As the curtain closes on Supernatural’s final season, we’re looking back on the past 15 years and everything that made the show so amazing as part of TV Guide’s Winchester Week. But while we reminisce about the best seasons and best episodes, we also want to spotlight the scariest episodes.
In its early years, Supernatural leaned into its horror elements hard, and every episode was packed with pee-your-pants terror as Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) faced off with a new monster-of-the-week. When the show started focusing on overarching storylines and the larger mythology more than the standalone nature of the earlier storytelling style, some of that horror went away. But those early seasons under creator Eric Kripke gave us a handful of episodes we can look back on and dub truly terrifying. Even over a decade later, these episodes are still able to scare the bejesus out of us.
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We’ve compiled the 10 scariest episodes of Supernatural below if you want to give yourself some nightmares.
1. “Provenance” (Season 1, Episode 19)
Creepy paintings are scary enough on their own, but when they’re haunted by the homicidal ghost of a little girl, the horror factor is turned up to 11. Um, can someone pass the salt?
2. “The Benders” (Season 1, Episode 15)
While you’d think one of the scariest episodes — if not the scariest episode — of a show called Supernatural would be, well, supernatural, the monsters in “The Benders” are entirely human. But the fact that it seems way too possible for a tight-knit and twisted family to kidnap and hunt human prey is exactly what makes it so terrifying.
3. “Asylum” (Season 1, Episode 9)
This episode feels like a mini horror movie come to life. Teenagers trapped in an asylum full of ghosts after staying the night on a dare? That’s classic! Good thing Sam and Dean show up to save the day, though.
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4. “Bloody Mary” (Season 1, Episode 5)
Every child has probably said “Bloody Mary” three times in front of the mirror at a slumber party, but can you imagine if a ghost actually started hunting you down because of it? This episode will make you nervous to look in any reflective surface for weeks!
5. “The Kids Are Alright” (Season 3, Episode 2)
These demon children who have horrifying faces and suck out your life force are sure to give you nightmares — as if kids who creepily stare at you with secret intentions weren’t scary enough already.
6. “No Exit” (Season 2, Episode 6)
What’s more chilling than a serial killer who tortures and kills young women? The ghost of a serial killer who tortures and kills young women. Once again, Supernatural takes something that is already scary in real life and somehow makes it even worse.
7. “Family Remains” (Season 4, Episode 11)
This Supernatural episode is further proof that humans are way scarier than ghosts. Especially when said humans are murderous children who have been locked in the walls and tortured their entire lives.
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8. “Playthings” (Season 2, Episode 11)
What is with this show and creepy kids?! This episode has a great haunted house thing going on, but it also makes us forever wary of children’s “imaginary friends,” just in case they’re later revealed to killer ghosts.
9. “Road Kill” (Season 2, Episode 16)
This episode is terrifying mostly because of the twist that the stranded woman Dean and Sam have been helping all episode is actually a ghost herself, trapped in a cycle of terror. Can you imagine spending eternity being gutted by the guy you accidentally ran over with your car? No thank you.
10. “Everybody Loves a Clown” (Season 2, Episode 2)
Killer clowns. Seriously?! If you’ve got a clown phobia (which is totally normal and we 100 percent support you, Sam) then this is one episode you may want to skip. Didn’t these kids ever learn the “stranger danger” thing?
Supernatural’s series finale airs Thursday, Nov. 19 at 9/8c on The CW. An hour-long retrospective, Supernatural: The Long Road Home, will air prior at 8/7c.
In honor of Supernatural coming to an end after 15 seasons, TV Guide presents Winchester Week, a celebration of Sam, Dean, and the entire SPN Family. Find out how the stars feel about saying goodbye, look back on the best episodes and moments, and join us in sending the Winchesters off in style.