"Dean will be awhile," Sam said, glancing at Jo as he unrolled the building's blue prints across the table. Despite her obvious curiosity, Jo turned away from Dean to study the maps with Sam. Absentmindedly, the young blonde twirled her knife as she looked over the details of the building.
"Place was built in 1924 as a warehouse," Jo informed Sam, who nodded at the new information, and encouraged her to continue. "A few months ago, it was converted into apartments, but prior to 1924 it was an empty field."
"So, easy guess is that somebody died bloody in the building," Sam concluded, glancing up to see Jo already shaking her head.
"Nope. Clean as a whistle. I've checked every record I could get my hands on, mortuary reports, obituaries, police records, I even had Ash hack some of the local databases."
"Alright," Sam said nodding at her due diligence. "Next most logical source?"
"Cursed object?" Jo asked him. "Someone could have brought one into the building, and it never left."
"Which means we'll have to scan the entire building," Sam saidexhaling at the knowledge that the case just became more difficult. "Anywhere we can get into will have to be checked with the EMF's, hopefully it'll be enough."
"Sounds good," Dean said, rejoining them after hanging up the phone. "Jo and I will take the top two floors."
"We'll cover move faster if we split up," Jo argued with a glare.
"Non-negotiable," Dean answered with a glare of his own. "Come on, let's get started. The sooner we find the spirit the sooner we can send you back to the roadhouse."
Two hours later, despite their previous disagreement about how to search the building, the pair managed to cover a decent amount of ground as Sam searched the lower levels. Dean and Jo searched silently, each glaring at their EMF emitter's lack of response.
"Are you going to buy me dinner?" Jo demanded breaking the silence.
"What are you on about?"
"It's just, if you're going to ride me this close, the least you can do is buy me dinner," Jo shot back with a glare.
"Oh, that's hilarious," Dean said, stopping to turn around and glare right back. "It's bad enough that you managed to convince Sam to lie to your mom, but if you think I'm letting you out of my sight…have you really failed to notice you fit this spirit's type?"
"Of course, I have," Jo answered. "It's exactly why sticking together is stupid."
"Seriously? You want to play bait?"
"Quickest way to draw it out and you know it," Jo answered as Dean shook his head muttering under his breath. "What?"
"I'm already regretting this, and I'm not even considering it." "I am getting tired of your chauvinist crap," Jo snarled. "You really think women can't do the job?"
"Sweetheart, this ain't gender studies. Women can hunt just fine. In fact, Sam and I've hunted with one of the best. It's amateurs that can't hunt. A mistake on a job by a pro can result in death. When it's someone who doesn't know what they're doing, it guarantees it."
"So no, I don't care that you're a girl. I care that you've absolutely no experience besides half-baked romantic notions from barflies. Instead of learning the job, you snuck off and lied. That's step one on how to get killed."
"Now you sound like my mother," Jo muttered dismissively.
"Like that's a bad thing?! Do you not realize the first rule about hunting is not to do it alone? You hunt by yourself means you have no backup. If something goes wrong, then that's the game. You're not going home."
"What's your point Dean?"
"You've got options! No one in their right mind chooses this life," Dean shouted frustrated. "Hunters are damaged before they even start this life. Even I'd love to do something else."
"You love the job," Jo said, pausing in surprise.
"That's my point. I'm a little twisted, just like every other hunter!"
"You don't think I'm a little twisted too?"
"No," Dean answered. "You obviously miss your dad, but you've got exactly what every hunter is desperate to regain. Jo, you've got a mom who worries about you and wants more for you. Those are good things that you don't throw away."
Jo suddenly jumped in surprise, pivoting quickly away from Dean.
"I'm positive that something just touched my leg," Jo answered
"You smell that?" Dean asked, as he shined a light on her denim clad shins.
"What…is that a gas leak?"
"No…it's something else, but I recognize it. Just having trouble placing it." Dean answered as the EMF suddenly lit up. "Mazel Tov, you just found your first spirit."
"It's inside the vent," Jo answered as Dean handed her a screwdriver to pull the grate off the wall. Reaching inside, Dean found a clump of blonde hair.
Pulling it out of the vent, he looked at Jo and grimaced, "Someone's keeping souvenirs."
The next morning, Sam returned from his coffee run to inform Dean and Jo that another girl had disappeared around dawn.
"Teresa Ellis, Apartment 2F. Apparently her boyfriend reported her missing around dawn. There are cracks all over the plaster, walls and ceiling with ectoplasm left behind," Sam explained while Dean swore.
"The building history is clean. It doesn't make any sense," Dean said, as Jo studied the photograph of the field.
"What if it's from next door?"
"What?" Dean and Sam asked turning to look over at her.
"Look at the windows of the building next door," Jo said handing them the photo. "They've bars on them. Think we should call Ash?"
A few minutes later, Jo had the information, "Moyamensingprison. Built in 1835 and torn down in 1963. Executions took place in the field next door. You won't believe who was one of those slated for death, Herman Webster Mudgett."
"H.H. Holmes?" Sam asked staring at her. "Seriously? That's a bit of a coincidence."
"Who is he?" Dean asked.
"Multi-murderer was coined just for this guy," Sam answeredwith a grim look on his face. "America's first serial killer, and rumored to be Jack the Ripper from England. Victims of choice, pretty petite blondes, which he used chloroform to kill."
"That's what I smelled in the hallway," Dean said, eyes brightening in recognition. "Simple salt and burn?"
"No," Sam said shaking his head.
"Dude was so paranoid about someone desecrating his body that he's encased in concrete," Jo explained. "Didn't he build some nest in Illinois?"
"Chicago," Sam answered. "He supposedly called it Murder Castle. The whole place was a death factory. It had trap doors, acid vats, quick line pits…there were even secret chambers in the walls to keep his victims alive for days. He let some suffocate, others starve."
"Teresa could still be alive then," Jo said, eyes brightening at the news. "She's probably trapped in the walls."
"I'll get the sledgehammers," Dean said resigned. "A couple of crow bars too."
"Fuck!" Dean swore, slamming his fist into the wall. "Sam? Sammy?!"
Dean forcibly removed himself from the interior of the wall, moving back the way he and Jo had originally come from. Once he was out in the hallway, he started dialing Sam again. Dean remained so focused on finding Jo, he barreled over a tiny brunette.
"Dean! I've been looking for you everywhere."
"Hermione? What the devil are you doing here?" Dean demanded even as his phone rang.
"You've got my bag, remember?" Hermione asked. "Did you honestly think I couldn't track you down? What's happened? Where's Sam?"
"Tell me you didn't talk to Ellen?"
"What?" Hermione asked. "No. I did a locator spell, and then I apparated. Where's Sam?"
Before Dean could answer, Sam's voice filled the hallway, "She's with Dean right now. Hey where's Jo, Ash caved to Ellen and she wants her on the phone, now."
Dean swore again and held his hand out for the phone, "Ellen, I'll get her back."
"Back?" Ellen asked. "Back from where?"
"The spirit we're hunting snatched her. She'll be okay, I promise I'll get her back."
"Yeah that's not the first time I've heard that from a Winchester," Ellen snarled. "If anything happens to her…I'm taking the first flight out. See you in a few hours."
"Damn it," Dean said staring at the phone. "I knew I shouldn't have left her alone."
"Sam, do we have anything of hers?" Hermione asked turning to the taller hunter. "I can do a locator spell, which will find her a lot faster than just searching."
"Back in the apartment we're staying in," Sam confirmed. "Come on, let's regroup Dean."
As they headed back, Sam caught Hermione up to speed on the case.
"I have an idea on where to look for her," Sam said after Hermione finished the locator spell. "Underneath the foundation there's an old sewer system. It looks ancient, as if it's not been used in years."