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Hellhound
8x14 HellhoundMain
Species information
Type : Spirit
Notable distinctions : Invisibile to most humans
Giant demonic dog
Sent to kill demonic deals' human parties upon contract's expiration
Main weaknesses : Salt
Goofer dust
Demon-killing knife
Angel blade
Historical information
Culture(s) of origin : European folklore
Native range : Hell
Earth
Production information
First appearance : Crossroad Blues

Hellhounds are large, fearsome and monstrous beasts of Hell which are controlled by demons and sent to kill targets or take human souls whose demonic contracts are up to Hell.

Role in Hell's hierarchyEdit

Usually, in Hell's hierarchy, hellhounds are used and sent for collecting the souls of humans whose contracts from selling their soul to a demon are due; as soon as a person's time on Earth before their contract is due from a demon deal has expired, a hellhound will appear and come to send the person's soul to Hell (usually by ripping the person apart and killing them). Once the hellhound's target is dead and their soul in Hell, the hound will apparently disappear, presumably returning to Hell.

However, hellhounds may also be sent or taken to Earth by demons for other uses and missions than collecting sold souls; such as tracking and assassinating enemies or serving as guards dogs or foot soldiers. It is also apparent that some demons may each have their own personal hellhound, and that in these cases, this personal hellhound will be the one that is sent to collect on the souls of those that made a deal with the demon in question.

CharacteristicsEdit

Hellhounds appear as large, bulky, ferocious, black canine dogs with red eyes. (Trial and Error) Though hellhounds are overall around the size of a large canine or small equine, they can vary in size a little, as Crowley mentioned that his hellhound was larger than some other hellhounds like the one sent after Brady. (The Devil You Know) On the earthly plane, hellhounds are normally invisible to humans - although hellhounds' blood from bleeding wounds and fog on their breath is still visible - but angels and demons can apparently still see hellhounds. When the time of a human on Earth who sold their soul is nearly up, they can see hellhounds among other usually-invisible demonic phenomena and miscellanea. (No Rest for the Wicked) It is also known that hellhounds can be seen through transparent objects scorched with holy fire, such as windows and glasses. (Trial and Error)

5x20 HellhoundVision

Hellhound vision. (The Devil You Know)

Despite their bulky physique, hellhounds, as well as being strong and powerful enough to quickly overpower and tear human victims apart, can also move at very fast and agile speeds enough to effectively chase and pursue or even outrun fleeing victims. It would also appear that hellhounds cannot be killed or even slowed down by conventional means of harming and killing, excluding salt. A hellhound can track, locate and follow whichever target it has been sent after wherever they are unless the target is warded or protected. Hellhounds are apparently able as well to induce in a human they've been sent to kill and collect the soul of, unpleasant and nightmarish illusions and hallucinations as well as an intense sense and feeling of fear and dread. (Crossroad Blues, No Rest for the Wicked, Trial and Error) It has been implied that hellhounds are even capable of killing demons they attack. (The Devil You Know, Caged Heat)

Though hellhounds are ruthless and formidable, there are some means of slowing them down or warding against them, and some others of defeating and killing them. Like most other demonic spirits, hellhounds have a weakness to salt; a hellhound cannot cross a line of salt, and buckshots of shot at a hellhound can briefly and slightly slow the hound down. Goofer dust, like salt, can also act as a hellhound barrier in that hellhounds cannot cross a line of it; however, hellhounds, while unable to touch the goofer dust, can more directly break lines of it, through means such as blowing with their breath to eventually blow a breach in the goofer dust line. (Crossroad Blues) Devil's shoestring is another barrier against hellhounds, in that a hellhound cannot pass through a door that devil's shoestring is placed above. (Time Is on My Side)

8x14 HellhoundBled

A hellhound bleeds black blood as it is fatally cut open with the demon-killing knife. (Trial and Error)

There are some known means of defeating and killing hellhounds; the demon-killing knife and angel blades can both kill hellhounds that are fatally wounded with these weapons. (Caged Heat, Trial and Error) Iron can apparently be used to kill hellhounds as well, as the Winchesters and the Harvelles once successfully killed hellhounds sent after them, using a propane bomb containing iron nails and rock salt. (Abandon All Hope...)

In terms of behaviour, hellhounds are ruthless, vicious, tenacious and aggressive hunters and killers; once a hellhound has been sent after a target, the hound will single-mindedly attack and pursue its target over anything else, and will not stop until either the hound or the target is dead, or until and unless the hellhound is called off by its demon master. Hellhounds can be cunning and intelligent in their pursuit of their targets, showing basic, average or even complex problem-solving; and they cannot be swayed, tricked, distracted or reasoned with, away from pursuit of their targets. Demons can control and command hellhounds as servants and pets, and as canines, a hellhound is loyal solely to its one demon master and to no other demons or beings. (Crossroad Blues, The Devil You Know et al.)

Cases and encountersEdit

  • Whenever a crossroads demon in Greenwood, Mississippi made a deal with someone there between 1930 and late 2006, the demon's hellhound would come after the person to collect their soul once their time was up, either by ripping them apart or by scaring them into committing suicide. The hellhound went after Robert Johnson in 1938 and scared him to death; and in late 2006, the hellhound drove Sean Boyden to suicide, and killed Dr. Silvia Pearlman and presumably eventually George Darrow. The hellhound next went after Evan Hudson, but before it could take him, the hound's master was blackmailed into freeing Hudson from his contract and calling the hellhound off. (Crossroad Blues)
  • In April, 2008, a hellhound was sent to kill Bela Talbot and sent her soul to Hell to collect on her deal. (Time Is on My Side)
  • On 2 May, 2008, when Dean Winchester's own demonic contract was up, a hellhound appeared in New Harmony, Indiana to collect on the deal. The hellhound succeeded in killing Dean and taking him to Hell by tearing Dean apart. (No Rest for the Wicked)
  • When Lucifer and his demons invaded Carthage, Missouri to raise Death, when the Winchesters and the Harvelles arrived to intervene, Meg set a pack of hellhounds after them, which succeeded in mortally wounding Jo. Ellen presumably killed all the hellhounds when the hounds were lured into a store which Ellen then blew up with a propane bomb of salt and iron. (Abandon All Hope...)
8x14 HellhoundThroughGlasses

A hellhound up close, visible through holy fire-scorched glasses. (Trial and Error)

  • In 2010, when Brady and Crowley were tracked by the demons to the latter's hideaway hut, a hellhound was sent to the hut to kill Brady, but it was held off by Crowley's hellhound while Crowley, Brady and the Winchesters escaped. (The Devil You Know)
  • Just after the derailing of the Apocalypse, Crowley used his hellhound to threaten Bobby Singer into releasing him from a devil's trap. (Weekend at Bobby's)
  • Crowley's monster prison used hellhound guards, which went after the Winchesters, Meg and Castiel when they broke in. Meg held the hellhounds off while the others went ahead, and eventually killed the hounds with an angel blade. (Caged Heat)
  • When Carl Granville, Margot Cassity and Ellie's respective deals with Crowley simultaneously came due in 2013, Crowley's hellhound was sent to the Cassity farm to collect on the three deals. The hellhound succeeded in killing Carl and Margo and sending their souls to Hell, but before it could kill and collect on Ellie's soul, Sam and Dean fought the hellhound and killed it with the demon knife. (Trial and Error)
  • After hiding the First Blade at St. Anthony's Cemetery, Crowley left a hellhound theer as a watchdog. The hellhound attacked and chased Sam and Dean when they arrived for the Blade, before Crowley called it off over the Winchesters' phone. (King of the Damned)
  • Though Gunner Lawless had evaded going to Hell after his ten-year deadline expired by agreeing to recruit others for his crossroads demon, Duke, a hellhound was sent to collect on his soul after he turned on and killed Duke, and he seemingly let it succeed. (Beyond the Mat)

Notable hellhoundsEdit

LoreEdit

3x16 HellhoundLore

An artwork depiction of hellhounds in a book on hellhound lore. (No Rest for the Wicked)

There are a wide variety of different mythologies and folklores on hellhounds around the world, though they are often depicted as spirits and/or demons in dog form which undertake certain tasks relating to the afterlife or the supernatural. Some lore depicts hellhounds as guardians of the dead, which may guard entrances to the world of the dead such as graveyards and burial grounds, or which may hunt and track lost souls of the dead. Some European legends depict hellhounds as omens of death, and state that seeing a hellhound, hearing its howl or looking into its eyes for over three seconds will fate that person to die.

AppearancesEdit

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