is a demonic dog
, found in mythology
. Hellhounds typically have features such as an unnaturally large size, a black fur color, glowing red eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly
or phantom characteristics, and sometimes even the ability to talk. Hellhounds are often associated with fire, and may have fire-based abilities and appearances. They are often assigned to guard the entrance to the world of the dead
or undertake other duties related to the afterlife
or the supernatural
, such as hunting down lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.
Examples from folklore
The most famous hellhound is probably Cerberus
, the hound of Hades
from Greek mythology
. Hellhounds are also famous for appearing in Celtic mythology
as part of the Wild Hunt
. These hounds are given several different names in local folklore
, but they display typical hellhound characteristics. The myth is common across Great Britain
, and many names are given to the apparitions: Black Shuck
of East Anglia
(which has its roots in the Norse mythology
rather than that of the Celts
), Moddey Dhoo of the Isle of Man
, and so on. See Barghest
. The earliest mention of these myths are in both Walter Map's De Nugis Curialium
(1190) and the Welsh myth cycle of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi
(ca. 10th-13th century)
In Southern Mexican and Central American folklore, the Cadejo (or Cadejos in Costa Rica) is a big black dog that haunts naughty young men who walk late at night on rural roads.
Hellhounds are a common monstrous creature in fantasy
fiction and horror fiction
, though they sometimes appear in other genres such as detective
novels, or other uses.
- Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles
- Hellhounds feature in Rick Riordan's series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
- In Piers Anthony's "On A Pale Horse", Satan sends hellhounds to attack Zane (Death) and bring him back to hell. The hounds are immortal but are dispatched by Death's magical scythe.
- Frank Belknap Long's Cthulhu Mythos-related "The Hounds of Tindalos"
- Hellhounds appear numerous times in The Omen.
- Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
- In the anime Getbackers, book 15 features a card named Hound in Hades.
- In the anime, OVA, and manga series of Hellsing, the vampire Alucard can summon a hellhound, although depictions suggest this being to be a projection of Alucard.
- Zuul ("The Gatekeeper") and Vinz Clortho ("The Keymaster"), the minions of Gozer in Ghostbusters.
- Two hellhounds, named Mohammed and Alvin, are featured in Christopher Moore's novel, A Dirty Job.
- In the pilot episode of the short-lived TV series Night Stalker, there are coyote-like animals that resemble hellhounds.
- Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series includes dog-like monsters called darkhounds which are associated with the Wild Hunt.
- The Chronicles of Riddick, the large dog like aliens in the prison on Crematoria are referred to as "Hellhounds".
- J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series includes a Cerberus-like hound called Fluffy as the first guardian of the Philosopher's Stone in the first book. Also in the third book, there is a reference to a Grim, a large black dog that is said to cause bad luck to anyone who sees it.
- In Good Omens, a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Adam (the Antichrist) has a Hellhound named "Dog."
- In the game Dungeon Keeper, one of the creatures the player can attract is the Hound, a dog-like monster which has two heads, breathes fire, and is able to walk through lava unharmed.
- In the Pokémon series, the Pokémon Houndour and Houndoom resemble hellhounds. Houndour is capable of evolving into Houndoom.
- In Terry Goodkind's debut novel Wizard's First Rule an animal from the underworld call a Heart Hound resembles a Hellhound and hunts by listening to the heartbeat of its victims.
- In seasons two and three of Supernatural, hellhounds are used to retrieve souls that have made a deal with the Crossroads Demon. Hellhounds have been featured in _2006-2007 (Season 2), Time Is On My Side (Season 3), and No Rest For The Wicked (Season Three). On the show, they are controlled by Lilith. Once described as demonic pitbulls
- In the third and subsequent games of the Heroes of Might and Magic series, Hell Hounds and/or Cerberi can be recruited in evil towns.
- In the TV series Reaper, Sam Oliver (Hell's bounty hunter) is occasionally assisted by a small dog (from Hell) named Spike, who is capable of transforming into a much larger and nastier creature. Sam's friend Sock refers to Spike as a "hellhound."
- Hellhounds are seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 3, episode,"The Prom".
- Hellhound, a vehicle in Warhammer 40,000 universe.
- Hellhounds are a creature in the MMORPG Runescape.
- In the RPG The Witcher, Hellhound appears as the boss of the first chapter.
- Hellhounds show up several times in Eva Ibbotson's books. They appear in The Secret of Platform 13 and The Haunting of Hiram C. Hopgood.
- Hellhound is a plane in the 2000 PC game Crimson Skies.
- Christopher Moore features Hellhounds as guardians in his book "A Dirty Job".
- Hellhounds are monsters in the MMORPG Survival Project
- The term is also common in African American blues music, such as in Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on my Trail".