Samhain

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Samhain001.jpg
Name Samhain
Actor Don McManus
Dates Exorcised in 1408[1]
Exorcised in 2008 by Sam Winchester[1]
Location Hell
Occupation Upper-class Demon
Episode(s) 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

History

Samhain is a special type of demon. When he reigned on Earth on Halloween night, people kept their children in that night, wore masks to hide from him, carved pumpkins to worship him, and left sweets at their doors to appease him. In this way, Samhain was the origin of modern-day Halloween. He is known to have had brother and sister witches serving him; these witches would later be known by the aliases Don Harding and Tracy Davis. At the time, Samhain took Tracy for a lover as well as a servant. In 1408, Samhain was exorcised by an unknown force.[1]

Samhain can be summoned out of the confines of Hell by two witches through three human sacrifices over three days, the last of which must occur on the final day of Celtic harvest, the 31st of October, the American Halloween. This ritual can only be attempted every 600 years. As such, Samhain's servants had to wait and prepare until the year 2008 before they could attempt to raise him again. They succeeded, but Don was killed for the third sacrifice and Tracy was murdered by Samhain himself, with Samhain using Don's corpse as his host.[1]

Samhain's rise is one of the 66 Seals holding Lucifer's Cage. The summoning of the demon in 2008, during the time the seals were being broken by Lilith's forces, broke this seal despite the efforts of the hunters Sam and Dean Winchester and of the angels Castiel and Uriel.[1]

Characteristics

Samhain has pale gray (or possibly blue[2]) irises, black pupils, and white sclerae.[1] His unique eye color may mean that he is somewhere between the white-eyed demons, such as Lilith, and the black-eyed demons, such as Ruby.

Powers and Abilities

  • Once on Earth, Samhain can raise supernatural creatures (such as ghosts and zombies) at will, without the use of any spells.[1]
  • Samhain has superhuman strength and durability.[1]
  • Samhain can emanate a demonic blast of white energy from his palms that can decimate almost any target.[1]

Weaknesses

  • Unusually for a demon, Samhain has incredibly poor vision. In this way, he can be tricked by obstructions to people's faces (e.g. blood, a mask) into believing them to be dead or non-human, and leaving them alone.[1]
  • The ritual to raise Samhain can only be attempted every 600 years.[1]
  • It is possible that Samhain can be killed with Ruby's knife.[1]
  • Sam Winchester is immune to Samhain's white light attack and can exorcise him with his powers even when low on demon blood, albeit with great concentration and difficulty.[1]

Episodes

Samhain's meatsuit after being exorcised by Sam.

4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

Wanting to summon Samhain, two witches named Tracy Davis and Don Harding (actually centuries-old siblings) start performing the sacrifices needed to summon Samhain. This draws the attention of the Winchesters and the angels as the raising of Samhain is one of the 66 Seals. Sam and Dean kill Don, but Tracy reveals herself and successfully summons Samhain, breaking the seal. Samhain possesses Don's body and recognizes Tracy before killing her. Samhain is unable to tell that Sam and Dean are alive due to a "mask" of blood they smeared on their faces so he leaves them alone.

Samhain travels to a mausoleum where a bunch of high school students are having a party, locks them in and summons zombies and at least one ghost that attack. Sam and Dean rescue most of the kids and Dean deals with the monsters while Sam faces Samhain. Sam proves immune to Samhain's power so they fight hand to hand, but even with Ruby's knife, Sam is no match for the demon. Finally, in the end, Sam manages to exorcise Samhain with his powers and sends him back to Hell.

Samhain in Lore

Samhain - properly pronounced "sa-win" as opposed to how the demon's name is pronounced in the show (which is as spelled) - originated as a Celtic end of summer and harvest festival and was named after the Celtic name for the month. It later became associated with the Christian All Souls' Day, also known as the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in Spanish cultures. Some of the rituals associated with Samhain are now seen in Halloween traditions.

Trivia

  • Tracy Davis's complaint about her experiences when waiting 600 years to summon her master indicates that Samhain was exorcised in the year 1408. Stephen King fans might recognize this number as the title of a short story King wrote which was first published in 1999 and later adapted into a 2007 movie, about a mysterious, malicious entity that warps the minds of anyone who enters Room 1408 at the Hotel Dolphin, and ultimately kills them. "1+4+0+8" also adds up to the number 13, which has a number of meanings but is most notorious as an unlucky number to the superstitious.

External links

References