Wendigo / Windigo

ogopogo3

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It should be an interesting movie. I've seen the director's last film, the vampire flick HABIT, and it was very stylish.
 

Alatotep

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The Wendigo...

My real audio thing crashed when I tried to hit that link - is someone making a movie of the Algernon Blackwood Wendigo story? Could someone post more details - if so, could be good...



'Oh my feet! My flaming feet of fire!'
 
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Anonymous

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Some friends of mine, along with myself, had a curious encounter with a Wendigo about two years ago. We were hiking and camping along the Northern end of the Appalachian Trail, and we were caught by an unexpected snowstorm while we were in Mahoosuc Notch, which is considered by many to be one of the toughest parts of the trail to negotiate.
We decided to set up camp near a clearing not too far from the river. Unfortunately, it got so cold our water filters clogged with ice, our water in our canteens froze, and the fuel for the camp stove would not ignite. We couldn't even light a wood fire, as the wood was all soaking from it having been raining before the snow, so we were shit out of luck for food and water that night.
The day had been a long one, so after we got our tents set up, [there were three of us, each with our own tent] we decided to crash early. I remember laying there, convinced that I was going to freeze to death if I fell asleep. The temperature had dropped to fifteen below zero with the wind chill factor, and my sleeping bag was only good for up to zero degrees, so I was cold!

Later that night, I don't know how much later, as I had no watch, after everyone was asleep [I assumed], I heard the most peculiar noises. It sounded as if someone were tromping about outside in the snow, I could hear a panting almost gasping, and the noise of the snow being crushed underfoot. I instantly rationalized it away as one of the others having a slash in the dark, but that small voice in my head said, "Ya, but you didn't hear any tent zipper going down before you heard the noise!" Of course, I just told myself I must have been dozing when one of them had exited their tent. Proof that it was one of my friends seemed obvious when I heard and felt the footsteps approaching the tents.
Have you ever had someone you don't know, separated by the flimsiest layers of fabric, breathing down the back of your neck?

I was curled up into as much of a fetal ball as the sleeping bag [cocoon style] would permit me, which wasn't much, and now I found myself wishing I could just melt into the ground. Whoever, or whatever, was outside, was now between the tents, and I got the impression that he/she/it was checking out the rope system that supported the tents. I also had a very strong feeling that I should not make any noise at all. That I should just lay there and play dead, and not make a peep.

Believe it or not, even with the adrenaline coursing through me, I must have fallen back to sleep, because all of the sudden it was morning. I could hear Chuck, one of my friends, getting out of his bag. When he ascertained that I was also awake, he wanted to know just what it was I thought I was doing last night, running around in the snow and all. I replied that it must have been Anthony, because it certainly wasn't me. The response from Anthony's tent was, "It wasn't me!"

Bearing in mind that it was horrible weather, and we were amongst some of the only fools who would be out on a night like that, we were amazed to find our campsite had been visited in the night by what appeared to be a barefoot human [yes, we all know what bear tracks look like.]
In the fresh snowfall, one could clearly make out the shape of the prints, as they made their way up from the riverbed and into our camp. The tracks wended their way between all three of our tents, as if someone had been looking for something [shoes perhaps?] and then they marched in a straight line directly north, into the deep woods. Into nothing.

When we all compared our stories of what happened, we all agreed that we had all felt a similar compunction to stay quiet. Which for me is even harder to do, as I am known for my wise-assedness, and normally a comment to whomever was mucking about would have been expected of me. We all felt that sort of atavistic dread that one would normally associate with "the Boogeyman" ie; we had all been rendered as helpless as small children cowering in their beds by our own thoughts and fears as to what it was outside.

My friends had never heard of the Wendigo, but as I love Algonquian folklore, I filled their heads with the story of how Teddy Roosevelt himself had written an account of one.

That next night, we camped early and had a HUGE campfire!
 

ogopogo3

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Anyone seen WENDIGO yet?

It's just been released on DVD. It's more about atmosphere than it is about horror, like all of Fessenden's films. I'd recommend it, but I find it the weakest of his horror trilogy, after NO TELLING and HABIT.

Here's the website for the movie: http://www.thewendigo.com/

Featuring a truly odd-looking monster. Even odder, Patricia Clarkson in a hot and heavy sex scene.
 
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Anonymous

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Wendigo

More like latterday Val Lewton at times and well worth seeing. The opening encounter with the locals is really uncomfortable to watch.
 

AlistairP3

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Yeah. Seen it. Great opening. Good creepy effects. Utterly pants plot and ending.
 
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The cimematography was fantastic. the opening was good...

But all those fucking inserts! They gave me a headache!

:(
 

Philo_T

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Just to get this clear, is this based upon the story by the same name set in the H.P. Lovecraft mythos written by Augst Derleth?

These guys seem to like it.

(Of course, that just proves my theory that you need to take the opposite of whatever a reviewer says.)


[edit:]
Ok, I finally caught this on cable late one night a few weeks ago. I missed the beginning of the film, but this is not based on the August Derleth story. It does seem to draw from the same indian myths, though. And it's pretty creepy.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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I stumbled across a review of a book by accident so I thought I'd bring a few things together (discussion of the fictional accounts and the actual ones) into a thread.

The book is:

Teicher, M.I. (1960) Windigo Psychosis: A Study of a Relationship between Belief and Behavior among the Indians of Northeastern Canada. In Ray, V.F. (ed.) Proceedings of the 1960 Annual Spring Meeting of the American Ethnological Society. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

I found this in another thread:

Vitrius said:
There may also be a separate mythic entity called Windigo, but the usual conception of the creature is a sort of werewolve manifestion. A hunter becomes overcome by some type of madness brought on by isolation, weather, or hunger and finds himself overwhelmed by an urge to eat human flesh. The cure is usually liberal quantities of meat. Close examination of the people who supposedly believed in this legend, principally the Obijwa Indians, reveals that no actual cases exist in the oral tradition.

It may have been a single story blown to insane porportions by English or French settlers, or a very rare ethnic psychosis like amok in Asia or "snow mania" in Arctic peoples. I'm not aware of any conncection to an actual creature or sightings of Bigfoot-style hominids, however.


http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&postid=344286#post344286

Which pretty much sums things up. From a slide show:

Specific Disorders: Windigo Psychosis

Description: Begins with a morbid state of anxiety about physical symptoms including poor appetite, nausea and vomiting. Anxiety centers around the belief that the person is being overcome by a supernatural monster and becoming a Windigo (cannibal). There is a potential for suicide or the person to become the target of violence.

Location: Native Americans of central and northeastern Canada

http://faculty.valpo.edu/jnelson/CCWebPage/Notes/CBPPPP/sld025.htm

While mental illness is found in most, if not all, societies, there are unique culture influenced forms that these illnesses can take. They are culture bound syndromes. An example is Windigo psychosis . This condition was reported among the Northern Algonkian language group of Indians (Chippewa , Ojibwa , and Cree ) living around the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. Windigo psychosis usually developed in the winter when families were isolated by heavy snow for months in their cabins and had inadequate food supplies. The initial symptoms of this form of mental illness were usually poor appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Subsequently, the individual would develop a characteristic delusion of being transformed into a Windigo monster. These supernatural beings eat human flesh. People who have Windigo psychosis increasingly see others around them as being edible. At the same time, they have an exaggerated fear of becoming cannibals. A modern medical diagnosis of this condition might label it paranoia because of the irrational perceptions of being persecuted. In this case, it is the Windigo monsters who are the persecutors--they are trying to turn people into Windigo monsters like themselves. In contemporary North American culture, the perceived persecutors of paranoids are more likely to be other people or, perhaps, extra terrestrial visitors. Victims of Windigo psychosis experienced extreme anxiety and sometimes attempted suicide to prevent themselves from becoming Windigo monsters.

http://faculty.valpo.edu/jnelson/CCWebPage/Notes/CBPPPP/tsld016.htm

And I found some other references:

Brightman, Robert. "Windigo in the Material World." Ethnohistory, v. 35, no 4, 1988, pp. 337 - 379.

Columbo, John Robert. Windigo: An Anthology Of Fact And Fantastic Fiction, Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, 1982

Landes, Ruth. Ojibwa Religion and the Midewiwin. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968.

Marano, Leu. "Windigo psychosis: the anatomy of an emic-etic confusion." In Culture-Bound Syndromes, Ronald C. Simons and Charles C. Hughes, eds. Boston: Dordrecht, 1985.

Nelson, George. "The Orders of the Dreamed": George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religon and Myth. Saint Paul: University of Minnesota Press, 1988.

Parker, Seymour. "Witiko psychosis in the context of Ojibwa personality and culture." American Anthropologist, vol. 62, 1960, pp. 602-23.

And in this light it can be seen as a variation on lycanthropy.

Back to the cryptozoological aspects:

But should the Windigo be classified as a cryptid? It seems so. According to everything we know on the subject, there would happen to be three categories of Windigo; we have seen two up to now: an evil spirit that stalks mostly the subarctic woods in search of a host to help it satisfy its physical craving for human flesh, and a psychosis of which patients show signs of cannibalism and are antisocial. The third type is a kind of tall hominid creature, somewhat like Sasquatch. Unlike it, though, this beast seems to relish itself in violence and preying upon anything it can get its hands on, humans included. It seems to be nocturnal, for it is said that it seeks out its victims during dawn and eating them when darkness falls. Flesh might be its chiefly diet, but it is said that it eats rotten wood, swamp mosses and mushrooms.

http://dinojoe.8m.com/crypto/windigo.html

Some other links:

Roosevelt's Wendigo story:
http://gaslight.mtroyal.ab.ca/wendigo.htm

http://www.heatherandpatrick.com/heather/windigo/

http://www.prairieghosts.com/wendigo.html

http://www.legionmagazine.com/features/canadianreflections/03-01.asp

http://www.lycanthrope.org/~raven/ahwwfaq/ahwwfaq05.html
 
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Anonymous

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Wulfloki, Thats a very interesting story!

I know well what it's like to have something 'unknown' aproaching the tent at night with only a thin layer of canvas between you and it.

In my case though it was a Black Bear and it brushed against my leg as it passed - nearly passed out like the coward I am! :)

I'm just wondering. The sounds you described sound quite similar to that of a Bear as it just ambles around especially the 'panting'. And the prints of a bear - especially half buried by fesh snow - can look quite similar to a human footprint. There's no chance it could have been a Bear getting curious? You sound as if you have a bit of experience in outdoor stuff so I'm just wondering.

Love to visit the Appalachian Trail myself someday. I may get a chance to go to the Yukon next year so with a bit of luck I'll get a chance to strike up a new friendship with Old Man Bear!
 

Sarah_P

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Ravenous was an interesting take on the Wendigo myth. Very surprising movie. Wendgio however, sucked. And I like a lot of cheese with my movies, and I don't judge on effects of expect Oscar grade acting - I just expect to be entertained. I wasn't.
 

MrRING

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Another good Windigowak site:

http://www.swampfox.demon.co.uk/utlah/Community/minifaqs.html

Windigowak (that's the proper plural) are Shifters, like werewolves and the like...they tend to take the (natural) form of either a wraithlike being, a 2-3 meter tall skeleton of ice, or an emaciated 2-3 meter tall,
hairy, slightly felid-looking-inthe-face critter with _very_ large fangs and claws. They can also go dim, and can (and very often, do) take their original human forms, the sole thing giving them away in the latter guise being the eyes (which tend to glow red). Windigowak have hearts of ice, visible in the ice- skeleton form, and voices that can be alternately soft as a whisper or loud as a tornado. Oh...and they tend to dine on anything they can catch, due to an eternal hunger...including the occasional meal of "long pig", if any of you know what I'm getting at... :)

There are variants on this--at least one myth claims that windigowak also have animal-like feet, while another states they have but one toe.

Other common names are Kokodjo and Atcen (pronounced AT-shen); the myth was all over, even if the names were different (In fact, the really proper name is _witiko_: it means something to the effect of "He who lives alone". I make no claims on knowing anishinabeg, so if I'm wrong, please correct me on the translation). Even the French- Canadians adopted the myth. As to how one becomes a windigo, there are several ways. One is to dream of the windigo spirit calling one's name (or even better yet, dreaming one IS a windigo). Another is to be lost in the forest and be called by the windigo spirit. A third is to violate tribal custom of the anishinabeg (Ojibway) by committing a transgression (such as eating human flesh) and being cursed to go windigo by a mide' shaman. A fourth way is to undergo a ritual that will affect the change.

As to killing windigowak (note: windigowak are our FRIENDS, even though they eat human flesh...DON'T try ANY of this :), the most effective way (well, the _only_ effective way) is to burn it, the theory being the fire will melt the heart of ice. There are also stories of windigowak being cured; one involved pouring hot suet down the poor windigo's throat till he puked up the heart of ice, the other being one where (upon the first symptoms of vomiting "normal" food and looking upon one's neighbors as snacks) the mide' shaman attempted a cure using migis shells (ritual shells that had curative properties, and were blessed by the gods themselves).
 

Hales J

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Wendigo is said to have been a warrior who made a deal with the Devil. In order to save his tribe, he gave up his soul, and was transformed into a Wendigo. When peace ensued, there was no need for such a fearsome creature, and the warrior was banished from his tribe, and forced to live as an outcast.
Some believe that the human person continues to reside within the Wendigo, specifically where its heart should be. This person is frozen, and the only way to kill a Wendigo is to kill the human within it as well. A few legends state that the frozen person is successfully rescued from inside the creature; in most cases, however, death is the only way to free a person from the Wendigo.
Wendigo caring a human
Wendigoag are believed to roam around the forests where the Algonquians lived, and forest dwellers that disappeared over the years are rumored to have been eaten by these creatures. Many Wendigo sightings have been reported over time, not only by Native Americans, but by white settlers as well.
For example, between the late 1800s and the 1920s, a Wendigo is said to have appeared near a town called Roseau in northern Minnesota. It has been claimed that each time a sighting of this creature was made, an unexpected death followed. The sightings, however, eventually stopped, and things went back to normal.

Source: http://www.ancient-origins.net/unex...east-native-american-legend-insatiable-hunger
 

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That was a good story, but the creature described and drawn doesn't seem like the depictions of the wendigo?
 
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Min Bannister

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That was a good story, but the creature described and drawn doesn't seem like the depictions of the wendigo?
Oh I thought it did? Giant, very thin, grey skin. I was wondering where the account was going with the description of the woman they met along the trail. She definitely didn't fit the description.
 

kamalktk

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Yeah I was wrong, I was thinking of the deer headed Wendigo and not the original.

No idea about the woman on the trail though.
 

lordmongrove

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Yeah I was wrong, I was thinking of the deer headed Wendigo and not the original.

No idea about the woman on the trail though.
In Indian lore the wendigo does not have the head of a deer pr antlers. The idea of it having antlers dates only to 1944 and a drawing that accompanied the fictional story 'The Wendigo' by Algernon Blackwood. The monster is not described as having antlers in the story either, its just a quirk of the artist that was picked up by others afterwards. Its a bit like the 1982 film Dragon Slayer depicting the dragon with only two legs, making it a wyvern not a dragon. Lazy film makers have repeated the same mistake with infuriating regularity.
 

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Stalked by a wendigo.

This account sounds like a work of fiction. He claims to have served in Iraq & Afghanistan & decides to camp for the winter on a mountain at 10,000 feet yet doesn't know how to effectively start a fire until he looks it up on youtube! Does this sound likely? Making a fire would be one of the first things you'd need to know/do.

The story that follows & the way it's written only adds to the likelihood that it's fictional.
 

lordmongrove

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This account sounds like a work of fiction. He claims to have served in Iraq & Afghanistan & decides to camp for the winter on a mountain at 10,000 feet yet doesn't know how to effectively start a fire until he looks it up on youtube! Does this sound likely? Making a fire would be one of the first things you'd need to know/do.

The story that follows & the way it's written only adds to the likelihood that it's fictional.
Equally it could have just been a person with a deer's antlers on their head. I bears little resembalance to the traditional image of the wendigo.
 

Min Bannister

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This account sounds like a work of fiction. He claims to have served in Iraq & Afghanistan & decides to camp for the winter on a mountain at 10,000 feet yet doesn't know how to effectively start a fire until he looks it up on youtube! Does this sound likely? Making a fire would be one of the first things you'd need to know/do.

The story that follows & the way it's written only adds to the likelihood that it's fictional.
He did know how to start a fire. He just hadn't appreciated how hard it would be at that altitude and temperature.
 

Kondoru

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Same thing.

This isnt cryptozoology
 
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