|“||"Gentlemen, imagine an an army not burdened with the weakness of ordinary soldiers-- men who don't need food, who never grow tired. An army of unstoppable warriors. The Wild Hunt. The living can fight until they break. The dead do not break. This is what the Ahnenerbe has been searching for."
"'Ghost Riders of the Storm, masters of infinite power.' [...] An unstoppable army? Made up of the dead, you say?"
"With power you have never seen."
Ghost Riders, also known as the Wild Hunt, are an unknown species of creature that was first mentioned in Season 5 and first introduced in Season 6 of MTV's Teen Wolf. They possess an unexplained connection with Hellhounds. According to Alan Deaton in the official trailer release during 2016's Comic-Con, despite popular belief that the Wild Hunt takes people, the real lore behind these mysterious creatures is that they erase people from reality.
Lydia Martin discovered the true nature of Jordan Parrish after reading a book located in the library of Beacon Hills High School, which read "Woden's Hunt, also known as the Wild Ride or Wild Hunt. A myth of devilish riders in the sky accompanied by black dogs, spectral beasts whose eyes glowed with fire... A Bearer of Death and Guardian of the Supernatural, the black dog is also known by its more common name, the Hellhound." ("Status Asthmaticus")
Teen Wolf creator, Jeff Davis recently spoke on the Riders during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Davis explained that the idea is that if you see them as them as they pass through your town, they'll take you and make you a part of the Wild Hunt; however, they don't just take the living, they take the dead as well. The Ghost Riders serve many mythological functions and there is an unlimited amount of them; this is likely due to the fact that every person they capture and erase from reality is presumed to eventually be turned into a Ghost Rider themselves. ("Radio Silence"), ("Ghosted")
Teen Wolf lead Tyler Posey also took part in an interview where he added that these monsters aren't as violent as villains they have faced in the past; they do not wish to be in Beacon Hills, and the destruction that ensues as a result of their presence is merely a consequence of them being somewhere they don't want to be. It has recently been revealed that the Ghost Riders are unable to leave a town until everyone has been taken, which means that their captured victims remain alive until they are able to leave, after which point they are apparently turned into Ghost Riders. ("Blitzkrieg")
Throughout Teen Wolf
|“||Ken: "You know, there's a legend for a storm like this..."
Kira: "Dad, please don't turn a three-hour traffic jam into an educational experience."
Noshiko: "He's talking about the Wild Hunt-- about the Ghost Riders. In storm clouds just like these, phantom hunters would appear, riding black horses with blood-red eyes, and wolves and hounds at their side, baying and snarling."
Kira: "What were they hunting?"
In Status Asthmaticus, Lydia Martin and Jordan Parrish, who were at the Beacon County Sheriff's Station after Jordan voluntarily locked himself in a cell out of fear that his yet-unknown supernatural identity could get more people hurt, were talking about their powers and how Jordan seemed to be a harbinger of death like Lydia. Suddenly, Lydia got an idea of what supernatural species Jordan was and ran to the library at Beacon Hills High School, where she found a large bestiary that confirmed her theory—Jordan was possessed by the spirit of a Hellhound (later revealed to be known as Cerberus). The passage stated that the Wild Hunt was a myth involving "devilish riders" who flew through the sky with spectral, bestial dogs known as Hellhounds that are known for being both a bearer of death and a guardian of the supernatural.
In Creatures of the Night, the Ghost Riders were mentioned for the first time by Noshiko and Ken Yukimura to their daughter, Kira, while the three were stuck in traffic during a thunderstorm. Noshiko described the Wild Hunt as phantom hunters who would ride their red-eyed black horses in the sky during storms with their wolves and hounds at their side. When Kira asked Noshiko what the Ghost Riders hunted, Noshiko informed her that they hunted souls.
|“||We are the Wild Hunt. Those who hunt with us hunt forever.||”|
Not much is known about Ghost Riders as of yet, but their personalities seem to be similar to that of Cerberus insomuch as they are aloof and have no interest in anything but their target goals; any interference is met with force, but like the Hellhound, they show no real interest in engaging in fights if they can avoid it, as evidenced by the fact that they seemingly viewed Liam's futile attempts to physically defeat them as being that of a mere nuisance. One of the Ghost Riders (presumably The Outlaw) showed curiosity when confronted by Jordan Parrish, as it somehow sensed his Hellhound nature and attempted to communicate with him before they vanished. It should be noted that, in the Bestiary consulted by Lydia Martin, the Hellhound is a part of the Wild Hunt, indicating there is a connection between the species. Though Mason believed that the Ghost Riders feared the Hellhound, in reality, they wanted it to return to them; during their first confrontation, one of the Riders shot at Parrish when he transformed into the Hellhound rather than fight him, and during their second interaction, the captured Ghost Rider attempted to communicate with him before somehow compelling Cerberus to control Parrish and aid in their escape.
Lydia Martin had a Banshee premonition that indicated that all captives of the Ghost Riders became Ghost Riders themselves, and Peter Hale seemed to confirm that this was true when he said that he and Stiles Stilinski, as captives of the Wild Hunt, were doomed to ride the skies forever. This was further supported when a Ghost Rider informed Scott McCall, Liam Dunbar, and Theo Raeken that no one resists or escapes their captivity, though this was later proven to not be absolutely true. Judging by Lydia's comments, the process through which a Wild Hunt captive goes to transform into a Ghost Rider involves having their souls hollowed out, taking every characteristic and trait that makes up the victim's identity until the only thing that is left is a walking corpse dedicated to the hunt for eternity. ("Ghosted")
It was late revealed that the Ghost Riders technically don't exist on the plane of reality known as the "real world," which is why they can appear invisible unless they choose to allow others to see them. This also extends to other objects and people, giving them the ability to shift things into their plane of existence so that they are invisible to the human naked eye, as was proven when Jake Sullivan was erased from reality by the Ghost Riders, and one of his relics (in Jake's case, his library card) was made invisible and dropped on the floor, which Corey Bryant, a Chimera with similar powers to the Ghost Riders, pulled back into their world.
The Ghost Riders have a much more old-western appearance. They ride horses while wearing cowboy hats and old withered clothing typical of the 1800s, while also arming themselves with supernatural pistols and whips. A Ghost Rider's face appears to be pale and heavily lined, as if scarred, and their mouths are kept shut due to numerous strips of skin stitching it together. There is also blackness where their eyes should be.
Powers and Abilities
The Ghost Riders possess a multitude of powers, many of which have not been fully explored or defined. Part of their power comes from the fact that they technically do not reside in the "real world" dimension; they exist in the Phantom Train Station, but can interact with the real world.
- Super Strength Ghost Riders possess super strength, as evidenced by the fact that one easily ripped the passenger door off of the Turner family's car, and another was shown to effortlessly manhandle both Liam Dunbar and Corey Bryant at the same time. Even exceptionally strong shapeshifters such as Scott McCall, Malia Tate, and Peter Hale have been unable to do any more than simply hold their own against the Riders for brief moments before being overpowered.
- Power Granting: The Ghost Riders have the ability to turn humans and other supernatural creatures into more of their own kind by swarming around their target and laying their hands on them, hollowing out their soul and transforming their bodies into that of an undead Ghost Rider. This power was used by the Ghost Riders to turn Garrett Douglas into one of their own in retribution for his attempts to control them and force them to do his bidding.
- Reality Warping: The Ghost Riders possess a rare ability that has never before been seen in the series until their introduction—the ability to manipulate reality, specifically how others perceive reality. The Ghost Riders have used this power in a variety of ways, including:
- Existence Erasure: The most used aspect of this power that the Ghost Riders use is the ability to literally erase a person from existence. Like with reality warping, this power to erase people from existence has many aspects:
- Memory Manipulation: In erasing a person from existence, the Ghost Riders possess the ability to modify and/or remove the memories of the victim in the minds of anyone who knows them. This was evidenced by the fact that everyone who knew the Turner family, Stiles Stilinski, and Phoebe forgot that they ever existed, causing their friends, family, and acquaintances to not recognize them before they were taken by the Ghost Riders. However, this power doesn't seem to work properly on people with dementia, as Elias Stilinski, during a moment of lucidity, seemed to remember Stiles and somehow know that his son's wife Claudia was supposed to be dead. Likewise, Theo Raeken, who had been trapped in a mystical underground prison, remembered Stiles upon his release, despite the fact that he had been erased from the memories of everyone else, however brief it may have been. In one case, after the Ghost Riders conjured a phantom who masqueraded as his deceased wife Claudia to distract him from the fact that they had captured his son Stiles, the Ghost Riders implanted false memories in his mind so he wouldn't question her presence. However, in general, the Ghost Riders simply allow the victims of their memory manipulation to fill in the blank places in their memories, which ultimately ended badly for them due to the fact that Scott McCall, Malia Tate, and Lydia Martin began realizing that their memories made no sense without Stiles' presence in them.
- Matter Manipulation: In erasing a person from existence, the Ghost Riders can manipulate objects. This includes changing photographs to remove their victims' likeness from them and altering documents such as deeds to houses or yearbook forms to erase information about the victim, and making their bedrooms, homes, or apartments look as though they have been abandoned for an unknown amount of time. This appears to be through a form of Illusion Casting.
- Dimensional Shifting: The Ghost Riders exist on a different plane of reality known colloquially as the Phantom Train Station, but are capable of manifesting in the "real world." However, because they are not of the real world, they seem to have a foot on each plane, allowing them to transport themselves back and forth along with other objects and people. This power gives them the power to make themselves and other people and objects invisible to the naked human eye while in the real world, suggesting that this power is a form of Projection.
- Visual Connection: The Ghost Riders have the ability to target individuals who have seen them, allowing them to locate these victims, capture them, and erase them from existence at a later time. This has presumably happened to numerous people, including Stiles Stilinski, the Turner family, Jake Sullivan, Phoebe, as well as everyone at the party Liam Dunbar, Mason Hewitt, and Corey Bryant threw at the McCall House.
- Electromagnetokinesis: The Ghost Riders appear to have the ability to manipulate electromagnetic energy, as evidenced by the fact that phones are unable to geolocate when they're in the vicinity, and their presence prevents compasses from being able to accurately point north; instead, the compass leads to their location. This indicates that they can control both electricity and magnetism. Their presence also causes clocks to stop and can make magnets around them more or less powerful. They were also able to prevent the Turners from driving away when one of the Ghost Riders confronted them in the road by disabling the battery that powered the car.
- Atmokinesis: The Ghost Riders have a limited ability to control the weather, allowing them to create thunderstorms, lightning bolts, and powerful gusts of wind in their location at will.
- Atmokinetic Teleportation: The Ghost Riders appear to have the ability to teleport from one place to another in the blink of an eye through storm-related phenomena, as evidenced by the Ghost Riders appearing at the McCall House through a lightning strike and leaving through a powerful gust of wind. Their appearance through teleportation is typically accompanied by dry, dead leaves blowing toward their target with the wind gusts. The Ghost Riders also seem to be able to bring their victims along with them when they teleport, as well as teleporting their victims remotely to the Phantom Train Station without teleporting themselves. This form of teleportation is said to be able to bypass Mountain Ash barriers.
- Telekinesis: The Ghost Riders seem to have the ability to move objects through sheer force of will. This was demonstrated when The Outlaw opened the school doors with a simple hand gesture. However, the Ghost Riders typically rely more on their superhuman strength rather than this power.
- Pathokinesis: The Ghost Riders possess the ability to manipulate the emotions of others; so far, they have used this ability specifically to heighten aggression and violent behavior in the members of the lacrosse teams at the Beacon Hills High School lacrosse match. This fits with the mythology of the Wild Hunt, who are said to be drawn to war and mayhem.
- Telepathic Communication: The Ghost Riders have the ability to communicate with each other and their Hellhounds through a mysterious language even from a distance, and can compel Hellhounds to do what they want, as evidenced by the fact that they influenced Jordan Parrish into helping free one of their own who had been captured by the McCall Pack through their connection to Cerberus, the Hellhound spirit possessing him. They can also communicate with people who are not members of the Wild Hunt if necessary, such as when the pack captured a Ghost Rider to interrogate them on their plans. This form of communication is needed due to the fact that the Ghost Riders' mouths are seemingly sewed shut.
- Existence Erasure: The most used aspect of this power that the Ghost Riders use is the ability to literally erase a person from existence. Like with reality warping, this power to erase people from existence has many aspects:
So far, the Ghost Riders have shown few weaknesses. They do seem to be vulnerable to Mountain Ash, as the majority of supernatural creatures are, but, like other creatures such as the Oni and Hellhounds, they can break through it with assistance, such as using their supernatural whips with enough force or compelling their Hellhound to use their fire to burn through the barrier. Additionally, they are able to bypass Mountain Ash barriers by teleporting through lightning strikes to the location they seek, though this, too, can be hindered if the Ghost Rider is in a location that is immune to lightning strikes, such as the generator the McCall Pack used to trap a Ghost Rider.
The Ghost Riders also seem to be vulnerable to Corey Bryant's Chimera power of Adaptive Camouflage, as when he is actively using this ability, he is able to see the Ghost Riders even when they appear to be invisible to the human eye, and he has also demonstrated the power to pull the Ghost Riders and the objects they have shifted out of their world back into it. This was demonstrated when Corey made tactile contact with Jake Sullivan's library card, a relic that was left behind after his capture and erasure from reality, and made it visible again, and again when he was camouflaging himself and grabbed the arm of a Ghost Rider, pulling him into their world so everyone else could see them.
Additionally, people with medical conditions that affect memories seem to have at least a partial immunity to the Ghost Riders' memory manipulation powers, as Elias Stilinski, Stiles' paternal grandfather, who suffers from dementia, seemed to remember Stiles when no one else who knew him could, and he knew that his son's wife, Claudia, was meant to be dead. Likewise, Theo was able to remember Stiles after he was released from his mystical prison, suggesting that the prison protected him from outside influences such as the Ghost Riders' powers.
Another weakness appears to be relics, or objects belonging to their victims that are somehow not erased with them. According to Lydia Martin, relics are an object with a fixed association in the past that are left behind due to a conservation of mass; such relics include Jake Sullivan's library card and the bracelet Gwen made for her sister Phoebe, both of which were found at the scene of where they were taken. It has been implied that these relics can be used to reverse the erasure of a person from reality by the Ghost Riders. It has also been shown that, with help, people can recover their lost memories of an erased loved one through extended contact with the person; for example, speaking to Stiles through his police radio allowed Scott, Malia and Lydia to remember him, and seeing the burned Peter Hale after he returned from the Phantom Train Station allowed Scott and Malia to remember him as well. Noah Stilinski was able to recover his memories of his son Stiles by finding another one of his relics—his red yarn and push-pins—which allowed him to slowly recover more and more memories while also recovering more and more of Stiles' possessions in his bedroom. This seems to indicate that the Ghost Riders' magic can only repress memories, not take them away completely, leaving it possible to recover these memories by triggering them through various means.
Mason Hewitt has suggested that hiding underground can prevent a Ghost Rider from harming them, as the earth's surface would ground their lightning strikes and keep the Wild Hunt from getting anywhere near them. Additionally, despite being considered "dead" and unstoppable by legend, they can still be physically hurt and killed through the same means as many supernatural creatures; for example, Garrett Douglas was able to kill a Ghost Rider simply by biting a chunk out of the back of its skull before eating its pineal gland. In the final battles, Liam Dunbar and Theo Raeken fought dozens of Ghost Riders and successfully killed several of them; one died from trauma to the internal organs after being forcefully pinned between an autopsy table and the wall by both Theo and Liam, while Theo killed another by stabbing it in the throat with a bone saw, and Liam shot two with their own guns.
- Supernatural Weapons: Ghost Riders have guns that fire "magic" bullets, which shatter glass in ways a normal bullet are unlikely to do and cause the glass to turn blue or green, possibly from a muzzle flare. When a human or non-Ghost Rider supernatural creature is hit with the magic bullet in the gun, they are erased from reality and transported to the Phantom Train Station. Their whips possess the same quality when used to bind someone, and they can also be used to break through Mountain Ash barriers, though it takes a great amount of force and several thrashes before the barrier will start to be weakened. Bullets from their guns can cause a Hellhound to revert to its human form. Their whips also seem to possess a type of magical venom that can prevent wounds from healing in shapeshifters with accelerated healing abilities and that can kill a human after a long enough period of exposure, though this poisoning can be reversed with a potion made out of the nine herbs to counteract nine supernatural venoms mixed with honey. These weapons can only be wielded by a Ghost Rider (or, in Garrett Douglas' case, someone who has the powers of a Ghost Rider due to eating their pineal gland), though it appears that those who have been captured with the intention of becoming a Ghost Rider can use them if they are in the Phantom Train Station, as shown when Chris Argent stole one and used it to kill two of the Riders.
- Horses: The Ghost Riders, while possessing the ability to teleport, prefer to travel by riding their black horses to wherever they need to go. These horses possess their own ability to safely travel through the rifts between the real world and the Phantom Train Station even when not being ridden by a Ghost Rider, as Liam Dunbar was able to use a dead Rider's horse to get through the rift to the Phantom Train Station to help Hayden Romero and Mason Hewitt save Corey Bryant and stop the worlds from merging.
- The Ghost Riders were first mentioned in Season 5A's Creatures of the Night when Noshiko and Ken Yukimura told Kira about the Wild Hunt. This could indicate that they may have been in Beacon Hills since that time, especially considering the fact that there was a powerful thunderstorm in that episode that caused three separate bolts of lightning to strike near the Jeep where Scott McCall, Stiles Stilinski, and Liam Dunbar were parked, as well as an instance where the magnets on the McCall House refrigerator demagnetized and fell to the floor at the same time that the clock stopped, all phenomena that are known to be associated with the electromagnetic manipulation powers the Ghost Riders possess.
- They were then brought up again in Status Asthmaticus, when it was revealed that Hellhounds are associated with the Wild Hunt. It is unknown if this means that Jordan Parrish (as well as Cerberus, the Hellhound spirit within him) will play a part in the Ghost Riders' plot.
- It was revealed in Radio Silence that the Ghost Riders were in town at least as early as Season 5B's Amplification, as Peter was shown to have been captured by the Ghost Riders shortly after the blackout caused a lock-down at Eichen House while the McCall Pack tried to break Lydia Martin out of the facility.
- Corey Bryant has adaptive camouflage powers that are incredibly similar to that of the Ghost Riders, suggesting that he may be connected to them and that the Dread Doctors could have used their venom when they turned Corey into a Chimera.
- According to Alan Deaton, the Wild Hunt are drawn to war and mayhem.
- Based on the IMDB cast list, the three leading Ghost Riders are called The Outlaw, The Ranger, and The Enforcer.
- Garrett Douglas' red Löwenmensch eyes turned to the same bluish-green color of the Ghost Riders' energy after he ate the pineal gland of one of the Riders. It is unknown how the ingestion of the Ghost Riders' brain matter has changed Garrett's supernatural identity.
- It has since been proven that Garrett gained the power to use the Ghost Riders' weapons and compel Hellhounds to do his bidding.