|“||Your dad, he's in here with me. Trapped inside his own meat suit.||”|
Angels, of every variety, use possession as the means to interact with humans on Earth, and they require the vessel's permission before they can take any form of control, under a law mandated by God. Angels can bind Horsemen to their vessels, as shown by Lucifer, but if the vessel is dispossessed of the angel or is killed, the spell will break. Angels' true forms can fry humans to rotting corpses and their voices, outside vessels, can render humans deaf. Although, the angel's true vessels can withstand their respective angel's form and voices.
Angels have multiple people that can be vessels for them, but only one person is their "true" vessel. While in a lesser vessel, an angel's abilities are limited when compared with their true vessel, and, as evidenced by Lucifer and Hael, may be damaging to the human. Archangels require their true vessel, otherwise they will burn out the body they are inhabiting. Not all humans are even compatible to house angels, and those who are incompatible and house them, will quickly degenerate and explode into blood, similar to the process of Molecular Combustion.
Possessing a person has a downside as it renders them vulnerable to death by whatever they are vulnerable to by anyone that has that weapon. For example, an angel in a vessel can be killed by a human or a demon if they possess an angel blade when without a vessel, this would be impossible. When demons possess people, it also allows them to be killed when even an angel's powers are unable to kill them in their smoke form. However, the downside of this is that the person they are possessing is killed with them. If a demon's original human bones are burned, both they and their vessels are set on fire and burn to ash. In a unique case, Nick, the vessel of the archangel Lucifer, survived Lucifer being killed by an archangel blade. Sam Winchester speculated that this was because the blade was designed to kill the archangel within the vessel and not the vessel itself.
It is revealed that an angel that has become a human can themselves become possessed if they say "Yes." One angel believed that possessing Castiel in this way would make her stronger, but this is unconfirmed as Castiel killed her before she could force him to agree.
Demons possess the ability to restore their destroyed vessels with a ritual.
If a human bearing the Mark of Cain dies, he or she would be resurrected as a demon, with their former body serving as a vessel. This is demonstrated by Cain and Dean Winchester, both who became demons when they died bearing the mark.
More than one being may possess a vessel: for a short time, both Crowley and Gadreel possessed Sam Winchester before Sam expelled Gadreel and Crowley willingly left. Likewise, multiple Leviathans possessed Jimmy Novak for a short time, though the result was unstable. Later, Lucifer possessed Jimmy alongside Castiel and remained in control until Amara extracted him from Castiel. For a few minutes Lucifer, Crowley and Castiel possessed Jimmy at the same time, before the Winchesters exorcised Crowley.
According to Crowley, a person who is possessed can access the memories of the one possessing them and are aware of everything that being is aware of even if they don't remember it. With encouragement from Crowley, Sam is able to access a few of the memories of Gadreel.
Angel and demon vessels don't seem to age no matter how long they are possessed: Cain possessed his original body since his death and his appearance never changed, while a demon possessed Sister Agnes for over 50 years and she didn't age either. Castiel specifically told Jimmy Novak that he wouldn't age while possessed by him so it is the same with angels.
Both angels and demons can inhabit a dead person though given that angels need their vessel's permission, this is likely unique to Castiel as he was resurrected by God in the body of Jimmy Novak while Jimmy was not brought back. Lucifer, after being exorcised from Jefferson Rooney, was sent back into Nick's body by Crowley's perverted spell. While Nick's body had been repaired and improved to act as Lucifer's permanent vessel, Nick did not appear to have reconsented despite having been resurrected. This was presumably due to the nature of the spell modifications Crowley performed.
If an angel wishes, they are capable of granting their vessels powers when the vessel is in control and the angel is in the background. When Dean agreed to possession by the Apocalypse World Michael, Dean was granted several of Michael's powers while retaining control of himself. Included amongst these abilities was the power to kill an archangel with an archangel blade. Previously, only archangels were capable of killing each other with the blades.
It is law that angels use vessels to interact within the physical world. But in order for this to happen, the angel must first gain consent of their would-be vessel, who must voluntarily agree to the transaction, and no angel can disobey it, and thus will only take a willing vessel and will not and can not force themselves into a human like demons, thanks to the laws of God. Even archangels aren't exempt from this. Because of that, and the fact that most humans cannot stand the sight of an angel's true form, the angels have to find both willing and durable vessels.
After finding a potential host, the angel will then communicate with the human through visions in order to explain themselves and ask for the human's consent to gain control of their body. Such as when Castiel contacted Jimmy Novak through his household electronics and showed him a vision of what was to come. However, Lucifer tormented his vessel in order to get his consent through psychological hallucinations. Angels who have manifested within a vessel have superhuman abilities that easily surpass the power of a demon. It is unknown whether angels suppress their hosts like demons, but Jimmy described having Castiel inside him like being "strapped to a comet" and when Lucifer possessed Sam and let him speak, albeit through his own reflection, he referred to it as taking "the gag off." He later was able to speak to Jefferson Rooney inside his mind while possessing him. Dean told Sam that while Michael was possessing him it was like he was drowning and he lacked memory of the entire possession. After Castiel accessed some of his memories of the possession, Dean was able to remember more on his own later while talking with the alternate Kaia about Michael meeting her in his body. Additionally, while possessed, Dean managed to briefly manifest himself in a mirror to communicate with Michael, albeit after months of possession and for only a very short time before he was pushed down again.
It has been shown however that if the vessel has enough strength of will, they can overpower the angel for at least a short time and retake control. This is true with demons as well, but for both the vessel must be exceptionally strong-willed. It's also been shown that an angel can choose to let their vessel take complete control and not even know that they are there but they can take control themselves when they wish without further permission.
Archangels however are much more powerful than regular angels and as a result their presence in a human "hollows them out" leaving a vacant empty shell once they leave the human, with recovery unknown. However, this may be more of a lack of care on the part of the archangel that causes this as Michael tells Dean that this won't happen to him if he allows Michael to use him as his vessel, despite Castiel saying that it will and that he will leave the young John Winchester who he is possessing "better than new." John is shown to be unaffected by the possession, though he was possessed for a shorter time than Raphael's vessel Donnie Finnerman who had also endured only a short possession and was left catatonic. If they aren't using their true vessel, the one they are using will decay over time, as shown with Nick. Other vessels used by Lucifer were burned out, appearing to be in a similar state to a being who has been smited. If an alternate vessel is only possessed for a short period of time, they may survive with little to no damage as shown with Jefferson Rooney after Lucifer was expelled from him. Dean Winchester, despite being possessed by the archangel Michael for weeks, suffered no ill effects to his health when Michael left his body aside from being weak at first though he quickly recovered. Though Nick survived Lucifer's destruction with his mind intact thanks to Crowley upgrading his body to act as a suitable vessel, Lucifer was determined to have done more damage to Nick's psyche than had previously been realized. This caused aggression and even occasional Lucifer-like mannerisms.
Angels can leave the host whenever they want to or if they are called away by the higher ups, leaving the vessel with little or no memory of the time they were occupied. The process also doesn't kill the human either as angels heal their vessel's wounds completely unlike demons whose vessels have their wounds return after the demon is exorcised or leaves. Also, as angels do not need to eat, a vessel may find themselves extremely hungry after being freed from possession.
A difference between angelic and demonic vessels is that while demons are unaffected by injuries to their vessels, they don't actually heal them and when the demon leaves their vessel through choice or exorcism, if the vessel has been fatally injured, the vessel will die. This tends to happen with vessels who have been possessed over a long period of time while vessels who have possessed for a much shorter period of time may survive, though traumatized. In the case of angels, when their vessels take injuries, they heal the injuries and the vessel will live if the angel leaves no matter how severe or fatal the injuries the vessel took over its possession. In one case an angel offered to use this aspect of taking a vessel to heal Sam Winchester of the damage he got from doing the Trials of God, something he could not heal by himself with his normal powers but apparently could with enough time through possession.
A vessel of an angel, due to their consent being needed for possession, can actually expel the angel possessing them if they wish to. Gadreel and Dean kept Sam from knowing of his possession by the angel to prevent this very thing from happening, but Sam, after learning of Gadreel's possession of him, managed to expel the angel once he knew the truth. Another aspect of this is that it's shown that even with a willing vessel if an angel leaves for any reason, they need the vessel's permission a second time when they return: Castiel needed Jimmy Novak's permission again after being pulled back to Heaven and Gadreel's original vessel had to give him permission once more when he was expelled by Sam. However, contrary to this, Lucifer did not need Nick's permission a second time after Crowley perverted a spell to send him back into Nick. This was possibly a consequence of the spell. Additionally, when Dean managed to manifest himself in a mirror while possessed by the archangel Michael, his attempt to order Michael out of his body had absolutely no effect on him and Michael only left on his own. Michael later revealed that Dean was actually fighting him so much that Michael chose to leave on his own before Dean could push him out in order to break Dean's spirit and prevent this. Michael was able to repossess Dean without a second "yes" because before he left Dean's body, Michael "left the door open a crack" which allowed him to return at will.
The British Men of Letters, using a combination of sorcery and technology, were able to create a device called a hyperbolic pulse generator capable of expelling both angels and demons from their vessels due to the inefficiency of exorcisms. This device is shown to be able to effectively exorcise even archangels.
- Jimmy Novak - Religious family man who was selected by Castiel to act as his vessel. Acts as Castiel's first on-screen vessel until Castiel is pulled back to Heaven. Jimmy allows Castiel to possess him a second time to save his daughter from possession by the angel. Jimmy later died when Raphael smote Castiel but was resurrected along with him. Jimmy died again when Lucifer smote Castiel and while Castiel was brought back, Jimmy wasn't though Castiel continues to occupy his body.
- Claire Novak - Briefly allowed Castiel to possess her to save her family but he eventually left her for her father.
- Sam Winchester - When Dean suggested Castiel possess Sam to help him expel Gadreel, Castiel confirmed it was possible but he would need Sam's permission also.
- Dean Winchester - As Castiel can possess Sam, it is likely he can possess Dean as well if he has his permission.
- Castiel's female vessel - At one point, Castiel had a female vessel from an unknown lineage. Castiel used this vessel in 1901, but it is unclear what happened to her or why Castiel chose to end his possession of her.
For Michael: All descendants of Cain and Abel are capable of successfully containing Michael without discomfort.
- Dean Winchester - Metaphorically the Sword of Michael, he was preordained from the birth of humanity to host Michael. Became the vessel of an alternate reality Michael to kill Lucifer. Eventually abandoned by Michael after he was injured with the alternate Kaia's spear. Eventually repossessed by Michael who "left the door open a crack" in Dean's mind so that he could return at will.
- Henry Winchester - Since Henry is a descendent of Cain and Abel and a member of the Winchester bloodline, it's assumed that he could be a possible vessel for Michael.
- John Winchester - He was chosen by Michael to serve as an alternate vessel so that he could save Mary Winchester (to ensure Sam and Dean were born) and converse with Dean.
- Adam Milligan - He was chosen by Michael as an alternate vessel. He is currently trapped in Lucifer's Cage with Michael.
- Sam Winchester - As revealed by Michael, Sam is a descendant of Cain and Abel so it can be assumed that Sam has the ability to contain Michael. However, Michael would likely not use him as he is Lucifer's true vessel.
- Unnamed male - This man had been used as the vessel of the Apocalypse World Michael. Vacated by Michael in favor of Dean Winchester and presumably died of his injuries afterwards.
- Unnamed female - Used as a vessel by the Apocalypse World Michael following his leaving Dean Winchester's body. Abandoned by Michael when he once again possessed Dean.
For Uriel: The requirements to host Uriel are unknown.
- Uriel's vessel - Uriel's primary vessel on the series.
- Uriel's second vessel - Vessel briefly used by Uriel in the past. Possibly the same man as the first.
For Zachariah: The requirements to host Zachariah are unknown.
- Zachariah's vessel - An unknown man used by Zachariah as a vessel on Earth.
For Lucifer: Through being related to Cain and Abel, although not a huge aspect. It's crucial to consume immense quantities of demon blood (meaning gallons) to host Lucifer without damage. Even Sam, Lucifer's true vessel, had to drink gallons of demon blood before he gave Lucifer consent to possess him.
- Sam Winchester - He was preordained from the birth of humanity to host Lucifer. All of the events that occurred had prepared Sam to be Lucifer's vessel, such as Azazel feeding Sam demon blood when he was a baby so that he could gain special psychic abilities, Ruby training Sam's abilities so that he could kill Lilith and break the final seal and getting him addicted to demon blood (to presumably prepare him to host Lucifer), etc. Sam was briefly possessed by Lucifer before regaining control and throwing himself (while being possessed by Lucifer) and Michael (possessing Adam) into the Cage. Unlike the vessels for Michael, Sam is the only one in the Winchester family that can be the true vessel for Lucifer.
- Nick - He was chosen by Lucifer to serve as his vessel until Sam agreed to say "yes" to him, leaving Nick burned out by the possession. Resurrected by Crowley years later and improved to act as Lucifer's vessel once more. Remained Lucifer's vessel until Lucifer was killed by Dean Winchester which Nick survived.
- Jimmy Novak/Castiel - Lucifer has displayed the ability to possess the Seraphim Castiel with his permission and without causing visible damage to Castiel's vessel, though Castiel implied he would have eventually burnt out. In We Happy Few, the Darkness removed Lucifer from Castiel's body.
- At Least Five Unnamed People - Following his expulsion from Castiel's body, Lucifer began searching for a new vessel but burned out at least five unnamed people in the effort during Keep Calm and Carry On.
- Lucifer's Teenage Vessel - A teenage boy used for the longest by Lucifer during this time period until he too burned out.
- Vince Vincente - Lucifer takes possession of this man shortly after the Darkness leaves Earth. Like previous vessels (except Sam) Vince quickly shows signs of degrading. He is eventually burned out by Lucifer's possession by lasts for around a month unlike his other temporary vessels.
- Wallace Parker - Described as being "the CEO of practically everything", he was briefly possessed by Lucifer and burned out by him.
- Archbishop of St. Louis - Briefly possessed by Lucifer before burning out.
- Jefferson Rooney - The President of the United States who agreed to possession by Lucifer in exchange for Lucifer guiding him in making America a more spiritual place. Lucifer was ultimately exorcised from Rooney by Sam Winchester with a hyperbolic pulse generator. Though left unconscious, Rooney survived Lucifer's possession.
For Raphael: Requirements to be a suitable vessel for Raphael isn't known, however he possess two different vessels over time.
- Donnie Finnerman - Was chosen by Raphael to serve as a vessel.
- African-American Woman - Anonymous and unclear of origin, this woman assented, and got possessed by Raphael.
For Gabriel: The requirements to host Gabriel is strictly unknown.
- Gabriel's vessel - Nothing about this vessel is known but he had to give his consent to Gabriel, some millennia ago. Gabriel appeared to alter his vessel's appearance to that of the Trickster Loki when assuming his identity. He was killed by an alternate reality Michael.
For Samandriel: Samandriel apparently doesn't have any specific requirements for his vessel as he stated he just grabbed the nearest one.
- Alfie - Samandriel possessed a young fast food worker named Alfie.
For Gadreel: Gadreel seems to be able to possess anyone who is suitable as long as they give him consent.
- Gadreel's vessel - Nothing is known of this man except that Gadreel possessed him after falling to Earth. He later abandoned him for Sam Winchester and the man was left with no memory of the experience. He later agrees to Gadreel possessing him again after Sam expels the angel and acts as his vessel until his death.
- Sam Winchester - In order to heal Sam of the damage done to him by the Trials of God and to recuperate from injuries he himself sustained falling to Earth, Gadreel takes Sam as his vessel, but lets him remain in control with no knowledge of it though he is able to take control at will. He eventually takes full permanent control of Sam, but with Crowley's help, Sam expels him.
For Hael: Hael needs someone capable of holding an angel properly or the body will decay.
- Gloria Lewellen Jacobson - According to the death records of Hael's vessel, her name was Gloria Lewellen Jacobson and she was 19 years old.
- Jimmy Novak/Castiel - As her vessel was decaying, Hael planned to possess Castiel and his vessel Jimmy Novak as Jimmy was stronger and could more easily contain an angel.
For Ephraim: Ephraim apparently only needs someone capable of safely being a vessel.
- Ephraim's vessel - Ephraim's vessel was a devout man who became obsessed with the Reverend Buddy Boyle and let Ephraim in when he asked. This was Ephraim's first and last vessel.
For Kim Schortz's angel: This angel apparently does not have any special requirements.
- Kim Schortz - Kim was a believer in angels which is what likely drew the angel to her. She presumably survived the possession.
For Thaddeus: Thaddeus apparently doesn't have any specific requirements for someone to be his vessel.
- Cory - Thaddeus possessed a singer named Cory.
For Abner: Abner apparently doesn't have any specific requirements for his vessel.
- Alexander Sarver - Abner possessed an abusive man named Alexander Sarver.
For Rebecca: Rebecca is apparently able to possess anyone who gives her consent.
- Darlene Foster - Rebecca possessed a young woman named Darlene Foster.
For Josiah: Josiah apparently doesn't have specific requirements for a vessel.
- Sean Flynn - Josiah used a young man named Sean Flynn from Omaha, Nebraska for a vessel.
For Flagstaff: Flagstaff apparently doesn't have any requirements for a vessel.
- Flagstaff's Vessel - Flagstaff took a young doctor as her vessel.
For Hannah: Hannah apparently has no specific requirements for a vessel.
- Caroline Johnson - Hannah possesses Caroline to manifest on Earth. After year of possessing her, Hannah returns to Heaven so Caroline can go back to her husband.
- Unnamed male - Hannah took the vessel of another angel to communicate with Castiel. She kept this vessel up until her death.
For Benjamin: Benjamin's requirements for a vessel are unknown.
- Benjamin's vessel - Benjamin took a powerfully devout woman he met in Madrid as his vessel. Unusually for an angel, Benjamin and his vessel, who he possessed for over a century, were friends. Both killed by Lily Sunder.
For Mirabel: Mirabel's requirements for a vessel are unknown.
- Mirabel's vessel - An unnamed woman possessed by Mirabel for over a century. Both killed by Lily Sunder.
For Ishim: Ishim's requirements for a vessel are unknown.
- Ishim's vessel - An unnamed man possessed by Ishim for over a century. Killed with Ishim when Castiel killed the angel.
For Joshua: Joshua's requirements for a vessel are unknown.
Unlike angels, demons do not need permission to possess a human's body. They can also occupy corpses.
- Colette Mullen - Abaddon possessed Colette in order to convince Cain to return to the Knights. Abaddon fled before Cain could harm her, leading Cain to fatally stab Colette instead.
- Mother Superior - Possessed by Abaddon at St. Bonaventure Convent in 1958 as part of her soul-stealing plan. Left her body for Josie Sands.
- Josie Sands - Initially possessed to infiltrate the Men of Letters, Josie became Abaddon's preferred vessel to the point that Abaddon had Josie's body restored for just that purpose. Abaddon was eventually killed while possessing Josie.
- Larry's wife - The wife of Larry Ganem. She was possessed so Abaddon could locate Henry and learn about the precious object he carried. She was killed along with Larry shortly afterwards.
- Alastair's first vessel - A pediatrician who acted as Alastair's vessel while he partook in the search and capture of Anna Milton. The man was killed when Alastair purposely walked into a flash of white light emitted by Anna. Alastair survived, while the man's body was incinerated.
- Alastair's temporary vessel - Possessed by Alastair after the destruction of his first vessel. He was forced to abandon this man in order to escape from Sam and his powers. It is unknown if he survived the possession.
- Alastair's second vessel - Possessed by Alastair shortly after Alastair escaped from Sam. Alastair remained in possession in this man during his torture at the hands of Dean Winchester, which likely caused this man great suffering, if not to the point of death. The man was certainly killed along with Alastair when Sam used his powers to kill the demon.
- Dominic Lehne - A priest possessed in 1972 when Azazel discovered the gateway to Lucifer's Cage was underneath St. Mary's Convent. The man survived the possession and later recalled the demon's name.
- Unnamed man - Possessed by Azazel in 1973 during which Azazel met Mary Campbell.
- Samuel Campbell - Possessed and fatally stabbed in 1973 while convincing Mary to make a deal with him.
- John Winchester - Possessed as part of a plan to trap Sam and Dean and get The Colt. John briefly manages to regain control, allowing Sam to get the Colt and shoot Azazel in the leg. Azazel loses control, but Sam can't bring himself to kill his father and Azazel flees John's body.
- Two Unnamed Men - Possessed when Azazel visited baby Sam and baby Rosie Holt to feed them demon blood.
- Hospital janitor - Possessed when John summoned him to make a deal to save Dean's life. Azazel continued to possess the janitor until both were killed by Dean with the Colt.
- Barthamus' Minion:
- Unnamed woman - An unidentified woman possessed by the demon for an unknown period of time. Its unknown if she survived her possession or not as the woman collapsed with a gasp once the demon left her.
- Museum Security Guard - Possessed by the demon after he discovered it in the Cambridge Museum's Archive Room. Killed along with the demon by Barthamus with an angel blade to keep the demon from reporting back to Asmodeus.
- Literary agent - A man from England who served as Crowley's vessel up until Crowley committed suicide in 2017. He was Crowley's primary vessel.
- Linda Tran - Possessed by Crowley to get the Demon Tablet. After Dean nearly kills him, Crowley flees Linda who survives, but is at first catatonic.
- Sam Winchester - Briefly possessed to help him expel Gadreel.
- Andre Devlin - Briefly possessed in order to discover the location of The First Blade.
- Marnie - Possessed after Crowley escaped an assassination attempt by Castiel. It is unknown if she survived the possession.
- Jimmy Novak/Castiel - Briefly possessed in an attempt to expel Lucifer from Castiel.
- Rat - Briefly possessed so Crowley could avoid being killed by Lucifer.
- Dean's Crossroad Demon:
- First vessel - A young black woman who was possessed while making a deal with Robert Johnson.
- Second vessel - A young woman who was possessed while trying to make a deal with Evan Hudson. The demon fled the woman when Dean threatened to kill her. The woman survived.
- Third vessel - A woman with short hair who was possessed when Dean offered to sell his soul in exchange for Sam's resurrection.
- Fourth vessel - A young woman who was possessed when Sam summoned the demon in an attempt to have Dean's deal broken. She was killed along with the demon when Sam shot her with The Colt.
- White Man - Gerald possessed this man for an unknown period of time before he was forced to smoke out of him to avoid being killed by Rowena.
- Black Man - After escaping from Rowena, Gerald possessed this man so he could report to Crowley what had happened. Gerald maintains possession of this man until he is killed by Crowley for disobeying a direct order to not harm Rowena.
- Meg Masters - She was attending college in 2005 when an unnamed demon took possession of her and began using her name. She sustained fatal injuries which she died from after the demon was exorcised from her body.
- Sam Winchester - He was possessed for a couple of weeks as part of the demon's revenge plan to have Dean kill his brother. The demon burned a mark into Sam's arm to tie herself to him. After the mark was removed, the demon fled Sam's body to avoid being exorcised again. Sam survived.
- Unnamed brunette - An aspiring actress from Cheboygan who was used as a vessel by the demon up until the demon's death at the hands of Crowley.
- First Nations Native American girl - Jael had possessed this girl at some point, and forced the girl to commit suicide before Asa Fox could complete the exorcism.
- Marlene - A woman who was dating Asa. Jael possessed her and killed her and her child as revenge against Asa.
- Alicia Banes - Jael possesses Alicia at Asa's wake with the intent of killing all the hunters gathered there. He manages to kill Randy Bull. He smokes out once the hunters discover him, leaving Alicia with a minor headache.
- Elvis Katz - Jael possessed Elvis after vacating Alicia. He tries to kill Dean but proves too weak to win. He decides to snap Elvis' neck and leaves his body before Dean can finish an exorcism.
- Jody Mills - A hunter who was possessed by Jael after the failed exorcism of Elvis Katz. Jael was exorcised from Jody who survived the possession by Sam, Dean, Max and Alicia Banes and Mary Winchester.
- Jeffrey's Demon:
- Young brunette - Possessed by Lilith while visiting the Monument, Colorado police station in order to torture the survivors there.
- Fremont Daughter - Possessed as part of a vacation in which Lilith pretended to be a little girl who celebrated her birthday everyday.
- Ruby's blonde vessel - Possessed in order to trick Sam and Dean into thinking she was Ruby. Lilith fled the vessel to avoid being killed by Sam.
- Dental hygenist - Lilith possessed this woman when she tried to make a deal with Sam. She fled temporarily to avoid being killed by Raphael, and re-possessed her while awaiting her death at St. Mary's Convent.
- Ruby's blonde vessel - Ruby took possession of this woman in order to interact with Sam and earn his trust. She was eventually forced to leave this vessel on Lilith's orders so Lilith could "borrow" her.
- Blonde Secretary - She was possessed by Ruby shortly after Ruby's return from Hell. Ruby was forced to abandon her by Sam and choose a vessel who wasn't alive.
- Motel maid - Briefly possessed so Ruby could warn Sam and Dean that demons were surrounding their motel and tell them where she had hid Anna Milton.
- Jane Doe - Since Sam despised the idea of Ruby possessing women who were alive, Ruby went onto possess this woman who had recently died. Ruby was killed while possessing this woman.
- Seven Deadly Sins:
- Bald man - Possessed by Gluttony. Both the demon and the vessel were killed by Ruby.
- Blond woman - Possessed by Lust. Lust attempted to seduce Dean using this woman but failed, and was exorcised by Bobby. The woman survived the possession.
- Brunette woman - Possessed by Greed. Both Greed and the vessel were killed during a fight with Ruby.
- Isaac - Possessed by Wrath after being killed by Gluttony to trick the Winchesters, Tamara and Bobby Singer into opening the door to their house. Stabbed with Palo Santo by Tamara and later exorcised by Bobby.
- Overweight man - Possessed by Sloth. During a confrontation with Bobby, Sloth accidentally walked into a devil's trap and was subsequently exorcised. His vessel survived the possession.
- Tattoed man - Originally possessed by Wrath before being abandoned in favor of Isaac. The man's status is unknown.
- Walter Rosen - Possessed by Envy who uses him to make a young woman kill another young woman. After he is captured by the Winchesters, Tamara and Bobby Singer, Tamara exorcises Envy, but Walter doesn't survive the exorcism.
- White male - Possessed by Pride. Both Pride and the vessel were killed by Ruby.
- George Phelps - Possessed by an unnamed Disaster Demon to crash Flight 2485.
- Chuck Lambert - Possessed by the same unnaemed Disaster Demon in order to kill Chuck, a survivor of Flight 2485.
- Co-Pilot - Possessed by the same Disaster Demon to crash Flight 424 and kill stewardess Amanda Walker who survived Flight 2485. Exorcised from the co-pilot by Sam Winchester before it could succeed.
- Tom's vessel - A young man possessed by Azazel's "son." Helps capture John Winchester while possessed, but both the demon and the young man are killed when Dean Winchester shoots him through the head with the Colt to save his brother.
- Trucker - In an attempt to kill the Winchesters, a demon possesses a trucker and rams the Impala, fatally injuring Dean and slightly injuring Sam and John. The demon attempts to finish the job, but when Sam pulls the Colt on him, he flees the trucker who survives his possession.
- Casey - In Elizabethville, Ohio, a demon possesses Casey and uses her to manipulate the people of the town into giving into their baser instincts. Both demon and vessel are killed by Sam Winchester with The Colt.
- Father Gil - Priest possessed by a demon in Elizabethville, Ohio and the lover of the demon possessing Casey. Both demon and vessel are killed by Sam Winchester with The Colt.
- Tammi Fenton - Woman possessed by the demon Astaroth to manipulate a coven of witches into selling their souls to her for power. After a fight, both Tammi and Astaroth are killed by Dean Winchester with the Demon-killing knife.
- Karen Singer - Karen was possessed by a demon and her husband, Bobby, not knowing what was going on, fatally stabbed her trying to stop her. Eventually Rufus Turner exorcised her and Bobby became a hunter.
- Steven Groves - Possessed by a demon to infiltrate the FBI. Dies when the demon vacates his body to avoid being exorcised.
- Victor Henriksen - Possessed by a demon to get at the Winchesters. Demon exorcised by Sam Winchester. Henriksen survived the possession.
- One of the Monument Deputies - Possessed by a demon to lay siege to the Monument, Colorado Sheriff's Station. Throat slit by the demon possessing him.
- Monument Townspeople - Thirty or so people living in Monument, Colorado possessed by the Siege Demons in order to lay siege to the Monument, Colorado Sheriff's Station. Most exorcised by the Winchesters and Victor Henriksen, a few killed with their demons by Ruby.
- Jenna Rubner - Possessed by a demon in order to lay siege to the Monument, Colorado Sheriff's Station. Demon exorcised by the Winchesters and Victor Henriksen which Jenna survived.
- Bobby Singer - Bobby was possessed by a demon working for Meg to find out the location of the Michael Sword. When ordered to kill Dean by Meg, Bobby managed to regain control of himself for a moment and stab himself with the demon-killing knife. The demon died and while Bobby himself survived, he was left paralyzed until a demon deal restored his legs.
- Julia Wright - Julia was possessed for nine months in 1997 by a demon who impregnates her with a Cambion. She regained control when giving birth to her son Jesse Turner and used road salt to force the demon to leave her body. The demon later returns in 2009 to possess her once more to locate Jesse. The demon nearly succeeds in convincing Jesse to join it, however, Jesse, after being convinced to do the right thing by Sam, exorcises the demon with his powers.
- Nora - A teenage girl who got into witchcraft, Nora is possessed when Trevor summons a demon in order to have it kill Dean and collect a reward. The demon kills Trevor and goes after Dean who fails to kill her. However, Dean and Gary Frankle exorcise the demon together, sending it back to Hell and saving Nora.
- Brady - Brady is a young man and friend of Sam Winchester who was possessed by a demon during college to get close to Sam. He introduced Sam to and killed Jessica Moore and later worked for Pestilence. Both demon and vessel were killed by Sam in revenge after getting Pestilence's location from him.
- Christian Campbell - Christian is possessed by a demon working for Crowley to keep an eye on Samuel Campbell and his operation. Both vessel and demon are killed by Dean Winchester when he tortures Meg.
- Lisa Braeden - After kidnapping Lisa, Crowley has a demon possess her in case Dean manages to rescue her. When Dean does arrive to rescue her and her son Ben, the demon takes Ben hostage and taunts both him and Dean, but Dean starts to exorcise the demon. To force him to stop, the demon makes Lisa fatally stab herself, but Dean finishes the exorcism anyway and the demon is sent back to Hell. Lisa survives as Castiel later heals her.
- Don Harding - A witch who was sacrificed by his sister Tracy Davis and became the vessel for the demon Samhain. Eventually exorcised by Sam.
- Cindy McKellan - This nurse was possessed by a demon who served as Lilith's "chef". After being captured by Sam and Ruby, the demon released control of Cindy as a means of taunting Sam. Despite his initial reluctance, Sam sacrificed Cindy in order to drink her demonic blood.
- Channing - Possessed to keep an eye out for Kevin Tran. After Kevin escapes, Crowley has the demon leave Channing and then kills her.
- Peter Kent - Family man possessed by a demon and made to devour his own children. In 1958, Father Max Thompson captured him and performed the Demon Curing Ritual on him. The ritual worked for the first time and the demon in Peter became human.
- Colette Mullen - Possessed by Abaddon to try to force Cain into working with the Knights of Hell again. Instead, Cain slaughters all of the Knights but Abaddon and demands she leave Colette. Unable to convince Cain, Abaddon starts to cause fatal damage to Colette's body and flees her when Cain starts to stab her with the First Blade, causing Cain to kill Colette who was still alive.
- Del - Young man possessed by a demon working for Crowley and keeping Linda Tran and Candy prisoner. Both demon and vessel are killed by Linda Tran.
- Snooki - Possessed by a Crossroad Demon and summoned by Sam and Dean to locate Crowley. Exorcised after giving them what they want.
- Sister Agnes - Possessed by a demon working for Abaddon as part of her plan to steal souls to create her own army. Possessed from 1958 to 2013 where both the vessel and demon are killed by Sam Winchester.
- Jake - Young man possessed by a demon as part of a test organized by Crowley for Dean.
- Drew Neely - Man possessed by a demon who then went on to kill his family. Was possessed for three years and the demon was a loyal follower of Abaddon until her death. Attacked Dean after getting his location from Crowley but was killed by Dean with the First Blade.
- Duke - Duke possessed an unnamed man before he was killed by Gunner Lawless.
- Ramiel - Possessed an unnamed man for at least several years before being killed by Sam with the Lance of Michael.
- Dermott Culp - Possessed by a demon loyal to Dagon for around a year before both were killed by Eileen Leahy.
- Dagon - Possessed an unnamed woman for an unknown period of time before being killed by Castiel empowered by Lucifer's son.
For Leviathans: Leviathan can possess any human body they come in contact with. They obtain the memories of their vessel and replace their blood with black goo. The Leviathan can transform its initial vessel into any other creature whose DNA it absorbs.
- Eve's vessel - Not much is known about Eve's vessel, except that she was a young virgin who was kidnapped by Eve's dragons.
- Castiel - Served as the initial vessel for all the Leviathan. When his body was destroyed, the Leviathan escaped into the water supply.
- Annie - A little girl that was the vessel for the Leviathan that would later become Dr. Gaines.
- Edgar - The human vessel chosen by Dick Roman's Second-in-Command. Retained throughout the rest of the season.
For Eleanor Visyak
- Eleanor's vessel - Eleanor was possessed as soon as the creature escaped Purgatory. The real Eleanor was a maid of H.P. Lovecraft.
For Reapers: Reapers can possess people to manifest in physical form and interact directly with humans.
- April Kelly - A Reaper possesses April Kelly to find Castiel.
For Ghosts: Some ghosts are powerful enough to possess people.
- Dirk MacGregor, Jr.:
- Eddie - Bus driver possessed by Dirk to keep his lock of hair safe from Sam and Dean.
- Terry Sloan - Isabella possessed Terry to force him to cut himself open, likely because Terry was being unfaithful.
- Lisa McCarthy - Isabella possessed Lisa in order to murder her husband Frank, who was cheating on Lisa. Lisa was left with no recollection of the possession.
- Father Delaney - Isabella took possession of him and forced him to disembowel himself in retaliation for pardoning unfaithful men.
- Sister Mathias - Isabella possessed her in order to kill Dean. She was expelled from Mathias when Sam set her painting aflame.
- Vance Collins:
- Mary Lew - Possessed by the Specter Vance Collins to get revenge on her husband for cheating on her years before.
- Scott Lew - Possessed by Vance Collins to get revenge on Jeff Bult for destroying their tire company.
- Doug Wallace - Possessed by Vance Collins to take revenge on his overbearing boss.
- Dean Winchester - Possessed by Vance Collins to get revenge on his brother Sam for abandoning him in Purgatory.
- Louise - Motel maid possessed twice by Bobby Singer to get revenge on Dick Roman.
- Mary Winchester - Possessed by Hugo Moriarty and tried to kill Sam and Dean.
- Mannequins - Lifeless objects possessed by Rose Brown.
For The Darkness: Due to being nigh-omnipotent, the Darkness can possess any human she wants.
- Amara Schneider - The Darkness possessed her as soon as she was born, and has since been referred to by her vessel's name.