3.13 Ghostfacers

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3-13 Ghostfacers.jpg
Title Ghostfacers
Episode # Season 3, Episode 13
First aired April 24, 2008
Directed by Philip Sgriccia
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB Ghostfacers
Outline Sam and Dean find themselves on a reality TV show Ghostfacers – and in real danger.
Monster Ghost
Timeline End-February, 2008
Location(s) Appleton, Wisconsin
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Contents

Synopsis

Sam and Dean work a case at the same place where the boys from Hell Hound's Lair, Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spangler, are shooting the pilot for their reality show Ghostfacers. Every leap year, beginning at midnight, a ghost who used to be a janitor at a local hospital kills people and keeps their corpses at the Morton House for company. Their spirits remain trapped in the house as well as any living person in the house at midnight. Sam and Dean become trapped in the house with the Ghostfacers crew and must figure out how to kill the ghost as it hunts them one by one.

Harry Spengler and Ed Zeddmore of 1.17 Hell House fame are dressed up, sitting in front of a fireplace in chairs a la Masterpiece Theatre, touting their new pilot as the bold new future of "reality TV." Cue the Ghostfacers intro, showing Ed, Harry, Spruce, Maggie, Corbett, Sam and Dean through shaky camera work in what looks like a haunted house setting.

Phase I: Homework. Ed and Harry pull up in their vintage AMC Gremlin doing the fake slo-mo. They reveal they can start ghost hunting at six o’clock thanks to the flexibility of their jobs at the Kinkos, and they hold their strategy meeting with the team a la Ghost Hunters in Ed’s parents' garage. Corbett is the Intern/Cook and very gay, Maggie is Ed’s adopted sister, and Spruce is 15/16 Jewish and 1/16 Cherokee, thus making him a “Shamanologist.” They review a legend in which every four years on February 29th, Morton House becomes the most haunted place in America.

GFwashere.jpg

Phase II: Infiltration. The Ghostfacers break into the Morton House, hearing the roar of the Impala and Grand Funk's "We're An American Band" in the background. They see Sam and Dean roll by, scoping out the place. The Ghostfacers set up "Command Center One: Eagle's Nest" in the main room and start rolling the cameras, which never stop the entire episode, no matter what horrors happen, much to the ire of Sam and Dean.

Phase III: Face Time. The Ghostfacers search the house with their instruments, taking readings and run into Sam and Dean, who are impersonating cops. Ed recognizes them from their earlier encounter in Texas. Sam and Dean try to get them out of the house by showing them the missing persons reports, but Team 2 records a ghost reliving his horrible death. Sam and Dean figure out they're dealing with a death echo, which isn't the real threat. Corbett then disappears and they don’t make it out before midnight, trapping them in the house for the evening.

They search the house for Corbett and try to figure out why the death echoes are there, considering that the victims in the death echos didn't die there. They find the office of the home's owner, Freeman Daggett, who was a janitor at the hospital before he died in 1964. He was a survivalist, and took corpses from the morgue to "play" with. They go into another room where Maggie wandered off, and after another EMF surge, Sam disappears.

After some fake reality show drama involving Maggie and Harry in a compromising position, we see Corbett and Sam tied to chairs at a table with a birthday cake and "It’s My Party" playing in the background. A big creepy guy kills Corbett with a spike through the neck, and then slaps a party hat on Sam.

Dean figures out that a survivalist usually keeps a bomb shelter and heads for the basement, but the basement door locks behind him, separating him and Spruce from the others. The others meanwhile put themselves in a salt circle and see the ghost of Corbett reliving his death. Dean finds the bomb shelter just before Sam gets his own spike through the neck. Sam reveals Daggett was the "Norman Bates"-type of lonely and killed himself after stealing the bodies, and each February 29th, he takes people for his "party". Ed talks to Corbett to get him out of his death echo and manages to get through just in time for Corbett to take on Daggett, who is tossing around Sam, Dean, and Spruce in the basement.

Everyone (minus Corbett) leaves alive the next morning, taking Ed and Harry back to the fireplace to lament over the loss of their friend in a completely exploitative way, even showing the typical reality confessional moment. They show their pilot to Sam and Dean, who warn them that revealing such ghostly secrets usually lands them in straight jackets or gets them a punch in the face or both. Sam and Dean go, but leave a bag behind; Ed pulls out a large electromagnet, which proceeds to erase all the hard drives, including the Ghostfacers pilot. Sam and Dean peel off in the Impala, confessing they didn’t think the show was half bad.

Characters

Definitions

Music

(the amazing piece that opens the episode of Ghostfacers)
  • "We're an American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad
(plays in the Impala as Sam and Dean drive by when the Ghostfacers are breaking into Morton house)
  • "Hocus Pocus" by Focus
(plays when the Ghostfacers team are setting up their equipment)
  • "It's My Party" by Leslie Gore
(the ghost party song)

Quotes

Sam: Well, it's 12:04, Dean. You good? You happy?

Dean: Yeah, I am happy.
Sam: "Let's go hunt the Morton House," you said. "it's our Grand Canyon".
Dean: Sam, I don't wanna hear it.

Sam: You got two months left, Dean. Instead, we're gonna die tonight.
Sam: I mean, it's bizarre how y'all able to, to honor Corbett's memory while grossly exploiting the manner of his death. Well done.
Dean: Hey, Ed, listen to me. There's some salt in my duffel. Make a circle and get inside.

Ed:...Inside your duffel bag?

Dean: In the salt, you idiot!
Harry: Ed, you’ve got to go be gay for that poor dead Intern. You got to send him into the light.
Ed: Yeah. Heh heh. And here we were thinking that, you know, we were teaching you, and all this time you were teaching us; about heart, about dedication, and about how gay love can pierce through the veil of death and save the day. Thank you, Alan J. Corbett.

Trivia & References

This was the first episode filmed after the Writers Guild of America Strike ended. There is a meta element to the episode, which, as an unscripted show, is the type of programming that was predicted to replace scripted dramas like Supernatural if the strike had continued.
Ed and Harry first appeared in 1.17 Hell House.
The hand held camera style of the episode references the horror movie The Blair Witch Project, in which a group of college kids are making a documentary about a witch.
Not dissimilar in format to Ghostfacers, there is a TV show called Ghost Hunters, a docu-soap following a group of paranormal investigators.
The "corpse birthday party" scenario is reminiscent of the climax of the 1980 Canadian slasher movie Happy Birthday to Me. This film was produced by the same team that made My Bloody Valentine. Jensen filmed a remake of it during the 2008 summer hiatus. It may also be a reference to the 1987 movie American Gothic, in which a deranged back-woods family welcomes stranded city folk into their house and then proceeds to murder and preserve/stuff them in order to make dolls to occupy an over-grown and over-aged "little girl" named Fanny.
Harry: Hey! Aren't they those assholes from Texas?
A reference not only to when Ed and Harry first met the Winchesters in 1.17 Hell House, but to the fact that Jared and Jensen are both from Texas.
Harry: I don't really like rats. They're gross. Rats are like the rats of the world.
In 1.17 Hell House. Dean also says "I hate rats."
Spruce: What's this guy Daggett's problem, anyway?

Sam: Loneliness.
Dean: What, he's never heard of a RealDoll?

A RealDoll is a lifesize silicone sex toy.
Sam: Daggett was the Norman Bates stuff-your-mother kind of lonely.
Norman Bates was the main character in Psycho, who kept the preserved corpse of his mother.
The Ghostfacers theme song is very reminiscent of the Ghostbusters theme, also having a line about "who you're going to call." Furthermore, the Ghostfacers have a huddle cheer similar to the one used by the Ghostbusters.
The framing mechanism of the episode of Ghostfacers - Ed and Harry suited and sitting in front of a fire - is reminiscent of Masterpiece Theatre, which would be introduced by the host who would be sitting in a great chair by an open fire.
Ed: We'll set up camp right here. This is command center one.

Harry: We'll call this the eagle's nest.

There are several places around the world with called the Eagle's Nest, but the most famous two are both associated with Adolf Hitler: a command center in Bad Nauheim, Germany called the Adlerhorst (Eagle's Nest in German), and a Bavarian chalet called the Kehlsteinhaus (dubbed the Eagle's Nest by a French diplomat), which Hitler used as a retreat and a place to entertain visiting dignitaries.

Minutiae

Title card of the Ghostfacers pilot episode.
The deer's head, a regular of Supernatural sets, appears on the wall of the Morton House.
This episode is presented as a pilot episode of Ghostfacers, so for the first time the Supernatural credits occur at the end of the episode.
Sam and Dean use strong swear words in this episode which are bleeped out, with a small Ghostfacers' skull logo over their mouths.
This is the only episode so far that shows the credits roll at the end of the show, and not in the beginning.
This episode takes place somewhere in Wisconsin. Ed and Harry's car has Wisconsin plates.
A poster for the indie horror movie Coven is seen at the Ghostfacers' base. This poster is also seen, framed, at Charlie Bradbury's apartment in 7.20 The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion

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