Over the past decade, Dean and Sam Winchester (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) have driven across the United States over and over, stayed in their share of gaudy yet fabulous hotel rooms, and eaten at some cozy-looking diners. They’ve acquired epic, powerful weapons and flashed countless fake badges and IDs. In recent years, the Winchesters found themselves a permanent home in the Men of Letters bunker. During a recent visit to the set of Supernatural, now in its eleventh season, I walked around every available inch of the secret base and spent a little time (not enough) in the props department, and I took all the photos.
From the Men of Letters bunker
John Marcynuk, Supernatural’s art director, led the way through the Men of Letters bunker, and his pride in the set was apparent. Though Sam and Dean sort of had a home base with Bobby’s house, the bunker is the first time they’ve had bedrooms—the same stage is used for both bedrooms and the decor is swapped out to fit whatever the script calls for. The bunker is massive, just like it appears on screen. The rooms are large, and there are a couple of long tunnels, which were showcased in the Season 10 episode where Demon Dean escaped the bunker.
I was impressed by the scale and by all the details that aren’t the most visible on the screen. Symbols such as the devil’s trap, the angel banishing sigil, and others are engraved on the floor and featured on the tops of the walls. The Men of Letters symbol is present on lighting fixtures, on the phone, and all around the bunker. There are a lot of repeating patterns throughout the set—like the chevron symbol. Marcynuk said he was inspired by buildings and symbols he saw in the southwest United States.
The infamous Colt
Over in the props department, there was a veritable hunters’ smorgasbord of items to drool over. In some ways, it was a trip back through time. There was the Colt—the gun was tied to the first big bad the Winchesters took down. Handling the props triggered all kind of “Oh yeah, I remember that episode” moments. And yes, they let us touch everything! There were a pile of fake badges in a box, nerdy statues that once decorated Charlie’s desk, faux bullets engraved with the devil’s trap, a jug of holy oil, the green cooler from the Impala—the list goes on and on. They even had John Winchester’s journal on display, and as you Supernatural fans can imagine, seeing it and flipping through the pages made me emotional.
Visit the gallery below to see a million more pictures from the set and props department–I documented everything I could in the Men of Letters bunker. Don’t worry: I have a whole other post and gallery devoted to Baby coming soon too.
If you could steal any prop from the set of Supernatural, which one would it be? Let me know in the comments. And for the record, I did not take anything. I promise.