Mark of Cain
10x23 MarkOfCainMain
Historical information
Creator : God
Use(s) : Lock and key against the Darkness
Part of and source of the First Blade's killing power
Users : Cain
Dean Winchester
Affected creatures : The Darkness
Production information
The Mark of Cain was the name of a primordial mystical brand, which was originally created by God to keep the Darkness imprisoned, but developed a corrupting influence over its bearers and became the first ever curse. The Mark worked with the First Blade and gave the Mark's host the ability to wield the Blade's deadly supernatural-killing power. The Mark is currently destroyed, with Cain dead and Dean Winchester cured.


Passing on and removingEdit

The Mark of Cain manifested on its current host's body as a large red mark on their right arm in the shape of an unique tribal symbol resembling the First Blade. The Mark was reproducible, in that it was possible for a host of the Mark of Cain to replicate the Mark onto another who is worthy of carrying it; the requirements for one to be worthy of carrying the Mark of Cain are unspecified, but implied to include being a killer like Cain. (First Born)

The Mark, as a God-level power, was universally extremely difficult to cure. (Season 10) Burning or cutting the physical Mark off the wielder's arm would do nothing to remove the curse itself. (The Hunter Games) However, Katja's age-reverting spell could negate the Mark of Cain if it was used to revert a person with the Mark to a younger age than they were at the point in their life when they received the Mark (although the Mark's negation would be reversed if the person returned to their older age). (About a Boy)

Death was capable of removing the Mark of Cain from a wielder's arm on the condition that someone else received the Mark in their place. The only way to actually cure a person of the Mark of Cain without the Mark being passed on to someone else was through an extremely powerful spell; which called for the Forbidden Fruit, the Golden Cow and the blood of someone whom the caster loved and killed. Once the spell was cast, it would send out a bolt of supernatural lightning; which would seek out whomever had the Mark of Cain and purge the Mark from their arm before returning to the sky. However, a consequence was of the spell was that by destroying the Mark of Cain it would also release the Darkness. (Brother's Keeper)

Relationship with the First BladeEdit

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The Mark of Cain activates the First Blade in its host's hand. (Blade Runners)

The Mark served as the First Blade's power source, in that the Blade's supernatural killing power could only be used in the hands of whomever had the Mark of Cain. The activation of the First Blade by the Mark was apparently automatic rather than voluntary from the host, as Tessa was able to use the Blade to commit suicide when it was in Dean's hand, against his will. (Stairway to Heaven)

When the Mark was activated by the presence of the First Blade, a host could use the Mark to telekinetically call the First Blade into their hand with deep concentration. The Mark could also give its host resistance against demons' telekinesis, particularly when the First Blade was in their hand. (King of the Damned, Do You Believe in Miracles?)


The Mark of Cain would keep its host from dying of any supernatural or conventional cause; shielding the host against powerful offensive spells, (Inside Man) and bringing the host back from the dead if they died of a conventional cause. (Do You Believe in Miracles? et al.) The immortality that the Mark granted its host was so absolute that not even Death could kill a bearer of the Mark so long as the Mark was on them. (Brother's Keeper) It was implied in Cain and Dean's fight and Cain's death, that a host of the Mark could be killed permanently without being brought back if they were killed with the First Blade by another wielder of the Mark. (The Executioner's Song)

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When activated by the First Blade, the Mark of Cain gives its host resistance against demons' telekinesis. (King of the Damned)

The Mark of Cain also, when active, could enhance its host's strength and stamina. The Mark gave Dean superhuman levels of strength which allowed him to easily overpower and slaughter the Stynes, and it even made Dean able to beat, hurt and wound angels with conventional punches and physical attacks. (Do You Believe in Miracles?, The Hunter Games, The Prisoner)

Though the Mark of Cain allowed its host to wield the power of the First Blade and gave them a few beneficial abilities, the Mark came with a price. The Mark's effects initially remained dormant, but after being activated or in some other way triggered, the Mark would cause the bearer to almost-constantly experience an increasing need for and urge towards violence, murder, savagery and bloodshed. It was warned by Cain and Metatron, and confirmed by Dean's struggle to resist the Mark, that the Mark's influence couldn't be held back indefinitely and would only ever continue to get worse. (The Hunter Games, The Executioner's Song)

Contact with the First Blade in particular could trigger and enhance the Mark of Cain's murderous impulses, (Blade Runners, The Executioner's Song) but if the host went a long time without any contact with the Blade, then the Mark's influence could instead be triggered by conventional violence and slower to take over. (The Things We Left Behind) The Mark's influence affected both human and demon hosts, although demons seemed to have more control over themselves and deal with the Mark's influence more easily. (First Born, Reichenbach) The Mark's influence could even negatively influence archangels towards corruption, as it did with Lucifer when he became jealous of humanity. (Brother's Keeper)


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Dean revived as an uber-demon by the Mark of Cain's effects. (Do You Believe in Miracles?)

A major negative effect of the Mark of Cain on its hosts was that it could turn a human host into a demon; if a human with the Mark died, then within a matter of hours, the Mark would transform the human host's soul into a demon and restore its now-demon master to their original human body as their vessel. (Do You Believe in Miracles?) Demons who were turned by and possessed the Mark of Cain (referred to as uber-demons) were different from other demons in that they were much stronger than even the King of Hell, they could be highly vicious and aggressive due to the Mark's effects, and they were more resistant to most demonic weaknesses. (Reichenbach)

Though it was possible to cure uber-demons, they were still more resistant to the demon cure than other demons, in that they retained their demonic mannerisms for longer; when in the process of being cured, Dean still retained his demon personality even when he was already re-humanized enough to become immune to demon-binding weaknesses. (Soul Survivor)

Other effectsEdit

The Mark may have given its host a level of clairvoyance, considering Dean's foreboding nightmare which mirrored a massacre he would commit in the near-future under the Mark's influence. (The Things We Left Behind) The Mark also seemed to increase its host's susceptibility to certain forms of corrupting magical influence such as the Book of the Damned. (Book of the Damned)



The Mark originally began at the end of God's and the archangels' war against the Darkness, when God created the Mark to act as the lock and key that would keep the Darkness imprisoned and held back for as long as the Mark existed. God then entrusted the Mark to Lucifer. However, the Mark began to assert itself as a corrupting force, becoming the first ever curse. It was implied by Death that the Mark's corrupting effects had an influence in Lucifer's jealousy of humanity which led to his infamous fall. (Brother's Keeper)

The Mark of CainEdit

After Lucifer's fall, when Cain struck a deal with Lucifer to let Abel go to Heaven if Cain would kill him and take his place in Hell, Lucifer passed the Mark on to Cain. From this the Mark became known as the Mark of Cain. (First Born) After Cain killed Abel, due to the murderous impulse-inducing effects of the Mark, Cain killed himself rather than become the killer the Mark would make him into, but the Mark remained with Cain in death and brought him back as a demon. (Do You Believe in Miracles?)

Cain would afterwards commit many acts of murder and destruction under the Mark's effects, but he apparently found a way of resisting and living with the Mark's bloodlust after he fell in love with Colette Mullen and stopped his killing for her. (First Born)

Dean carrying the MarkEdit

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Cain gives Dean the Mark. (First Born)

In 2014, when Crowley and Dean Winchester went to Cain for his help obtaining the First Blade to kill Abaddon with, Cain replicated the Mark onto Dean, (First Born) before taking killing back up at the cost of falling back under the Mark's influence. (The Executioner's Song)

After obtaining the Mark of Cain, Dean first began to suffer its murder-inducing effects when he held the First Blade for the first time and used it to kill Cuthbert Sinclair. (Blade Runners) The Mark's effects on Dean would afterwards begin to worsen when he killed Abaddon and Tessa with the Blade; (King of the Damned, Stairway to Heaven) becoming violent, rash and out-of-control after the latter kill. (Stairway to Heaven, Do You Believe in Miracles?) While attempting to kill Metatron with the First Blade, Dean died after Metatron fatally stabbed him through the chest with an angel blade in combat, and hours later, Dean suffered Cain's fate when the Mark of Cain resurrected Dean as a demon just as it had done to Cain. (Do You Believe in Miracles?)

Following Dean's transformation, he spent over six weeks as a demon, (Black) before he was captured by Sam and successfully cured, although he still retained the Mark. (Soul Survivor) After Dean was cured, the Mark's effects initially became dormant, until its influence was reactivated when Dean got caught up in violence at Randy's ranch, driving him to massacre everyone there. (The Things We Left Behind) Dean afterwards intended to fight off the Mark's influence by taking up a healthier and more strong-willed lifestyle. (The Hunter Games, Halt & Catch Fire)

However, Dean was forced to briefly take the First Blade back up and use it to kill Cain in order to stop the latter's genocide under his own Mark's influence, an act which it is believed has caused a severe setback in Dean's hopes of resisting and controlling the Mark. (The Executioner's Song) The Mark's influence on Dean continued to worsen, until after Charlie Bradbury's death, (Dark Dynasty) Dean gave into the Mark completely, harnessing its rage and strength to slaughter the Styne family in revenge for Charlie's death, and as a consequence falling further to the Mark's control than ever. (The Prisoner)

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The Mark of Cain is removed from Dean's arm. (Brother's Keeper)

Destruction of the MarkEdit

Shortly after Dean killed the Stynes, Castiel, Crowley and Rowena, unaware of the threat of the Darkness if the Mark of Cain were to be cured, deciphered the spell to remove the Mark, and successfully cast it; removing the Mark from Dean, but unleashing the Darkness upon the Earth with the Mark gone. (Brother's Keeper)

Amara's MarkEdit

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The imprint of the Mark of Cain on the Darkness's human visage. (Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire)

Following the Mark of Cain's removal and the resulting release of the Darkness, the Darkness's human appearance - both its physical form as Amara, and its incorporeal human manifestation - possesses a black-coloured imprint of the Mark of Cain just below her left shoulder. (Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire et al.)


10x12 MarkOfCainLore

The Mark of Cain in a lore book about the First Murder. (About a Boy)

According to the Book of Genesis, the Mark of Cain is a divine curse that Cain was marked with by God as punishment for killing Abel. It marked Cain as a fugitive and wanderer, and a warning to others that harming Cain would provoke God's wrath to bring sevenfold times worth the damage upon Cain's harmer. Some believe the Mark of Cain to be a physical mark as well as a curse, while others see it as a spiritual sign and burden.



  • Angels, demons and reapers have all regarded the sight of the Mark of Cain with a level of horror and dread.
  • The Mark of Cain was shrouded in so much secrecy and mystery that even neither the Men of Letters nor the Word of God tablets have any information on it at all.