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Name Pestilence
Actor Matt Frewer
Dates  ???? – 2010 (neutralized by Castiel)
Occupation Horseman of the Apocalypse
Episode(s) 5.19 Hammer of the Gods
5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight

Disease gets a bad rap, don't you think? For being filthy, chaotic... but really, that just describes people who are sick. Disease itself? Very pure, single-minded... bacteria have one purpose - divide and conquer. That's why in the end, it always wins... So, you gotta wonder why God pours all His love into something so MESSY! AND WEAK? It's ridiculous... and all I can do is show Him He's wrong, one epidemic at a time.

– Pestilence, 5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight


Pestilence is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, along with War, Famine and Death. He equates to the Green Horsemen, and wears a emerald-embedded ring. He states that his power is "pure" and "single-minded." He is believed to have been made when disease had first been introduced into the world and can only be killed when humans are made impervious to all diseases. Pestilence professes allegiance towards War and Famine, showing anger when he learned of their defeat. His ring, along with War, Famine and Death's form together as a key to Lucifer's Cage. Pestilence is a direct supporter of Lucifer's plan which involves a process which would ultimately result in the extermination of all of humanity. In spite of this, he deliberately attacked Dean and Sam knowing that he was under strict orders not to harm Sam, Lucifer's vessel.


Pestilence captured on video.

Pestilence views disease as very pure, and humanity as the ones who are "filthy" and "chaotic," as well as "messy" and "weak." He wonders why God pours so much time into humans, and wishes to show him how wrong he is by spreading diseases one epidemic at a time. Pestilence rides in a green '72 AMC Hornet wagon, which represents his green horse, his Nevada license plate reads "SIKN TRD" ("sick and tired").

Powers and abilities

  • Disease – Through his ring, Pestilence could create and manipulate infestations, plagues, diseases and other sicknesses.
  • Electromagnetic interference – Pestilence's presence could cause distortions in video footage, hiding his appearance.
  • Immortality – As a force of nature, Famine will always exist.
  • Telekinesis – Pestilence could affect his surroundings with a gesture.
  • Teleportation – Pestilence could teleport wherever he chooses.


  • Ring removal – Removing his ring will render Pestilence powerless, rendering his physical form into a dried out husk.


The Horseman Pestilence.

5.01 Sympathy for the Devil

Following soon after the breaking of the 66 Seals and Lucifer's release from the Cage, Pestilence is triggered by Lucifer's presence and he indirectly intervenes by spreading the swine flu on Earth.

5.04 The End

During events in 5.04 The End, Pestilence has had an indirect influence on humanity, as he spreads the demonic virus around the world in which about 90 percent of the Earth's population fell victim to the infection and they quickly turned into savage-zombies like creatures.

5.19 Hammer of the Gods

Pestilence arrives at a small store, and enters, coughing and spreading snot and phlegm everywhere. He buys some flu medication and leaves. As he drives, his car fills with flies.

5.20 The Devil You Know

Sam and Dean are on the trail of Pestilence, posing as CDC agents at a hospital hit with a swine flu outbreak. The doctor reports there have been 70 cases in a day and a half. Dean notes that the timing of the outbreak coincides with when "those statues started crying." Bobby later tells them over the phone that this is the fourth town that they know of that Pestilence has hit, but they are no closer to finding him.

Crowley offers to help Sam and Dean find Pestilence by tracking down and cutting a deal with Brady, who he calls "the Horsemen's stable boy." Brady uses the goblet of blood ritual to communicate with Pestilence about the progress on the vaccine. Brady eventually relents and gives up Pestilence's location to Crowley, Sam, and Dean.

Pestilence, posing as Dr. Green.

5.21 Two Minutes to Midnight

Using the alias "Dr. Green" (a reference to the color of his ring and car) Pestilence is working at the Serenity Valley Convalescent Home. He tends to an old woman named Celeste, telling her she has a combination of the common cold, dengue fever, and a "nasty, nasty case of Japanese encephalitis." He then proceeds to give her chicken pox. She asks if he is going to cure her, and he tells her that she is going to die. She vomits in his face before she dies.

A demon-possessed nurse comes to warn him that the Winchesters have arrived and suggests they leave, noting that Sam and Dean have "a track record with Horsemen." Pestilence scoffs at the idea, saying he wants payback for what they did to his brothers War and Famine. The nurse reminds him they are under strict orders not to kill the vessels, to which Pestilence angrily scoffs "Well, if Satan wants them so bad, he can GLUE THEM BACK TOGETHER!"

Pestilence after giving a patient a new concoction of diseases.

Pestilence embraces the nurse and turns the ring on his finger, triggering an epidemic in the nursing home affecting every human inside, including Sam and Dean who are armed and hunting Pestilence. While writhing on the ground from their illnesses, Pestilence tells them they're suffering from scarlet fever, meningitis and syphilis, and gives them a condescending lecture about God, disease and humanity. Castiel, now human, enters the room and falls to the floor after beginning to feel the effects of Pestilence's epidemic. Pestilence mocks him for being a powerless occupied vessel, noting that "there's not a speck of angel in you." Castiel picks up Ruby's knife and cuts off Pestilence's finger with the ring. The nurse rushes at him but he kills her with the knife too. Sam and Dean immediately recover from their illnesses and get up from the floor. Pestilence, with his hand bleeding from where his finger used to be, tells them "It doesn't matter. It's too late," before vanishing.

Later in the episode, Sam and Dean figure out what Pestilence's plan was after a talk with Crowley. Brady was vice president of distribution at Niveus Pharmaceuticals. The first part of the plan was for Pestilence to start a swine flu epidemic, which set the stage for the second step: mass nationwide distribution of the Niveus vaccine which contains the Croatoan virus. Crowley suggests Sam and Dean stock up on everything, because "This time next Thursday, we'll all be living in Zombieland."

See also