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By Carrie Berk

Supernatural may have ended in 2020, but fans need not mourn the series. A prequel, The Winchesters, is on the way, bringing new stories to the popular franchise. In the original show, the Winchesters are hunters who preserve the balance of good and evil to protect humanity.

Premiering on The CW October 11th, the new series follows the parents of Sam and Dean Winchester, and it answers questions that Supernatural never addressed about the Winchester family history. Here are seven things to expect in the new series.

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1. Sam and Dean’s Parents Are Front and Center

Mary Campbell and John Winchester look surprised in a dimly lit room filled with dusty books and and shrouded furniture.

Mary Campbell and John Winchester, the parents of Sam and Dean, catch sight of something off-screen.

Photo credit: Matt Miller/The CW

It stars Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly as John Winchester and Mary Campbell, parents of Sam and Dean from Supernatural. Viewers might recognize Donnelly from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and the TV movies Zombies and Zombies 2.

2. We Travel Back to the ’70s

Drake Rodger as John Winchester stands in a dark green army uniform with his hat in his hand.

John returns from Vietnam, but his fighting days aren’t over yet.

Photo credit: Matt Miller/The CW

It’s set in 1972, shortly after John returns from Vietnam, and focuses on the story of how John and Mary met, got involved in monster-hunting, and fell in love while fighting evil.

3. A Monster-Hunting Legacy

Meg Donnelly as Mary Campbell studies a bulletin board covered with newspaper clippings, photos, and a map.

Mary Campbell is on a mission to fight evil.

Photo credit: Matt Miller/The CW

Monster-hunting is in Mary’s blood. However, after losing a close friend, she considers quitting the family business. Her father’s disappearance and John’s arrival may convince her otherwise.

4. References to Supernatural Abound

Sam and Dean stand outside wearing jackets and glancing at each other in a scene from Supernatural.

Sam and Dean in the hit series Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Robert Falconer/The CW -- 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

There are several references to Supernatural, including the Men of Letters, humans with extensive knowledge about supernatural magic. Mary’s journey to become a hunter also harks back to the original series. John and Mary’s fathers are both missing, which also brought Sam and Dean together in Supernatural.

5. It's Crawling With Cryptids

Similar to its parent show, The Winchesters has its fair share of vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and demons. The trailer features a fist fight with a demon, a roaring creature, and more.

6. A Narrator We Know

Jensen Ackles looks thoughtfully into the distance as he leans on a black sports car parked by an expanse of grass.

Jensen Ackles, reprising his role as Dean Winchester, narrates the new series.

Photo credit: Matt Miller/The CW

The narrator may sound familiar. Jensen Ackles (“Dean”) narrates the new series and appears in its first episode. The spinoff was created by the production company he runs with his wife Danneel of Chaos Machine Productions. Supernatural writer Robbie Thompson is back for The Winchesters as well.

7. A Powerful Posse

Carlos Cervantez and Latika Desai look up from the old book they are flipping through on a sidestreet.

Jojo Fleites as Carlos Cervantez and Nida Khurshid as Latika Desai join forces with John and Mary.

Photo credit: Matt Miller/The CW

John and Mary are joined by a monster-hunting posse: trainee hunter Latika Desai (Nida Khurshid), master fighter Carlos Cervantez (Jojo Fleites), and bookstore owner meets hunting supplies enthusiast Ada Monroe (Demetria McKinney). John’s mother, Millie (Bianca Kajlich) also plays a key role in teaching her son about their dark family history.

The Winchesters premieres on October 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, with new episodes airing every Tuesday.

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Spooktacular Streaming
Spooktacular Streaming

By Michelle Darrisaw

Slashers, psychological thrillers, supernatural gems, cult-camp classics, and end-of-the-world dramas—we’ve rounded up the best horror and subgenre films available to stream on Paramount+ for the witching season. Just how terrifying are our picks? Lock the doors, grab some popcorn and a blanket, and see for yourself.


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Best Psychological Horror: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

A poster for Rosemary\u2019s Baby shows a black and white closeup of  a young Mia Farrow lying on her back looking up above a purple silhouette of a baby buggy.

Promotional poster for Rosemary’s Baby

Photo credit: Getty Images

Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, and Sidney Blackmer

Newlyweds Rosemary (Farrow) and Guy Woodhouse (Cassavetes) move into their dream New York City apartment at the Bramford. Soon Rosemary’s fears about her neighbors’ malicious intentions become a dreadful reality.

Best Apocalyptic Disaster: A Quiet Place (2018)

A red and black poster for A Quiet Place shows a closeup of Emily Blunt clasping her right hand over her mouth and looking terrified.

Promotional poster for A Quiet Place

Photo credit: ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection

Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe

Krasinski pulls double duty as director and actor in this post-apocalyptic offering. In the role of Lee Abbott, he’s tasked with keeping his family safe in silence amid noise-sensitive creatures.

Best Classic Horror: Friday the 13th (1980)

A poster for Friday the 13th shows five apprehensive teens in front of a cabin in the woods at night inside the outline of a killer holding a bloody knife.

Promotional poster for Friday the 13th

Photo credit: ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, and Kevin Bacon

One fateful summer, counselors at Camp Crystal Lake discover how cursed Friday the 13th is when they’re stalked by a relentless killer. And, thus, the masked Jason Voorhees’ obsession begins.

Best Sci-Fi Terror: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

A poster for Night of the Living Dead features a black and white collage of actors in frightening scenes from the film under the title in acid green.

Promotional poster for Night of the Living Dead

Photo credits: LMPC via Getty Images

Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, and Marilyn Eastman

“They’re coming to get you, Barbra!” The “they” in this famous line is up for interpretation, depending on whether your greatest fear is the flesh-eating undead or the degradation of humanity.

Best Slasher: Scream (2022)

A poster for Scream 2022 shows closeups of the main characters above a Woodsboro sign and neighborhood at night and under a large closeup of Ghostface.

Promotional poster for the 2022 movie Scream

Photo credit: IMDB

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Melissa Barrera

Although it’s not the most frightening installment in the iconic Scream franchise, it’s a welcome return to form 25 years later for the knife-wielding Ghostface (voiced by Roger Jackson) and his target: Sidney Prescott (Campbell).

Best Camp: Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)

A colorful poster for Who Slew Auntie Roo? shows a girl wearing a dress and pink hair bow and clutching a teddy bear, a boy in a gray cap and coat with a red scarf and a closeup of a bloody meat cleaver with a black and white reflection of Shelley Winters screaming.

Promotional poster for Who Slew Auntie Roo?

Photo credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring: Shelley Winters, Mark Lester, Chloe Franks, and Ralph Richardson

This unintentionally hilarious and creepy film is a twist on Hansel and Gretel. A wealthy, traumatized widow invites orphans to her mansion for the annual holiday dinner. But what, or rather who, ends up on the menu?

Best Supernatural: Paranormal Activity (2007)

A poster for Paranormal Activity shows a grainy video freeze frame of a man and a woman in bed staring in alarm at an open bedroom door.

Promotional poster for Paranormal Activity

Photo Credit: ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, and Amber Armstrong

Low on budget and frills. High on demonic terror and things that go bump in the night. A young couple is haunted by an unknown, demonic presence in their new suburban home.

Best Alien Invasion: The War of the Worlds (1953)

A colorful poster  for The War of the Worlds shows a line of green spaceships traveling from a red planet toward Earth, where a building is exploding in flames and a man and woman are looking terrified.

Promotional poster for The War of the Worlds

Photo credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, and Robert Cornthwaite

The adaptation of H.G. Wells’ book was the first of its kind to explore the cinematic battle between humankind and outer-space foes. What makes it truly terrifying is the bleakness, mass hysteria, and widespread destruction.

Best Bloodsucker: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

A poster for Interview with the Vampire shows Louis the vampire hunched on a bench in a deserted park while hooded fellow vampire Claudia approaches under a streetlamp under a large closeup of Lestat.

Promotional poster for Interview with the Vampire

Photo credit: ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, and Christian Slater

Anne Rice’s novel series is beautifully adapted into this gripping story of two vampires, Lestat (Cruise) and Louis (Pitt), and their differing outlooks on eternity and bloodlust.

Best Mystery: The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

A poster for The Town That Dreaded Sundown shows a closeup of a menacing figure in a sack mask with cutout eyeholes staring down at a mountainous town at night.

Promotional poster for The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Photo credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

Starring: Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells, and Jimmy Clem

This crime thriller is based on a true story about a hooded serial killer who terrorized the border town of Texarkana, Arkansas, in the 1940s. If that isn’t enough to make you shiver, the phantom menace was never caught.


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