The Chained Coffin

Dark Horse Presents 100-2
Written by Mike Mignola
Illustrated by Mike Mignola
Colored by James Sinclair
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
Edited by Scott Allie
Bob Schreck
Originally Published in Dark Horse Presents #100–2
Date Published August 1995
Trade Paperback Hellboy – Volume 3: The Chained Coffin and Others
Omnibus Edition Hellboy – Volume 1: Seed of Destruction
Library Edition Hellboy – Volume 2

Publication HistoryEdit

"The Chained Coffin" was published in black and white in Dark Horse Presents #100–2 (Aug 1995). One month earlier, a three page preview had been published in "Dark Horse Presents #100-0," an exclusive included with Hero Illustrated #26. The story, with slight changes,[1] was reprinted in color in Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others, in August 1998.


The story is framed by Abe Sapien reading a letter from Hellboy about his travels back to the church in East Bromwich, the place of his "birth". Hellboy recounts that the psychic Cynthia Eden-Jones thought Hellboy's appearance was related to two spirits in the church and not a Nazi experiment.

Hellboy falls asleep in the church and dreams of a dying woman. The woman admits to having been a witch, but now she renounces her past and asks for God's forgiveness. The woman asks her children, a priest and a nun, to save her soul. She instructs them to chain up her coffin and guard it from the devil for three nights.

Hellboy awakes to see a vision of the priest and nun standing over a chained coffin. A demon enters the Church, and after a brief confrontation, he kills the priest and nun. The demon reveals that the woman's "real child" is still unborn, conceived at Walpurgis-Nacht many years ago. The demon looks towards Hellboy while saying, "My favorite son." The demon takes the woman down to hell forever.

The story ends back with Abe Sapien asleep, dreaming of fish.

Story ChronologyEdit

The story takes place shortly after Seed of Destruction. Hellboy says this is his first time back to the Church in 50 years, this would place the story some time in 1995.[2] The story occurs after The Wolves of Saint August, in early 1994, and before Wake the Devil, most likely in 1997.


  1. On the 1st page, the original version contains a picture of a 'new born' Hellboy with the Army, and a picture of "Dr. Robert Carson." The text reads "Albert Einstein used to visit, and I met Doc Carson there years before he grew that giant head..." As reprinted the text reads "Albert Einstein used to visit, and I met Oppenheimer..." Doc Carson was a character created by John Byrne in Danger Unlimited
  2. Hellboy was 'born' Dec 23, 1944, 50 years later would be the end of Dec 1994 or more likely 1995
Hellboy Publication Order
Preceded by
The Corpse
The Chained Coffin
Followed by
The Iron Shoes
Hellboy Trade Paperback Order
Vol. 3 The Chained Coffin and Others
Preceded by
A Christmas Underground
The Chained Coffin
Followed by
The Wolves of Saint August
Hellboy Story Chronology
Preceded by
"Hi, My Name's Hellboy"
The Chained Coffin
Followed by
Wake the Devil