|Powers and Abilities||Superior strength, cannibalistic urges.|
|Vulnerabilities||Staking in their coffin, beheading or obliteration of the head, headshot.|
|Episode(s)|| 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things|
4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
5.04 The End
5.20 The Devil You Know
5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight
7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler
An undead person commonly found in the spiritual belief system of voodoo. Zombies are humans who have had their soul stolen by supernatural means and are forced to work for their "zombie master". Another more morbid version, that are often portrayed in horror films, depict zombies as cannibalistic beings.
Zombies in Supernatural come in a variety of forms. They may be raised from the dead the use of spells and necromancy, by the demonic power of Samhain, and even raised by Death himself. Another group of beings that behave in a zombie-like manner are humans infected by the demonically engineered Croatoan virus. and those affected by the leviathan food-additive 
When first raised, their memories and personalities may be intact, and they can behave like normal, rational beings for several days before becoming violent and cannibalistic. Methods of dispatch generally involve beheading, staking, or fire. Depending on the zombie, Sam and Dean appear to have varying success with each method. When Sam and Dean first encounter a zombie, a woman named Angela Mason, they seem overwhelmed by the amount of lore on the walking dead and how to kill them:
- Dean: We can't just waste her with a head shot?
- Sam: Dude, you've been watching way too many Romero flicks.
- Dean: You're telling me there's no lore on how to smoke 'em?
- Sam: No, Dean. I'm telling you there's too much. I mean, there's a hundred different legends on the walking dead, but they all have different methods for killing them. Some say setting them on fire, one said... where is it... right here: feeding their hearts to wild dogs. That's my personal favorite. But who knows what's real and what's myth?
- Dean: Is there anything they all have in common?
- Sam: No, but a few said silver might work.
They shoot Angela Mason in the chest and head with silver bullets, which seems to slow her down but has no lasting effect other than making her angry. Other lore Sam finds suggests "nailing the undead back into their grave beds," so Dean stakes Angela in her coffin, finally dispatching her. When they encounter zombies a second time, Dean stakes two zombies in their coffins to dispatch them.
The next time they encounter zombies is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Sam says that they can be killed with a headshot. Like ghouls, it seems that obliterating their heads, not something that Sam and Dean attempted with Angela, can kill them. Those infected with the Croatoan virus can also be killed by shooting.
In Wilkes-Barr, Pennsylvania they encounter another group of zombies that was created by the Thule Society. The reanimated men could be killed with a head shot but will come back to life unless burned within twelve hours.
These vary according to the type of zombie involved. So far within the show there have been five types; the first being a person who has been reanimated through the use of black magic, the second being "Croats" - people afflicted with the Croatoan virus, the third being the more traditional cannibalistic zombies who were resurrected by Death, the fifth were people who had adverse reactions to the Leviathan food additive - becoming "mottled wretches," and finally Nazi necromancers.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman strength
- Superhuman speed
- Impervious to harm.
- Can cause the death of surrounding plant life.
- Head shot
- Being staked inside a coffin with silver.
- Complete obliteration of the body.
Angela Mason is raised from the dead by a friend who had a crush on her using an ancient Greek ritual. She goes around killing those who have wronged her. Her presence causes plants in the vicinity to die. Eventually Sam and Dean kill her by luring her back to her grave, and staking her in her own coffin.
Samhain raises the dead from their graves in the mausoleum.
Townfolk are raised by the Horseman Death and come back perfectly normal, until about 5 days later when they begin to kill. Among them was Bobby Singer's deceased wife Karen and Sheriff Jody Mills' son.
The Leviathans develop a plot to control the population. Dr. Gaines synthesizes a food additive which he has put into turducken which is served in a sandwich at a Biggerson's in New Jersey. It is very addictive, and consumption leads to weight gain, and dampens people's emotional responses until they are very apathetic. After cooking, the tainted turducken will revert back to the grey goo state.
However in 0.03% of cases consumption results in "hyper-adrenalised cannibalism" in which people turn become super strong, homicidal and cannibalistic. Dick Roman sees this side effect as a drawback, as it draws attention to their plans - and raises the specter that monsters do exist.
In World War II the Thule Society, led by Commandant Eckhart, carried out magical experiments on Jewish people in Vitsyebsk, Belarus that eventually led him and his followers to reanimate the dead. He wrote these notes in his red ledger. After Eckhart was forced to flee and leave his red ledger behind because of the arrival of the Golem, both the Thule Society and the Judah Initiative began searching for the book. Rabbi Bass found the book first, but was killed by Torvald, a follower of the Thule. The book and the Golem were passed on to Rabbi Bass' grandson Aaron, but they were eventually found by Eckhart and captured. They escaped and killed Eckhart and his men, whose bodies they burned to make sure none of them would return. The book is then kept safe by Sam and Dean while Aaron vows that he will continue on the work of his grandfather and the Judah Initiative and look after the Golem.
After learning of a man who died in a hit and run and has come back to life, Sam and Dean believe him to be a zombie, but he turns out to be the Greek Titan Prometheus - who is cursed to die each day and come back to life.
Good luck stopping the zombie apocalypse.
In 2.09 Croatoan, 5.04 The End, 5.20 The Devil You Know and 5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight, people infected with the Croatoan virus - called "croats" by Future!Dean - could be classed as zombies as they lose their sense of reason and become unthinking murderous creatures. They are part of the demonic plan for the Apocalypse.
Widespread distribution of the virus is planned using a new vaccine being produced by Niveus Pharmaceuticals - one contaminated with the Croataon virus. The vaccine is being rushed to stem an outbreak of flu caused by Pestilence. This potential disaster is prevented when Bobby, Sam and Castiel blow up the distribution warehouse - although only after battling some zombies.
Zombies in Lore
Zombie is a term used to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli. Of voodoo origin, the word initially referred to a curse cast by sorcerers (or bokors) allowing them to take control of a person's mind, therefore affecting his or her actions. However, due to significant influence of Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo on witchcraft mythology, this meaning soon morphed into that of a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Since the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, especially in North American and European folklore.
In popular culture, zombies take a number of forms. There are those raised from the dead by a spell or ritual or reanimated by some supernatural event (such as the movies of George Romero), or people turned into mindless violent cannibals by a virus (such as in the movie 28 Days Later or the Resident Evil franchise). Some are mindless, shuffling monsters - others cunning and quick. Methods of dispatch generally involve beheading, staking or fire.
- Elizabeth Marleau who played Karen Singer in 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me was unable to reprise the role for 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid as she was very obviously pregnant at the time, and the production team thought a "pregnant zombie wife...would have been more than the episode could handle"S5Com
- In the script for 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters, the term that was used for the Turducken Slammer victims was "mottled wretch."
- What do zombies mean? by Mark Dery
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
- The Zombie Shuffle phenomenon
- A comprehensive guide to zombies
- 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
- 8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler
- 4.07 It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
- 2.09 Croatoan
- 5.04 The End
- 5.20 The Devil You Know
- 5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight
- 7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
- The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester