Most demons in Supernatural appear in two ways, either the dark smokey form, or by possessing someone. A demon can leave a body at will and has no trouble possessing someone else almost instantly. As such they have no true corporeal body.

But Crowley, current king of hell, doesn't seem to have access to this smoke form, and he does possess a body.

In Weekend at Bobby's

we meet the son of Crowley (neé Fergus), Gavin. Gavin appears to recognize Crowley. We then find out that Sam and Dean have his bones hostage. Meaning the demon has/had a body.

Regardless, we never see him possess anyone, and even old yellow-eyes did that.

Is Crowley special in some way?

  • not enough for an answer but note that we never see any other crossroads demons possess people.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 21:22
  • 1
    @MichaelEdenfield We've seen another crossroads demon flee the body they were possessing.
    – user1027
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 21:23
  • @MichaelEdenfield And I vaguely recall one of them showing itself to Dean in a different body, just once
    – Izkata
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 22:47
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    This is also not quite enough for an answer, but: Crowley might not be a Crossroads demon - he was King of the Crossroads demons. He's never shown the color of his eyes, so we don't know what type of demon he himself is.
    – Izkata
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 22:49
  • @Keen - Do you remember which episode? I only remember a handful of crossroads demons that weren't Crowley
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 0:03

5 Answers 5


Well then, what timing.

As of Supernatural 8x02, which aired the night this question was posted,

Crowley both showed his eyes and went smokey onscreen (and appears to have stashed his standard body in a closet). He has red eyes, finally confirming what we've all suspected, that he is a Crossroads Demon.

However, the smoke itself was red-tinted. This does not feel familiar to me at all, although I can't seem to find any evidence of other Crossroads demons getting exorcized. They all seem to appear offscreen already possessing someone, then vanish once they make a deal or are killed (not exorcised)... So the red smoke could be normal, or it could still be something special about Crowley...

But, even if the red smoke does make him special, it's likely no more special than Azazel's yellow eyes, which are also so far unique.

But in summary, Crowley is a normal demon.

  • Just came up with this question, and by now, you can safely say that crossroads demons do have red smoke, that was displayed at the latest Season (9), by a crossroads demon portraied by snooki
    – Oak
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 1:52
  • @Oak The camera panned to the side to show Snooki already there, and the end of the exorcism happened offscreen - we never saw her smoke form, just that she had red eyes
    – Izkata
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 5:36
  • There was also another crossroads demon which would make deals but cheat on them, not sure if his smoke was showed or not
    – Oak
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 13:00

Crowley's special due to the large number of souls that he controls. Souls grant power in the Supernatural universe, and the ones in hell have granted Crowley various abilities that regular demons lack. For example, we've seen Crowley teleport, which demons aren't able to do. However, he still seems to be a demon deep down, as he seemed genuinely concerned at the threat of his bones being burned. In addition, holy water burns him like regular demons. And we've seen him trapped in Devil's Traps numerous times. Due to his power, he seemingly never has need to flee his body, which is the usual reason demons possess others.

Interestingly, a few days after you asked this, we see Crowley use his demon abilities. In Supernatural S8E2, he possesses Kevin's mother. Several things to note about this. First, before she could be possessed, her demon-warding tattoo had to be removed, which means Crowley's unable to possess people who have those. Second, he revealed himself by displaying dark demon's eyes, but his were neither black nor yellow, they were red, which we've seen before with another crossroads demon flashing red eyes in S2E8. Third, when he exited the body, he wasn't the usual black smoke, he was red-tinted (he also fled in smoke form back to his usual body). The previously-mentioned crossroads demon from S2E8 was regular black in smoke form, so the red color seems to be Crowley-specific.

It's possible that Gavin, as a ghost, was able to see Crowley's real face instead of his physical face that we the audience see. We know that other non-human beings are able to see demons inside people (e.g. angels and prophets have shown this capability), but what they see hasn't been clarified beyond it being monstrous.


Crowley is special in several ways.

First and foremost in later seasons:

He takes over and becomes the King of Hell. This grants him enormous power, it is hinted that he can directly utilize the collective power of the souls who are in hell. Even indirectly, this seems to make him more powerful than he would otherwise be. He is able to, at one point, loan souls to Castiel which enables Castiel to then bitchslap the much more powerful Raphael. I believe the number was 50,000 souls. Hell has at least this number of them. Assuming Crowley could use them in the same way that Castiel does, he should be quite capable of bitch-slapping archangels himself (though, this method is considered dangerous and akin to swallowing nuclear reactors whole).

Additionally, Crowley would have had to have been an accomplished magician even while still human. He did summon a crossroads demon himself, at one point. His time spent in Hell didn't destroy his ambition or cunning either (let's face it, most demons seem downright stupid). His time in Hell, and his time as King of it could only have amplified and refined these skills. It's doubtful that there are many spells he does not know or at least cannot get his hands on.

He has always been depicted as able to teleport, even from the first appearance. Other demons seem incapable of doing so (though perhaps Azazel/Yellow Eyes just preferred not to). There was a mention that he had possessed a body of some banker or something at first, though that is now glossed over or even ignored by the writers... perhaps he really is just manifesting a body as some ghosts even manage to be able to do. Either would be impressive (if possessing, he can move a human body to the other side of the planet instantly, if not he has no trouble maintaining the manifested body indefinitely unlike most ghosts).

There is an explanation for him being recognized by his son, if possessing a body: Castiel has been said to be able to "see past the meat suit". Presumably ghosts might be able to do this as well.


I personally think he's not a demon at all. The whole deal with Kevin's mom, pay close attention... First Crowley has never possessed anyone..as of yet, second you see the red eyes & hear his voice but you don't actually see him leave or enter his usual body. He also runs away from the the Winchesters with the tablet , he doesn't do his usual poof. I personally think it was another xroads demon he ordered to pretend to be him. Then he suddenly walks through a door, out of sight of all of it. You really think he'd leave his favorite meatsuit laying in a hall or closet? As far as the red smoke could be lighting

I'm betting he's a former, mutated or very old angel (or something along those lines). Either way he's no demon. If you remember back when Sam Dean & Cas went after Crowley & Samuel hit them with the angel sigil...Crowley was hiding behind the wall...probably so he didn't get sent away himself. AND in season 8 while Cas was a little batty, he kept speaking about poetry in creation several times, like the writers put it there on purpose... when they're ready to make the leviathian weapon... and call Crowley, hr tells Meg she has no poetry, and how the hell could he read Cas' mind to know he needed Meg to be happy at that point? Yes I'm rambling, I've been home sick watching reruns all week.

If he were a demon he could manifest another physical presence but in 8 seasons we haven't seen it. And sure bones were burned but that was a set up with Cas, obviously it didn't kill him because they weren't his. I'm sure he doesn't have any..as an angel wouldn't. He's too knowledgeable, it seems like he actually created the hellhounds (from the episode with Sam's friend Brady...(after he slaughters a hive of demons)...he states "Sorry boys no one knows more about the hounds than I" amd brings his own. And the other counter I have for you is we THINK we know his back story, with all Crowley has done you don't think he'd be smart enough to create a back story? He's always 2 steps ahead of everything, And it doesn't help that any time Mark Sheppard is asked about Crowley's origins in interviews he constantly asks why we think he's a demon and points out all the things we are here. The writers like to keep their options open so I'm sure we won't know until the end of the show itself, but I'm positive they'll resolve it at some point.

  • 1
    You bring up good points... but you're ignoring another possibility: Crowley's normal form isn't a meatsuit at all. He's able to manifest a physical presence however he likes. We've seen ghosts do it for a few seconds or minutes at a time, and demons are basically souped-up ghosts. Crowley may be the most-practiced demon of all. As for him being an angel, that doesn't fit at all... we know approximately when he lived as a human.
    – John O
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 23:27


Crowley is special. He has his own bones which he must hide.

Why would he care about his bones? when he is on the outs with the other demons why not ride another body to at least try to throw others off the trail

No something special about crowley. Why does Crowley have bones?

Was crowley a very smart human who made an incredible deal for his soul?

A fallen angel?

Yet even the devil needs a vessels.

Crowley is a screw up a mistake in the mythology that we need to accept for the story to work.

The demons are not fallen angels who stood with satan, so where are those fallen angels. Lets face it, even on a bad day cass could wipe out a company of demons so when he chasties Dean and tells him he lost two brothers in the field, i doubt the demons did it. i don't think they want to go into it and they didn't work it out but Cass and other are not fighting demons,they re fighting the angels that stood with lucifer. Look how they flee when chuck's gardian comes down. A fallen angel might stand and fight.

A war in heaven would not involve demons.


  • 2
    In Supernatural, all demons have bones somewhere. All demons used to be human - their souls were twisted into demons when they were in hell. This was explained in the first episode Crowley's bones were mentioned in.
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 3:31

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