Red areas show where the myth can be found, blue spot is the episode location.

Phantom Traveler

The Main Legend

Demonic Possession eh? Very complex stuff, (and another annoying general world religious observation.) which you can probably appreciate, if you've watched this episode.
SAM: [sitting at the laptop] So, every religion in every world culture has the concept of demons and demonic possession, right? I mean, Christian, Native American, Hindu—you name it.

Conversely, in my opinion this episode oversimplifies things a little bit. Typically in the dark-fantasy genre, most demons can be stopped by religious symbols from many major world religions. Previously in Supernatural, we've avoided this trend, using Anasazi symbols to fend off the Wendigo for example. However, in this episode we have a lot of Christian monotheism coming in. ('Though, this point is completely nulified if the demon is of Judao-Christian ilk, as the significance of the number 40, as well as the general appearance would suggest.) For example:
DEAN: I brought holy water.
If she’s possessed, she’ll flinch at the name of God.

Meanwhile: "I know what happened to your girlfriend! She must have died screaming! Even now, she’s burning!" Shows an image of a single hell.

On the other hand, there was rather an attention to details here. Demons typically exit a person through their mouth, as was the case here. (why they taped it up I don't know.) The smell of fire and brimstone, or sulpher is often used as a sign of the entrance and exit of a high status demon (most often the devil).

Other Minor Legends

A Phantom Passenger - is a ghost who haunts a particular route. An example might be our White Lady again.

Flight 401 - Held two people, Bob Loft and Don Repo, both of whom crashed and died. However, dozens of independant witnesses mentioned seeing them that same day

Oni - At first the Sam suggests that this "demon" is a Japanese one (a "Kami") since Kami folklore typically sees each Kami as having their own portfolio of things they are responsible for, (for example, the kodama are small kami which live on/around a single tree all their lives. They are symbiotic with the tree.) At first glance this would seem to work, but traditionally, the kind of kami responsible for disasters/death on this scale would be an oni. However, there are a number of problems with the creature on the episode being an oni. First, the concept of one an Oni is has changed drastically over the years, with Oni now resembling red ogres more than formless energy (as in the episode). Further, since Japan has no Christian background, it would probably be rather illogical for a Christian ritual, and a Christian name to drive it back. Usually this would require a Sutra.

God's Name - Is typically very useful at dispelling illusions. Starting in late Celtic Mythology, it could dispel glamours (illusionary disguises) with ease. If we remember, when Dean said gods name around the pilate, his eyes glowed black a moment, perhaps a weakening of his powers.

Rituale Romanum One of the last ways to properly exorcise a demon still supported in the world. (Although I doubt that it really works like Dean says, to force the demon to take a shape. It's Roman Cathlic and in Latin if you remember, it's also only used when people are sure there is no other way to try help a person.

Finaly, another piece Dean + Sam bought up:
DEAN: It’s biblical numerology. On Noah’s Ark, it rained for forty days. The number means death.

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Page created: 17/11/07.
Last page edit: 17/11/07.

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