18 Scary Mythical Canines

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18 scary mythical canines

It’s the middle of the night, a howl bellows among the silence. The hairs on your arms call to attention, popping up signaling the eerie pulse that went through your body. That didn’t sound like a regular dog did it? Maybe it’s just a coyote..Next time you start to think of that, remember this list. 


The Dire Wolf

The monstrosity of size that is the Dire Wolf is something to behold if you’re to believe tv. If you’ve ever watched Game of Thrones you’ll certainly be blown away in the few scenes that star these animals. But, what if we told you it was real? In case you didn’t know, the Dire Wolf actually existed. 


Just a mere 10k years ago, these walked the earth. Maybe even your part of the earth if you live in the Americas. Here’s another shocker, the Dire Wolf isn’t that big. It was similar in size to the modern day wolf. The noticeable differences were in its larger teeth and greater bite force. 

In all of the shaded states, dire wolf remains have been found. They didn’t like New York, but we can’t really blame them. 

dire wolf remians

El Cadejo

The Cadejo, a fearsome depiction. If you come across this black creature in the night… it’s already too late. There are two varieties, one good and one evil. We like to think that these aren’t real. But if you take a minute to search the internet, the countless stories depicting sightings will send chills up your spine. 

Some say it’s huge, some say it’s small. It enjoys lurking in the dark, waiting for you to pass by an alleyway. When you’re thinking of getting home, it’s thinking of ripping you to shreds. 

That is, unless it’s the white Cadejo. This is the good version meant to protect people in all situations. The white Cadejo will protect you and guide you back to safety. Even taking pity on drunks. A balance to its demonic counterpart. 


No normal Wizard encountered as many situations as Harry did at Hogwarts. One of the most terrifying experiences he had was running into Fluffy. The three headed beast snarling from its mouth. Can you imagine how much food it would take to keep this thing satisfied? Harry didn’t want to find out. 

fluffy harry potter

Originally, this dog belonged to Hagrid(of course). Its weakness was being unable to stay awake when music was played. Fluffy was famous enough that he has his own lego piece.

Fluffy was undoubtedly inspired by Cerberus, the hound of Hades. In Greek mythology this dog guards the gates of the Underworld so the dead can’t leave. Cerberus is a little less doggish though, having a snake for a tail. After Harry was able to get past it by playing a flute, Dumbledore sent it back to Greece. Poor Hagrid, maybe next time he’ll be more careful. 

The Giant Devil Dingo

Aborigines speak of a dingo on the flats of Australia. The Giant Devil Dingo had bright red eyes, it was the size of an elephant and would stalk its territory at night.

During the day it was never seen. But, if it was dusk or fog was thick sometimes the flash of its eyes would penetrate just long enough for you to know you were dead.  

giant devil dingo


In Inuit mythology exists the Keelut. This hairless beast is rumored to erupt from the underworld when it feels the need. It resembles a dog, with very sharp teeth and a long snout. Appearing very mangey. It’s hairless, except for its feet. The reason for this is to hide its tracks. Giving it the advantage of being impossible to track. 


According to folklore, it feasts on the dead. And if you happen to see it, your death may be coming soon. Thought to be a foreshadowing of your doom, the Keelut won’t outright kill humans. But, it will feast on your remians. 


A Mythological Greek Dog, the Laelaps skill was hunting. Never once did she fail to catch her prey. Zeus gifted the dog to Europa and was eventually given to Cephalus. The task was to hunt the Teumessian fox, who could not be caught. 

Since the Laelap never failed to catch her prey and the Teumessian could not be caught, a paradox was in effect. They were stuck in an infinite loop of their gifts, making fate collide in a stalemate. Because of this, Zeus had to intervene. He cast both to stone and made them constellations. 



Moddey Dhoo

A phantom black hound. The Moddey Dhoo haunted the Peel Castle within the UK. Legends come from Manx culture. Described as a large black hound with curled hair. He would be seen in every room and at night would lay in the guard chamber. At first the guards were stricken with horror, but eventually became accustomed to its appearance and lost their fear. 

Moddey Dhoo

One night a guard decided to lock up the castle gate by himself instead of the usual pair system. Drunk and gutsy, he used the haunted passage to deliver the keys to his captain after he was done. His fellow comrades heard noises and went to his aid. He was found speechless and unable to share what had happened. Three days later he was dead. This was the last time the haunted passageway was ever used, and also the last time the Moddey Dhoo was seen. 

Church Grim

One particular Christian Church has the protection of a spirit. The Church Grim is most often spotted in a dog like shape, but has the ability to take other forms if it so wishes. 

This spectral beast would guard the churchyards from any who would desecrate it.  From the devil to a thief. Because of this, it was a custom to bury a dog alive under the cornerstone of a church as a sacrifice. A terribly cruel and superstitious practice. With the purpose of using its ghost for protection. 

It wasn’t only dogs used for sacrifices; lambs, boars, pigs, and horses were also used. During funerals the priest could tell whether the dead was going to heaven or hell by seeing the grim from the churchtower. 

Cù Sìth

This mythical(or real) dog has origins from Scotland. According to legends it is the size of a bull. Owning paws that are the same size as a Grizzly Bear’s. It roams the cliffs in the Highlands, blending in with its earthy mane. 

Known to foreshadow death, the Cù Sìth arrives to let you know your time in this world has ended. He takes your soul and gives it safe transport to the afterlife. 

Cù Sìth

A silent hunter by choice, not necessity. At times on the isles of Scotland he would announce his presence in a burst of three reverberating howls. They would broadcast for miles so that even those at sea could hear. If you don’t reach safety by the third howl, you’re overcome with terror and it spells your doom. 


Over 20 years ago a magical film was released by Studio Ghibli by the name of Princess Mononoke. In it, Moro was featured. The God of the Wolves, she is an intelligent and keen animal. Able to speak the language of humans and understanding of the tricks we play. 

Moro leads a wolf tribe and is a protector of her forest. Her ultimate purpose is to protect the Forest Spirit. All around her humans are destroying her land for building weapons and polluting the earth. This fills her with resentment and hatred. Despite all this, she adopts an abandoned human baby as her own and raises her. Beneath her hatred, she’s a kind soul. 



Failinis, the invincible hound. In Irish literature this dog was showered with gifts. He couldn’t die in battle, caught every prey it encountered, and was able to change water into wine by bathing in it. We hope it was red and we think Jesus has some competition. 

The mythical dog was given as a gift in reparations to the children of Tuireann for the slaying of Cian. 



A ginormous black dog of hellfire. Freybug has lava flowing through his veins. He is said to have roamed in Norflok. In recorded history, the first mention of Freybug came all the way in 1555. A fearsome recollection of this dog exclaims that it would wander around country roads, searching for travelers. 



Not all mythical dogs are out to get you, and the Shisa is an example of that. A ward instead of a terror. In Chinese culture they’re seen as a cross between lion and dog. The legend of the Shisa relates that an emissary returned from a voyage. His gift to the king was a necklace decorated with the figure of the Shisa. The king liked this token.


At a port nearby a village was frequently terrorized by a sea dragon. It would eat the villagers and damage their property. The king happened to be visiting the village one day when these events unfolded. All the townspeople ran for safety. But the local priest had foreseen that the king must hold his figure to the dragon. When he did, a giant roar shook the dragon and the surrounding village. After this, a boulder fell from the sky and crushed the terrorizing dragon’s tail. So that he was unable to move and causing him to die. 


Here’s another multi faceted creature. The Psoglav had a human body, horse legs, and a dog’s head. They origins are from Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. People described them as living in darkness or caves, they avoid the sun just like a vampire. Only in the cover of night to they come out to creep. If there is a mystical creature that reminds me of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on this list, this is it. Minus the horse legs. 


They’re cannibals and have been spotted digging up corpses from graves to eat them. On the Istrian peninsula of Croatia there have been many sightings of what people say is the dreaded Psoglav. 


Our second feature from Inuit mythology, the Qiqirn is a large white dog that terrifies their tribe. Large, bald, and frightening. It causes people to flee from it, but it’s just as afraid of the people that find it scary. 


The only places it has hair is on its feet, ears, mouth, and the tip of its tail. Humans can’t approach it without having a seizure and the only way to make it leave is to shout its name.  It gravitates to snow and light colored areas to make it easiest to blend in. When it haunts the Inuits it doesn’t do it to kill, and they are confused as to why it’s scared of them as well. Some think it may be a trapped spirit of a former Inuit who is living out their sentence after death. Stuck in purgatory. 


The Thunder Beast. The Raiju is from Japanese mythology. Shaped like a wolf but holding no true form, its body is pure lightning. When it leaves a settled form it can fly about as bolts of lightning to wherever it pleases. 

He’s the companion of the Shinto god of lighting. Normally, you have nothing to worry about with The Thunder Beast. Unless there’s a storm. 

During a thunderstorm he gets a little ticked off and starts leaping through fields, trees, buildings, and houses. When a tree is split down the middle in Japan, you can bet that it was the work of the thunder beast. Its bark is the sound of thunder. The Raiju is a popular figure and has been featured on Naruto. 

Axehandle Hound

Some people just get all the looks. Tales of this creature have gone back as far as the 1930s in America. The axehandle hound was said to reside in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’re not sure how it eats but we are sure that Jack Torrance from the Shining would have loved this dog. 


Its diet consists of handles of axes which have been left unattended. We’ve been staring at this picture of the axehandle hound trying to figure out how it opens its mouth and eats things, but we’re not quite sure of the logistics. Maybe that’s why we haven’t heard of this folklore dog in a while.


Oude Rode Ogen

This story originates in Flanders, Belgium. The same place as the Bouvier des Flanders, a beautiful low maintanence dog breed you can read about here.

This story began in the 17th century. Children were going missing in Flanders. The culprit was thought to be a cannibalistic shape shifter. People claimed to see a large naked black figure running away after an attempt to kidnap a girl. 

Attempts to shoot the fleeing suspect failed. When someone matching the description was seen in a nearby town, they killed him without trial. Ever since, a ghostly dark figure with red eyes has been seen wandering. Parents use the tale to scare their children into making their bedtime. Saying they’d be eaten alive by the ghost. Whenever someone saw it they were left deaf, mute and blind. 

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