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The Aquarian Star, used as the crest of the Men of Letters. (As Time Goes By)

The Men of Letters were an ancient secret order, devoted to observing and chronicling as much knowledge and mysteries concerning the supernatural that were unknown as they could, and in this respect had gathered and chronicled a vast amount of secrets and knowledge over the ages. The Men of Letters became extinct in 1958 after the majority of the order were massacred by Abaddon, but the legacies of Letters lived on through Sam and Dean Winchester.


Little is known of the Men of Letters' origins, but the order apparently existed for centuries and possibly even millennia. Over the years, the Men of Letters discovered and accumulated vast amounts of secrets and knowledge, and in the early 1930s, (Slumber Party) they constructed a bunker protected against all supernatural intrusion, to store and hide all the order's vast secrets and information.

The Men of Letters were active in World War II, in an underground form dealing with the supernatural in the War. During WWII, the Men worked with the Judah Initiative against the Thule Society, and they also sent Woman of Letters Delphine Seydoux to retrieve and recover a Hand of God (a fragment of the Ark of the Covenant) from the Nazis. (Everybody Hates Hitler, The Vessel)

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The Men of Letters are massacred and eradicated by Abaddon in 1958. (As Time Goes By)

The Men of Letters survived until 1958, when Abaddon infiltrated the order's ranks through possessing the initiate Josie Sands. (Mother's Little Helper) On the night of Josie's initiation on 12 August, 1958, Abaddon was able to get to the Men of Letters elders at their hideout in Normal, Illinois, and slaughtered all the elders excluding Larry Ganem. Only Henry Winchester escaped alive (via the time travel blood spell, with Abaddon following after him), and as a result of the deaths of the majority of the order's elders, the Men of Letters became extinct. (As Time Goes By)

Though the original Men of Letters died out, their legacies lived on via the Winchester family. In 2013, Sam and Dean Winchester learned of the Men of Letters and their ancestry as legacies, (As Time Goes By) and they inherited the Men of Letters' protected secret bunker and set about reviving the order through their rights to it as legacies. (Everybody Hates Hitler onwards)

Hierarchy and systemsEdit

Men of Letters were ordained by bloodline, in that membership in the order is passed down to sons and descendants. (As Time Goes By) A member apparently had to pass a series of tests and initiation rites over a length of time, among which were hunter-esque supernatural-investigating field cases; (Mother's Little Helper) after the completion of which they would be officially ordained into the Men of Letters and trusted with the order's greatest secrets and knowledge. (As Time Goes By) A descendant of a Man of Letters bloodline who isn't officially ordained and initiated is known as a Legacy.

Though the Men of Letters were generally reputed among females who knew of them as sexist, (Pac-Man Fever, Slumber Party, Mother's Little Helper) women were apparently also allowed to join the order. (As Time Goes By, The Vessel) Initiation into the Men of Letters was not necessarily for life; members could be dishonoured and kicked out for unethical, radical or questionable enough activities. (Blade Runners) Also, Men of Letters could effectively retire by being put under a witness-relocation program. (There's No Place Like Home)

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An elder Man of Letters dressed in formal attire. (As Time Goes By)

The Men of Letters were led by the elders, who possessed the most secret knowledge of all the order. According to Henry Winchester, the Men of Letters' hierarchy was apparently organised according to levels of knowledge; the more secrets were granted to a Man of Letters, the higher ranking they were. Some of the spells and rituals known to the order such as the time travel blood spell were, for example, restricted to use by only Men of Letters above a certain rank. Only the most elite hunters were aware of the Men of Letters. The Men of Letters would use these hunters to do their dirty work by entrusting them with certain supernatural secrets with which to combat supernatural threats and enemies. Men of Letters apparently looked down on hunters for their tendency towards rash and violent methods. (As Time Goes By)

The Men of Letters possessed rating and classification systems for different types of supernatural and paranormal phenomena and miscellanea. According to Sam Winchester, the Men of Letters had a rating system of demonic possessions for different levels of possession severity. The order would rate a possession akin to the depiction in The Exorcist as a Class 2 Infernal Event, and would label a bizarre, new and unusual form of exorcism such as Max Thompson's experiments to cure demons as "Weird!!!" and a Class 5. (Clip Show)


The Men of Letters collected and accumulated vast amounts of knowledge and secrets concerning the supernatural over the ages, including spells and rituals and other miscellanea and information that is unknown to most including hunters. Among this knowledge was:

However, while the Men of Letters' knowledge collection and information archives were extremely vast, they apparently had no lore or information about the Mark of Cain, due to how it goes back to the dawn of humanity. (Hibbing 911)




  • A running gag concerning the Men of Letters is that often, female characters - including Charlie, Dorothy and Abaddon - accuse the order of being sexist due to its name.