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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

AtoZ Day 8: H is for Hellhounds, Hahn Saburo, Higanjima - Escape from Vampire Island

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Hellhounds

Some vampires who are confined to their crypt by day require guardians to maintain their safety. Hellhounds, vicious dogs with a little bit of demon in them, can be used for this purpose. They lie in wait at their masters' sides and rip apart those who would come too close.

There is a great hellhound in The Lost Boys; friendly, personable dog by night when his master is awake and slathering killer during the day when he is on guard.

Other types of hellhound exist and most are very bad news from anyone who sees them. Some are even vampiric themselves for example the Dip of Catalan myth is an emissary of the devil and suck's human blood.

Do you have any local hellhound legends where you live? The closest to us is probably Black Shuck who roams Norfolk, Essex (my husbands home turf) and Suffolk. He has black flaming eyes and ill will come to any who see him.

Creature Feature:

Hahn Saburo


This is another vampiric spirit from India which spends most of its time invisible. According to Mari Wells when it hunts it becomes very like a Corpse Candle of European legend in that it looks like a ball of light. Like the Corpse Candle it uses this light and noise to lure travellers into the forest to drink their blood.

Declars Dungeon says that it has the power to control dogs and The Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology says this spirit uses hunting dogs to push his prey further into the forest, rewarding them with the drained body to eat later.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Higanjima- Escape from Vampire Island
Rating: 18
Summary: Akira is approached by a mysterious woman who tells him of an island populated by vampires where his brother went missing. With the help of his friends Akira goes to rescue his brother and his faced with death at every turn from the vampire Myabi.
Why you should watch this: This is based on a manga and it's obvious because all the stereotypical manga characters are represented, however, it is a beautiful adaptation. It's entertaining and fast paced and actually makes sense, which sometimes manga adaptations don't. I especially like Myabi; he is unapologetically evil and enjoying every moment of chaos and carnage he causes.

Hound of Hell 
(#8 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Ianthe did not like the feeling of not being in control. She had made it her business to make sure she was always in control, especially since her life had been so completely changed by becoming a vampire. Cal had been unable to put her mind at rest about the man she had seen lurking outside his house two days previously. It did not help at all.

"Look, you know our supernatural brothers and sisters," Cal said, passing her a glass of wine; "they lurk. It was probably just a lower demon or something looking for mischief."

"It felt as if he was looking at me," she replied, taking a sip of the drink gratefully.

Cal sat back in his arm chair.

"What you need is some peace of mind," he said.

She wanted to say something sarcastic, but she knew if she did she would probably be cruel and Cal was only trying to help.

"You have suggestions?" she asked.

"A pet," Cal replied.

Ianthe lifted a carefully sculpted eyebrow.

"You are kidding?"

Cal grinned and shook his head.

"I know just the one," he said, clearly growing to like the idea as he thought about it.

"How is a pet going to give me peace of mind?" she asked.

"What would you say to a hellhound?" Cal responded.

Her immediate instinct was rejection, but she could see his point.

"But aren't they vicious, nasty monsters that are impossible to handle?" she asked.

She knew that in the past vampires had used them as guard dogs for their daytime rest, but it wasn't in fashion at the moment.

"Only to those they don't know," Cal told her, "and I have a friend whose bitch has just had a litter."

She frowned.

"Um, don't hellhounds have to come from hell?"

"Of course," Cal said as if that was obvious.

"You're friends with a demon?"

She couldn't keep the incredulity from her voice.

"Tsk, tsk, and here I thought you of all people wouldn't be speciesist," he replied.

"I'm not," she said, "usually, but demons are dangerous. They like eating souls."

"Alicia is a succubus," Cal replied; "she's more into eating libido. You know only the demon lords are dangerous to other supernaturals of our level, right?"

Actually she didn't know that, but now she did.

"Clearly I have been given less than accurate information," she replied.

"Right, then it's settled," Cal said, "I'll give Alicia a call and we can go over tonight. She said the puppies have been weaned."

Ianthe might have objected if she could have thought of a good reason.

An hour later she found herself being dragged up the path to what looked like an ordinary suburban house. The knocker on the door was a grinning skull and when Cal used it the knock kind of boomed in a very not normal way. As the door opened Ianthe could sense that it was no normal door.

"Cal, darling," the stunning blonde woman in the doorway said, "how lovely to see you. Come in, come in."

Ianthe full body shuddered as she stepped from the real world straight into hell. As soon as she was past the doorway all illusion of a normal house vanished and she was met with stone wall lit by rivulets of orange fire.

"Forgive the mess," Alicia said cheerfully, "one of my clients circumvented the enchantment I had him under and went a little crazy. I had to put him down."

That was when Ianthe noticed the slight smell of blood in the air. It was only the fact that the air held the light scent of sulphur which had stopped her noticing before. Once she realised the small signs of a gory death hastily tidied were obvious.

"Don't you hate it when that happens," she replied with a smile.

Alicia smiled back, so it must have been the right thing to say.

"Brimmy is this way," the succubus said and led them towards a large oak door; "just don't go across the red line unless I say you can, okay?"

Ianthe nodded along with Cal.

The next room had a chandelier made of human bones hanging from the ceiling. In the far corner was the most enormous black dog Ianthe had ever seen. When it looked up at them she could see its large, red eyes and quite significant teeth.

"Brimmy, you have visitors," Alicia said, trotting across the room to give the monster of a dog a pet; "they've come to see your babies."

As if on cue six heads appeared over their mother's back. They looked as if they were about the size of a normal jack Russell, only taller.

"Cal, you come over first," Alicia said, giving them both a smile.

There was something unsettling about a sucubus' smile, but Ianthe couldn't quite put her finger on what. The hellhound growled as Cal approached, but he just kept on walking. The way he stood was non-threatening, but dominant as well and Ianthe was reminded that her friend was, in fact, a werewolf.

"This'll take a few minutes," Alicia said over her shoulder, "grab a chair and make yourself comfy."

"Thank you," she replied and headed over to what looked like an ordinary sofa.

It was very comfortable as she sunk into it.

"This is Cal, Brimmy," she heard Alicia say and she settled in for however long the introduction was going to take.

She did know that hellhounds were tricky. They were completely loyal once they had bonded with a master or mistress, but she'd heard they were temperamental and she had no idea how a bond was formed. Taking out her phone she started to read one of the books she had downloaded recently.

A wet nose sticking in her ear was the first indication she had that everything was not as it had been.

As she turned she came face to face with the most adorable vicious beast she had ever seen. The puppy was still round in places older dogs were not and even the big red eyes and the long canines couldn't detract from the awe cute effect.

"Well hello," she said and the puppy took that as an invitation to jump into her lap.

"Huh," she heard and looked up; Alicia was staring at her, "well it seems there's no need to go through the formalities."

To Ianthe's disquiet Brimmy stood up from her corner and she was at least as tall as a small pony. The bitch walked across the room and Ianthe decided keeping very still was the best plan. Brimmy snuffled her puppy, then snuffled Ianthe's lap, before snorting through her nose and heading back to the rest of her brood.

"Congratulations, you own a puppy," Alicia said with a big smile. "What are you going to call her?"

Ianthe hadn't even really decided she was sure about this yet, but she took one look into those puppy eyes and she knew she was lost.

"Lilith," she decided without really having to think about it.

"Fabulous," Alicia said and clapped her hands; "we must drink to the bonding."

All Ianthe could do was agree. If truth be told, she did feel kind of better with Lilith sitting in her lap.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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51 comments:

  1. Robert Johnson, one of the original great blues singers from the South sang Hellhound On My Trail. Great song. And I liked your story having your heroine picking out a hellhound puppy. :)

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    1. Thank you :) I haven't heard of that song, I shall look it up.

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    2. I was going to say my first memory of hearing about a hellhound was the TV show Supernatural, but I'm familiar with Robert Johnson and have heard that song.

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  2. I know in Skyrim, when Vampires attack, they bring the Hellhounds with them. I ask you, what am I suppose to do with 500 dog collars? There are only so many women in the game to slap them on.

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    1. I have never played Skyrim - I didn't know that :). You might want to watch what you do with dog collars of you might end up in big trouble.

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  3. Hellhounds are awesome!! We don't have any legends from where I am from, though.

    Great story! I really liked the fact that she was picking out a puppy!! Nice change from the usual!

    Carrie~Anne at That Dizzy Chick

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    1. Thank you, I thought a bit of lightness was in order :)

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  4. For us, our local hellhound would be Garm, who will have a part to play in the ending of the world. And the Hahn Saburo sounds very interesting. I've always found corpse candles intriguing, and so a corpse candle with a vampire twist is even more interesting (and scary). :)

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    1. The end of the world - that is a big responsibility. Corpse Candles used to scare me witless as a child - there was one story in a book Soph and I had and it got me every time :).

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  5. You know about our local hell hounds :) Nice post.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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  6. Okay I didn't know about Hahn Saburo....thanks!
    And again a great story... Maybe she'll be at peace and best at her game with Lilith by her side!

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    1. You're welcome :). We can but hope. Thank you.

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  7. Loved the story... it could easily be produced as a tv serial :)

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    1. Thank you :) Wouldn't that be lovely - so many writers' dreams, going mainstream ::g::

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  8. I loved every part of this post, great job. The excerpt was also an enjoyable read and I like Lilith as a name for the puppy, er...hellhound.

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    1. Thank you and thank you. I thought a powerful dog should have a powerful name :)

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  9. I've seen and read about many different version of hellhounds. Found this post very interesting.

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  10. I've heard of hellhounds, but never knew about them. Thanks for the info.
    Nana Prah

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    1. You're welcome, thank you so much for visiting.

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  11. We have Newfoundland dogs, which are huge and black and powerful but hardly scary. All Myths surrounding them involve them saving children and rescuing people from sinking ships.

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    1. I think I've only met a Newfoundland once and he was absolutely lovely. I have to agree, further from a hellhound you could not get :). Thank you for dropping by.

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  12. Lovely post Natasha! I was unaware of hellhounds. Thanks for the information.

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    1. You're welcome, thanks for dropping by :)

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  13. No Hellhounds where I live. Unless you count real live wolves, but they aren't exactly scary. Just awesome. ;)

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. I think real wolves trump mythical hellhounds :)

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  14. I'm being initiated into the vampire world and ideas for stories are forming. After the #AtoZ challenge, I will pay closer attention to these blogs as well as others whose themes I find fascinating.

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    1. Have fun with the vampires - there are so many options :)

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  15. I'm not much for vampires and only good dogs live around here. But I do so appreciate you coming by my blog, which is indeed very different from yours.

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  16. I love the use of Hellhounds in the Lost Boys. And in Supernatural as well. Excellent creepy creature.

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    1. I don't remember hellhounds in Supernatural, but then I gave up watching somewhere in s2 so I probably missed them. Must look them up :)

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  17. I think Hellhound was one of my "H" posts for one of the previous A to Z challenges!

    Precious Monsters

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    1. So many options when it comes to Hellhounds - I'm wasn't the only one talking about them this year either :)

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  18. dirty job by christopher moore has them in it. the funny and pervy book is about how this guy just sorta ends up a soul collector.

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    1. My husband loves Christopher Moore and I'm slowly working my way through his collection - I haven't reached this one yet. I shall have to go dig it out. My fav so far is Lamb, closely followed by The Stupidest Angel.

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  19. I love the Hellhounds out of Supernatural. I don't think there could be a more compelling way to depict them. Well, other than the Percy Jackson depiction of them. That was a pretty epic embodiment too.

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    1. People keep mentioning these hellhounds in Supernatural - I really should look them up :). I don't know a lot about Percy Jackson either - seems I'm missing some of my fiction knowledge :)

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  20. I always love finding out more about vampires. I didn't know about Hahn Saburo, so that was pretty interesting. I have to agree that the Hellhounds from Supernatural are awesome! :)

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    1. There is so much vampire lore out there and so much of it seems to be unplumbed for the fiction :). And yet another mention of hellhounds from Supernatural *makes not to look them up*.

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  21. I never heard of Hellhounds until I started watching Supernatural. Those things are scary as -- well, you know! :)

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    1. I don't know about the hellhounds in Supernatural - I really need to look these demonic doggies up. I have clearly missed out :).

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  22. The next movie on my list is "Zoltan Hound of Dracula" which kinda fits the Hellhound theme.

    --
    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

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    1. It does and it was a movie I considered purchasing just so I had a Z for the AtoZ, but didn't in the end :). LMK if it's any good.

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  23. Think a part of me wouldn't mind living longer than normal if there was no sickness and a decent life ahead. Now, there's no way I could do if it required killing anyone or anything.

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    1. When it comes down to it, I think I could kill a thing, but definitely not someone. My relatives were sheep farmers, so I'm kind of hardened to animals for food.

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  24. Love it! Love the hell hounds and love the piece. Well done.

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  25. Ah, Black Shuck. The ghostly dog from my neck of the woods.
    You had me with the wet nose after you explained "what looked like an ordinary couch". I thought it was that, which touched her! LOL

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    1. LOL, that would have been something more of a shock I suspect :).

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