Hellhounds are a cryptid that is featured in mythologies from around the world. A hellhound is usually black, larger than a normal dog, possesses supernatural strength and often has red or yellow glowing eyes. Some people who claim to have seen a hellhound say the creature smells extremely foul. In some accounts the canines are even able to talk.
One of the most interesting characteristics of hellhounds is that they move like phantoms. They have been known to move through walls and cover great distances in an instant as well as disappear without a trace. Some cultures believe that staring into a hellhound's eyes can be fatal and that its howl signals or even triggers death. In fact, hellhounds are called the Bearer of Death by some people.
The main function of hellhounds is to watch the entrances to the world of the dead to keep the living out and the dead in. This is why hellhound sightings often take place near cemeteries. Sometimes hellhounds are sent from the land of the dead to hunt down lost souls. And sometimes hellhounds are used to guard treasures.
People claim to have seen hellhounds all over the world and even in modern times.Some of the most recent sightings have been in the United States, with some theories stating that the famous Beast of Bray Road is actually a hellhound.
Cerberus from Greek and Roman mythology is perhaps the most famous hellhound. He's been referenced in many modern works, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and my latest children's book Gracie the Ghost Eater.