3.09 Malleus Maleficarum

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Title Malleus Maleficarum
Episode # Season 3, Episode 9
First aired January 31, 2008
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB Malleus Maleficarum
Outline Sam and Dean investigate a coven of witches.
Monster Witches
Location(s) Sturbridge, Massachusetts
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After arriving home from a party, Janet Dutton starts brushing her teeth, only to have them start falling out. Soon after, her husband Paul finds her dead on the bathroom floor. Posing as investigators from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Sam and Dean interview Paul and search the house. Dean suspects Paul is lying about something, and Sam finds a hex bag hidden in the bathroom, indicating a witch was involved.

That night a woman, Amanda, casts a spell and Paul nearly dies while eating a burger that becomes infested with maggots. He is saved when Sam and Dean arrive and burn a hex bag they find in his car. When the spell unexpectedly ends, Amanda panics before being attacked by a mysterious force that slashes her wrists, causing her to bleed to death. Paul admits he had an affair with Amanda, which he had ended the previous week against her wishes. When Sam and Dean arrive at her home they find her dead, surrounded by the paraphernalia of witchcraft.

Elsewhere in the town three of Amanda's neighbors, Tammi, Elizabeth, and Renee, meet under the guise of a book club. It soon becomes apparent that they are actually practicing witchcraft.

The next day Sam and Dean interview the women and while they don't learn much, their research shows that a couple of them have lately had a run of successes and windfalls. Sam suggests that they will have to kill the women as they are using dark magic and have murdered.

As they head back to their motel, the Impala is stopped when Ruby appears on the road. She tells them that a demon is in town, controlling the witches, and that the demon will come after Sam. She advises him to leave immediately. Dean argues that they shouldn’t listen to her and draws the Colt, but Sam stops Dean just as he tries to shoot Ruby, who vanishes.

At the motel, Dean questions Sam as to why he is no longer concerned over taking human life. Sam admits he is trying to be more like Dean, to prepare himself for dealing with the demon war after Dean is dead. Suddenly Dean feels intense pain, and starts vomiting blood. They suspect it is a spell caused by the coven. Unable to find a hex bag, Sam grabs the Colt and takes off to confront the women.

At the house, they deny all knowledge of what is happening to Dean, until Tammi reveals herself to be a demon, killing Renee. Back at the motel, Ruby arrives and doses Dean with a potion that saves him.

Sam tries to shoot Tammi with the Colt but she stops the bullet in mid-air and then uses her power to pin Sam to the wall. She tells him that a new leader has arisen to lead the demons and that he wants Sam eliminated. Dean arrives, but is also attacked by Tammi. When Ruby appears, she pretends she has led the Winchesters to Tammi in order to gain her favor, but then tries to kill Tammi with her knife.

Tammi overpowers Ruby and reveals that Ruby was once a witch who sold her soul to a demon – Tammi. Just as Tammi is about to kill Ruby, Elizabeth starts a spell. Although Tammi kills her, she is distracted long enough for Dean to grab Ruby's knife and kill her.

Later that night, Ruby visits Dean and admits that she can’t save him from Hell. She tells him that all demons were human once, but that Hell strips away their identity. She also tells Dean that the same will happen to him and that there is no way to stop him from going to Hell. She says she wants him to help prepare Sam to fight the demons after Dean is gone. Ruby retains a memory of what it was to be human and wants to fight on the side of humanity.




  • "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison
(plays on the radio when Paul Dutton is in the car)
  • "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
(plays right after the Poison song, when the radio goes wacky, and plays again when Paul Dutton starts choking)


Dean: I hate witches. They're always spewing their bodily fluids everywhere.

Sam: Pretty much.

Dean: It's creepy, you know, it's down right unsanitary.
Dean: And why's a rabbit always get screwed in the deal?! Poor little guy.
Dean: If they killed the nut-job, should we uh, thank them or what?

Sam: They're working black magic too, Dean. They need to be stopped.
Dean: 'Stopped' like stopped? They're human, Sam.
Sam: They're murderers.

Dean: Burn witch, burn. What the hell?
Dean: Hey hot stuff we can take care of a few kitchen witches, thanks.

Ruby: I'm not talking about witches, you jackass. Witches are whores. I'm talking about who they serve.
Sam: Demons. They get their power from demons.

Ruby: Yeah. And there's one here, now.
Sam: Look, Dean, you're leaving – right? And I gotta stay here in this craphole of a world. Alone. So the way I see it, if I'm gonna make it, if I'm gonna fight this war after you're gone, then I gotta change.

Dean: Change into what?

Sam: Into you. I gotta be more like you.
Dean: You wanna kill me? Get in line bitch.
Ruby: Stop... calling me bitch.
Tammi: Funny story actually. You remember all those dark demonic forces you prayed to, when you swore your servitude? Just who did you think you were praying to?
Tammi: Comments? Questions? Hmm, Sammy Winchester, wow! Right here in our little town. You know, my friends and I, we've been looking for you.

Sam: Why? Oh, right, 'cause I'm supposed to lead some piss poor demon army.
Tammi: No, not at all. You're not our Messiah. We don't believe in you. But, there's a new leader rising in the West – a real leader. That's the horse to bet on, Sam, the one who's gonna tear this world apart. Thing is, this demon? It doesn't like you very much. It doesn't want the competition.

Tammi: Nothing personal, it's a P.R. thing, so, buh-bye.
Ruby: The answer is yes, by the way.

Dean: I'm sorry?
Ruby: Yes, the same thing will happen to you. It might take centuries, but sooner or later Hell will burn away your humanity. Every Hell-bound soul, every one, turns into something else. Turns you into us. So yeah. Yeah, you can count on it.
Dean: There's no way of saving me from the Pit is there?

Ruby: No.
Dean: Ruby! Why do you want us to win?

Ruby: Isn't it obvious? I'm not like them. I don't know why. I – I wish I was, but... I'm not. I remember what it's like.
Dean: What what's like?

Ruby: Being human.

Trivia & References

Malleus Maleficarum, usually translated as The Hammer of Witches in Latin, was the title of a fifteenth century treatise on witches. It was used to support and argue the nature of witchcraft; it proclaimed that women were more susceptible to the influence of evil, and therefore more likely to become witches, due to their weak moral character and insatiable sexual desire. The treatise proved popular and became the de facto handbook for the persecution and murder of women accused of witchcraft across Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, despite the fact that the work was not officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The Church in fact refused to support it and said it was inaccurate.
Dean: Yeah, someone who snuck into that house and planted the bag. So what are we thinking, we're uh, looking for some old craggy Blair bitch in the woods.
A reference to the movie The Blair Witch Project.
The spell book Amanda is seen flipping through contains passages of The Lord's Prayer in Irish Gaelic.
Dean: Well, Paul sure knows how to pick 'em huh? It's like Fatal Attraction all over again.
Fatal Attraction was a 1987 movie starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas. After a brief affair while his family is away, Michael Douglas' character wants no more to do with Glenn Close's character. She starts stalking and terrorizing him and his family and, in a famous scene, kills the family's pet rabbit and leaves it boiling on the stove for them to find.
Dean: I'd like to report a dead body at 309 Mayfair Circle.
This could be a reference to Anne Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy.
Sam uses the aliases "Detective Bachman" and "Detective Turner" for himself and Dean. The names are a reference to the 1970s Canadian rock band Bachman Turner Overdrive, which featured three Bachman brothers and Fred Turner.
Sam: Well see, her house was littered with Satanic paraphernalia.

Dean: A regular Black Sabbath.

Possibly a reference to Witches' Sabbath or Sabbat. May also be a pun on the rock band Black Sabbath whose music is known for its horror and occult themes.
Dean: Well, I'm already sold on that Elizabeth chick. Did you see that victory garden of hers?
Victory gardens were herb and vegetable gardens planted during World War I and World War II to boost morale and support the war efforts from home.
Sam: I don't think she's alone either. Looks like 'Mrs. Renee Van Allen' has won almost every craft contest she has entered in the past three months.

Dean: Yeah, a regular Martha Stewart, huh? Except for the devil worship. I'm thinking that was the coven we met back there, minus one member.

Martha Stewart is well known for her craftwork.
Dean: What was that stuff? God, it was ass. It tasted like ass.

Ruby: It’s called witchcraft, shortbus.
Dean: You’re the shortbus... shortbus.

“Shortbus” is an insult implying someone is mentally challenged. It arises from the use of buses, smaller than normal school buses, to take children who are intellectually handicapped to special schools or classes.
During one of the rituals the suburban witches perform, you can see a sigil carved into wood, which is the sigil of Astaroth, giving a hint at Tammi Benton's true identity.
Tammi: Nice dick work, Magnum.
Thomas Magnum was a private investigator who lived in Hawaii in the 1980's show Magnum P.I.. "Dick" is slang for detective and/or investigator.
Elizabeth: You killed Renee.

Tammi: Renee, Amanda... That's what happens to witches who get voted off the island.

A reference to the system of contestant elimination on the reality TV show Survivor.
Tammi: What did you think it was? Make believe? Positive thinking? The Secret? No, it was me. You sold yourself to me, you pig.
The Secret is a self-help film and book, which claims to teach people how to attract good things into their lives.
Tammi: You really telling me you threw your chips in with Abbott and Costello here?
Abbott and Costello were slapstick comedians popular in the first half of the twentieth century.
Ruby says she has been a demon since "the plague was big," referring to the bubonic plague - known as the Black Death - that swept Europe between 1347 and 1351.
Dean: No, I saw Hellraiser, I get the gist.

Ruby: Actually, they got that pretty close. Except for all the custom leather.

Hellraiser was a 1987 horror movie, based on the novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker.


The boys are staying in room 5 of The Conquistador Motel.
Paul Dutton was listening to frequency 101.1 FM on his car radio which is a Vancouver radio station.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


Episode Meta