The Hellhound is a character from the Haunted Mansion
The Hellhound is a large undead canine which lurks on the grounds of the Haunted Mansion. It is known for howling at the moon in a haunted way. It is unknown if it was a dog or a wolf when it was alive. It is also possible that it was never truly alive and was a literal hellhound, a sort of demonic spirit from the underworlds of European folklore.
A figurine of the Hellhound appears on the Collector's desk in the pre-show video.
The Haunted Mansion
The Hellhound can be heard as soon as you enter the gates of the Haunted Mansion with its howls being part of the mansion's ambience throughout its queue and first show-scenes. The Hellhound is finally seen in the graveyard scene where it is seen nearby the Phantom Five minstrels, howling at the moon from a hilltop.
The Hellhound used to be heard when passing by the Haunted Mansion on the Rivers of America with the audio coming from the riverboat's spiel itself and not just the mansion. This effect has since been removed. However, the name of the Hudson River river-bend passing by the Haunted Mansion continues to be named, "Howling Dog Bend" as a likely tribute to the canine.
The Ghost Gallery
In the 1990s, cast-members of the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World created a backstory for the attraction as a means of answering guest questions. All of this backstory was recorded on paper and while unofficial, has since influenced both the original Haunted Mansion's official and semi-official features as-well as adaptations based on the Haunted Mansion.
In this story, it was once named the Grand Stygian Hellhound of the Hudson and was the loyal pet of Master Gracey. It is explained that the Hellhound was descended from the war of 1812 dog of Fort Sam Clemens on Tom Sawyer's Island which itself was descended from the Prison Dog of Isla Tesoro from Pirates of the Caribbean. It was kept chained up in the mansion's graveyard along the Hudson River to mark the location of a group of quicksand pits with its constant howling to avoid accident.
One night in 1942, Master Gracey's illegitimate daughter Little Leota lured three servants who rebuked her advances into the quicksand pits after moving Hellhound away so they were caught off-guard. After being chained to a new tree, lightning struck the plant and electrocuted Hellhound, resulting in his death. Before his death, Hellhound had offspring in the form of a ghost dog named Loki who went on to have his own pups in the form of the Caretaker's dog, Bony, as well as pups named Rover, Sport, Spot, and Queenie, which found homes in Tomorrowland.
In this story, the Hellhound is made into a composite character with the Sinister 11 portrayal of Count Dracula from the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World. Here, he was renamed to Count Lupescu and was a vampire with the power to transform into a wolf and eventually came to reside to the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans as a means of isolating himself from potential victims.
- The undead dog Goliath in Phantom Manor is likely inspired by the Haunted Mansion's Hellhound.
- Both of Hellhound's unofficial names have hidden meanings. The title, "Grand Stygian Hellhound" references the River Styx from the Underworld of Greek mythology. The name Count Lupescu is a portmanteau of Loup-Garou which is the French variant of werewolves.
- The Hellhound is sometimes assumed to be a werewolf. It should be said that the Sinister 11 portrait of, "The Arsonist" was originally designed to be of a werewolf in an alpine village.
- Hellhound on the Haunted Mansion Wiki