Photo from Ancient Origins
What is a Wendigo?
According to Wikipedia, a Wendigo is “a mythical cannibal monster or evil spirit native to the northern forests of the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes region of both the United States and Canada.” (Wikipedia)
A creature that has been believed to haunt woods all over the United States. One of these places it is believed to be, is in the woods of northern Minnesota. The Wendigo started as a story told by Native Americans a long time ago. They called the Wendigo a variety of things. These are included but not limited to Witigo, Witiko, and Wee-Tee-Go. All of these names have been roughly translated to mean, “the evil spirit that devours mankind.” Wendigo is believed to mean “cannibal,” among some of the tribes in the Great Lakes.
The description of the Wendigo that most seem to agree with, is a creature around fifteen feet tall. It has glowing eyes, long yellowed fangs, and an overly long tongue. Some say it has yellowish skin, while others say it is covered in hair. The Wendigo is believed to have actually been human but was transformed into a beast by magic. (Ghosts of the Prairie)
Photo by Deviant Art
According to lore, a human becomes a Wendigo when they resort to cannibalism to survive. It is said that many years ago it was rare, but very possible. Many tribes and settlers dealt with bitter winters so eating another person could have been a last resort to survive. Thus the legend of the Wendigo was born. (Ghosts of the Prairie)
Another version of the legend, is that the first Wendigo was a warrior who had made a deal with the devil. He gave up his soul so he could save his tribe. This is how he turned into a Wendigo. Once peace was brought to his tribe, he was banished and forced to live as an outcast. Some believe that each Wendigo is still part human. But this human part is frozen and the only way to kill a Wendigo is to kill the human within it too. (Ancient Origins)
There have been many ‘Wendigo sightings’ all over the United States. Most have lined up with areas that Native Americans who believed in the legend of the Wendigo, had lived.
Between the 1800’s and 1920’s there was a ‘Wendigo sighting’ in a town called Roseau, in northern Minnesota. The claim was made that after every sighting of a Wendigo, someone in the community died unexpectedly. The sightings eventually ceased and the town went back to normal.
The Cree have a traditional dance called the ‘Wihtikokansimoowin.’ Also referred to as, ‘Wendigo-like dance.’ This dance consisted of a portrayal of the Wendigo and some participants becoming ‘Wendigo hunters.’
In the beginning of the 20th century, an 87 year-old Cree man was tried for murder. Jack Fiddler was his name. He was believed to have murdered a Cree woman. He pleaded guilty but tried to excuse his actions by saying he was protecting his tribe. He said the woman was transforming into a Wendigo so she had to be killed. Jack Fiddler claimed to have slain over 13 Wendigo in his life time. (Ancient Origins)
Multiple people around the United States claim to have seen the Wendigo. It’s usually in a wooded area and they usually describe the creature pretty similar. Whether these people have wild imaginations or are maybe telling some kind of truth, that’s for you to decide. Here are a couple of their stories:
The community of Cobalt in Ontario, Canada reported sightings of what they believed to be a Wendigo. These sightings went on for nearly 50 years. The last sighting reported in Ontario, was in 1997. A trucker said he saw one near St. Catharines.
A few years ago, a group of boys were filming by an abandoned house in the woods. They recorded a ‘strange-looking, slender figure’ in the woods. They believed this to be a Wendigo. (Paranormal Papers)
In June of 2017, a boy and his family moved to a new town and into a nice, five-bedroom house. The house was surrounded by woods and not too far in, there was a creek. After moving in, the boy and his older brother decided to go exploring. When they got to the creek, they felt that something was off. The only thing you could hear was the water. They could see no fish in the creek and they could hear no birds chirping. The boy said it had only been a couple of minutes before they began to smell something terrible. He said it smelled that ‘rotten meat.’ He said his older brother went a little farther in the woods to pee so he was left alone for a few minutes. That’s when he said he saw, “the most terrifying thing I had ever seen before.” He said he saw a ten-foot figure poking half of it’s body around a tree to look at him. It had pale skin with random patches of fur all over it’s body. It had a pair of large antlers on the top of a head that looked like some kind of skull. The looks of the thing were terrifying but that’s not what scared him the most. It was the fact that he could hear the thing whispering. It was saying his name. He said it kept whispering, ‘Justin. Justin. Justin.’ He screamed as loud as he could and his brother ran to his side. Once his brother took a look at the thing, he grabbed his brother’s arm and didn’t let go. They ran all the way back to their house, never looking back. A few months later Justin finally got the courage to bring up the story to some of his new buddies at school. He said most of them looked confused while he told them but one just stared at him and said, “Wendigo.” (Darkness Prevails)
Wendigo sightings are still reported today. Lately these sightings have often been in northern Minnesota and certain places in Canada. Sightings have been made by hikers, trappers, traders, and trackers for many years. (Paranormal Papers)
Photo from Animal Planet
The Wendigo is a legend that has carried on for years. Whether or not it is true and if the sightings are a hoax, the legend will live on.