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Wendigo, a Creature Hungry for Human Flesh

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Wendigo, a Creature Hungry for Human Flesh

Jenna Harper, Staff Writer

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Everyone knows about the classic creatures that roam the streets during the spooky season of Halloween. We have witches and werewolves and vampires, oh my! There are so many different mystical, mythical creatures out there, …but I bet you’ve never heard of a Wendigo!

According to a website about legends and folklores, the Wendigo originated in the northern woods of the dark forests in Minnesota. Tradition says that the creature can only be seen if the unlucky witness is looking at the creature head-on, because it’s so slim it cannot be seen from a side point of view(prairieghost.com).

The Wendigo is said to be a terrifying beast, with an immense hunger, that can only be quenched by human flesh. Legend has it that many campers and hikers have gone missing over the years, because the carnivorous spirit has snatched them up (prairieghost.com).

The Wendigo originated from Native American legends, specifically from the Algonquian tribe and their neighbors, the Iroquois tribe, according to a website about the origins of tales. The two tribes’ versions of the creature bear strikingly similar qualities to the Wendigo, but the creature is called a Stonecoat (ancient-origins.net).

   The Native American version says that the Wendigo became what it is because he was once a warrior who made a deal with devil, in an effort to save his tribe. He handed over his soul, and in exchange, the devil turned him into the beast. This beast scared off any unwanted visitors who came to threaten the safety of his tribe. However, after the war was over, he was no longer needed, and was banished from his tribe, branded as an outcast (ancient-origins.com).

   Some say German explorers from the 1860s equated the word “Wendigo” with the word “cannibal.” It is also said that no matter how much the beast eats, it will always remain hungry, with a burning need for human flesh (ancient-origins.net).

Freshman Ellen Poretsky, who has heard of the creature, said, “The Wendigo originated from the Aztec culture, I found out about it from Supernatural, the TV show.” The Aztec version of the Wendigo is just another variation of the folk tale, she explained.

The reason the creature is so skinny, according to legend, is because its appearance reflects its appetite. No matter how much it eats, it’s always starving, therefore its body will always reflect deprivation. Despite its extremely thin body, it stands at an enormous 14.8 feet tall (ancient-origins.net). The mysterious creature has glowing eyes, long yellow fangs and a long tongue (ancient-origins.com).

Some sources say the Wendigo has ashen, yellow skin, but he is also said to have matted, grungy fur (prairieghost.com). According to a website about movies and television shows, a movie based off of the bloodcurdling creatures came out in 2001 called The Wendigo, starring Jake Weber and Patricia Clarkson (IMDb.com).

Is the Wendigo is real or legend? We may never know. If it is, watch out on Halloween night, for he may come, and his cannibalistic appetite will force him to do things your nightmares would be afraid of…

 

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Wendigo, a Creature Hungry for Human Flesh