The Monsters of “Supernatural,” Season 1, Episodes 13-16

Want to develop your telekinesis powers? Stuck battling a Zoroastrian demon? Is that ghost truck a big ol’ racist? This post is for you!

Zoroastrianism, a little-known religion still practiced today, originated in Iran and focuses on opposites

Zoroastrianism gets a bum rap, in my opinion. It’s one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, having started about 3,500 years ago in ancient Persia (what’s now Iran). But do you ever hear about Zoroastrianism? Nope. It’s all Christianity, Judaism and Islam all the time.

Sure, it’s a mouthful to say. But I bet most people don’t even know that people still practice Zoroastrianism — if they’ve even heard of it in the first place.

I had never met a Zoroastrian before my coworker Alma (who helped out with a post on what it’s like to visit Iran). They don’t have official places of worship, choosing instead to say their prayers at home or in the open air — always facing a source of light.

It’s high time we start spreading the word about this religion, which has a cool concept of dualism. For every good, there’s an evil. For every light, there’s a corresponding darkness. We’ll touch upon one of the religion’s personifications of shadow in this month’s Supernatural roundup.

Telekinetics are known as “spoon benders.” They can do neat tricks like having knives hover in the air millimeters from someone’s eyeball.

It’s bad enough having a phantom truck try to run you down, but it might turn out to be racist, too!

S1E13: “Route 666”

Monster: Phantom truck

Where it's from: United States

Description: This vehicle moves on its own, without a driver.

What it does: Dean and Sam Winchester reference the Flying Dutchman, which refers to a legendary ghost ship and/or its captain. He was a stubborn drunkard, who refused to heed his crew’s pleas and rounded the Cape of Good Hope during a terrible storm.

The crew mutinied, and the captain shot and killed its leader. He then tossed the corpse overboard. When the body hit the water, a shadowy figure appeared on deck.

The feisty captain shot at it — but the gun exploded in his hand.

The spectral figured cursed the Flying Dutchman to sail the seas as a ghost ship with a crew of skeletons, and any who catch sight of it are doomed to die.

The Flying Dutchman, as seen in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies

The cursed vessel has been spotted periodically since then, including by a German sub in World War II.

This particular ghost truck happens to be racist. Yes, the phantom truck is racist. What a jerk. (That reveal has led some to include this episode on a list of the worst Supernaturals ever.)

How to defeat it: Lure it onto hallowed ground — and the ghost truck should vanish.

S1E14: “Nightmare”

A rare moment of telekinesis caught on film!

Monster: Telekinesis

Where it’s from: People all over the world could have this power.

Description: Two Greek words combine to mean “distant movement” — telekinesis is the ability to move objects with your mind. Think of one of Stephen King’s most famous characters, the traumatized Carrie, whose telekinetic powers get out of control.

There’s not a lot of scientific evidence to back up the existence of telekinesis, though a researcher from Duke University named J.B. Rhine thought he could prove the power of the mind — and especially the idea that many people could collectively influence outcomes solely through the power of thought.

Later researchers have been unable to duplicate his results and have found errors in his methods.

What it does: Telekinetics are known as “spoon benders.” They can do neat tricks like having knives hover in the air millimeters from someone’s eyeball.

How to defeat it: Try giving a telepath a taste of his or her own medicine!


The horror flick Carrie demonstrates that you never want to piss off a telepath

Telekinesis 101

Hold the top of a necklace between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure the pendant is still.

Shut out all outside thoughts and focus. Imagine energy flowing through your arm and hand and then through the necklace. Picture the pendant swinging in little circles, speeding up as the energy flows. You should see tiny swinging movements.

Concentrate as hard as you can, all the while keeping the image in your mind. Try to imagine what it would look like in real life, starting slow and speeding up.

You’ve still got a long way before you’ve got Carrie-type powers, but you’ve gotta start somewhere!


Telekinesis 201

The first method of telekinesis training is becoming one with an object.

To do so, light a candle and stare at the flame. Focus on the inner flame — not just the flame you see.

Close your eyes and keep the inner flame in your mind, visualizing it growing, shortening, waving, dancing. Practice five to 10 minutes a day.

The second method of telekinesis training is using energy.

Start small. Blow up a balloon. Put it on a floor with little friction (apparently something like linoleum works best). Sit down in a comfortable position and try to do some breathing exercises to clear your mind. Then create a ball of energy and mentally push it into the balloon, making it move without touching it.

The final step of telekinesis training is bending.

You can use any utensil — though, let’s face it, it’s more poetic to use a spoon. Hold it in a way that’s comfortable to you. Sit in a relaxed position and do breathing exercises to clear your mind.

Focus on the utensil. Close your eyes and slowly rub the spoon to get the feeling of it. Feel the energy, the molecules and the atoms of it become one with you.

With years of practice, you’ll be bending spoons in no time!


S1E15: “The Benders”

Monster: Humans who hunt people for sport

Man, these guys are worse than that racist phantom truck! But we’re sticking to monsters. So, ’nuff said.

Good battles evil in many Zoroastrian myths

S1E16: “Shadow”

Monster: Daeva, Zoroastrian demon

Where it’s from: Zoroastrianism was one of the first monotheistic religions and dealt a lot with the battle between good and evil, darkness and light. It developed in ancient Persia, in what is now Iran.

The prophet Zoroaster battles two daevas

Description: As Sam Winchester says, “They’re Zoroastrian demons, and they’re savage. They’re animalistic. You know, nasty attitudes, kinda like, uh, demonic pitbulls.”

Daevas “are the counterparts and mirror opposites of the amesha spentas,” Rosemary Ellen Guiley writes in The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology. “They personify all diseases, sins and distresses suffered by humanity. Most daevas are male.”

The daevas were created from the evil thoughts of Ah-Riman, the Destructive Spirit of the Zoroastrian religion, “for the purpose of waging war against goodness and humanity. Though spirits, they can appear in human form,” she continues.

They hide beneath the earth, lurking about, waiting for someone vulnerable to attack. “They are attracted to unclean places and like to spend time in locations where corpses are exposed,” according to Guiley.

What it does: These are some powerful mofos. On the show, the daeva’s victims are shredded to death by its claws. Dean and Sam get their faces sliced up by the shadowy demon. (But fear not! Their pretty faces will heal with nary a scar.)

How to defeat it: Find and destroy the altar where it’s worshipped.

If a deava is attacking you, shine light upon it — as personifications of darkness, they cannot stand brightness. That includes flares, if you’ve got some handy. –Wally