As a devoted Supernatural fan and having done my crucial research I have come to a conclusion that essentially all of the characters on the show could be ghouls.
Let’s just take the Season 8 Opening Episode “We Need to Talk About Kevin” as an example: Sam and Dean are reunited once again after Dean’s year-long stint in Purgatory fighting all kinds of evil. As usual, Dean demands on carrying out all the regular checks to reassure himself and Sam that they are the real deal: Holy Water to check for a demon, Borax cleaning fluid to check for a Leviathan and a cut on the arm with a silver knife to check for a shapeshifter or, I guess, any other type of monster who is sensitive to silver.
(Side Note: Sam and Dean could be possessed by a ghost at this point and they could have easily checked that by just making themselves touch salt or iron but that’s for another article.)
Now we come to the point that haunts my days and nights:
What if the brothers were ghouls?
In the Season 4 episode, “Jump the Shark” we meet the adorable younger half-brother, Adam Milligan, who, as it turns out, was a ghoul the entire time and comes to an untimely end when Dean bashes his face in.
As viewers, we had never seen this creature before so I think we can be let off for not seeing this coming but Sam and Dean, on the other hand, really let their guard down despite the fact that Dean seemed weary at first that Adam was not who he said he was. The same, regular procedure followed when Sam and Dean thought they were meeting their younger brother; the drinking of Holy Water and the interaction with silver which apparently caused no ill effects to the ghoul.
At this point, everything seemed fine. Adam was “legit”…
Not for long. Later on in the episode, when Sam is cruelly tied up by Adam and his mother, who is also a ghoul, we find out more about these creatures including how they can shapeshift into the last person they ate, whether that person be alive or dead. (Adam just happened to be “still alive when we took our first bite.” How lovely.)
These ghouls normally live in graveyards, feeding off the dead however some, including the two shown in this episode, get greedy and start to desire a taste for the living. Other qualities include receiving the memories and thoughts of the person they last ate, which can be seen through the ghoul’s knowledge on Adam and his father.
Whilst researching more about these creatures I discovered they also appear to have super strength, super speed and are more durable than humans. Also, as shown in this episode when Dean declares “headshots”, decapitation or, more brutally, an extreme trauma to the head is the only thing that can kill a ghoul.
For most of these attributes, it seems that ghouls are very similar to shapeshifters and may even come from the same ancestral line but that’s reading a little too much into it. However, despite these similarities, shapeshifters can easily be detected by silver and can be killed by a silver bullet, like werewolves, whereas ghouls seem to have no weaknesses that allow hunters to identify them.
This is why many of the characters on Supernatural, (because we all know how often people die on this show) including the famous Sam and Dean themselves, could easily have been eaten by a ghoul and apparently nobody would know. Especially when the characters physically come back from the dead meaning their dead bodies could have easily be accessed and eaten by ghouls, like Dean in Season 4’s“Lazarus Rising” or Sam in Season 6’s “Exile on Main St.”
This brings me back to the Season 6 episode “Mommy Dearest” featuring the frankly badass Eve, mother of all monsters, who had notoriously created new creatures (which Dean had comically coined “Jefferson Starships”) in order to invent the perfect monster that could bypass even hunters. Eve succeeds with little Ryan who manages to fool Sam and Dean into believing he was just an innocent human.
It does seem that Eve goes through a lot of trouble tricking the boys when she could have just used a ghoul.
I really do think that I’m missing something here. To confirm, the only way someone could check to see if a ghoul is present is by testing if they can be killed in ways such as stabbing. A ghoul can not be killed by anything other than decapitation so this would definitely work but it does feel a bit extreme, and risky, and messy, and permanent if it was just a human.
Yes, the boys do a very good job at checking for evil but it seems there’s always one thing they are forgetting. For all we know, the real Sam and Dean could have died years ago and the show is being run by a couple of ghouls who would rather drive around the country hitting high speeds on the highway than spend their lives slumped in a graveyard eating corpses.