The concept of the hellhound, of course, has been around for a centuries, and has been a source of inspiration for artists drawn to the macabre.
I like this illustration and short blurb from Discovery.com's Animal Planet:
BEARER OF DEATH? "Hellhound" is only one of many names used to describe ethereal, black dogs that roam hillsides and graveyards. With their glowing red eyes, super strength and speed, and a tendency to trail fire and brimstone in their wake, Hellhounds make for a terrifying messenger from the underworld. They are said to have been created by a group of ancient demons to serve as heralds of death, and seeing a Hellhound — some say once and others claim it takes three sightings — inevitably leads to the viewer's demise. Hellhounds boast many titles, including Black Shuck, Cerberus, Garm and Perro Negro. In the popular Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling referred to a menacing Hellhound as "The Grim."
AN ANCIENT LEGEND: Hellhound legends date back to the time of Vikings and sightings have been reported throughout history. These sightings, which are not confined to one region of the world, have more recently occurred near cemeteries in Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio.
Note from the above that these beasts have been seen in Ohio--where Eleven Miles of Night is set.
"Jason Kelley is a young, struggling filmmaker looking for his first big break. When the semi-famous cable television ghost hunter Simon Rose approaches him about a freelance project, Jason is understandably thrilled.
He isn’t fazed by the fact that his assignment is a walk down the Shaman’s Highway, an eleven-mile stretch of rural Ohio roadway that is reputed to be haunted by malevolent spirits, hellhounds, and demonic forces. Jason is an agnostic in regard to the supernatural.
He isn’t prepared for the reality that awaits him on his walk through eleven miles of night—nor the more human violence and heartbreak that he will face along the way."
To listen to readings from Eleven Miles of Night, visit my YouTube channel