Wendigo Creatures - Supernatural Mythology
There are several variations to the wendigo story, but these creatures are usually sighted in the great lakes region, often in Minnesota, and then up
They're tall, emaciated, and craving human flesh, what are the wendigo? Over the past several months, I've been asked many times about the mysterious wendigo, the wendigo.
What are these creatures?
" The wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over its bones. with its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion, the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave."
" What lips it had were tattered and bloody. its body was Unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, giving off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption." - Basil Johnston, Ojibwe teacher, and scholar, Ontario, Canada.
There are several variations to the wendigo story, but these creatures are usually sighted in the great lakes region, often in Minnesota, and then up into the central regions of Canada.
These humanoid creatures feed on humans to survive the harsh winters of the area and may have begun as humans themselves, making them cannibals. ( Wendigo Supernatural Best Creepypasta for a teenager )
In fact, according to some Algonquian legends, a wendigo spirit is created whenever a human resorts to cannibalism, something that used to happen at times during those dark, bitter winters.
The word, wendigo, can be roughly translated to mean evil spirit that devours mankind and devour it does. The appetite of the wendigo is said to be insatiable and never-ending, constantly feasting, no matter how much it eats. The Ojibwe tribe legend states:
It was a large creature, as tall as a tree, with a lipless mouth and jagged teeth. Its breath was a strange hiss, its footprints full of blood and it ate any man, woman or child who ventured into its territory and those were the lucky ones. Sometimes, the wendigo chose to possess a person instead, and then the luckless individual became a wendigo himself, hunting down those he had once loved and feasting upon their flesh.
The stories are a mixture, ranging from a monster with characteristics of a human to an evil spirit, who has taken possession of a human. Whichever the case, many of these have grown to a height of about 15 feet and possess glowing eyes, sharp claws, and yellowed fangs licked over by an extra-long tongue.
While these creatures are gluttonous and constantly eating, they appear as if they're on the brink of starvation.
Yet, other legends state the wendigo are agile, possess a great deal of speed, and have outstanding stamina to survive the long winters.
These legends also state the wendigo can mimic human voices and lure people out in the forests toward them. Once the person is isolated, the wendigo attacks and devours the human.
Much of our modern artwork depicts these entities as anthropomorphic creatures, much like the half-human, half-animal shapeshifting skinwalkers of Navajo lore.
Native American descriptions
However, the wendigo is not skinwalkers, and the native American descriptions of wendigo do not include antlers on their heads like many of these illustrations depict. These carnivorous creatures are something else.
First of all, that the wendigo is not anthropomorphic shapeshifters rules them out as skinwalkers.
However, the fact that they're humanoid, smelling of decaying flesh, incessantly feeding off of human beings, and being able to create more wendigo creatures out of humans gives them more of the characteristics of zombies from our modern pop culture.
How many zombie movies and television shows depict a rotting human eating other humans and being able to create more of their own kind? perhaps the modern zombie lore has had some influence from the old wendigo legends.
But are these things real or they simply just legends?
I usually consider that all legends and lore, at their very core, have some element of truth to them.
In the early 1900s, there was an Oji-Cree chief named jack fiddler, who was also a medicine man and known far and wide for his powers to conjure animals and to defeat wendigos.
Fourteen wendigos are said to have fallen by the hand of jack fiddler, many of which were said to have been sent by enemy shamans. Still, yet others were known to be cannibals and craved to eat human flesh. In these cases, jack was usually asked by a family to kill a sick member before they turned wendigo, and one of these cases included jack's brother, Pete Flett.
Peter was on a trading expedition that ran out of food and he turned wendigo. Several cases like this were recorded in the records of Hudson's bay company traders.
Ultimately in 1907, jack fiddler and his brother, Joseph was tried for the murder of joseph's daughter-in-law in a wendigo case, with the two of them actually pleading guilty.
Jack stated the girl was on the verge of transforming into a wendigo and she needed to be killed before she ended up murdering and eating other members of the tribe. These are sad stories.
Predating jack and joseph was a swift runner, a native American who in 1879, murdered and ate his entire family that winter, claiming he was possessed by the wendigo spirit.
Now, there is a condition known as wendigo psychosis, which is a syndrome humans can develop which includes an intense desire to eat human meat and includes the fear of becoming cannibalistic.
This psychosis usually manifests itself in winter, when people are isolated by snow for long periods of time and include such symptoms as poor appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Modern anthropologists believe that the wendigo legends only developed after native Americans first came into contact with European settlers and resources began to grow scarce.
With food supplies suddenly lower than normal, these tribes may have developed a fear of starvation to fuel the stories of the evil spirits that devour mankind.
Wendigo sightings have tapered off in recent years, with the bulk coming in the late 1800s through the 1920s, but pop culture has kept the legend alive with the creature making appearances in television shows like "supernatural."
There are even a few lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin named after the wendigo to keep the legend alive.
Tales of more modern encounters have appeared on internet forums, so it's hard to know what's fact or fiction, but people do still report occasional sightings of these creatures in the northern part of the unites states, from Michigan to Minnesota and into Canada.
These witnesses catch glimpses of emaciated humans with giant eyes and thin lips lurking in the woods and forested areas of the region, apparently on the prowl for some fresh, human flesh.