|“||Isaac: "My neck..."
Braeden: "From their claws. It's how they share memories."
Isaac: "But I don't remember anything..."
Braeden: "It's also how they steal them."
Memory Manipulation is the ability to manipulate the mind of an individual, which can include the person with the ability sharing a memory with the target, the person with the ability searching through the target's memories in order to gain information (identities, locations, etc.), distorting or modifying memories so that they appear a completely different way, and, in advanced cases, even completely removing memories all together. Many supernatural and unnatural species are capable of utilizing this power, either naturally or through specific rituals. The use of this power takes a great amount of skill and can be very dangerous due to the risk of physical and psychological harm toward the target if used incorrectly.
Beings who possess this ability
Chimeras who are part-Werewolf are seemingly able to access this power by inserting their claws into the back of the neck of their target in the same way a Werewolf would, although it would still require proper training to do it safely. The only Chimera who has demonstrated this ability is Theo Raeken, a part-Werewolf, part-Werecoyote hybrid; however, Theo admitted prior to performing the ritual on Lydia Martin that he had not been trained to do so, and though he was able to gain the information he sought from her mind (in this case, the exact location of the Nemeton in the Beacon Hills Preserve), his inexperienced technique led Lydia to be left catatonic for several weeks until she was finally able to awaken herself. ("Status Asthmaticus"), ("The Sword and the Spirit")
|“||Lydia: "What are they?"
Valack: "Not entirely human-- at least, not anymore. They were scientists, once... Scientists who worshipped the supernatural. Tesla said, "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration." They found their secrets in electromagnetic forces-- ways to prolong their lives, give them power, and, most importantly, making you forget you ever saw them."
The Dread Doctors demonstrated an aspect of this power, specifically the ability to suppress the memories of being experimented on in the Chimeras they created while trying to resurrect the Beast of Gevaudan. It was implied that this ability is a subset of their power of electromagnetokinesis, their main superhuman power, which is what allowed them to control electricity and magnetic forces. Tracy Stewart, Donovan Donati, Lucas, Josh Diaz, Hayden Romero, and Corey Bryant were all known to have their memories manipulated by the Dread Doctors during their experimentation, as well as possibly other Chimera test subjects.
However, these memories were not completely removed from their mind, just blocked from being easily accessed, and there were at least two methods by which a person could trigger these memories. The first was to read Gabriel Valack's novel, The Dread Doctors, which was specifically created to activate lost memories of being experimented on by the pseudo-supernatural researchers as well as memories that were simply repressed due to the traumatic nature of the event; Tracy Stewart and Kira Yukimura both utilized the book to regain their memories with the Dread Doctors, although Kira's Kitsune nature forced her to have to read it backwards to gain the same effect as a result of the Fox spirit's difficulty understanding language tricks. ("Dreamcatchers"), ("Ouroboros"). Similarly, Malia Tate, Lydia Martin, Scott McCall, and Stiles Stilinski were all able to regain their memories of traumatic events in their past that were repressed as a defense mechanism and not because of the Dread Doctors' powers, suggesting there may be a correlation to how their power functions. ("Condition Terminal"), ("Required Reading")
The second method was to have a Werewolf perform their memory manipulation ritual on the person missing the memories, although the "playback" of these memories can be hazy and make it difficult to understand. Scott McCall utilized this method on Corey Bryant in hopes of gaining the location of the Dread Doctors Operating Theater, as they were desperate to find their friends Liam Dunbar and Hayden Romero, who had been captured by the Dread Doctors the night before. ("Ouroboros")
As a side effect of their ability to warp reality, the Ghost Riders are capable of severely suppressing the memories of someone they have captured from the minds of their loved ones and acquaintances, causing them to completely be erased from their recollection of their lives. However, it was soon discovered that not everything could be erased, as certain events in a person's life may not make sense without the erased person's presence (e.g. Scott McCall knew the truth about how he was turned into a Werewolf, but was unable to understand why he would be out in the woods in the middle of the night, and why Sheriff Stilinski would know he was there without his memories of his friendship with the erased Stiles Stilinski to give them context.
Similarly, evidence that was left behind of a person's existence can also trigger many, if not all of their memories, as demonstrated when Stilinski found Stiles' hidden bedroom in his house. ("Blitzkrieg") Scott McCall, Malia Tate, Lydia Martin eventually figured out a way for them all to regain their memories of Stiles Stilinski through hypnotic regression, which also empowered them to create a rift to the Wild Hunt in order to release Stiles back to the real world. ("Memory Found"), ("Riders on the Storm") This power has several limitations—it was unable to affect Theo Raeken while he was locked in his underground prison for three months ("Ghosted"), and it does not seem to be effective on those with dementia, since Elias Stilinski still had memories of his grandson Stiles despite being in range to have his memories taken by the Ghost Riders. ("Sundowning")
|“||Peter: "Relax. I'll get more out of you if you're calm."
Isaac: "How do you know how to do this, again...?"
Peter: "It's an ancient ritual used mostly by Alphas, since it's a skill that requires quite a bit of practice. One slip, and you could paralyze someone... or kill them."
Werewolves possess this ability through the use of their claws, which are inserted into the base of the neck of their target, creating a connection between the two. Though this power is primarily used to share memories with a person or to view the other person's memories, advanced users have also been known to falsify memories (such as Deucalion) and even erase them completely (such as Talia Hale). This power is typically used by Alphas due to the advanced skill level required to use it effectively and safely, but lower-ranking Werewolves have also been taught the ritual as well. Peter Hale and Scott McCall were most often seen using this ability.
Werecoyotes are almost identical to Werewolves when it comes to their supernatural abilities, and though they have never been shown to perform the ritual, it was implied that it would work when Malia Tate suggested she use it on Elias Stilinski and Halwyn to try to get into their minds. ("Sundowning"), ("Genotype") Malia also had a great enough understanding of how the ritual worked to forcefully make her father Peter Hale perform it on her spontaneously without his assistance, suggesting she was indeed capable of performing it on her own. ("Werewolves of London")
Uses of Memory Manipulation
- The first instance of memory manipulation to be seen was when Derek Hale lost control of his Werewolf transformation and clawed Jackson Whittemore in the back of the neck, before running away. Unbeknownst to either of them, Derek unconsciously shared with the young human his memories of witnessing the Hale House burn to the ground and kill several members of his family and exposed him to the effects of the same Nordic Blue Monkshood Wolfsbane that Kate Argent shot him with the previous night. ("Magic Bullet")
- In an attempt to get his Werewolf progeny Scott McCall to help him in his murder spree against those who orchestrated the Hale House Fire, Peter Hale stabbed the back of Scott's neck with his claws, sharing with him his memories of the following events: the Hale House being caught on fire and many members of the Hale Family being burned to death in 2005, with Peter inside the burning house; the suffering Peter had been through during his six-year coma; the night he had come across his niece Laura Hale in the woods and killed her to steal her Alpha power, which allowed him to heal the remains of his burns, just prior to the beginning of the series; the night he had bitten and turned Scott in the woods in Wolf Moon and, finally, his murders of the people that had helped Kate Argent decimate the Hale Family. ("Co-Captain")
- While investigating the abandoned First National Bank in search for his packmates Erica Reyes and Vernon Boyd, who had been captured and held hostage there by the Alpha Pack, Isaac Lahey got captured and tortured by the Alphas prior to having his memories of his mission stolen by Deucalion. ("Tattoo"), ("Chaos Rising")
- After he was rescued by Derek Hale and Scott McCall, Derek asked his newly resurrected uncle Peter Hale to perform the memory manipulation ritual, given that he was the only one with enough experience to perform it without hurting or even killing Isaac in the process. While performing the ritual, Peter overheard a conversation between Deucalion and the other Alphas that implied that they planned to kill Boyd and Erica in the next full moon, which would be the following evening.
- However, it was revealed later on that Erica had already been killed by Kali and Deucalion's conversation with the Alphas was a fake memory implanted by the Alpha Pack leader himself to lure Derek and Scott into the bank and get them to kill Boyd and Cora Hale.
- Lydia Martin went to visit Derek Hale and Peter Hale at the former's loft to demand for the location of the Nemeton after she and Stiles Stilinski had discovered it was there where the Darach Jennifer Blake was holding Melissa McCall, Chris Argent and Noah Stilinski hostage for her trio of guardian sacrifices, only for Peter to tell her that Talia Hale, Derek's mother and Peter's older sister, took the location of the sacred tree out of their minds to ensure that the two would not return there again, especially when it was there where Derek was forced to mercy-kill his first love Paige Krasikeva. ("Alpha Pact")
- Lydia Martin and her best friend Allison Argent went to Derek's loft after Peter Hale offered Lydia to teach her more about her Banshee powers, but in exchange for Peter's teaching, Lydia would help him discover what memory his sister Talia Hale stole from him many years ago before her death and the stolen memory was locked inside Talia's claws, which was the only part of her that remained intact since her death. Peter instructed Lydia to hold Talia's claws in her hand and focus in an attempt to get a premonition ("Letharia Vulpina")
- When Lydia was finally able to hear what she needed, she revealed to Peter that he had fathered a child, though she refused to tell him anything else. After they had left, Allison and Lydia revealed that Peter was the biological father of Malia Tate, a Werecoyote that the McCall Pack had recently helped return to her human form after she spent eight years trapped in her full-coyote form.
- In order to cast the Nogitsune out of Stiles Stilinski's body, Scott McCall, with an assistance from Peter Hale, stabbed both Stiles and Lydia Martin in the back of their necks, so he and Lydia could go together go into Stiles' mind and help him regain control over his body. ("De-Void")
- However, by the time Scott roared at Stiles and successfully managed to bring Stiles back, the Nogitsune grew powerful enough to create an exact copy of Stiles' body for him to use prior to taking Lydia captive.
- During an interrogation with the Banshee Meredith Walker, who had just been revealed to be the Benefactor behind the Deadpool, Peter Hale became confused when Meredith seemed to recognize him but, no matter how much he insisted that he had never met Meredith before, she kept telling that the Deadpool was Peter's idea and commented on how his burns were gone, indicating that she was aware of his coma following the Hale House Fire, leading Peter to dive into Meredith's memories to see the truth with his own eyes. ("Monstrous")
- In the year of 2009, it was revealed that Peter and Meredith were once roommates in Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital following Peter's survival to the Hale Fire and Meredith's incident in the Martin Lake House after Lorraine Martin had tried to study Meredith's abilities as a Banshee. Since Peter, as Werewolf, was cognizant and unable to do anything but ramble in his own thoughts, he and Meredith somehow managed to find the same "wavelength", allowing Meredith to hear Peter blaming his sister Talia Hale for making the Hale Pack weak and vulnerable, which he believed was what allowed the Argents to murder them so easily.
- He then began ranting on how he planned to take down every supernatural of Beacon Hills, including Werewolves, Wendigos and Banshees, believing them all to be weak, before remaking the town's supernatural community in his image. He decided to create a Deadpool with all supernaturals living in or near Beacon Hills, each with a bounty of a thousand to million dollars from the bearer bonds of the Hale Vault and he planned to hire assassins, such as the Mute, the Chemist, the Desert Wolf, and even amateurs, who would all be willing to kill the shapeshifters in the list in exchange for their bounties because he believed that anyone could be corrupted by money at the right price.
- In addition to their electromagnetokinesis and superhuman strength and durability, the Dread Doctors possessed the power to suppress the memories of their Chimera test subjects, so they wouldn't have any idea of the experiences they had done to them. Tracy Stewart, Donovan Donati, Lucas, Josh Diaz, Hayden Romero, and Corey Bryant remained unaware of what was happening to them until their transformation into pseudo-supernatural Chimeras was complete. The Doctors also erased Kira Yukimura's memory after they had summoned a lightning bolt and inserted it into her eyeball to unbalance her inner Kitsune spirit and used their powers on oblivious human bystanders to further hide theirs acts, such as when they experimented on Kira on Route 115 and when they were dragging Corey Bryant out of Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, with no one paying attention to what they were doing. ("Parasomnia"), ("Dreamcatchers"), ("Condition Terminal"), ("A Novel Approach"), ("Required Reading"), ("Strange Frequencies"), ("Ouroboros")
- After his Beta Liam Dunbar and his Chimera girlfriend Hayden Romero had been captured by the Dread Doctors, a frantic Scott McCall performed the memory manipulation ritual on the Chimera Corey Bryant without the latter's consent, in hopes that he could help them determine the location of the Dread Doctors' Lair. In Corey's memories, the Dread Doctors were seen taking Corey out of Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, dragging him through the Underground Tunnels, and bringing him to their hideout at the Operating Theater to perform more experiences on him. While looking back, Corey screamed at the sight of the Nazi Alpha Werewolf inside a tube of the Doctors' green serum. ("Ouroboros")
- The Werewolf-Werecoyote Chimera Theo Raeken performed the memory ritual for the very first time on Lydia Martin for the location of the Nemeton. Although he got the information necessary, his lack of experience in doing the technique put Lydia in a catatonic state for several weeks. ("Status Asthmaticus")
- After infiltrating Eichen House with the rest of the McCall Pack to save Lydia Martin before she died from her trephination at the hands of Gabriel Valack, Scott McCall reluctantly agreed with the catatonic Meredith Walker's request to enter in her mind so she could help him in how to reach Lydia before it was too late. ("Lie Ability")
- Scott found himself in Meredith's mindspace and approached her with a worried look, before seeing Lydia on her knees, screaming in agony from all the screams and deaths that she was sensing at the same time. Scott wasted no time in asking Meredith in what was happening to Lydia and Meredith responded that she was being consumed by her own power and revealed Valack's plan to use Lydia's powers to figure out the identity of the host for the newly resurrected Beast of Gevaudan.
- Meredith told Scott that he and his friends could not pass the multiple Mountain Ash barriers around the facility but there was one person who could help them reach Lydia-- Jordan Parrish. His Hellhound spirit and Lydia's Banshee nature were connected to each other, given their status as Harbingers of Death, and Meredith instructed him to find Parrish, who would guide Scott and his friends to where Lydia was.
- The true Beast of Gevaudan Sebastien Valet attempted to kill Scott McCall and inserted his claws into the young True Alpha's back of the beck, inadvertently seeing his memories of his now-deceased girlfriend Allison Argent, whom Sebastien mistook for his sister Marie-Jeanne Valet, due to their identical appearance, as well as their shared temper and personality. This moment of hesitation gave Scott the chance to break free from Sebastien's grip. ("Apotheosis")
- The Ghost Riders of the Wild Hunt could erase people from reality by using their magical guns and whips, teleporting them to what was called as Phantom Train Station for them to become Ghost Riders themselves and ride with the undead for eternity. Once a person was captured by the Ghost Riders, that person's loved ones, including family, would forget that that person had ever existed. Garrett Douglas, an Alpha Löwenmesnch, gained this power as well after consuming the pineal gland of one Ghost Rider, allowing him to use the whip of the Rider that he had killed to erase people ("Memory Lost"), ("Superposition"), ("Sundowning"), ("Relics"), ("Radio Silence"), ("Ghosted"), ("Heartless"), ("Blitzkrieg"), ("Memory Found")
- However, the Ghost Riders were not entirely successful in erasing people's personal belongings and erase them completely from the memories of all of their loved ones, such as in the case of Phoebe, whose sister, Gwen, retained the memory of her existence due to a bracelet she made for her brtihday, and in the case of Stiles Stilinski, as Noah Stilinski discovered Stiles' hidden bedroom and some of the memories of Scott McCall, Malia Tate and Lydia Martin did not make sense without Stiles. Stiles was also remembered by his paternal grandfather Elias, who suffered from dementia, and even Theo Raeken had his full memories of Stiles due to spending nearly four months in his underground prison.
- Scott, Malia, and Lydia managed to open a rift by triggering their repressed memories of their moments with Stiles, allowing the latter to return to the real world safely. They then worked together with their allies to bring the other citizens back.
- Sheriff Noah Stilinski summoned his son Stiles Stilinski and Scott McCall to Beacon County Sheriff's Station to help him understand what happened to the parents of a young boy named Alex Turner. Scott gently stuck his claws into the base of Alex's neck and saw his memories of a couple hours earlier, which showed a Ghost Rider pulling out his gun and erasing Alex's parents from reality, leaving Alex alone in his family's car. ("Memory Lost")
- Scott McCall, Malia Tate, and Lydia Martin went to Goodwater Assisted Living Home to talk to Elias Stilinski, in hopes that he knew Stiles Stilinski, who had been erased from existence by the Ghost Riders and erased from the memories of his friends, packmates, and family. However, Elias could not help them much due to his condition of dementia, until Malia suggested using the memory manipulation ritual but Scott refused because he believed it to be too risky given Elias' age. A frustrated Malia flicked out her claws to perform the ritual herself but Scott grabbed her by the wrist and insisted that they were not going to harm Elias. ("Sundowning")
- Malia Tate asked her father Peter Hale to see through her memories the threat that the newly arrived Anuk-ite posed to their town. In the flashbacks, the flayed corpse reanimated by the Anuk-ite was seen spreading fear in the McCall Pack members, their allies and Sheriff Stilinski's deputies in Beacon Hills Sheriff's Station back in Pressure Test. The fear aura the Anuk-ite emitted was so strong that it led Peter to break his connection to Malia's mind. ("Werewolves of London")
- When trying to communicate with Halwyn's Hellhound spirit, Malia Tate wondered if she could access his mind, but Lydia Martin recommended her not to do it, insisting that she could damage his brain more than the bullet silver Tamora Monroe used to shoot him in the head did. ("Genotype")