The Real Ghostbusters
Production information
Season : 5
Episode : 9
Original airdate : 12 November, 2009
Directed by : James L. Conway
Written by : Eric Kripke
Nancy Weiner
Preceded by : Changing Channels
Followed by : Abandon All Hope...

The Real Ghostbusters is the ninth episode of Season 5 of Supernatural.


Sam and Dean are tricked into attending Chuck's convention for his Supernatural book series, where the brothers see their lives and past being mirrored and mimicked by Chuck's cosplaying fans at every turn. However, two of the cosplayers who are participating in the convention's Supernatural LARPing game soon unknowingly come across a real ghost lead.

Full synopsisEdit

Sam and Dean drive to the Pineview Hotel in response to an SOS text message from Chuck, but when they arrive and meet up with a surprised Chuck, the three find that Becky was the one who sent the text message and sent it to bring the brothers to the hotel. When Sam and Dean step inside and see several people cosplaying the brothers and several of their past friends and enemies, Becky reveals that they're at the hotel for the first ever Supernatural convention. Despite being uninterested in the convention, and irked that they've been duped into driving all night for it, Sam and Dean stay at the convention and observe the convention's panel where Chuck is guest speaker. Sam and Dean are surprised when one of the fans asks Chuck about several things Sam and Dean don't do (such as not keeping their weapons on bungees for when they're knocked away in fights, or their failure to notice that Ruby was manipulating Sam), and the Winchesters are furious when Chuck announces that he's found a new investor and is going to start publishing more Supernatural books.

As Sam and Dean continue to see their personal lives LARPed and mimicked by the Supernatural fans at every turn (with the Winchesters investigating when they hear a maid scream, only to find it's part of the convention's LARPing game based on the hotel's ghost story, where the cosplayers search for a ghost's bones and win a Sizzler gift card, and seeing cosplayers LARP and reenact past personal moments between the brothers), they both go to the hotel bar to get a drink. At the same time, after the question panel is over, Chuck tries to get Becky's attention and ask her out, but Becky constantly remains obsessively fixated on Sam, who is in turn visibly freaked out by Becky's extremely-flirtatious behaviour. Meanwhile, a Sam-cosplayer participating in the LARPing game goes off on his own upstairs during the game, and comes across a real ghost: it's a little boy who pleads for help, saying, "Ms. Gore won't let us have any fun!" The cosplayer freaks out when the ghost boy then vanishes in front of his eyes, but just then, another ghost, this one an adult woman insanely hissing, "Naughty, naughty, naughty," appears and telekinetically throws him all around the room before vanishing.

The Sam-cosplayer, spooked by his encounter with the ghosts, returns to the convention downstairs and tells his skeptical partner about it before going to leave. Sam and Dean overhear the cosplayer's claims of encountering a real ghost and note his spooked behavior seemed genuine. Suspecting there may be a real ghost haunting the hotel, Sam and Dean go to the hotel manager and bribe him into telling them if there's any truth to the hotel's ghost story. The manager confirms that in 1909, the hotel was an orphanage run by Leticia Gore. 100 years ago to this night, Leticia Gore murdered four of the orphan boys under her care, then killed herself. Sam and Dean learn that the attic is where Ms. Gore murdered the boys and head off to search for any real ghostly activity there, unaware that a pair of the cosplayers, Barnes and Damien, have overheard them and (thinking Sam and Dean are fellow cosplayers and that this is all part of the LARPing game) are likewise heading off to try and find the attic first. While Barnes and Damien search upstairs to find where the attic is, they come across the ghost boy, but remain unaware that this isn't part of the game or that the boy is in fact a real ghost. When Damien, LARPing Dean, asks where Gore's body is hidden, the ghost boy points Barnes and Damien to a portrait concealing a 100-year-old map of the hotel grounds, before vanishing while the duo's backs are turned. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean break into the attic, and while scoping it out, they come across a second ghost boy. The boy declares his mother loves him, before revealing his scalped head and then vanishing.

After seeing the scalped ghost boy in the attic, Sam and Dean return downstairs to the hotel lobby, and Sam calls a local historian for information about the Gore Orphanage killings. The historian confirms, to Dean and Sam's disgust, that not only was the scalped boy in the attic one of the four boys Leticia Gore murdered, but he was her own son; although Sam unfortunately can't find out where Ms. Gore's body was buried. Sam and Dean then overhear Barnes and Damien discussing the old map they found, which points to a cemetery on the hotel grounds, and the Winchesters approach the two and discover that the ancient map is genuine. Dean demands that Barnes and Damien hand over the map, but the annoyed duo refuse to let the Winchesters have a clue that they rightfully found. Sam convinces Barnes and Damien that they'll be able to win the LARPing game faster if the four of them work together, and Damien and Barnes agree - on the condition that they get the prize, and they get to LARP Sam and Dean while the actual Winchesters have to LARP Rufus and Bobby. Sam, Dean, Barnes and Damien head out into the grounds towards the cemetery. On the way, Barnes and Damien LARP Sam and Dean's fight from Asylum, until Dean finally has had enough of seeing his life being treated as fiction and snaps at Barnes and Damien; making it clear that he's not a fan, that Barnes and Damien aren't Sam and Dean, and that he has a lot of very deep resentment for Supernatural. Sam awkwardly covers Dean's outburst up as being because "he takes the story very seriously," before the four continue on to the cemetery. Sam and Dean find the graves of Leticia Gore and the four boys, while Barnes and Damien continue LARPing and search for clues, until Sam and Dean begin digging up Leticia Gore's grave. When Dean reaches the grave's coffin and opens it up to reveal a real skeleton, Barnes and Damien are horrified to see the Winchesters have dug up a real grave, but before they can walk away in disgust, Ms. Gore suddenly manifests and attacks. While Dean is busy hurriedly salting Ms. Gore's skeleton, her ghost knocks Sam back and then attacks Barnes and Damien. Dean manages to finish it off and burn Ms. Gore's bones, destroying her spirit just in time to save Barnes and Damien's lives.

In the aftermath of the encounter with Ms. Gore's ghost, Barnes and Damien are drinking at the bar, shaken up by what just happened and the fact that they encountered a real ghost. Sam and Dean pay for Barnes and Damien's drinks, say goodbye to Chuck, then go to leave, but find that the hotel's front doors and every other exit in the building is sealed. Ms. Gore's scalped ghostly child then reappears, and Sam and Dean discover from him, to their surprise, that his mother wasn't the one who scalped and killed him, before he vanishes again. Elsewhere in the hotel, the first ghost boy, accompanied by the ghosts of the other two murdered orphans, appears to a critical Supernatural fan. The ghost boys maliciously declare that now that Ms. Gore isn't around to keep them in check, they can have "all kinds of fun," then they attack the fan with knives. Sam and Dean hear the man's screaming, but arrive too late to the aftermath of the attack, the man scalped and dead. Sam and Dean know from this that obviously the police report and ghost story of Leticia Gore and the four boys isn't quite accurate. The Winchesters piece together that it was the other three boys who scalped and murdered Leticia Gore's son, and that Leticia must have afterwards snapped over her child's death and killed the three boys in revenge. Just as Chuck is about to declare the Supernatural convention over, Sam informs him of the development with the ghost children, forcing Chuck to try and keep everyone from leaving the hall where the panel is taking place until the Winchesters can find a way to stop the ghosts. Sam and Dean usher all the fans and the hotel staff into the hall, then salt the doors to keep them safe. Discussing how they can stop the ghost children, Sam and Dean realize that as the one who stopped the ghost children from attacking until she was destroyed, Ms. Gore was the children's fear and the one person who could control them. They go to the convention LARPing game's Leticia Gore actress, to ask her to pretend to be Ms. Gore and order the boys to lift the supernatural lockdown. Barnes and Damien, overhearing what's going on with the ghost boys, offer to help Sam and Dean; making it clear to Dean that they know this time that this isn't make-believe and is very real, and stating they want to help because "that's what Sam and Dean would do."

While Chuck keeps all the fans and the hotel staff in the panel hall with more questions and answers, Dean and the actress head upstairs to lure out and distract the ghosts long enough for Sam, Barnes and Damien downstairs to get out. While Dean covers the actress from behind a wall in case anything goes awry, the actress pretends to be Ms. Gore, and successfully summons the ghost children by calling them out. The actress scolds the ghost boys for their behavior and orders them to open the doors immediately. The ghost children are successfully fooled and intimidated by the actress pretending to be Ms. Gore, and down in the lobby, the ghosts' lockdown weakens just enough for Sam to force the lobby doors open. Barnes and Damien are able to slip out through the opening, but just then, the ghost boys realize they've been tricked when the actress's cellphone goes off; prompting the supernatural lockdown to reestablish itself and re-seal the building before Sam can get out, and leaving it to Damien and Barnes to stop the ghosts. Upstairs, the ghost boys advance menacingly on the actress, and Dean tells her to run while he holds the ghosts off with a fire iron. While Barnes and Damien struggle to dig up the three boys' graves outside, back in the hotel, Dean struggles to fend the boys' ghosts off, with Sam coming to his aid. Downstairs, the hotel manager gets fed up with Chuck's panel, and goes to leave despite Chuck's warning. When the manager opens the door, the salt line breaks and one of the ghost boys gets in. But before the ghost boy can kill the manager, Chuck bravely fends him off with an iron post and re-seals the hall; unintentionally finally impressing Becky in the process. Back upstairs, Sam and Dean are almost overwhelmed by the other two ghost children, who are about to scalp them. But fortunately, Barnes and Damien manage to dig up the boys' bones and burn them just in time, destroying the evil boys' spirits and saving the Winchesters' lives just in time.

The next morning, as the police and the coroner's office investigate the incident at the Supernatural convention and take the scalped fan's body away, Dean talks with Barnes and Damien and thanks them, telling them they really did good and saved his and Sam's lives. Barnes and Damien ask Dean who he is, but when Dean tells them the truth, they assume he's joking and laugh it off. Barnes and Damien introduce themselves as partners who met on a Supernatural chatroom forum, and explain the reason they like the books so much as being because how much more awesome Sam and Dean's lives seem to them than their own boring lives in reality. At the same time, Becky tells Sam that she's found Chuck and is moving on with him and is sorry. Though Sam is clearly disturbed by Becky's melodrama and innuendo, he pretends for her to be heartbroken that she's found someone else. Chuck also agrees, under threat of the Winchesters hunting him down, to not publish any more Supernatural books. As Sam is walking away, Becky stops him to ask him if he knows a very important piece of information concerning the search for the Colt: Becky knows from the Supernatural book chronicling the events of Time Is on My Side that Bela was lying about who she sold the Colt to, and she actually gave it to Lilith's right-hand man, a demon named Crowley. After Sam asks Becky to tell him everything, he and Dean drive off, with a new lead on the Colt.


Deleted and additional scenesEdit

  • Just before the credits roll, there is a series of short clips, set during the Supernatural panel, where Chuck discusses several topics concerning his writing:
    • Chuck claims he started writing out of love. He also mentions that he had a crush on Nancy McKeon who was in The Facts of Life, and wrote her 40-50 fan letters but she never wrote back.
    • Chuck discusses what the Bender family from The Benders did with their victims' flesh, and what kind of clothes they made out of human skin.
    • Beaches was Chuck's favourite movie, due to being moved by Hilary and CC; this earns a negative silent response from Sam and Dean.
    • What is and isn't 'jumping the shark.'
  • A deleted scene, available on the Special Features of the Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season DVD box set, similar to the above, in which Chuck answers questions about his Supernatural books:
    • Chuck apologises to one of his fans for depicting witches as villains in the Supernatural books, because this had apparently offended the wiccan community. The dialogue from this deleted scene was audible in the background in the actual episode when Sam and Dean were salting the auditorium doors.
    • Chuck reveals he just drinks when about to start writing.
    • Chuck reveals that Nancy McKeon's publicist sent him an autographed headshot.
    • Why werewolves such as Madison don't grow hair when they wolf out in Supernatural.
    • Chuck discusses his hobbies, which include drinking and cart-racing.
    • Chuck reveals his favourite supporting character was probably Bela. This earns a negative response from the fans.
    • Whether or not shapeshifters can morph their clothes with their bodies.
    • Chuck awkwardly turning down a fan's request that he read their online journal's Supernatural fanfiction, which is implied to include Wincest.
    • What Chuck is scared of, with Chuck admitting it to be "pretty much everything."
    • Chuck discussing whether or not John is based on Chuck's own father. Chuck says his father is more like Bobby, but he's older, has no beard and is homosexual.







  • In 2010, this episode was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Individual Episode category.
  • John Shaw, who portrays the manager of the Pineview Hotel in this episode, previously appeared on Supernatural as one of the crocotta's victims in Long Distance Call.
Supernatural Season 5
Sympathy for the DevilGood God, Y'All!Free to Be You and MeThe EndFallen IdolsI Believe the Children Are Our FutureThe Curious Case of Dean WinchesterChanging ChannelsThe Real GhostbustersAbandon All Hope...Sam, InterruptedSwap MeatThe Song Remains the SameMy Bloody ValentineDead Men Don't Wear PlaidDark Side of the Moon99 ProblemsPoint of No ReturnHammer of the GodsThe Devil You KnowTwo Minutes to MidnightSwan Song

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