What is a Wendigo?

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The Wendigo is a creature of Native American folklore, specifically the Algonquin speaking tribes of North America.  Algernon Blackwood popularized the creature in his book The Wendigo.  The original legend dates back to the 17th century.  Natives believed that the creature was a giant (rumored to be over fifteen feet tall) with a heart of ice, sometimes it is described as completely made of ice.  The only way to kill such a creature was the melt it’s heart of ice.

Wendigos were presumably originally human, hunters encountering a Wendigo may become possessed and eventually become a Wendigo themselves.  Another legend was that those who were forced to turn to cannibalism in order to survive would also turn into a Wendigo, yet another reason to not eat each other.   The Wendigo of course would have a great hunger for human flesh.  The concept that once a person ate human flesh they would become obsessed with it is a common myth surrounding cannibalism, Wendigo or not.

Other myths surrounding the Wendigo claim that the creature could not be seen when looking at its profile, it was so thin it could only be seen head-on.  There are stories today of Wendigo sightings near the Cave of the Wendigo, near Kenora, Ontario, Canada.  Many still believe in the Wendigos existence in northern Minnesota and Canada.

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