Crossroad Demons are demons tasked with "buying" souls for Hell through deals with humans. These deals consist of the demon granting the human's wish in exchange for ownership over that person's soul, resulting in the person dying and going to Hell to be transformed into a demon upon death. Crossroad demons are named as such because they in particular can be summoned at crossroads by humans seeking to make deals.
Generally red-eyed demons are stationed as crossroad demons, as they have the ability to teleport. Named as they create their pacts at a crossroads, they are Hell's deal-making demons. They answer to the King of the Crossroads; previously, this was Crowley. After Crowley's ascension to King of Hell, Barthamus became the King of the Crossroads for the next several years until his own death in 2017.
While the deals are typically beneficial to humans, the benefits are almost always temporary as the deals are usually made at the price of the person's soul. Crossroad Demons are master manipulators and love to play with people's emotions, particularly negative emotions such as greed, guilt and fear. All Crossroads Demons sign their contracts with a kiss.
A Crossroad Demon can be summoned by digging a hole in the dead center of a set of crossroads and burying a box containing a picture of the mortal wishing to make the deal, some graveyard dirt, and a bone from a black cat. The demon most often featured in the series prefers to possess the bodies of strikingly attractive brunette women who appeal to the men making the deals. Exceptions to this include the one shown in the body of an adolescent teenage girl making a deal with a 14-year old Bela Talbot and three shown as men - the most significant of which is Crowley. While their true form is black smoke like other demons, Crowley's was red.
Some Crossroad Demons have shown the ability to modify the deals they have made for their own purposes. For example, both Duke and Barthamus have used their deals with Gunner Lawless and Alice respectively to force them to work for the demon in question in exchange for keeping the hellhounds from dragging their souls to Hell. In the case of Duke, killing him broke the deal and resulted in Gunner being immediately dragged to Hell. In Alice's case, killing Barthamus broke her deal completely with no sign of the hellhounds ever coming after her.
Sometimes Crossroad Demons are shown to hold power over their contracts. Dean's Crossroad Demon possessed the authority to break Evan Hudson's deal, but later could not break Dean Winchester's as Lilith held all the contracts at that time. After capturing the rogue Crossroad Demon Guy, the Winchesters appeared to believe they could force him to break all of the deals he had made, but were interrupted by Crowley who took care of it instead. Duke held control over Gunner's contract and his death immediately broke Duke's hold on the hellhounds that were meant to come for Gunner. Luther Shrike was able to use Barthamus' human bones as leverage to force Barthamus to "renegotiate" his deal and resurrect Luther after he had been dragged to Hell.
The recipient of a deal suffering an accident is a technicality that allows a Crossroad Demon to collect their soul early as long as the demon did not personally kill the person. However, this is considered bad practice by Crowley and was forbidden under his rule.
Dean's Crossroad Demon first makes an appearance in Crossroad Blues where it makes a deal with Robert Johnson and several other people including George Darrow and Evan Hudson who uses the deal to save his wife from cancer. In order to save Evan, Dean decides to summon the demon and exorcise it which will buy time as it will take the demon time to get out of Hell. However, when he does summon it, he attempts to get it to break Evan's deal instead, trying to lure it into a devil's trap. The demon avoids the trap and taunts Dean about his father being trapped in Hell, offering him a ten-year deal to save him. Dean pretends to agree, but then successfully lures the demon into another devil's trap. Dean offers the demon a deal of his own: break the deal and he will set her free, refuse and he'll exorcise her. The demon refuses so Dean starts an exorcism. Finally, partway through the exorcism, the demon gives in and breaks the deal. Dean breaks the devil's trap and frees the demon who after taunting him one last time, flees the woman it was possessing, leaving her confused.
The demon returns again in All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2, now possessing another woman, having been summoned by Dean to resurrect Sam. It refuses at first, but finally bargains Dean down to restoring Sam's life in exchange for collecting Dean's soul in one year. It also adds stipulations, telling Dean that if he tries to do anything to get out of it, the deal will be off and Sam will die instantly.
It makes another appearance in Bedtime Stories, in a different host. Sam calls upon it and then threatens it with The Colt, demanding that it break its deal with Dean in exchange for its life. It claims it doesn't hold the contract, being just an employee with a boss to answer to. Out of frustration, Sam shoots the demon through the head and kills it.
Another Crossroads Demon makes an appearance in a flashback in Time Is On My Side in which a Crossroads Demon, possessing a little girl, makes a deal with a young Bela Talbot, promising to kill her abusive parents in exchange for Bela's soul in ten years.
In I Know What You Did Last Summer, in a flashback that took place while Dean was in Hell, Sam summons another Crossroad Demon, wanting to trade places in Hell with Dean. The Demon refused to make a deal, saying Dean was right where they wanted him, at which point, Sam kills him with Ruby's knife.
In Abandon All Hope..., the Demon Crowley who had been identified as Lilith's right hand demon in the previous episode, appears to have all the powers of a Crossroad Demon as he is seen completing a deal with a mortal including the requisite kiss. Crowley helps the Winchesters by revealing the Devil's location and giving them the Colt. Crowley appears to have a position of power over other Crossroad Demons and the mortal he is first seen sealing a deal with refers to having previously met one of his underlings (an attractive brunette woman). In The Devil You Know and Two Minutes to Midnight, Crowley, referring to himself as the King of the Crossroads, makes a deal with Bobby Singer to use his soul to find Death. He keeps the soul to have leverage over Sam and Dean, though he promises to return it once the Apocalypse is over. Crowley also takes it upon himself to use the deal to restore Bobby's legs, saying he wasted his deal with him.
In the episode Weekend at Bobby's Bobby captures one and tortures it for Crowley's real name by scorching its bones. The demon eventually breaks and gives it up, but Bobby burns her bones instead of exorcising her, killing her. He is later able to use the information to force Crowley, who is now King of Hell, to break his deal. Sam may have been hunting one in the episode The Man Who Knew Too Much, as shown in a flashback to when he was soulless.
In the episode Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!, the crossroad demon Guy is making deals with people and attempts to make one with Becky Rosen. He gives her a potion for free that makes Sam fall in love with her. He is eventually confronted by the Winchesters and Garth. After the Winchesters, Garth and Becky defeat Guy, Crowley shows up, upset that Guy is cutting the deals short, which would hurt their credibility. He cancels all the deals Guy has made and then takes takes Guy to be made an example of.
It's revealed that in 2003, Crowley himself made deals with three people after being summoned by one. In the present, he sends a Hellhound to collect on the deals, but only gets two of them before the Hellhound is killed by Sam.
In Taxi Driver, in order to find a way to sneak into Hell, Sam and Dean summon a Crossroads Demon, painting a giant Devil's Trap in the middle of the crossroads so he is trapped the moment he arrives. Sam and Dean torture the demon for information with holy water at a warehouse and he refuses at first as he fears what Crowley will do to him if he finds out. The demon finally breaks and reveals that rogue Reapers sneak mortals and souls between Earth, Heaven and Hell for a price. The demon then begs them to kill him, saying he's better off dead than with Crowley. Sam and Dean agree, but first have him tell them where to find one of the rogue Reapers.
In Devil May Care, a Crossroad Demon possessing an old woman to make deals with kids and four other demons convened with Abaddon. The demon was skeptical of Abaddon's plans to take over Hell and repeatedly asked where Crowley was. Fed up with the demon, Abaddon used her powers to exorcise her, telling her to warn all of the demons in Hell that she is coming.
In Blade Runners, trying to find Crowley Sam and Dean summon a Crossroad Demon into a devil's trap only to find her possessing Snooki which they comment makes sense. Pointing out that if Abaddon takes over she'll be out of the job, Sam and Dean get Snooki to tell them what she knows of Crowley's whereabouts before exorcising her to her annoyance.
In Black, Sam Winchester has Dar strung up on a tree so he can get information from her on Crowley's whereabouts, since Crowley has Dean. Dar merely taunts him, mentioning the cruel acts he has committed. Sam ignores her and stabs her with a knife to get her to talk. Dar admits she doesn't know. Sam then slices her neck and collects the blood in a cup, and demands she contacts Crowley. This frightened Dar who begs Sam to stop, though he refuses to listen.
In Soul Survivor, it is shown how Sam got his hands on Dar. Sam had talked a drunk Lester Morris into summoning a crossroads demon, as none will answer him on Crowley's orders. Dar manifests before Lester, who tells her he wants his wife killed. Dar agrees, and quickly seals the deal with a kiss, before Sam can intervene. Sam manages to capture Dar and begins his interrogation, though Dar taunts him over the fact that he had just tricked a guy into selling his soul.
In The Executioner's Song, Crowley holds court, during which an unnamed crossroads demon requests he be given credit for all the hard work he has done. Crowley agrees, but Rowena urges him not to listen and instead, to slice the demon in two and pin his two halves on the court doors as an example to other demons to be not be whiny. Crowley ultimately takes Rowena's side, and the demon is dragged away, screaming.
In Beyond the Mat, Sam and Dean discover that a Crossroad Demon named Duke is using Gunner Lawless to kill people and collect their souls for his own "nest egg". Duke explains that with the return of the Darkness and Lucifer, its every demon for themselves and he's trying to ensure his survival. Lawless had made a deal ten years before and Duke had offered to call off the hellhounds if he did Duke's bidding. Dean is able to convince Lawless to help them and he kills Duke with the demon-killing knife. Afterwards, the hellhounds come to collect on Lawless' deal and he chooses to face them, remorseful for his actions.
In Celebrating The Life Of Asa Fox, the sadistic Crossroad Demon Jael invades the wake of his former rival, Asa Fox. He takes possession of some of the guests present and reveals their personal secrets, such as the identity of Asa's children and the fact that Bucky Sims is the one who murdered Asa, and not him, as Bucky had told everyone. Jael is ultimately exorcised by the combined effort of the hunters.
In The Scorpion and The Frog, the new King of the Crossroads Barthamus offers to trade a Nephilim tracking spell to the Winchesters in exchange for them stealing a trunk from Luther Shrike. The Winchesters steal the trunk and learn that it contains Barthamus' bones, having been stolen by Luther as leverage after Barthamus cured his son of a terminal illness and then allowed the boy to die of drowning a few years later. While Barthamus kills Luther, his bones are burned by Alice, killing Barthamus and destroying the spell.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
As demons, they possess all standard demon powers. Though salesmen, they're physically stronger and more powerful than black-eyed demons, being a higher rank. They also appear to have control over individual hellhounds (their main method of dragging a soul to Hell), although other demons (e.g. Meg) can also control hellhounds. Crossroads demons cannot control other demons' hounds.
- Demonic Possession - Like all demons, they require vessels to walk the Earth.
- Super Strength - Crossroad demons are stronger than humans, most monsters, and normal black-eyed demons.
- Reality Warping (by deals) - The crossroad demon's main power is that it can manipulate reality to make the wishes of the mortals it deals with come true. However, they can't do this without a deal for a soul.
- Resurrection - Both Dean's Crossroad Demon and Barthamus displayed the ability to resurrect the dead as part of the deals they make.
- Healing - Crossroad demons have shown the ability to heal as part of the deals they make. Crowley was able to heal Bobby Singer's paralyzed legs while both Dean's Crossroad Demon and Barthamus could heal terminal illnesses.
- Power Granting - After being blackmailed by Luther Shrike, Barthamus was forced to grant Luther immortality as long as Luther was on his property.
- Teleportation - They have the ability to teleport, and commonly appear when summoned to make deals.
- Immortality - As demons they can live forever unless killed.
- Invulnerability - As demons, they are invulnerable to most forms of harm.
- Telekinesis - A crossroad demon was able to throw Sam and Dean around with his mind.
- Dream Walking - In a deleted scene for Brother's Keeper on the season 10 DVD Crowley displayed this ability to visit Dean in his dreams.
- Devil's Trap - A Devil's Trap will hold a Crossroad Demon.
- Holy Water - Holy water affects Crossroad Demons.
- Exorcism - It will pull a Crossroad Demon out of its host and send it to Hell.
- Demon Curing Ritual - A Crossroad Demon could be cured by this ritual and become human.
- Hex Bags - Hex bags can cause extreme pain to a Crossroad Demon.
- Angels - Angels can overpower and kill Crossroad Demons.
- Angel Blades - It could kill a Crossroad Demon.
- Burning Their Human Bones - Burning the bones of a Crossroad Demon's original human body could kill them while just scorching them caused harm to the Crossroad Demon. Threatening them was an effective form of leverage against a Crossroad Demon.
- Demon-Killing Knife - This knife could kill a Crossroad Demon.
- The Colt - This gun could kill a Crossroad Demon.
Known Crossroad DemonsEdit
- Barthamus (deceased)
- Bela's Crossroad Demon
- Bobby's Crossroad Demon (deceased)
- Crowley (deceased)
- Dar (unknown)
- Dean's Crossroad Demon (deceased)
- Duke (deceased)
- Grandma (exorcised)
- Guthrie (deceased)
- Guy (unknown)
- Jael (exorcised)
- Nicole Polizzi's Crossroad Demon (exorcised)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Black (Dar)
- Reichenbach (Crowley)
- Soul Survivor (Crowley)
- Girls, Girls, Girls (Crowley, Dar)
- The Things We Left Behind (Crowley)
- The Hunter Games (Crowley)
- The Executioner's Song (Crowley)
- Paint it Black (Crowley)
- Inside Man (Crowley)
- Dark Dynasty (Crowley)
- The Prisoner (Crowley)
- Brother's Keeper (Crowley)
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Keep Calm and Carry On (Crowley)
- Mamma Mia (Crowley)
- The Foundry (Crowley)
- Celebrating The Life Of Asa Fox (Jael)
- Rock Never Dies (Crowley)
- LOTUS (Crowley)
- First Blood (Crowley)
- Stuck in the Middle (With You) (Crowley)
- Family Feud (Crowley)
- Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (Crowley)
- The British Invasion (Crowley)
- There's Something About Mary (Crowley)
- All Along the Watchtower (Crowley)
- Season 13