Monster of the Week: The Wendigo

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“Wendigo” by Carver Edlund

The Wendigo, “Spirit of the Lonely Places,” is a monster of the forests of the Eastern United States and Canada—areas of North America with long, cold winters. The Wendigo is said by the Algonquian peoples to be a wild anthropophagic creature created by a human having been possessed by a demonic Manitou spirit. (The name “wendigo” may apply to either the evil spirit or the inhabited physical creature.) Legends state that a person becomes a Wendigo by the consumption of human flesh. Other stories tell of people “going Wendigo” through dark shamanic magic or by being bitten by one (as with werewolves), but survival of a Wendigo attack is rare, and a gradual transformation due to cannibalism, whether out of desperation or choice, is the most commonly cited cause of infection. Continue reading