Supernatural

Season 1 Episode 17

Hell House

11
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Mar 30, 2006 on The CW
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
1,106 votes
64

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Sam and Dean investigate the case of a maniacal ghost inhabiting a long-abandoned Texas farmhouse known as "Hell House." They believe the ghost is the spirit of a deceased Depression-era farmer who killed his family, but they soon realize it is something far more powerful.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of the funniest episodes of the show

    9.5
    This episode doesn't have anything to do with the overall storyline of the show. It is a stand alone episode that uses even more comedy than we normally have on the show. The episode starts off with Sam sleeping and Dean placing a spoon into Sam's mouth and taking his picture. Then turning up the radio really loud to startle Sam. This kicks off a series of practical jokes between the brothers and carries on for the entire episode. It even spills over to other characters.



    The main bad guy of the story is created by a mystical symbol. So, this is new territory for the show. The show also touches on amatuer paranormal investigators like would be seen on shows such as Ghost Hunters. The two amatuers in this epeisode offer the best pop culture references. First of all, their last names are Zeddmore and Spengler. Both of which are names of characters from the two Ghostbusters movies. Secondly, they each complete a part of a sentence that when put together says "oh Lord of the Rings". This references the series of books by JRR Tolkien that the popular movies were based apon. And finally, WWBD. What would Buffy do? A reference to the long running WB series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.moreless
  • Who ya gonna call?

    7.5
    A suitably creepy episode of Supernatural with equal measures of humour sprinkled in to boot. Most of the laughs derive from the show's answer to Buffy's Trio, only it's a duo in this instance, and the homage is played wonderfully with a brilliant knowing reference early on into the episode ('WWBD? What would Buffy do?'). Sam and Dean also start up a prank war that leads to some amusing banter between the brothers. The ghost this week is the first of many, as it unravels as a typical haunting but turns out to be something entirely unexpected – it's a spirit created by everyday people simply because they believed in it strongly enough, no thanks to the internet. The hour, perhaps, is a little too self-aware, and after an effective first kill, the story sort of dwindles till the credits roll (the brothers don't even kill the spirit in the end…). A good episode, but not as funny as some fans would have you believe. (I think all of the adulation towards this one may have something to do with Sam draped in one scene with only a towel covering his glutes...)moreless
  • A "different" episode.

    8.0
    Although Supernatural still stays true to a lot of its roots, this feels like it came from a completely different series. The supernatural side of the show is still prevalent, but it dug deep into its humour side, and it's a bit refreshing. The little back and forth pranking that Sam and Dean were doing to each other really shows the comical and childish side to their characters, and the inclusion of those bozo twins ghost hunters just made the whole episode feel more like a comedy. What happens at the end, like how Sam and Dean's plan failed when the website crashed, and Sam tricking them into thinking they'll be heading to Hollywood for a movie, just really added the cherry on top.



    At the same time all these elements contributed to the actual main story, and the concept behind the ghost was pretty creative. Almost seemed like a one two punch. The ghost was created because the ghost hunters website that was posted up had people believing it was real, thus the ghost became real. In order to rid the ghost, despite burning the house down to prevent visitors and more fatalities, Sam tricks them into thinking they'll just been hired to do a movie for Hollywood. The writing is cleverly constructed and the humour was great too, but in the end the episode wasn't greater than the sum of its parts, and the reason for that is because although it was different, the change of pace really threw everything off. It couldn't decide if it wanted to be a comedy or a horror, and it's unfortunate; a balance between comedy and horror like this is nothing short of great writing. Nonetheless, a good episode.moreless
  • this wasa good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of the show supernatural dean and sam are investagating this old farm house out in texas and they think its being haunted by this old farmer who killed his family there and is causing problems and more troulbe but thing is its way more then what they think it is and they dont know if they can handle it . this was a good ep i thought and it had its funny parts in it and its interesting stoy and that is why i gave it a 9 again like every other supernatural ep and i think it was that goodmoreless
  • Review

    8.5
    Sam and Dean investigate the case of a maniacal ghost inhabiting a long abandoned Texas farmhouse known as "Hell House." They believe the ghost is the spirit of a deceased Depression-era farmer who killed his family, but they soon realize it is something far more powerful.



    I thought it was a good episode - I just didn't think the conclusion was really all that good or the devolpment of that particular supernatural storyline. The farmer came to life simply because someone believed in it? I thought that was pretty weak. I also thought the fire that they used to burn down the house was pretty weak. Everything else was strong. The humor was prtty strong.moreless
A.J. Buckley

A.J. Buckley

Ed Zeddmore

Guest Star

Shane Meier

Shane Meier

Craig Thursten

Guest Star

Britt Irvin

Britt Irvin

First Teenage Girl

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (11)

    • The LP which Dean picks up when browsing in the record store, and for which we see the cover very clearly before he puts it back, is Point of Know Return, by Kansas. Kansas sing one of the show's most regularly used songs, Carry On Wayward Son.

    • There are two instances where the brothers go into the house and the cops are outside watching the place. Both times, they manage to get the cops to go into the woods for something, to distract them from the house, while they go in and fight the ghost. There is no way that the cops wouldn't have heard all of the shotgun blasts, which should be heard from miles away.

    • When the guys are in the restaurant, the laughing statue flip flops as if the film was reversed. In one shot the fish faces one way, but when Sam pulls the string the fish faces the other way.

    • Sam glues Dean's hand to the bottle of beer with super-glue, but super-glue dries really fast. There is no way it could sit on a bottle of beer and still be wet. It would have dried long ago.

    • When Sam and Dean are in the restaurant eating and reading the new post on hellhoundslair.com you can see Dean eating when Sam turns the computer. Then there is a closeup of Dean where he's talking but he never swallowed the food, then they cut to a profile of Dean and he's chewing again.

    • At the end when Harry goes to grab the camera from Ed and Mordechai hits him, you can clearly tell that it's his body double falling to the ground.

    • When Sam and Dean are at the record store, Sam is talking to Craig and you can see Dean in the background picking up an album and replacing it, then the camera cuts to Dean from the front and he is picking up another album and the first has disappeared.

    • When Sam and Dean go to check up on the house, in the left part of the screen you can see something black, probably someone's coat, but there is no one there.

    • Near the end, in the scene where Sam and Dean are shooting at Mordechai and Ed and Harry are filming it, as the scene shifts you can briefly see the left arm of one of the crew in the right side of the frame.

    • Trivia: The song Dean turns up at the beginning of the episode has the lyrics "A fire of unknown origin/Took my baby away," referring to how Jessica and their mother both died. The song is by Blue Oyster Cult, who feature heavily in this episode.

    • Trivia: At the time this episode premiered, the website for the paranormal investigators, http://www.hellhoundslair.com, is a working URL with information about the Hell House and other cases... some of which are based on previous Supernatural episodes. Since then, the URL redirects the viewer to the WB homepage.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • (Dean has put itching powder in Sam's pants)
      Sam: I think I'm allergic to our soap or something. (Dean starts laughing) You did this? You're a friggin' jerk.

    • Craig's Friend: Ooh, look, it's the evil root cellar, where Satan cans all his vegetables.

    • Harry: Yeah, so if you guys don't mind, we're trying to conduct a serious scientific investigation, here.
      Dean: Oh yeah? What do you got so far?
      Ed: Harry, why don't you tell 'em about EMF?
      Harry: (in mock modesty) Well...
      Sam: EMF?
      Harry: Electromagnetic Field. Spectral entities can cause energy fluctuation that can be read with an EMF detector (pulls one out from his bag). Like this bad boy right here. Whoa, whoa. 2.8--wow, it's hot in here.
      Sam: Whoa.

    • Sam: I have a confession to make.
      Dean: What?
      Sam: I was the one who called them and told them I was a producer. (Dean laughs)
      Dean: Well, I was the one who put the dead fish in their backseat.

    • Dean: (to Ed and Harry) Would you look at that? Action figures in their original packaging. What a shocker.

    • Sam: That's your solution? Burn the whole damn place to the ground?
      Dean: Well, no one will go in anymore.

    • Sam: Truce?
      Dean: Yeah, truce... at least for the next hundred miles.

    • Ed: Okay, we've got an obligation to our fans, to the truth...
      Dean: Well I have an obligation to kick both of your little asses.
      Sam: Dean, Dean, hey, hey, just forget it, alright. These guys...I could probably bitch slap them both.

    • Dean: I don't know, Sam. I mean, I hate to agree with authority figures of any kind, but you know, the cops might be right about this one.

    • Ed: Harry, look at me, right here, okay? You are a ghost hunter, okay?
      Harry: I know, but Ed, I've never actually seen a real ghost before. Like a real ghost, like an apparition...
      Ed: This stuff right here, this is our ticket to the big time--fame, money, sex... with girls, okay? Be brave, okay... WWBD. What would Buffy do, huh?
      Harry: What would Buffy do. I know, Ed, but she's stronger than me.

    • Dean: Hey, Sam, I dare you to take a swig of this.
      Sam: What the hell would I do that for?
      Dean: I double dare you.

    • Dean: Why don't you tell us about that house - without lying through your ass this time?

    • Dean: Man, I hate rats.
      Sam: Would you rather it was a ghost?
      Dean: Yes.

    • Dean: So, you guys ever seen a real ghost before?
      Ed: Once. We were investigating this old house and we saw a vase fall right off the table.
      Harry: By itself.
      Ed: Well, we-we-we didn't actually see it, but we heard it. And something like that, it changes you.

    • Harry: What are you guys doing here?
      Dean: What the hell are you doing here?
      Ed: Uh, we belong here, we're professionals.
      Dean: Professional what?

    • Dean: Most of those websites wouldn't know a ghost if it bit them in the pursqueeter.

    • Dean: What's the matter, Sammy? You afraid you gonna get a little Nair in your shampoo again, huh?
      Sam: All right. Just remember you started it.
      Dean: Oh, bring it on, Baldy.

    • Sam: What the hell kind of spirit is immune to rock salt?!?

    • Dean: People believe in Santa Claus--how come I'm not getting hooked up every Christmas?
      Sam: 'Cause you're a bad person.

    • Dean: I barely have any skin left on my palm.
      Sam: I'm not touching that line with a ten-foot pole.

    • Dean: I thought the legend said the Mordechai only goes after chicks.
      Sam: It does.
      Dean: All right, well, I mean that explains why it went after you, but why me?
      Sam: Hilarious.

    • Sam: It kinda makes you wonder. Of all the things we've hunted, how many existed just because people believed in them?

    • Dean: Looks like old man Murdoch was a bit of a tagger during his time.
      Sam: And after his time, too. The reverse cross has been used by Satanists for centuries, but the sigil of sulphur didn't show up in San Francisco until the '60's.
      Dean: Exactly why you never get laid.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Music: Fire of Unknown Origin by Blue Oyster Cult, Burning for you by Blue Oyster Cult, Slow Death by Extreme Music, Anthem by Extreme Music, Point of No Return by Rex Hobart and The Misery Boys, Fast Train Down by Waco Brothers

    • International Airdates:
      Denmark: April 30, 2006 on TV3
      France: January 22, 2007 on TF6
      Portugal: January 29, 2007 on AXN
      Belgium: July 25, 2007 on VT4
      Germany: February 25, 2008 on ProSieben
      The Netherlands: October 26, 2008 on Net5

    • In an interview in TV Guide, Eric Kripke, the show creator, admitted that he got so many requests from the viewers to see Jensen and Jared with "less on", that he added the towel scene in this episode for Jared to be shirtless.

    • Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam) were both born and grew up in Texas; Jensen was born in Dallas and Jared was born in San Antonio. Jensen Ackles went to elementary, junior high, and high school in Richardson, Texas, which is where this episode takes place.

    • The symbol from the Hell House was from a Blue Oyster Cult album. Burnin' For You and Fire of Unknown Origin are by Blue Oyster Cult.

  • ALLUSIONS (8)

    • Ed The power of Christ compels you!
      Referring to the 1973 horror movie The Exorcist, in which a young girl is possessed by a demon. The movie was written by William Peter Blatty, who also wrote the novel it was based upon. The priests repeatedly chant this line of exorcism while struggling to banish the demon from the girl.

    • Ed: Sweet Lord...
      Harry: ...of the Rings – run!!
      Lord of the Rings is a fantasy novel series by J.R.R. Tolkien (and three movies based on it) concerning the adventures of a group comprised of humans, elves and hobbits to destroy an evil ring.

    • Ed: I was thinking that Mordechai just had like a really super-high attack bonus.
      Alluding to role-playing games - an "attack bonus" is typically added to a die roll made to determine if you hit a monster, or to see if a monster hits you. Needless to say, a monster with a super-high bonus would be very tough indeed. Common to Dungeons & Dragons, Spycraft, Pathfinder, and other such games.

    • Ed: Remember - WWBD. What would Buffy do?
      Referring to Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?)

    • Ed: No. Would John Edward go?
      Referring to the host of Crossing Over on the SciFi Channel and syndication, and a new series as of this episode's airing in 2006, John Edward Cross Country. John Edward purportedly speaks with the deceased for the benefit of the living.

    • Spengler and Zeddmore
      This is another allusion to the movie Ghost Busters, whose members included Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddmore.

    • Dean: Who you gonna call?
      The catchphrase of the1984 sci-fi comedy film Ghostbusters.

    • Title
      The Legend of Hell House is a 1973 horror film by Academy Pictures. It was directed by John Hough and stars Roddy McDowall and Gayle Hunnicutt. The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson based on his own novel Hell House.

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