Saving people, hunting things, the family business… the Winchester brothers were raised by their father to hunt and kill the monstrous things that go bump in the night. Presented are my personal selections of fun standalone episodes, each featuring a creature synonymous with the show.
The second episode of the entire series gives us a great monster in the Wendigo. The Wendigo feeds on humans that enter its woods. Having once been human themselves, Wendigos are formed when a human resorts to cannibalism and retains the compulsive need to continue feeding their newfound taste for human flesh. It’s seen mostly in shadow or with its presence suggested off camera, so the episode gives the creature a menacing predatory nature like that of Jaws.
This episode features a malevolent scarecrow killing couples in a town, but Dean discovers it’s actually a pagan deity that the townspeople worship. The autumn weather and foggy night of the orchard are great imagery, as the scarecrow stalks and chases down its victims not unlike Jason Voorhees.
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (S02E04)
When Angela Mason, a girl thought to be killed in a car accident, is seen walking around, Dean and Sam begin investigating her death while also trying to figure out her resurrection. The episode deals with a zombie taking revenge on the living and the idea that the baggage of relationships doesn’t leave you, even after you die.
Crossroad Blues (S02E08)
As Dean and Sam are investigate a strange death, this episode introduces crossroads demons. Staples of the show, they act as deal brokers between humans and the supernatural, where a person will make a deal with the demon (most likely by selling their soul) in exchange for something they want, whether it be a skill, money, or love.
An episode that parodies the likes of television shows Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, this follows the perspective of camera operators on a hack team of paranormal investigators who stumble upon an actual ghost with murderous intent. Crazy and alone, he would steal corpses from the hospital and throw a birthday party in his bomb shelter as he played with them.
One of my favorite things about monster movies is the struggle of holding on to one’s humanity, and that’s the focus of this episode, as Jack Montgomery learns that he is actually the son of a rugaru: a monster that is born human but later (much like the process of puberty) begins to transform into a pig-craving monster.
Monster Movie (S04E05)
This episode acts as a fun homage to classic Universal horror by being black and white and using classic horror movie music and effects. Strange things start going down at Oktoberfest, leading Sam and Dean to investigate a creature who has a fondness for the classic monster movies.
Live Free or Twihard (S06E05)
A clever jab at the popularity of Twilight, this episode features a vampire using pretty boy teen vampires under his control to lure in Twilight-obsessed fan girls to be fed on or turned for his brood. When the brothers figure out the head vampire’s plans, one gets bitten by him, but has a small window if time to infiltrate the nest and kill the head to regain his humanity.
In a show about the supernatural and monsters, only a few episodes dealt with werewolves — especially noticeable when compared to the amount of episodes about vampires. This episode is shot found footage style, from the perspective of some college friends, when one of them is attacked.
Article by contributor Cody Stovall.