Season 1 Episode 17 Hell House
This episode opens with a group of teenagers approaching an abandoned and dilapidated house. When they go inside, there are symbols on the floor. One of the boys keeps talking about things that ‘they say.’ Whatever it is, they say it’s in the basement. When the teenagers go into the basement, they find a dead girl hanging from the ceiling.
The brothers are driving in the car and going over the story about the house in Texas. Sam tells Dean about the spirit that hangs girls.
When they arrive in Texas, the brothers find the teenagers at a drive-in diner and interview them. They all have different stories, telling them that the dead girl’s hair was black, blonde and red, depending on which kid was talking. All the kids said another boy named Craig told them about the house, and the brothers find him working at a local record store.
Craig tells them that supposedly a farmer named Mordechai Murdoch lived at the house in the 1930’s. The family had no money so the farmer thought it would be better to kill his daughters than for them to starve to death so he hung them. Craig is clearly freaked out over the dead girl in the basement and says that he didn’t really believe the story was true.
Sam and Dean pay a visit to Hell House. Dean says they aren’t getting a correct EMF reading. They go inside the house and find symbols spray-painted all over the walls. The weird thing is, one of the symbols didn’t exist until after the death of Murdoch. There is one symbol that Dean recognizes, though he can’t quite place where he’s seen it.
Sam goes to the library to investigate the story and finds a Martin Murdoch, who did have children, but they were boys and there is no record that he ever killed anyone. Dean had no luck investigating any missing girls, either. They figure the case isn’t supernatural after all and decide to leave.
Another teenager breaks into Hell House on a dare. A ghost comes up behind her and hangs her from the ceiling, killing her. Sam and Dean return to the case, thinking they must have missed something.
After getting past the police and into the house, Dean picks up one of the jars of weird crap that are sitting on the shelf in the basement. The first group of teenagers picked one up, and the girl that died the previous night picked one up and dropped it on the floor right before the ghost hanged her.
Sure enough, they hear a noise so Dean puts the jar back. It initially turns out to be rats, only initially, though, as the crazy ghost shows up behind them. They shoot the ghost with rock salt, but it doesn’t work. The brothers run out of the house and back to their motel room where they are trying to figure out the case. The ghost is only supposed to go after women, so Dean is puzzling over why it attacked them. Sam points out he was supposed to have hung himself, but had slit wrists. He also attacked them with an axe, which wasn’t in any of the stories. Sam then notices the web site has posted an updated story that matches what just happened to them in the house.
That is when Dean remembers where he saw the symbol from the house and heads to the record store. The symbol is the logo for the band Blue Oyster Cult. They ask Craig, and he tells them about how his cousin and him painted all the symbols as a joke. The story then spread and took on a life of its own.
Sam thinks the spirit could be a tulpa. He tells Dean an example of monks that concentrated on a Golem so hard that it came to life. Sam thinks that the story spread online where thousands of people read and then believe in the story. The wall of the house has a Tibetan Spirit sigil that concentrates meditative thoughts. Sam posits that it could have brought the tulpa to life and that also explains why the ghost keeps changing.
The brothers go to visit the paranormal investigators that run the site and had shown up in town to tell them to take down the web site. They refuse to shut the website down, so the brothers trick them. They get them to agree to shut the web site down if Sam and Dean tell them the new information they learned, knowing the guys will post the information rather than actually shut the site down. The ‘new information’ is conveniently that Mordechai died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound from a .45 pistol. To this day, Mordechai is terrified of them, and ‘they say’ that if you shoot him with a .45 loaded with special iron rounds (is that supposed to be a euphemism for bullets?) it will kill him.
They go back to the house, ready to shoot Mordechai, but the paranormal investigators turn up, startling them. It turns out that they put the story up but their server crashed so the story didn’t take, meaning Mordechai is still an axe-wielding spirit with slit wrists.
When the brothers return to the house and find out that their plan didn’t work, they end up in a physical altercation with Mordechai, as Sam fights with him to help the paranormal investigators escape. Meanwhile, Dean is putting gasoline around the house, preparing to torch the place. He uses an aerosol can as a makeshift torch to help Sam and then they run outside. Dean figured if Mordechai can’t leave the house, and there is no house to haunt, there is no Mordechai.
Dean demonstrates some real sibling maturity as he puts a plastic spoon in Sam’s mouth while he’s sleeping and then takes of picture of him like that. Sam wakes up and is pissed off. He doesn’t want to start up ‘that prank stuff’ again.
Sam tells Dean he got some of his information on the case off of a web site called Hellhound’s Lair.
One of the teenagers tells them that the house was full of ‘Pentecostals’, which are a religious group, rather than pentagrams.
While Sam and Dean are investigating the house, they are surprised by the sudden appearance and extremely bright lights of the ‘paranormal investigators’ who run the Hellhound’s Lair website. Sam and Dean take great amusement in needling them by asking about EMF as if they don’t know what it is, letting the ‘paranormal investigators’ explain it all to them.
As the brothers decide to give up on the investigation, Dean gets in the car. Sam seems to be waiting outside for a second and as Dean turns on the car, the reason becomes apparent. Sam turned Dean’s stereo to some Latin dance music station and turned the volume all the way up, blasting Dean with the music as he starts the car.
While Sam and Dean are trying to figure out how to get in the house with the police surrounding it, the paranormal investigators return. Dean calls out a line from Ghostbusters and runs out of the house to get the cops attention, who then chase after the paranormal investigators, distracting the cops so that Sam and Dean can get in the house.
While Sam is in the shower, Dean pours itching powder all over his clothes. Later, Sam thinks he’s allergic to the soap and Dean just starts laughing.
While they are eating dinner, Sam put crazy glue on Dean’s beer. When he drinks it, the bottle is stuck to his hand.
The paranormal investigators tell Sam and Dean that a Hollywood producer called them and wants to buy the rights to make a film about Hell House after seeing their web site. After they drive away, Sam tells Dean he has a confession to make. Sam was the one who called them and said he was a producer. Dean laughs hysterically. Then Dean tells Sam he put a dead fish in their backseat. It’s a great brotherly bonding moment, especially capping off their prank war.
Impersonation of the Week:
Sam and Dean pretend to be reporters with the Dallas Morning News when they talk to Craig.
Sam and Dean get coffee at the drive-in diner.
Later, they are drinking beer and eating dinner. Dean has broccoli on his plate.
For a CW show, Supernatural is really not big on shirtless scenes. One of the few in the series occurs in this episode when Sam comes out of the shower in a towel.
State of the Week:
Blue Oyster Cult have a strong presence in this episode, particularly the song “Burnin’ For You.”
“Sorry, not a lot of scenery here in east Texas. Kind of gotta make your own.” – Dean
“It’s stupid and it always escalates.” – Sam
“I’m sorry, that pot we smoked gave me the giggles.” – one of the paranormal investigators
“That’s all you got? That’s weak.” – Dean
“Who you gonna call?” – Dean
“Hey Sam, I dare you to take a swig of this.” – Dean
“What the hell would I do that for?” – Sam
“I double dare you.” – Dean
“I hate rats.” – Dean
“You’d rather it was a ghost?” – Sam
“Yes.” – Dean
“Man, I think I’m allergic to our soap or something.” – Sam
“W.W.B.D. What would Buffy do?” – one of the paranormal investigators
“Oh, look at that. Action figures in their original packaging. What a shock.” – Dean
“It kind of makes you wonder, of all the things we’ve hunted, how many existed just because people believed in them.” – Sam
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Supernatural: Season 1