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Monday, December 13, 2021

Wendigo - Not Bigfoot or Sasquatch

A popular theory and common misconception among some in the bigfoot community is that another name for bigfoot or sasquatch is Wendigo. Let's throw that idea away and put the Wendigo back where he belongs in his own category.

The Wendigo is a man-eating monster or evil spirit in the legends of the Algonquin people who live along the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes in both Canada and the United States. The creature may appear either as a monster with some characteristics of a human, or as an evil spirit who has possessed a human being.

Descriptions of the monster may vary, but common traits to all is that it is a "malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural being".  It is not described as a hair covered giant.

"The Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tightly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody [. . .] Unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption."  ---- Basil Johnston, Ojibwe teacher and scholar from Ontario, Cape Croker First Nation.

Among the Ojibwe, eastern Cree, Westmain Swampy Cree, Naskapi and Innu they will describe the Wendigo as giants many times larger than humans. When the creature eats a person, it grows in proportion to the meal it has just eaten. Therefore, it never satisfies its hunger, remaining thin due to starvation.

Some traditions say that a human overpowered by greed can turn into a Wendigo. Or by cannibalism. It is said that in times of extreme famine, that unfortunately, eating another person in order to survive was sometimes resorted to. This practice thus created the legend of the Wendigo.

Wendigo in non-indigenous literature has colored the modern mainstream concepts of the Wendigo and contributing to the titillating idea that the Wendigo is a sasquatch or bigfoot.

From Algernon Blackwood's "The Wendigo" to Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" to Marvel Comics versions; and on to movies and TV series like "Teen Wolf", "Supernatural", "Blood Ties", "Charmed" and "Grimm"; as well as computer games and role playing games; all these media have transformed the Native peoples legend of the Wendigo into some hairy, red-eyed, drooling, cannibal monster that has to be dealt with on a supernatural or superhuman level. Or as a hair-covered giant that marauds through the forests of North America eating humans -- a monster bigfoot or sasquatch.


In 2019, TCC founder Thomas Marcum interviewed author, filmmaker and wendigo expert Nic Brown. Brown actually does a presentation about the wendigo at events and his books and films feature the cryptid. You can read the before mentioned interview by clicking here.





The Wendigo first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #162 (April 1973), and was created by Steve Englehart and Herb Trimpe. Englehart recalled, "I knew about the legend of the Wendigo, and thought, between his strength and his sad story, that he sounded like a good Hulk opponent."








So, to sum it all up. Wendigo. Not a bigfoot. Not a sasquatch.



"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.

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