Back in the day, Supernatural wasn’t really about long, drawn-out Heaven and Hell arcs. It was more of an episodic horror show, with each episode having a monster of the week that Sam and Dean would have to hunt down. It held the same amount of emotional drama as the current episodes of the show tends to but nonetheless, it was definitely more about the scares.
Some people who jumped on the bandwagon late may find it hard to imagine the CW show as a genuinely scary piece of entertainment, but believe us, it was pretty creepy in the old days. Here are the top ten spookiest episodes you should watch (or rewatch)!
10 The Pilot
The pilot is the very first episode, the one that started it all, of course. We meet the Winchesters, a seemingly nice, loving family - Mom, Dad, and two kids, Sam and Dean. One night, the father falls asleep in front of the television, and awakes to his wife murdered in his son’s bedroom.
Cut to the present day, and he’s hunting whatever killed her, and has raised his sons to be hunters too. The premise for the show was genuinely creepy, with a demon lurking in the shadows that they’re hunting down, and setting up the two brothers at odds about their lifestyle.
9 The Benders
This episode makes the list because it proved that sometimes, humans are the scariest monsters.
In the fifteenth episode of season one, Sam and Dean head to Minnesota where a young boy witnessed a man vanishing into thin air. During the episode, Sam is abducted by whatever they think they’re hunting - at this point, assuming it to be something supernatural. They come to realize in the episode that the monsters are actually humans who use other humans as prey in their hunting games.
Yep - exactly why this episode is one of the creepiest. It’s an actual scenario that could happen, because there’s no supernatural force at work.
In season two, the brothers find a town infected by a virus that drives people insane and causes them to become murderers. In many ways, this episode is like a mini zombie movie, and it’s an important episode to remember because it comes into play again in season four, when the brothers see an alternative universe in which the virus has actually taken over.
But the episode in itself is creepy, especially because there’s a moment in which Sam is infected and Dean has to make a choice about whether or not to kill him. So it’s not just a scary episode in terms of the horror; there are some moments that will make you want to cry.
Supernatural has always been good at doing both.
The episode right after is back to another almost classic horror movie plot. Sam and Dean run into a woman who jumps in front of their car screaming for help because a crazy farmer is trying to murder her. After investigation, they discover that the man is a spirit who kills someone at the same time every year, and they have to put a stop to it.
It's almost a fun horror episode, because the plot is classic and easy to follow (although there's definitely one big twist), but there are a couple of scares in there that might make you jump if you choose to watch it alone at night. For a CW show, Supernatural certainly has its moments.
6 Everybody Loves A Clown
Clowns are a pretty classic horror movie trope. Many people have a fear of clowns because although they’re designed to entertain kids, people often take the designs too far and make them frightening. Even classic horror tales often involve clowns.
And this episode will make you even more afraid of them. A clown befriends children and persuades them to open up their home so he can kill their parents.
Even the thought of being a kid who accidentally got their parents murdered is horrifying. But then again, surely most children would be too afraid to let such a frightening looking being into their home…
5 No Exit
If you have a fear of being buried alive, this episode may affect you deeply.
It’s another classic horror, as the old episodes tend to be. The Winchester brothers are investigating a ghost who turns out to be the first ever serial killer. Their friend Jo is captured by him and ends up being buried alive.
They do manage to save her, but when she’s buried alive, it’s really tense. As we know, the show has no qualms about killing off characters, so it seemed pretty likely that this might be her way of dying. If you’re at all claustrophobic, this will hands down be one of the scarier episodes for you.
4 No Rest For The Wicked
The season three finale is horrifying, and actually would have been a satisfying - if grim - end to the series as a whole. It takes place during the final hours of Dean’s life, when his deal with the Crossroads demon is almost up and a Hellhound is coming to drag him to Hell.
For a while, it seems impossible; surely they won’t kill off one of their main characters? But the frantic race against time during the episode ends, and the Hellhound is let in. The moments in which it’s ripping Dean to shreds are absolutely and utterly horrifying, and the scene where Dean is chained up with hooks through his joints in Hell is even worse.
Abandoned asylums are spooky settings that are often used for horror movies just because of how easy it is to bring the creepy factor in using them. And oh boy, does Supernatural do just that.
In the mid-season finale of season one, they find an asylum filled with spirits because the patients there were tortured by the staff. It’s implied they went through cruel and horrible things, and Dean eventually turns against Sam because the spirits have the same effect on him too.
It’s one of the few episodes where you can’t help but feel sorry for the monsters, though. If anything were to drive anyone insane…
Sam is contacted by an old friend who is accused of murder but claims to be innocent. After some investigation, the brothers find out that there’s a shapeshifter in the area, and this shifter eventually takes the shape of Dean.
What’s gross about this episode is that the monster literally sheds its skin, leaving human skin and gore wherever it changes. It helps the brothers, because they know when it changed if they find the skin sheds, but it’s still pretty gross and adds a whole other layer of horror factor.
It’s an earlier episode at the start of season one, and worth going back to. But not while you’re eating dinner.
1 Bloody Mary
Hands down the most frightening episode in the series is ‘Bloody Mary’. Everyone knows the legend of Bloody Mary. If you say her name in the mirror three times, she’ll appear.
This holds true for this episode, except she stalks the person until she kills them and can appear in any reflection - windows, mirrors, you name it. It’s the episode with the most jumpscares as she pops up in reflections unexpectedly until the person is murdered, and Sam and Dean have to try and smash mirrors that she’s in to drive her out and stop her.
This one will definitely get your heart racing.