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Inside the Legend: Wendigo

 

WENDIGO

The Wendigo is a very real creature of the northern woods and prairies of Northern Minnesota and North Central regions of Canada. The Wendigo is often encountered by hunters and campers in shadowy forests. But, Kenora, Canada is the place most known for its Wendigo sightings that have well continued into the millennia, earning it the title “Wendigo Capitol of the World.”

The description of a Wendigo is generally the same: incredibly thin, glowing eyes, long yellowed fangs and very long tongues, over fifteen feet tall with sallow yellowish skin. The spirit is said to have a voracious appetite for human flesh, causing the disappearance of various forest dwellers. “They’re hundreds of years old. Each one was once a man. Sometimes an Indian, other times a frontiersman or a miner or a hunter.”

Inuit Indians of the region call the Wendigo by various names, including Witigo, Wikio, and Wee-Tee-Go but each of them are roughly translated to mean “the evil spirit that devours mankind.” Native American versions claim that the Wendigo once had been human but had been transformed into a creature by the usage of dark magic.

According to lore, the Wendigo is created whenever a human resorts to cannibalism. “During some harsh winter a guy finds himself starving, cut off from supplies or help. Becomes a cannibal to survive, eating other members of his tribe or camp. Cultures all over the world believe that eating human flesh gives a person certain abilities. Speed, strength, immortality. If you eat enough of it, over years, you become this less than human thing. You’re always hungry.”

While, according the early settler’s version of the legend, the Wendigo would often be seen as an omen of a death in the community. A Wendigo had allegedly made a number of appearances near a town called Rosesu, in Northern Minnesota, from the late 1800’s though the 1920’s. Each time that it was reported, an unexpected death followed, and finally it was seen no more.

It has been claimed that the Wendigo’s full powers have never been recorded. From what we do know the creature excels at strength and is “a damn near perfect hunter.” It knows every inch of it’s territory, every cave, tree and bush. “More than anything, a wendigo knows how to last long winters without food. It hibernates for years at a time, but when it’s awake it keeps it’s victims alive. It uh, stores them, so it can feed whenever it wants.” It can also control the weather through the use of dark magic! Because of this, the Native American tribes have actively hunted the creature in the past.

JACK FIDDLER

Jack Fiddler was perhaps the most famous of the Wendigo hunters. He was a Cree Indian who claimed at least 14 Wendigos in his lifetime! Jack Fiddler’s last murder resulted in his imprisonment at the age of 87. In October 1907, Jack and his son, Joseph, were tried and convicted for the murder of a Cree Indian Woman. Jack admitted that he was guilty of the crime, but to his defense, he stated that the woman was cursed by the spirit of a Wendigo and would eventually murder members of his tribe. Until the end of his days this Native American “Van Helsing” has held true to his conviction that the sacrifice he and his son had made was indeed a noble one.

HOW DO YOU KILL A WENDIGO?

Wendigos are notoriously hard to kill. “This thing is a good hunter in the day, but an unbelievable hunter at night.” The Wendigo have few weakness, as far as weapons are concerned it can only be killed by iron, steel and silver. The most gruesome method of disposal is by shattering the creature’s ice heart with a silver stake and then dismembering the body with a silver axe.

HOPI/ANASAZI

"Anasazi symbols. It’s for protection. The wendigo can’t cross over them."

650 years ago, an entire civilization and culture vanished without a trace; this is the mystery of the Anasazi and it has puzzled many archeologists over the years. Causing “absurd” theories of this mysterious disappearance to sprout up, especially among New Age and UFO groups. After over 20 years of arduous research, archeologists now believe they hold the answer. The ancestors of the Anasazi came to Angel Canyon at least 10,000 years ago and they had become a peaceful farming society. But, modernization brought about its destruction. Society soon became centralized as political/religious leaders took control, built roads to outlying the colonies and trade routes to other civilizations. Then, about 800 years ago the economy collapsed, the land had become overworked and the leaders became tyrannical. The Anasazi moved their homes into caves high in the cliff walls and prepared to defend themselves. To add to the troubles was a gang of roaming Toltec outlaws that often invaded their small communities, terrorizing, murdering and even eating members of the Anasazi tribe! Rather than fight back, the Anasazi responded with a mass exodus- just walking away and leaving their troubles behind them. The Anasazi migrated South, eventually building a new culture and religion that we know as the Hopi.

“The claws, the speed that it moves, could be a skin walker, maybe a black dog.”

BLACK DOG

The Black Dog lurks in graveyards, roads and moors throughout Britain and Europe. They are littered throughout fairy tales, found in the music of Robert “the man who gave his soul to the devil” Johnson, and even Sir Arthur Doyle’s HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. But, what exactly is this creature that strikes fear into the heart of millions?

The Black Dogs are of supernatural origin, often said to be a phantom, ghost, fairy creature, or an elemental force, that mysteriously appears and disappears bringing fear, chaos and sometimes death! The Black Dogs are rumored to have many dark agendas: prophecy, revenge, bloodlust, the hunt or merely a warning. These dark and foreboding creatures are most commonly found in Britain and Europe, and go by many names: Barghest, Galleytrot, Hell Hound, Padfoot, Shuck, Snarleyow, Striker, Trash, Wish or Whist Hound, Yell or Yelp Hound- to name a few. Black Dogs can either be pitch black with burning red eyes, or ghostly white with red ears.

Sometimes, such as in the widely spread legend in Europe of The Hunt, these Black Dogs are joined by Lucifer himself! The common prey of these Hell Hounds are unwary humans wandering around on a dark and stormy night. It is also believed that the Hunt is chasing the souls of the recently-deceased unbaptised, with the intention of retrieving them for Hell!

When encountering a Black Dog, there are various ways to escape. An iron horseshoe, is it’s most common weakness- due to the iron, known for warding off spirits, and the horseshoe’s crescent moon appearance that invokes a powerful feminine protective magic. Another useful item of the trade, is a pocketful of iron fillings or salt that can be flung into the path of the Hunt and will distract it from its course. In some legends, the Hunt is foiled when its prey crosses running water.

Most Black Dogs, such as the ‘Grim,’ guard cemeteries and scare off any unwanted visitor past dark. While other Black Dogs, often prefer roads and pathways as their haunts. It is a rare occasion to run into these Hell Hounds in urban environments, but there have been documented sightings in the York alleyways.

SKIN WALKER

"The other people that went missing that year…those bear attacks too?"

Skin-walkers are perhaps best documented among the beliefs of the Navajo tribes. The Navajo believe that the Skin-walker, more commonly referred to as Yenaldooshi, is an evil human being who has gained the supernatural power to assume the form of an animal through breaking cultural taboo. More specifically, a person is said to gain the power of a Skin-walker by murdering a close relative. Skin-walkers are often described as naked wanderers, who wear nothing but the skin of an animal, wandering the community by night spreading misery and desecration everywhere they go. Skin-Walkers are also often found in Norse folklore, that speak of a person who can travel in the shape of an animal to learn secrets and take on certain animalistic traits. The most common example, found in Norse folklore, of a Skin-Walker is that of a warrior who takes on the strength and stamina of a bear!

SILVER TIPPED BOW AND ARROW

Arrows that are tipped in silver are effective in killing vampires, and other supernatural creatures who are vulnerable to silver, such as the Wendigo.

 

By Dean5339

 

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