The Wendigo

lordmongrove

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My friend Mike Hallowell is working on a book about the Indian spirit / monster the Wendigo. Does anyone know of any modern day sightings?
 

stu neville

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The problem you may have is one of definition. To some the Wendigo was a spirit or elemental, and as such only semi-tangible, whereas others regard it as another name for a Sasquatch: in that case there could be hundreds of modern-day sightings every year, but just under another name.

Towards which persuasion of Wendigo is your friend leaning?
 

lordmongrove

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Thanks
Neither ike or myself think that the sasquatch is the same thing as the Wendigo. One is an innofenssive ape / hominid and the other is some kind of entity that rattles Indians even today (Mike is part Delawere Indian and knows alot of Native Americans but they are reticent to even talk of the Wendigo). So it is the spirit / monster Mike is intrested in for this book.
 

Netherlen

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There are interesting links between cannibalism and the Wendigo. Stephen King used this motif in his novel Pet Sematary.

Wendigo psychosis is when someone engages in cannibalism, in spite of there being another food source readily available. There have been a few documented cases of this within some native American communities. As such, you could say there have been quite recent sightings, though they are nothing of the supernatural kind.
 

lordmongrove

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Thanks, Mike has looked at historic and modern cases of Wendigo psychosis, including the guy who ate the other fellows head on the greyhound bus recently. What he is looking for is supposed sightings of the beast itself in modern times. He has one from Illionis were the thing chased a car. The witness was adament that it was not sasquatch.
 

MOSUGOJI

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I'd love to hear the complete story about the wendigo that chased the car!
There was a wendigo sounding story that I remember reading on Art Bell's old website maybe 7 years ago. It was about a pilot flying some people to a hunting lodge in the snowy wilderness of Canada somewhere. On the way there he saw a 15 ft tall scrawny yeti like creature walking into the treeline. Several weeks later he returned to pick up the people at the lodge only to find the doors torn off the hinges and the inside totally destroyed with no sign of the people.
 

lordmongrove

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Thanks, do you have a url for this? Sounds almost too good to be true! (Except for the people in the cabin!)
 

lordmongrove

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Derek Grebner a CFZ rep from Illinois sent e this story.
Though I said I would not report on the supernatural or the Wendigo anymore. As I have written this article, I have recalled something that I heard a year or two ago from a friend and this sighting is what I believe to be the Wendigo because it was hairless and beastly and upright and she said it was about 7 feet tall. She drove past it in the ditch on the country road and stopped to see what it was. When it stood up she screamed and drove away but the beast kept pace with her car as she drove the forest lined road as it screamed at her in the winter night. She said she could see it had claws and it did not give up the chase but it swung into the trees and followed the terrified girl screaming as it went covering the distance quickly. The chase finally ended when she left the trees and came onto open territory where she could get up sufficient speed until she reached a well lit residential area. Her last sighting of the beast was of it standing atop a street light at the edge of the residential area.
This sighting was on a winter night and though I know that the Blackwood work the Wendigo is fiction I could not help but think as I heard it, that the Wendigo in the story could climb trees and swung through the branches at great speed and its victims feet would always be torn by the wicked branches. Everything in this sighting screams at me in an eerie way that it was a creature like the beast from the Blackwood story and all the other Wendigo lore I have ever heard around the campfire, it is very eerie how your mind draws connections between what you thought was fiction and what a witness tells you to be the fact of their sighting. She had never even heard of the Wendigo and did not believe in sasquatch but did not think that what she saw looked at all like a bigfoot it was all but hairless she said and had a bit of a snout like face and gray skin, it reminded her of the black Spiderman. So I do not know she is the only Wendigo witness I have ever come across but I believe her. It is hard when you are in the snowy woods alone in their desolate wastes not to get a bit paranoid with campfire lies floating around your head.
 

MOSUGOJI

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unfortunately Art Bell's website is a thing of the past since he retired from regularly doing his radio show. Now it's been replaced by the Coast to Coast AM website. He used to have alot of interesting stories and pictures there. maybe you could try ARTBELL.COM using the wayback machine archive website.
 

MOSUGOJI

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You could also try looking up the Nehanni Valley(the valley of headless men) in Canada. It's alleged that prospectors had been founf with missing heads and the flesh stripped from their bones and a bigfoot type creature was supposedly involved. That sounds like a nother possible wendigo involvement.
 

MOSUGOJI

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There is another type of wendigo I read about in Haunted America. This one is more of a banshee type spirit that appears before someone dies. It's also over 10 ft tall but clad in dazzling white with a star on it's forehead,no mention of it eating people either.
 

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Look on some of the American Hunting forums, where the guys go out into the middle of nowhere alone. There's many many tales of them being shadowed by "something" in the forest, something that keeps pace with them but always stops when they do, with just enough lag for the hunter to hear the undergrowth rustle. Apparently this is typical Wendigo behaviour, man will never be quick enough to wrong-foot one, they are teasing people.

The best tales are from deer hunters who have spent time in raised tree hides. There's plenty where deer have turned to watch something coming through the undergrowth at speeds at odds for the terrain. The hunters report something passing below their hides, and then a most hideous stench wafting up, of rotten meat, which has made some of them grab their guns and either open up on the still swaying foliage (with no apparent casualties caused), or simply flee the forests there and then.

Most interesting!
 

MOSUGOJI

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The deer hunting stories remind me of something that was called the hide behind in early american folklore. Maybe that was just another name for the wendigo.
 

LordRsmacker

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Could be, as far as I understood from all the tales I devoured after having my interest piqued by the hunting tales, the only time man sees a Wendigo is when it lets you see it, which is roundabout never. Apparently they are spirits rather than flesh and blood like Sasquatch(setting aside any supposed supernatural qualities of Bigfoot), and are super, super-thin. Should you meet one, it will simply turn skinny side on and you won't see it.

From the discussions I read (these chaps were serious hunters and were serious about their experiences), the consensus was that they must have experienced "young" Wendigo, "old" ones would have been aware of their presence and not walked under their tree stands. The ones keeping pace with hunters moving through forest were simply toying!

I've been trying to find the forum I read these tales, but can't find it. Other things I recall were that the passing Wendigo (or Windigo) left tracks, bare ordinary human footprints, that they whispered as they moved and that they absolutely reeked of rotten flesh.
 

MOSUGOJI

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here is a brief description of the hidebehind

HIDEBEHIND
American Folklore
Folklore of the Lumberjacks of Wisconsin and Minnesota
A Cannibal, Never Seen

This is a creature from the folklore of lumberjacks and forest workers, especially in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the United States, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The HIDEBEHIND belongs to a group of beings affectionately known as Fearsome Critters, whose exaggerated proportions activities not only explained the weird noises of the lonely landscape but also provided some amusement at camps. This monster was able to hide around the trunks of trees or behind the huge piles of logs. It was so fast the no matter how swiftly the person turned after hearing it, it was still able to get behind them. The HIDEBEHIND was a predatory cannibal beast that lurked around the loggers' camps until one was alone long enough to be grabbed and carried away to be consumed. The HIDEBEHIND was described as a huge, strong beast, but because it was never seen by those still alive no real description exists.
 

LordRsmacker

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And it should be understood that the "Hide-behind" is a completely different creature entirely to the "Reach-around". :lol:
 

MOSUGOJI

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LordRsmacker said:
And it should be understood that the "Hide-behind" is a completely different creature entirely to the "Reach-around". :lol:
now there's a creature that would even creep out the wendigo! :shock:
 

MOSUGOJI

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Those were really interesting. I especially liked the one about the wendigo glaring at the guy through his window,too bad he didn't give any real description of what he saw. I also liked the one from the BFRO about the creatures trying to drag off the pilot's body from the crashed helicopter to eat. I've been looking up some wendigo sightings too and supposedly there was a wendigo sighting in 2001 in Ontario Canada,too bad no other info was provided.
 

OldTimeRadio

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I don't understand how the supposed Sasquatch-Wendigo link ever got started.

Sasquatches don't dine on humans. Sasquatches don't fly or ride on the winds. Sasquatches don't drop down from the skies. Seeing a sasquatch doen't fry the unfortunate observer's brain.
 

stu neville

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OldTimeRadio said:
I don't understand how the supposed Sasquatch-Wendigo link ever got started.
In the light of the thread linked over by LordRsmacker above, perhaps it's more a wendigo/windigo mix-up - the windigo does seem to have some Sasquatch-similarities (and is treated as a real creature by various tribes.)
 

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A Cannibal, Never Seen
Erm, it's only a cannibal if it eats its own species. So unless it is a human, it might be a man eater, but it's not a cannibal.
 

OldTimeRadio

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stuneville said:
In the light of the thread linked over by LordRsmacker above, perhaps it's more a wendigo/windigo mix-up - the windigo does seem to have some Sasquatch-similarities (and is treated as a real creature by various tribes.)
Stu, I'm going to have to confess my raw colonial hinterlands ignorance here, but I've always rather taken it for granted that the only difference between "wendigo" and "windigo" is a minor vowel-switch in spelling. What have I missed?
 

stu neville

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OldTimeRadio said:
.. What have I missed?
Don't worry, it's new to me as well. I'm citing this post, again from the site linked previously.
...There are many definitions, almost as many as there were Native Tribes before the Europeans came to this continent. Most of Tribes knew of a creature they called "Windigo." But a few of the Tribes (mainly in this part of Canada) also feared another creature called the "Wendigo." Both of these creatures can be found in Native American mythology. But while Windigo is an actual animal, Wendigo is an animal spirit...
Now, I was sure that I'd heard Wendigo as a synonym for Sasquatch - perhaps I'd misheard Windigo instead.
 

FreakinDeacon

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Don't know too much on wendigo per se, but if you check out some of the Native stories about Bigfoot particularly in the Northwest it seems to be... well, quite different in temperament than in the reports nowadays. Lots of man-eating and blood-drinking. Dsonoqua, etc.

Also, to the original poster, if your buddy is part Delaware -- ask about Mesingw. A lot of places seem to use it as a synonym for Bigfoot, but I've seen nothing suggesting that the Delawares ever thought he was anything but a spirit. But then I saw in a George Eberhart book he referenced Mesingw as a cannibal giant a la wendigo. That's an odd reference I never heard, but Eberhart is usually thorough in his books, so maybe there's references I'm not aware of.
 

MOSUGOJI

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There is a similar creature that Loren Coleman mentioned in his book Creatures from the Outer Edge that were called the Stonecoats by the Iroquois. These were hairy man eating bigfoot like giants that rolled around in tree sap and then rolled around in sand and stones so it all stuck to their fur,hence the name stonecoats
 

stu neville

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This discussion has resurfaced elsewhere: is Wendigo distinct from Windigo? Many say they're just different renderings of the same name describing the same, supernatural creature (ie the skinny, smelly, anti-social one), but then you get the occasional references to tribes using Windigo as a name for sasquatch: from my post above, from (oh blimey) eleven years ago:
...There are many definitions, almost as many as there were Native Tribes before the Europeans came to this continent. Most of Tribes knew of a creature they called "Windigo." But a few of the Tribes (mainly in this part of Canada) also feared another creature called the "Wendigo." Both of these creatures can be found in Native American mythology. But while Windigo is an actual animal, Wendigo is an animal spirit...
Can anyone shine some light, as it's potentially important in separating strands?
 

lordmongrove

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This discussion has resurfaced elsewhere: is Wendigo distinct from Windigo? Many say they're just different renderings of the same name describing the same, supernatural creature (ie the skinny, smelly, anti-social one), but then you get the occasional references to tribes using Windigo as a name for sasquatch: from my post above, from (oh blimey) eleven years ago:

Can anyone shine some light, as it's potentially important in separating strands?
I allways thought they were two of many spellings. There is THE Wendigo, the towering, ice covered skeletal beast that walked on the winds and the lesser wendigos, humans possesed by the main Wendigo after consuming human flesh. The deer head and antlers are a modern thing not sen in the folklore.
 
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