There are a wide variety of Hellhound names documented across folklore and across time. We’ve rounded up the most popular names representing these supernatural creatures as well as highlighted the characteristics that make up these underworld black dog legends.
What is a hellhound?
A Hellhound is a supernatural dog in folklore that derives from the underworld. They are usually ruled by one master and cannot be swayed by any other person to deviate from their original command.
Fiercely loyal, vengeful, and possessing powers beyond the human world, these oversized black dogs, are most commonly found with either glowing yellow eyes or glowing red eyes.
Common Traits Found In These Supernatural Dogs
Let’s break down some of the most common traits featured within folklore legends while discussing these death hounds. If you want to know what these death dogs look like or behave, here are some of the highest frequently documented characteristics:
- Three toes
- Black color – from head to toe
- Glowing yellow eyes – sometimes glowing red eyes
- Ferocious in personality
- Black aura
- Protective and guardians
- Wreak vengeance
- Snarling black dog
- Super speed and super strength
- Invisibility except when they want to show themselves
- Answer only to the demons they serve
- Occasionally three heads
One of the most common traits that cannot be ignored is the size of the death hound. This is not your typical dog. This creature is several times larger than even a huge wolf.
And you will be hard fetched to find a death hound that isn’t evil. Every pet serves a purpose … and it’s typically always vengeful.
The Hellhound Name Cerberus From The Underworld
The most famous hellhound name of all is the hellhound Cerberus. Cerberus, in Greek Mythology, is known as an oversized, three-headed black dog that’s sole purpose is to guard the entrance of the underworld. You can find Cerberus in stories relating to Hercules.
While most hellhounds are considered evil, this is one that is an exception. Cerberus was simply Hades’ loyal protector. He had a job to do and did it well. In most stories, it was written up as so.
Other well-known Hellhound names
Appalachian Hellhounds are known as mountain monsters and are said to be over 7 feet tall. Most are rumored to have three toes.
In certain parts of the world, the hellhound is known under different names. You will hear him commonly referred to as Barghest in both Yorkshire and Lancashire.
However, if you travel to East Anglia, the name changes! Around this region, this beastly animal is referred to as the Black Shuck. And yet, if you travel to Lincolnshire, you need to adjust your stories to include the term Hairy Jack instead.
In the paranormal world, these snarly beasts are created to serve and protect. That’s why it makes sense that to see one is to see the Bearer of Death. Once they mark you as a victim, it is hard to escape their attention.
Thankfully, these ferocious beasts are not immortal. They can be beaten. You hear countless stories of towns forming parties to attempt to annihilate the hellhounds while out on a wild hunt.
However, rumor has it that a hellhound can only be seen by those souls they have come to collect. So, the fight isn’t an easy one. These foot soldiers to the undammed are crafty, vicious, vastly intelligent, and always on the prowl. If you hear their growl, it might already be too late.
Some hellhounds are specifically known in the paranormal world for doing specific things to their victims. For example, Dip is known to suck people’s blood. This is out of character and unusual.
Luison is known to spend time in cemeteries and feast on rotten flesh. This beastly dog has a preference for the undead.
The Yeth Hound has been seen wandering the woods without his head and appears to wail at all hours of the night as a warning to local neighbors.
Additional Notable Legend Names
- Bearer of Death
- Black Shuck
- Dog King
- Cŵn Annwn
- Cu Sith
- Hairy Jack
- Moddey Dhoo
- Garmr Gaueko
- Roy Dog
- Yeth Hound
How to protect yourself from hellhounds?
If you think you can outrun one of these ferocious beasts, go for it. Just remember that they have speed and cunning on their side. Your better bets would be to use either salt and iron to ward them off.
Better yet, find shelter inside a holy place. If you could find a local church, head in! Since these death dogs are demonic, they can’t enter.
The main purpose of one of these beasts is to literally drag your soul to hell. But truth be told, the chance of you running into one of these animals is slim to none. I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.
Are hellhounds in the bible?
Yes, you will find a reference to hellhounds in the bible. 2 Samuel 16:5-8
When the king got to Bahurim, a man appeared who had connections with Saul’s family. His name was Shimei son of Gera. As he followed along he shouted insults and threw rocks right and left at David and his company, servants and soldiers alike. To the accompaniment of curses he shouted, “Get lost, get lost, you butcher, you hellhound!2 Samuel 16:5-8
However, after we read this bible passage, we can see that Samuel did not mean the word the way that we are implying. It was more of an insult than anything else. So, while there is a reference, it doesn’t mean that he was discussing the beasts. He was just giving someone a piece of his mind.
In the end, a visit from one of these underworld creatures is never a good thing according to folklore. Consider yourself lucky to have never heard its phantom growl or any of these hellhound names.