The Key References That Inspired The Supernatural Creators
Supernatural has tons of crazy Biblical and myth references that inspired the creation of the Universe! Here’s a great way to wrap up Supernatural season 15 and take a look at some awesome legends standing behind the characters. Unfold the most surprising biblical references from this show together with us!
How does Castiel from the show differ in the Bible and why? What do Allan Poe, Ghost Ship, and Croatoan have in common with Supernatural? Which myths did writers twist upside down and which ideas turned out to be cool and which were completely absurd? Here are the best Biblical and Myth stories that inspired the creation of the Supernatural Universe!
Supernatural made Venom cool again before Tom Hardy tried to do so. Leviathans were the first beasts created by God. But you know, the first attempt is rarely successful, so they were cast down to Purgatory so they won’t destroy the world with their hunger. In the show Leviathans can also mimic humans simply after touching one or having some of their DNA.
And although these big-mouthed cutes were cool, the real Leviathans from the original myths would bring some … latitude, pun intended, to the story. The original Leviathan was a creature in the form of a sea serpent from the Hebrew Bible. Of course, you can find mentionings of Leviathans in other religious writings but 19th-century scholars made the logical assumption that the myth spoke about large aquatic creatures and the name was later adopted to describe "great whales”.
But the pick of popularity for the term happened in 2010 when a sea monster that quote CNN was three times the size of a modern-day killer whale. The researchers discovered the remains of a giant ancient creature in the desert of Peru. One of the team scientists explained:
"There were no elephants in South America before 3 million years ago, and the specimens found have an age of 12 to 15 million years, so that was impossible."
The jaws that were found were 9,8 feet long and the scientific measurements let them assume that the whole animal was around 19,6 feet tall. It now has a name of "Leviathan Melvillei" - after the above mentioned mythical creature and Herman Melville, the author of the novel about the most notorious whale - Moby Dick.
Well, there’s no common belief among different nations’ folklore of what may kill Vampires. The most popular tools to protect yourself from the undead are garlic, religious attributes like a crucifix, rosary, or holy water and of course sunlight that can burn up that devilish ass a bit.
"What We Do in the Shadows" mocks all of these Vampire lores using satire but John Winchester absolutely cuts them off. According to John, the folklore apotropaics do not work in the Supernatural universe and even staking them with aspen in the heart won’t help. So the “wayward sons” kill off the creatures by beheading them.
But the weirdest writers’ folklore alteration is Vamptonite - a deadly cocktail of human blood that was altered by a Leviathan and corn syrup. We’ll take the risk to assume that the Canadian variation would have maple syrup instead… and YET! Here’s something much more intriguing!
The Croatoan virus in Supernatural wasn’t as catastrophic as the Resident Evil’s G virus and yet it’s a highly interesting story. So in the series, Croatoan is a disease described as a "blood-borne virus" that is demonic in origin and turns infected people into vicious murderers.
John Winchester once said that this virus was the source of the disappearance of the Roanoke Colony in 1587. This mysterious disappearance of almost 100 people indeed happened during the early attempts of pilgrims colonizing North America. John White and his colony landed on an island and then he had to leave to Britain with a bunch of his guys to get some supplies for the colony.
But when he returned 3 years later, he didn’t find any trace of his fellow citizens. The settlement was left abandoned and there was no trace of people or their bodies except for a mysterious inscription carved on a tree that said “Croatoan”.
Croatoan is the name of an island not far away from that original settlement and a native American tribe lived there. So yeah, Winchester’s idea that a virus killed the people cannot be quite right, ‘cause where would the bodies vanish to? However the Croatoan mystery spreads far beyond that. In the series, those infected with the virus would leave the same “Croatoan” inscription.
Our guess is that the writer got inspired by the stories of people leaving the same notes in our world. Some sources claim that a famous horror stories writer Ambrose Bierce had “croatoan” word carved under his bed after he mysteriously vanished in 1913. The legends also say that Edgar Allan Poe himself was mumbling the word “croatoan” in a delirious state on his deathbed.
And if that’s not enough - in 1912 Carroll A. Deering's ship was found not damaged but with absolutely no crew or passengers aboard with everything set as though they vanished in the middle of their daily activities. The ship was found around Cape Hatteras, which is close to what was the Croatoan Island. Coincidence?
As it turns out Castiel is not a Biblical name but it’s very close to an actual angel’s name - Cassiel. We come across Cassiel in Jewish, Christian and some Islamic mystical works and it means "Speed of God" or "God is my anger". He is described as one of three "guardians of the entrance of the seventh palace".
Though the show doesn’t have the character of Jesus, it’s very peculiar that Castiel is the only angel that was resurrected after death that makes us think about the allegories the writers may imply here. Now we finally know why the showrunners wouldn't show Castiel’s real angelic form! Cas once describes his angelic form as a "multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent" that’s around the size of the Chrysler Building in New York, which is by the way 1047 feet in height.
But the Angel’s Biblical embodiment seems to be even cooler! Angels in the Bible are sometimes described as having a couple of faces, like of a lion, ox and eagle and do not look like the cute tushy-naked Cupids. Castiel was promoted as a seraph, so judging from a passage in the Book of Isaiah he should be a six-winged being, whose Biblical duties are to fly around the Throne of God crying "holy, holy, holy". So yeah, for the showrunners it would be pretty expensive to CGI Castiel according to Bible.
Well, one of the writers probably has some marital issues here. We know well from the story of the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman who gave life to their descendants. But we sometimes forget that Eve wasn’t Adam’s first wife in Jewish mythology. Before Eve’s creation, Adam was with Lilith.
She eventually became to be seen as a dangerous demon of the night after she left Adam because she didn’t want to be subservient. Then she coupled with Samael (debatably Lucifer himself) gave birth to various demons. So Lilith is basically the mother of demons. In the series, however, the writer brings a kinder idea of why Lilith is regarded as evil, stating that in their universe she was one of the first humans but got corrupted by Lucifer who turned her soul into a demon. In the show, however, Eve is the one who takes over the place of Lilith and produces baby monsters.
Yep, no matter what you do, in the eyes of the show writers Adam’s wife is pure evil. And while we meet the character of Adam, Adam Milligan is not the Adam we were expecting to see, having no connection to the marital debacles I described before.
Amara turned out to be one of the most peculiar innovations brought by the writers. Just like in the series, Lucifer, where God was given a wife, CW’s character of God aka Chuck also got involved in some hard family drama but with his… sister this time.
In the show when God decided to implement the Creation of the world he sacrificed his sister Amara - the embodiment of Darkness and kept her in a prison sealed with a Mark that would keep her away from ruining the balance of his Creation. Of course, we know for sure that God doesn’t have a sister in Biblical writings but there may be a reason why the writer chose this character.
Fans of Mark Levi's family drama stories know very well how tangled family bonds maybe, full of love and hatred at the same time. In our world, the name Amara can be discovered in Nigeria and means “grace, mercy, kindness” in the native Igbo language.
You can also find the same name in Spanish speaking countries where it’s most likely a derivative from a Latin word “Amare” which means love.
Though Amara is an embodiment of Darkness, she is a loving sister. All these nasty things, like tearing up the world, were out of love for her brother. In that scene in season 11 episode 23, she tells Chuck that the only thing she really wanted was to get back with her brother. Yep, it's a weird way of showing your love and yet her name was a hint at the core of the problem from the writers all along. Speaking of that Mark that kept Amara trapped in Hell…
Cain and Abel
The story of two brothers and the first murderer is a well-known story and it’s cool that the writers decided to twist it, basically making Cain a good guy sacrificing himself so his brother could go to heaven. When Lucifer tried to corrupt Abel’s soul, Cain made a deal with Lucifer that he’d go to Hell, in exchange for his brother who’d be sent to heaven.
Besides this lovely twist, it turns out that the writers change the properties of the Mark itself. In the Bible, The Mark of Cain was a course that forced Cain to wander on Earth for eternity. Simply put - Cain cannot die at all.
However, in the show, the one who possesses the Mark can be killed but resurrects as a demon. We’ve seen this happen with Cain and Dean.
The show writers made a very unexpected twist and turned one of the most sensitive folklore creatures into one of the most vicious killers. In the show, Banshee produced a high-pitched scream that would draw its victims crazy and make them smash their heads to escape the torture.
In real-life, a Banshee is far more fragile and originates from Irish mythology. It’s believed to be a woman spirit that senses the death of a family member and heralds it with her scream, wailing or shrieking. A Banshee's voice was never meant to be deadly. It’s also said that one of the Banshee’s duties was to warn selected members of ancient Irish families before they would leave our world. So the superpower of fighting enemies with one's voice as we saw in X Men or Teenwolf are not from the original tales.
While it’s clear that the show has drawn some inspiration from the Bible, myth, and folklore, it’s not trying to be a religious series but rather a tale of brave adventures in a world where legendary supernatural powers are real.