keep out the hellhounds. They later assemble a bomb using propane, wiring, rock salt and iron nails, for Jo to use when the hellhounds inevitable break in, allowing for Sam and Dean to escape.

5.20 The Devil You Know

After escaping the hellhound, Dean takes Brady to the end of an alley where he begins to pour a salt-line. Trapping Brady, allowing Sam to get his revenge for the death of Jess.

6.01 Exile on Main St.

To prove he is real to Dean, Sam cuts himself with a silver blade and then puts some salt in a jug of water and drinks it.

6.04 Weekend at Bobby's

Bobby reveals to Dean an alternate method for killing a lamia, which involves dousing it in salt and rosemary, and setting it on fire.

6.09 Clap Your Hands If You Believe...

Salt (as well as sugar) is revealed to be a major weakness of fairies, who must count each grain if it is spilled in front of them, no matter how powerful they are.

6.10 Caged Heat

While being chased by a hellhound in Crowely's monster prison; Sam, Dean, Castiel and Meg barricade themselves in a hallway by placing a salt line at the entrance.

6.14 Mannequin 3: The Reckoning

Sam tells Johnny he needs to stay inside the salt line, until the Winchesters can take care of the ghost of Rose Brown.

6.15 The French Mistake

Salt is one of the ingredients in Balthazar's alternate universe spell.

6.21 Let It Bleed

Ben uses a salt gun against demons, while Dean carries Lisa out of the warehouse they were being held captive in.

Salt in Lore

The practice of putting down an enclosing ring of salt (or salting the doors and windows of a room) for protection lies in the lore that a vampire or demon cannot cross the line without counting each grain. The impossibility of this task thus prevents the demon from crossing the threshold/line, and thus a thicker line is used where the threat is greater.

In vampire lore, it is not required to be salt - it can be any form of grain (rice, millet, etc).

According to Christian demonology, demons and the Devil in particular hate salt. Salt is used as a talisman against evil (e.g. rock salt worn as an amulet), preemptive defensive magic, to dispel enchantment, and is used in a variety of spells both ancient and modern.

The popularity of salt could be related to the fact that salt is a natural preservative and antiseptic that has long been used as a purifying agent in folk magic. In some Christian rituals of baptism, especially in Catholicism, salt is put on the lips of the child during the ceremony of the baptism as a symbol of wisdom. The dislike for bread can be explained because it represents the body of Jesus for Christians and is transubstantiated into his flesh during the Mass.

Salt's power may be attributed to its purity. However, there are those who hold that in magic salt may actually represent semen [1].

In 1977 rock salt and a rock salt shotgun were used in the Doctor Who episode "Image of the Fendahl" written by Chris Boucher. The rock salt was used to kill the psychokinetic fendahleen.

Doctor: Sodium chloride. Obviously affects the conductivity, ruins the overall electrical balance, and prevents control of the localized disruption of the osmotic pressures.
Leela: Salt kills it.
Doctor: I just said that. Probably the origin of throwing it over your shoulder.

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