Lately I had started watching Supernatural, a paranormal TV show on TNT, from the beginning (technically, I bandwagoned). It is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, on a quest to find their father, John, who went missing while hunting for an unknown entity that killed their mother.
As they embark on their adventure, they help save the lives of others from various demons and malevolent spirits. Starting from the second episode of season one going in about three episodes after, Sam began to have nightmares from his girlfriend’s, Jessica Moore’s, death by the same unknown force that killed his mother.
I’ve found myself having more of a connection to Sam than his serious, yet cocky brother Dean. Sam, a Stanford university student, just wanted to live a normal life. As he noted when talking to Dean about their Dad in the episode “Bugs”, he didn’t want to partake in anything that Dean and their Dad did. He just wanted to live a normal life apart from his paranormal family. This is also the reason he lied to Jessica before she was killed in the pilot episode. All he wanted to do was fit in with the rest of society. One other connection I have with him is that although he said he felt their Dad was always disappointed in him throughout his young life (which never really happened to me), I can see how he still doesn’t want to face his father even now. I’m at this stage in life where everything I do now matters in my future. My grades, my habits, my attitude, they all count. Whenever I under perform, my parents — especially my mom — get really disappointed and she worries about me.
Although I myself don’t have any special paranormal abilities, I’d want to live a normal life too. Nowadays, judgments and stereotyping is even more evident than ever. Aside from the daily Asian stereotypes that I get on the Internet from some of my online friends, I’m afraid of being judged for believing in the paranormal. I mean, we all know “paranormal” means something not normal, something out of the ordinary. If you want the formal definition, it is “not scientifically explainable”. Of course, one would then ask the question “Why, then, are there ghost hunters out there who believe they can pick up on and communicate with the dead using EMF detectors, digital EVP recorders, and spirit boxes?” (I’ll later briefly define what EMF and EVP are) Almost everyone in this world wants to know the truth behind the question “Does the afterlife really exist?” Ghost hunting crews like the Ghost Adventures Crew (GAC) don’t just do it for money. It’s their passion. They believe a certain thing enough that they will do just about anything to discover the truth. But, here’s the thing. Some scientists have denounced the validity of ghost hunting, claiming it to not follow the traditional scientific methods. In fact, when we think about ghosts, ghouls, and demons, it has much closer ties with religion than science.
In a skeptic’s words, in the words of non-believers in “Supernatural”, “that’s crazy! You’re crazy!” Believe me. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that. Maybe I’m a minority who sympathizes a lot more with my group, but that’s for another time. I know what Sam Winchester goes through. Okay, maybe not fully, but I can at least picture it, and imagine it. To be made fun of, and to be judged because of what you believe, it’s very frustrating. As I said before, Sam never told Jess the truth when Dean came by his dorm to inform him that their father, John Winchester, went MIA on a hunting trip. In another sense, Sam also felt stress after Jess was killed because he just didn’t know what to do. At the beginning of the “House” episode when he was having nightmares of their old childhood home, he told Dean that he has nightmares about every death before they actually occur. He said he “dreamt about Jess’ death days before it actually happened”. He wanted to save her, and as he said in the pilot episode when he was visiting her grave,
I should have saved you. I should have told you the truth.
Admittedly, it was a bit hard for me to watch this. It was evident throughout that episode and the episodes following that he really loved her, yet couldn’t find a way around not telling her about this unknown force and his secret paranormal childhood. It’s especially hard for him as it was the same thing that killed the two brothers’ mother.
Indeed Sam and Dean’s methods of hunting these spirits and demons are mainly fictitious. However, they do demonstrate some of the ways ghost hunters hunt ghosts. In the episode titled “Phantom Traveler”, Sam mentions hearing EVP on Flight 2485. For those of you who are not familiar with this acronym, it stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or spirit voices. Later on in the episode, Dean uses an EMF meter to look for signs of high electromagnetic charges, which spirits are said to be made of. But in the end, they still pretty much wield weapons and rock salt to slow and repel the malevolent spirits, and gather every Holy and religious thing they can find to expel the demons and spirits back into the underworld.
Overall, I absolutely love this series. Judging by what you’ve read by now, or what you may have known even before reading my column, it’s blatantly obvious that the show isn’t a paranormal reality TV show, but more of a suspense and drama-paranormal type. A lot more. As freaky as the creep ambient music is and as much as I just f—ing hate jump scares, it’s about all about the two bad a$$es. Unless you’re super easily scared and absolutely hate horror type shows, this isn’t for you. Otherwise, watch it. You’re going to love it. As for the two brothers, Sam and Dean, ready those weapons, ready that d— shotgun and those rock salts, get in that Impala, and kick some more paranormal a$$.