A Hunter’s Guide to Supernatural’s Ghost Types

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For 14 seasons, Sam and Dean Winchester have come up against a plethora of monsters, demons, angels and, on more than a few occasions, actual gods. While all of these have been formidable opponents for the hunting duo, some of their most iconic confrontations have come when they've taken on one of horror's most classic baddies -- ghosts.

From the first episode of The CW series, spirits have stayed at the forefront in more ways than one. Here is a look at some of the most powerful, and influential ghosts, that have appeared in Supernatural.

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Two kinds of ghosts that are similar in many ways are Death Echoes and Death Omens. The first of which is a ghost that is stuck reenacting the events of their death over and over in a loop. These entities are considered mostly harmless and can usually be shocked into moving on, usually by someone the Echo had a relationship with while they were alive.

A Death Omen is a warning to a living person that they are going to die. Most of the time, these spirits usually manifest themselves as a person who was killed by the person hunting their hauntee. In some situations, the best way to allow a Death Omen to move on is to get the justice they never received while they were alive.

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Hailing from Scandanavian folklore, Mylings are the souls of unbaptized children who roam the earth until they can entice someone to provide them a proper burial. They are dangerous creatures that often seek out lone wanderers, demanding they take them to a graveyard. Those who don't fulfill a Mylings' request will more than likely lose their life.

Sam and Dean first came into contact with a Myling in Season 12 of Supernatural. After a brief encounter with the spirit of Lucas Kellinger, a young boy who was murdered by Hugo Moriarty, Sam begins to suspect that Lucas and the other murdered children they encounter are, in fact, Mylings. Once Dean finds Moriarty's remains and salts and burns them, Lucas and the other children begin to ascend to Heaven.

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A staple of the hit CW series, Poltergeists are a type of ghostly spirit that's purpose is to gain as much attention as possible from those it haunts. A common misconception about the creature is that a Poltergeist is not a human spirit, but a different entity altogether. As the Winchester's came to learn, you can rid yourself of a Poltergeist by salting and burning its remains, something they discovered in their father's journal.

The most likely explanation as to how a Poltergeist comes to exist is that a human spirit can become one by having the drive to seek attention. When that transformation occurs, the entity becomes invisible, which makes identifying where their remains may be all that much more difficult.

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One of the more unique Supernatural creatures, Revenants are beings that have rose from the dead but are unaware of the fact they have died.  They usually have either forgotten or suppressed the events of their deaths. Unlike other ghosts, once a Revenant manifests itself, it's able to maintain its presence in the world of the living.

The easiest way to help a Revenant pass on is to help it resolve the issues that keep it tethered to earth. This scenario worked in the case of Molly McNamara, who died in a car accident and every year on the anniversary of the collision would cause others to run off the road she was haunting.

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Only appearing during Season 8 of Supernatural, a Specter is a type of ghost that possesses living beings. Their sole intent is to have the body they're inhabiting act on any grudges they may have, no matter how minimal those grudges may be. The creation of a Specter is usually due to someone's death involving a betrayal of some sort.

Once a Specter possesses someone, they become aware of their presence but don't fight it because of the ghost's powerful influence. If the entity latches on to a living being who doesn't hold any grudges, the Specter becomes powerless, as there is no grudge the ghost can try to settle.

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An oldie but a goodie for Supernatural fans is the Woman in White, who made its debut in the pilot of the series. Usually the spirit of a deceased beautiful woman, Woman in White typically manifest after a woman suffers from issues in a romantic relationship and ultimately commits suicide. They roam the earth in search of men who are unfaithful to their spouses to kidnap. If they are unable to find a worthy candidate, they'll influence the living to be unfaithful.

The Woman in White the Winchester brother face-off against in the pilot, Constance Welch, haunts a highway where she disguises herself as a beautiful hitchhiker to entice men into being unfaithful. Sam and Dean ultimately force Constance back to her old home, where she encounters the spirits of her children. Once they embrace, Constance passes over to the afterlife.

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Another couple of recurring ghost types are the Vengeful and Violent Spirits. Both of these are very dangerous, but the latter is amongst the most lethal in the series. A Violent Spirit is usually the ghost of an evil person who is fueled by nothing but cruelty. One of the most notable Violent Spirits was Jacob Karns, also known as the Hookman, who after his death murdered those he felt had sinned.

Vengeful Spirits, on the other hand, are typically the ghost of someone who had wrong done to them during their life. From beyond the grave, they've dedicated their existence to avenging what happened and will not rest until their mission is complete. A Vengeful Spirit's power can be so strong that they spread it onto others who have or are doing something similar to their death.

Returning Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW for its final season, Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, and Alexander Calvert.

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