Resurrection is the ability to bring the dead back to life. This is mostly achieved by deals with demons and by the will of angels. An angel's ability to resurrect the dead is tied to their connection to Heaven; if they are cut off from the Host in any way, they may not be able to bring the dead back to life. Angels resurrecting someone who has long been dead has been shown to cause the complete destruction of the area where the person is being resurrected, as shown when both Dean and Adam Milligan were brought back to life by Heaven.
Demons, however, appear to require deals to be struck in order to bring a dead human back to life.
Things That Can Resurrect
- Angels – Angels have the ability to resurrect the dead, however healing and resurrection appear to be tied to Heaven, and thus an angel can be cut off from using those abilities. Higher orders of angels such as archangels and seraphim can resurrect humans without connection to the Host of Heaven.
- Cosmic Entity – It can bring back any inhabitants of its realm, the Empty.
- The Darkness – Like her brother, the Darkness is capable of resurrecting beings at will.
- Death – As a rule, Death does not bring people back. Under certain situations an exception can be made.
- God – God can resurrect humans and angels at will. However, archangels, having been formed from pure primordial creation, take more time to resurrect.
- Reapers – While this is antithetical to their purpose, reapers have the ability to heal and resurrect, though they have only been known to perform such acts under duress.
- Curses – The Greek god Zeus was able to place a curse on the Titan Prometheus, causing him to die and be resurrected every day. The curse also had the unintended consequence of being transferred to Prometheus' demigod son Oliver.
- Deals and pacts – Making deals with demons can bring the dead back the life.
- Mark of Cain – Possessors of the Mark will be brought back upon death and turned into demons.
- Resurrection charm – People who bear this charm can come back to life, however the charm requires recharging after any use.
- Tiamat Talisman – If the owner of the coin takes it out of its well, all wishes will be undone, including any wishes to kill someone.
In a competition among the Special Children set up by Azazel, Sam is killed by Jake Talley. A distraught Dean makes a deal with a Crossroads Demon to bring Sam back to life, selling his soul for one year instead of the standard ten years to being Sam back.
To reverse all wishes of a Tiamat Coin, Sam and Dean confront its owner, Wes Mondale. His lover Hope Lynn Casey, who is with Wes due to the coin, overhears their conversation and realizes that if the spell in broken her love for Wes will be gone. To try to save their relationship, she wishes Sam dead, and he dies of lightning. Wes, realizing what he has done, removes the coin and Sam is brought back to life.
After Sam and Dean are shot and killed by Walt and Roy, they meet an angel in Heaven named Joshua, who tells them of their many prior deaths and how this time he has been given instruction for Sam and Dean to remember, before sending them back to earth in their restored bodies.
Realizing that Dean will not become Michael's vessel, the angels move to a plan B and resurrect Sam and Dean's half-brother Adam Milligan. However, Castiel learns of this and goes to the spot of Adam's funeral pyre, where he kills two angels and brings the resurrected Adam back to Bobby's.
After throwing a Molotov cocktail of holy oil at Michael to give Dean time to reach Sam, Lucifer snaps his fingers and takes Castiel apart at a sub-atomic level. After Sam regains control of his body and jumps into the Cage with Michael, Castiel is brought back by God, having also been upgraded to a seraphim. Before departing, he heals Dean of his wounds and resurrects Bobby.
The Greek Titan Prometheus is cursed with dying and being resurrected every day by Zeus after giving humans fire from Mt. Olympus. His son Oliver suffers from the same curse, which is broken by the deaths of Prometheus and Zeus.
When Charlie is killed by the Wicked Witch of the West's magic, she is brought back by Ezekiel.
As part of his plan to convert humanity to worshipping him, Metatron resurrects a young woman killed by a speeding car. Crowley's demons find footage of it on the Internet and it leads Crowley and Dean to her home, where Sam has already learned what Metatron told the woman after bringing her back.
Dean, empowered by the Mark of Cain, believes he can take on Metatron. The two fight, and Dean is stabbed through the heart with an angel blade. The Mark, unwilling to let its wielder die, brings Dean back to life as a demon.
Dean takes an overdose and dies so that he can beg Billie the reaper to bring Sam back to life. However, Dean learns from Billie that Sam is not dead, and as she prepares to take Dean to the Empty, Dr. Kessler is able to resuscitate him.
While healing Amara, Rowena reveals to her that after Lucifer snapped her neck, a casket of powerful magic she had sewn into her thigh was activated once her life-force began ebbing. As the magic worked its way through her body, it repaired her broken neck, bringing her back to life.
Imprisoned in a government black site for six weeks, Sam and Dean realize there is no escape. Believing themselves to be dead anyway, they call on Billie and strike a deal to temporarily die and be brought back to life so they can escape confinement. As payment for this favor, at midnight a Winchester must die. Mary offers to take their place in the deal, but Billie is killed by Castiel before she can collect.
Kelly Kline decides to kill herself rather than let her child be used as a tool of destruction. She slits her wrists in a bathtub, but is resurrected by her unborn child.
When Dean temporarily kills himself to find the bodies of Dr. Avery Meadows' victims, he is confronted by Billie, who reveals herself as the new incarnation of Death. After conversing in Death's Reading Room about Sam and Dean's place in the universe, Dean is brought back to life by Billie.
After being found out by the Winchesters, Arthur Ketch tells the brothers how he came to still be alive after being shot in the head: Years ago the British Men of Letters captured Rowena, and during her interrogation, Ketch learned of the resurrection charm. He struck a deal with Rowena, having the charm sewed into his body in exchange for letting her escape. Resurrecting soon after his body was dumped, Ketch went into hiding, as the British Men of Letters frown on desertion. He also began searching for Rowena, explaining that once the charm is used, it must be recharged before it can work again.
After the Winchesters rob his vault, Luther Shrike explains how when the hellhounds came for him due to his deal with Barthamus, he used Barthamus' human bones to force him to renegotiate the deal, bring Luther back to life, and grant him immortality while he stayed on his property. His brief death and resurrection are confirmed by the fact that his own blood counts as the blood of a man who has been to Hell and back to open Luther's vault. Dean's own resurrection from Hell, which allows him to also open Luther's vault, is mentioned.
Rowena tells the Winchesters that after Lucifer burned her alive, the healing process took a long time. Rather than risk being murdered by Lucifer again, and undergo the same plodding healing process, Rowena is seeking the Black Grimoire to lift the magical bindings placed on her by the Grand Coven so that she can protect herself.
When Sam is killed by vampires from Apocalypse World, he is "lifted from the darkness" by Lucifer, who brings him back to make a deal. In exchange for his life, Lucifer wants Sam to help him meet his son, threatening Sam by claiming he will release the horde of vampires he is keeping at bay onto the younger Winchester if he does not agree to the bargain.
After learning of Maggie's death, a distraught Jack reconnects with Lucifer and agrees to go with him to explore the universe. But before they leave, Jack forces his father to resurrect Maggie. A hesitant Lucifer warns Jack that people can come back different, but eventually acquiesces, bringing Maggie back to life. Maggie then reveals that Lucifer was her killer which Jack forces Lucifer to admit under mind control.
After the death of Jack Kline, Lily Sunder suggests using Enochian magic and part of Jack's soul to sustain his body. After Dean points out that Jack is dead, Castiel states that he can bring Jack back for a very brief period of time, long enough to complete the spell.
After an encounter with the Cosmic Entity in Kelly Kline's Heaven, Castiel touches Jack on the face, causing his soul to glow and for Jack to then wake up in his body on Earth, still suffering from the condition that killed him in the first place. Jack quickly completes the spell, curing his condition and preventing him from dying again.
Nick reveals that his plan is to resurrect Lucifer, having made contact with the archangel in the Empty through Donatello Redfield. Using a spell with Jack's blood, Nick is able to bring Lucifer back to Earth, but is foiled by Jack, who kills Nick and sends Lucifer back to the Empty before he can be fully revived.
After Jack accidentally kills Mary Winchester, he attempts to resurrect her with the help of Rowena using a spell from the Book of the Damned. However, the spell requires Mary's body, which was destroyed when she was killed. Despite Rowena's warnings that he could do more harm than good by trying, Jack casts the spell anyway. Though the attempt causes Mary's body to reappear, it fails to resurrect her. Sam later tells Dean and Castiel that Rowena thinks that Jack's casting of the spell only brought back a shell, incapable of holding life. However, this allows the Winchesters and Castiel to give Mary a Hunter's Funeral Pyre.
While looking through Rowena's Apartment, Sam finds a spell in one of her journals that Rowena had been creating to resurrect Mary Winchester before she learned that Mary was happy in Heaven. Sam realizes that the spell, which can turn spirit to flesh, can be used to resurrect Eileen Leahy, but comes into conflict with a family of witches also seeking the spell. The Witch Mother warns that the spell will only work once before Billie closes the loophole. After dispatching the witches, Sam is able to use the spell to resurrect Eileen.
God reveals that He orchestrated Eileen's resurrection so that He could use her to spy on the Winchesters. God purposefully led Sam to the spell, though He admits that the resurrection wasn't all Him: God only gave Sam half the spell and Sam did the rest.
While investigating the murder of a Grigori, Castiel discovers that Jack has been resurrected. Jack later explains that Billie kept him stashed away in the Empty until God left the Earth. Once He was gone, Billie resurrected Jack with a plan for Jack to become strong enough to kill God.