With time they became tasked with collecting the souls of humans whose deals are come due. In such circumstances, hellhounds can only be seen by those whom they have come for, making them a sort of Reaper of the damned. They are also seen working for other demons, usually acting as foot soldiers, guards and/or assassins.
According to Crowley, no demon knows the hounds better than him.
characteristicsEditHellhounds are voracious, tenacious, and intelligent. Once a hound has the scent of its target, it has it for life and will never give up the hunt until one or the other is dead, or unless its master calls it off. They can be clever, almost impossible to trick or distract, and are not disinclined to improvisation in order to get to their prey. Hellhounds will often physically rip their victims to shreds in order to collect their souls. In some cases, however, their mere presence is enough to literally scare people to death. Other times, the victims will be driven to commit suicide.
They appear as ferocious black dogs or wolves with red eyes. They vary in size, ranging from standard large-sized dogs, to that of a small horse. They generate some kind of black aura around themselves, making them appear made of shadows.
As canines, they are loyal, and answer only to the demons they serve and their rulers; they cannot be swayed or bargained with, either. Not even Crowley could devise a way to throw them off, short of using a bigger hound of his own to kill them.
Exactly how they are controlled is unclear. They have been shown to understand verbal commands, but sometimes they have stopped simply because the demon they serve changed their mind.
Hellhounds are vulnerable to iron, salt, The Colt, an Angel Blade and Ruby's knife. They are generally invisible unless the human they are after made a crossroads deal or is looking at them with an object scorched with Holy Fire.
Hierarchy / MastersEdit
Any demon can command a hellhound, but very few of them can overpower one, or at least many at the same time. It is unknown if any demon or even angels could overpower one without the use of certain weapons. In the episode The Devil You Know, it is revealed that Crowley has a hellhound. This hellhound is bigger than most others and Crowley uses it to fight off another, smaller hellhound.
Though Hellhounds serve demons, they do have their own hierarchy. It combines both the systems of a human kingdom and wolf pack ranks. A King or Queen ( can also be called an Alpha ) rules the hounds and their word is absolute. The only one who can overrule the Alpha is the ruler of Hell ( ie. Lilith, Lucifer, Crowley ). Under the Alpha, is one or several Beta's who can also be called Princes or Princesses and who are their second-in-commands. They can be overruled by the Alpha or the demons that rule Hell, but are usually stronger then any other hound. Under them, are assassins, guards and other jobs that hounds take on.
The Alpha acts as bodyguard of sorts for the current ruler of Hell, among other responsibilities. The Beta('s) usually guards the ruler of Hell's second-in-command, but this is not required. In the Alpha's absence, they temporarily take over rule. Most lower ranking hounds are paired with a crossroads demon where they retrieve the souls of people's whose contracts are up. Assassins are just that; they are sent by either a demon or higher raking hound to assassinate someone ( usually the victims are human ). Guards protect important objects or demons.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
- Invisibility - Hellhounds are invisible to humans, except under special circumstances. However, many supernatural creatures, such as demons and angels, can see them. They can also be seen by the humans they are assigned to hunt and through an object scorched with Holy Fire. Though many hounds choose to ramain invisible to human eyes, they are able to be seen by them if they wish. They appear as very large dogs or wolves when not invisible.
- Invulnerability - Hellhounds cannot be killed by conventional means or weapons. However, weapons like Ruby's Knife, or an Angel blade, can kill them.
- Super senses - Just like any supernatural creature, their senses are extremely keen.
- Super speed - They are naturally much faster than humans.
- Super stamina - Once a hellhound has the scent of its prey, it will never stop hunting him or her, unless it is killed or called off by its master.
- Super strength - A hellhound is able to overpower and kill humans and even demons and possibly Angels.
- Tracking - They can locate any human or demon they are sent after.
- Hallucinations - When close to their prey, hellhounds cause their victims to experience hallucinations, so as to frighten them out of hiding and leave them defenseless. They can also show these
- Shapeshifting - Though the hound form is their natural one ( and prefer it ), they can also appear as humans.
- Travel - They are able to travel in and out of Hell easily.
- Eyes - When a demon shows their true eye colour, they are black, red, white or yellow. This colour covers the whole eye. For a hell hound, only their iris ( the coloured part ) turns different colours. Most of the time, thier eyes glow red, but other colours such as amber or blue are seen as well.
- Salt - serves as a barrier which they cannot pass. Shotgun rounds filled with rock salt can also harm them.
- Goofer Dust - Can be used to create a barrier, like salt.
- Devil's Shoe String - This herb can serve as a barrier preventing Hellhounds from passing through a door it's placed over.
- Demon-Killing Knife - Ruby's knife can kill them.
- The Colt - This gun proves the most effective, as Dean uses it to kill one in Abandon All Hope....
- Angel blade - This weapon can kill one, as Meg demonstrates in Caged Heat.
- Archangel Blade - This weapon can probably kill one, as it is presumably more powerful than a standard Angel blade.
- Iron - Iron can harm and even kill Hellhounds, as demonstrated in the episode "Abandon All Hope..." in which Ellen and Jo sacrifice themselves to destroy the attacking Hellhounds by detonating a propane bomb filled with iron nails and rock salt.
- Until Trial and Error, Hellhounds were never seen by viewers of the show. They are shown to be transparent with bright red eyes, and even appear to be covered with blue flames or smoke.
- Meg is the only known character to have grappled with multiple Hellhounds and not only survive, but win. Sam however has managed to kill one, as has Dean.
- Jo died from wounds sustained during a Hellhound attack; so did Dean (and presumably Bela too).
- The book illustration of a Hellhound in the picture above is actually an image of the Norse God Fenrir.
- Mark Sheppard has stated that Crowley's pet Hellhound is named "Growly".
- Sam and Dean once considered black dogs to be responsible with hellhound attacks.
- According to War of the Sons Hellhounds were created by Lilith.