The Monsters of “Supernatural,” Season 1, Episodes 17-19

Meditation creates a golem-like tulpa from Tibet. A shtriga, a vampire witch from Albania, sucks out the souls of children. And a real-life haunted painting, The Hands Resist Him, leads to mysterious deaths. 


Christians, Muslims and Jews pray to God. Wiccans cast spells. Many people practice the power of positive thinking.

Personally, I believe that, for the most part, you get what you put out into the universe. That’s why I try to be as upbeat as possible and why I distance myself from too much negativity.

Is it possible that our thoughts could be so powerful that they become tangible objects? Some Tibetans think so. And if enough people believe that, could it make it actually happen? Will this cycle of belief and creation go on forever?!

Hopefully your brain doesn’t hurt as much as mine. Let’s just dive right into some Supernatural eps.


Perhaps these are tulpas, thought forms that have taken on a physical reality

S1E17: “Hell House”

Monster: Tulpa, a malevolent spirit

Where it’s from: Tibet

Description: It’s a thought that takes on a physical form.

What it does: “Once the tulpa is endowed with enough vitality to be capable of playing the part of a real being, it tends to free itself from its maker’s control,” Alexandra David-Néel writes in Magic and Mystery in Tibet, published in 1932. “This, say Tibetan occultists, happens nearly mechanically, just as a child, when his body is completed and able to live apart, leaves its mother’s womb. Sometimes the phantom becomes a rebellious son, and one hears of uncanny struggles that have taken place between magicians and their creatures, the former being severely hurt or even killed by the latter.”

Upon completing its task, instead of returning to the magician who constructed it, a tulpa sometimes pursues its own whims as a “half-conscious, dangerously mischievous puppet,” she writes.

The Tibetan explorer Alexandra David-Néel with her adopted son, Lama Aphur Yongden. David-Néel wrote about her creation of a tulpa that became more and more evil

Incidentally, David-Néel supposedly created a tulpa, in the form of a diminutive Friar Tuck-like monk that started out as jolly. Over time, it became thinner and took on a sinister demeanor. She eventually decided it had to be destroyed.

In this episode of Supernatural, the tulpa is created unintentionally — enough people believe the tales on a blog of a haunted house that they will the ghost into existence.

“The belief is not unlike more popular concepts of today like The Secret — belief in something gives it energy, which in turn helps to manifest it,” argues Psychic Universe. Some people bring about love; others, evil murderous ghosts.  

How to defeat it: Meditation is the place to begin when you have decided to destroy a tulpa, advises Psychic Universe. Sit in a quiet place with soft or dim lighting and go into a meditative state. You need to summon your tulpa to you by calling it in your mind. Depending on how strong it has become and how much of a mind of its own it has developed, this could prove difficult and may take a few attempts. Keep doing it though; remember, no matter how strong it gets, you’re still the creator and you’re still in charge.

Envision your tulpa surrounded by a force field of sorts — a field of white light. This light will protect you from its attempts to stop you. You can envision this light breaking down and reabsorbing the energy of the tulpa, which you can then absorb back into your own spiritual aura. Again, this can take a few sessions, but you’ll see your tulpa readily weakening.

Once you’ve dispersed and reabsorbed the energy, cleanse yourself to transform it into something more positive and get rid of the negative. Avoid thinking of your tulpa any further so you don’t accidentally re-create it; remember to keep your thoughts positive.

David-Néel said it took her six months of hard work to destroy her tulpa.

This vampiric witch from Albania, known as a shtriga, especially loves to feast upon the life essences of sleeping children

S1E18: “Something Wicked”

Monster: Shtriga

Where’s it’s from: Albania

Description: The witch in this episode looks like Emperor Palpatine — a dark-hooded figure with a pale, withered face. According to legend, shtrigas appear as old women during the day but have the power to morph into a bee, moth or fly. Some shtriga are also able to turn into owls.

What it does: The shtriga is a vampiric creature — she feeds off of the spiritus vitae (breath of life) or blood, particularly favoring children while they sleep.

How to defeat it: “A shtriga always vomits the blood she has sucked,” writes M. Edith Durham in High Albania and Its Customs in 1908. “You must secretly track a woman you suspect to be a shtriga when she goes out to vomit the blood. You must scrape some of it up on a silver coin and wear it, and then no shtriga can harm you.”

If you have been drained by a shtriga, the only cure is to have her spit into your mouth. Sounds pretty disgusting, but hey, if it works… Not sure how you’ll convince her to do this, though. Maybe French kissing would be enough?

If you happen to have a shtriga in a church, and it happens to be Easter Sunday, make a cross out of pig bones and hang it over the threshold. The shtriga will be unable to leave — and you’ve got one hell of an excuse not to go to church!

Dean and Sam discover that you can only defeat a shtriga if you catch her while she’s having a snack — that is, sucking the lifeforce out of someone. Fire her full of consecrated iron rounds. Just make sure you’ve got good aim.


S1E19: “Provenance”

Monster: Haunted painting

Description: This looks like a typical work of art — but suddenly you’ll notice one of the people in the painting have disappeared.

What it does: The spirit leaves the painting and commits murder.

The Hands Resist Him, a haunted painting tied to at least two deaths

It’s not the only haunted painting out there. There’s an infamous one titled The Hands Resist Him, painted by Bill Stoneham in 1974.

The owner of the gallery where the painting was first displayed and the art critic who reviewed the show died within a year of seeing the painting. And one seller on eBay wrote in the product description: “One morning our 4 1/2-year-old daughter claimed that the children in the picture were fighting and coming into the room during the night.”

Perception Gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan bought The Hands Resist Him for $1,025. It now sits in storage.

How to defeat it: Pure iron has a long history of bringing about good luck and repelling evil. But in this case it’s not enough to banish the spirit of the haunted painting for good.

The Winchester boys use one of their go-to methods of destroying baddies: “Burn the bones,” as they like to say. Trouble is, that doesn’t work for them this time. That is, until they realize it’s not the father’s spirit committing the murders — it’s that of the little girl.

To kill the spirit, Sam and Dean had to destroy the doll that was made in the girl’s image because it had some of her hair. It was pretty creepy-looking anyway. –Wally