1 a very evil man
2 (Greek mythology) 3-headed dog guarding the entrance to Hades; son of Typhon [syn: Cerberus]
A hellhound is a demonic dog of Hell, found in mythology, folklore and fiction. Hellhounds typically have features such as an unnaturally large size, a black fur color, glowing eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and sometimes even the ability to talk. 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 folkloreThe 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, Gwyllgi of Wales, 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)
FictionHellhounds are a common monstrous creature in fantasy fiction and horror fiction, though they sometimes appear in other genres such as detective novels.
- Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles
- Frank Belknap Long's Cthulhu Mythos-related "The Hounds of Tindalos"
- Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights-related "Wuthering Heights"
- The eighth episode of the second season of Supernatural featured hell-hounds, also several issues of Supernatural: Origins involves John Winchester hunting a hellhound.
- 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.
- 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 Crossroad Blues (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..
- 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.
hellhound in Korean: 헬 하운드
hellhound in Hungarian: A Sátán kutyája
hellhound in Japanese: ヘルハウンド
hellhound in Russian: Адская гончая