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There are numerous spellings. Wendigo. Weendigo. Windago. Waindigo. Windiga. Witiko. Wihtiko.
How do I recognise them?
The description of them comes from Basil Johnston, a Ojibwe teacher. They are gaunt, with an emaciated body with dessicated skin. They have an ash grey complexion. Their eyes are sunken deep into the sockets. They have bloody ruined lips and emit an odour of decay.
Where will I find them?
How do I get their attention?
Stroll around the forest.
How do I escape?
It is said they can be killed by iron, steel and silver. You must shatter its heart with a silver stake and then dismember with a silver axe. Or, just stay out of ancient woods.
They are malevolent, cannibalistic spirits. Creatures who were once human. It is said that their human forms were possessed. Those who indulge in cannibalism are vulnerable to these spirits. Such creatures help to reinforce cannibalism as a societal taboo.
They are linked with winter, the North (remembers), coldness, famine/starvation and greed (entity is never satisfied and always searching for their next meal).
Wendigo Psychosis is where sufferers develop the insatiable desire to eat human flesh, even if other food sources are available. This is often a result of prior famine based cannibalism.
A man called Swift Runner was said to be a Wendigo. His family were starving 25 miles from a source of emergency supplies. Instead of venturing out, Swift Runner decided to murder and consume his wife and five children. As there was a source of supplies nearby it was judged to be a case of Wendigo psychosis rather than famine based cannibalism.
They are said to be quick to anger and are hundreds of years old.
A man called Jack Fiddler claimed that he and his son had captured and killed 14 of them during his lifetime.
Immortalised in a story by Algernon Blackwood.