Are Wendigos Real?

Are Wendigos Real?

There is no culture in the world without a folklore…

We’ve all heard of evil spirits and flesh eating monsters such as dragons, demon bears, the Loch Ness monster or the Alaskan Tizheruk, leprechauns, trolls, Baba Yaga, Yuki-onna, the Cyclops, the grim ripper, banshee, werewolves, the Russian Gamayun or Alkonost, to the Celtic children eating Bugbear and more…

There are countless spirits and monsters associated with good and evil from every culture and each one carries their own significance and serve a particular purpose within their respective cultures.

Some of these monsters and spirits were totally fictional and only used to deliver messages, warnings and teachings to a particular people while some cultures still insist that their folklore monsters are real.

Which brings us to the main topic of discussion for this piece…and we’re asking…are Wendigos real?

Let’s take a closer look at this Algonquian folklore and try decipher the historicity behind this evil, winter time, man possessing spirit/half-man beast associated with insatiable greed and cannibalism…

Note: alternative forms include Windago, Wiindigoo, Windiga, or Windigo. Also associated with starvation and famine.

The Algonquin speaking people originally occupied the Great American Northern Frontier covering the areas running from the Atlantic Coast all the way to the Great Lakes in the interior (both in Canada and the US).

There were several known language groups forming different native tribes that had populations numbering hundreds of thousands.

They were primarily fishermen and hunters although some of them managed to cultivate a few supplementary crops such as squash and corn or wild rice which was a staple for the Ojibwe.

The Wendigo Origin: A Malevolent Monster is Born

Nobody really knows when, why or how the Wendigo legend came to be but what we know so far is that this was a common belief shared by a few Algonquin language groups that included the Innu, Ojibwe, Cree, Assiniboine, the Naskapi, and the Saulteaux.

According to the above Algonquian people, the Wendigo was a colossal monster usually appearing during the winter or famine and it had a serious appetite for human flesh and also possessed human beings overtaken by their own greed to become cannibals.

The Wendigo Origin: A Malevolent Monster is Born

These possessed humans developed an unstoppable craving for human flesh and could never seem to have enough of other destructive obscenities regarded as taboo.

The detailed descriptions of this monster/spirit varied from tribe to tribe but the overall view of the Wendigo was somewhat standard.

Until recently, surviving members of the Ojibwe, Assiniboine and Cree language groups still practiced an ancient form of ceremonial dance (especially during famines) to try and bring the community together by fostering moderation and co-operation among the people.

This was a way to keep the Wendigo spirit from possessing people during these hard times when individuals could very easily be tempted to act in selfish greed.

Historical reports collected from the Jesuit Relations talks of a disease of some sort that combined all the symptoms of lunacy, frenzy and hypochondria.

These reports were made by early European explorers and they were part of a larger campaign aimed at raising funds for the conquests.

The explorers talked of ravenous attacks from natives afflicted by this folk illness commonly known in the medicine world as the Wendigo Psychosis, a “culture-specific syndrome”.

The Wendigo Controversy

Here comes the exciting part…

Now, we know the Wendigo myth to be of Algonquin origin, and all the characteristics of the Wendigo as defined by the Algonquin people, point to an evil beast that ate men and possessed natives to start acting like the Wendigo itself… right?

So here is a random thought…

Could the natives have developed this myth when they first met European explorers?

The Wendigo is associated with winter and famine which could very easily be the two times when the waters were favorable for European ships to cross the oceans.

Remember what we said earlier about folk lore and its use in the society? Warning, teaching…

I mean, how else could the tribal chief of a “savage” tribe or their scouts explain a frail looking white man with white ashy skin, emaciated and stinky from months of sea travel without a proper bath, and who just happened to appear on their shores?

One scholar and teacher from Ontario, Basil Johnston, describes the Wendigo close to what we would describe a zombie in the modern context.

Loose skin covering an emaciated body structure, bloody tattered lips, smell of death and decay, ashy-gray complexion… everything a zombie would look like.

And Now to The Interesting Part…

In my opinion, the Wendigo was the white man who came to their shores during winter or during the dry seasons. Why?

Caged WendigoWe all can imagine how some of the explorers looked like to the natives. This is after months of traveling in the sea and sometimes suffering illnesses that left most of them dead and most of the survivors looking like zombies.

Some of these expeditions were poorly funded and most of the times the crew would have to go with small food rations and have to endure much of the final leg of the journey without any food at all!

Did these white men land on the American Northern Frontier with cannibalistic characteristics?

Probably not…but where did the man eating beast and Wendigo spirit come from?

Here’s my Theory…

According to the Algonquin, the Wendigo is a beast that eats and keeps eating while it gets bigger after every man it feeds on.

The Wendigo can also possess men to become greedy flesh eating half-men beasts and portray other characteristics described as taboo.

Now, we all know what happened with the native American tribes as the white man took over their lands.

They were slaughtered, their land was taken over, sometimes by rich individuals who wanted to own large chunks of land in their own “greed”.

These individuals indulged in other vices like alcohol and sexual promiscuity which were totally viewed as taboo to communities that lived together, hunted together, fished together, and even had community meals and other social formalities to strengthen their unity.

What else do we know about these reports from the Jesuit Relations?

Wendigo psychosisThey continued to report that the natives who suffered Wendigo psychosis came at them like werewolves and this is why they had to be killed as the only solution.

The reports also talk of the Wendigo psychosis also affecting their deputies…

Okay, call me stupid but my logic tells me that if you come to my land, start killing people left right and center without care or any good reason that I can see, then hell yeah I will come at you in a rage!

What will a poor explorer looking for funds and trying to justify killing off the resisting natives do?

Invent a disease connected to a people’s folklore, twist it and call the native’s rage and retaliation “a culture-bound syndrome”.

Let’s Break it Down…

The Wendigo has an insatiable hunger for human flesh:

Translation…the white man (who landed at their shores looking like a zombie…) just kept killing and killing more natives without any signs of ever stopping.

Hence, the legend of the Wendigo constantly feeding on human flesh…moving from one man to the next.

The Wendigo only knows greed and destruction:

Translation…the white man took over their farming, hunting and fishing grounds.

The white man also hunted in excess killing sacred animals on sacred grounds, cleared forests day and night which included cutting down sacred trees, it was the ultimate indulgence into greed driven taboos.

Gluttony…always wanting more…!

The Wendigo keeps growing and growing as it feeds on more men:

Translation…the white man kept increasing in numbers as he moved into the interior taking over more land from natives to settle the growing numbers of Europeans families that continued to pour in using larger commercial vessels.

The wendigo possesses men to start acting like it, they get the “wendigo sickness”:

Translation… remember the Jesuit Relation’s reports talking of “deputies” who also could suffer from Wendigo psychosis?

We know that these deputies were recruited native porters and guides. And we also know that some of these “deputies” were used to betray their own people, helping to kill others and displacing even more from their lands.

Some of the “clever” ones went on to own small pieces of land while they indulged in the white man’s vices such as prostitution and alcoholism.

And who were the deputies suffering from Wendigo psychosis?

Natives who defaulted and decided to turn against the white man’s agenda of course!

This is how the Wendigo spirit possessed men and forced the possessed men to act like a Wendigo or how explorers justified killing “native friendlies” who turned on them.

Wendigos of The Modern Times

Although the wendigo psychosis controversy continues to turn and pull the medicine arena in all directions, it has become increasingly difficult for the supporters of this theory to prove it’s actual existence.

Of course we know that folk illnesses or culture-specific syndromes have no solid scientific backing.

Nowadays this term is mostly associated with individuals and corporations considered destructive to the environment – as a result of the perceived excessive greed they exhibit or as portrayed by their actions.

Wendigos of The Modern Times

The Wendigo legend has also been kept alive through several works of literature since Algerno Blackwood first wrote The Wendigo horror story in 1910.

There have also been numerous screenplay and game characters based on this legend.

Wendigo characters can be found in movies such Ravenous or in TV series like Hannibal and Charmed among others.

They also appear in video or computer games such as Warcraft, Until Dawn and Tearaway.

So…Are Wendigos Real?

Well, while it’s highly doubtful that there’s a real monster prowling the Alaskan cold forests looking for tasty men to feed on or possess…

The legend behind the Wendigo spirit is plausible…we just explained it!

Any opposing or supporting views about the Wendigo folk lore?

Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

Harry Price The Ghost Hunter

Harry Price The Ghost Hunter

Harry Price was a man who stood out as a truth seeker. As a researcher of psychic phenomena and a respected author, he pursued his investigations with passion, and is regarded today as a man who was not afraid to be criticized.

During his lifetime he wrote many books and papers on the subject of the paranormal, conducted scientific investigations and helped to publicly expose many fake mediums and paranormal hoaxers.

A Man of Many Interests

During his younger years Harry Price was a man with many varied interests, such as coin collecting, archaeology and space-telegraphy but the most fascinating was his interest in stage magic and conjuring.

He was a skilled amateur conjurer, noted for his expertise in sleight of hand.

It was this skill together with his thirst for the truth, that set him on the path to becoming a notable and famous paranormal investigator.

Exposing Frauds

In a time where spiritualists, spirit photographers and mediums were extremely popular and almost unquestioned, Harry Price set out to authenticate their claims.

Although most of his work and investigations resulted in the mediums being exposed as frauds, Harry Price did actually endorse some of spiritualists he investigated.

His knowledge as a magician helped him to set up credible tests to investigate these practitioners’ paranormal claims.

While his work was revered by some, it made him very unpopular with others.

One of his noteworthy critics was Arthur Conan Doyle who insisted that Price wrote “sewage” about mediums, and together with his friends tried to keep Price’s papers out of circulation for many years.

Although Price was a member of the Society for Psychical Research, they also became one of the biggest criticizers of his work as he continued to expose fake mediums and disprove phenomena such as ectoplasm.

The Society for Psychical Research disapproved with Prices’ practice of paying mediums to test them, and also with his opinion on the meduimship of the spiritualist Rudi Schneider.

In 1926 Harry Price formed an organization called the National Laboratory of Psychical Research to act as a rival to the Society for Psychical Research.

Price’s Methods

Price used a variety of methods to observe and test the claims of spiritualists.

These included analysis of so-called “ectoplasms” by some mediums, which were shown to actually be the regurgitation of materials such as chewed paper, egg whites and cheesecloth.

In the case of William Hope, Price secretly marked his photographic plates and gave him other plates that had a distinct etching.

When Hope produced his photographic spirit images, Price was able to prove that they were a hoax, as they did not display the etching nor the secret marks.

In the infamous case of Rudi Schneider, Price used photography himself to prove that Schneider’s claims of levitation were merely created by sleight of hand.

Price was able to discredit the meduimship of George Valiantine, who claimed that he had contacted the spirit of Italian-speaking composer Luigi Arditi.

Price studiously recorded all the phases that were credited to the composer, and on investigation he found them to be exact matches to segments in an Italian phrase-book.

A True Believer

But Harry Price did not believe that all of his encounters with the paranormal had scientific explanations.

He wrote about one such experience that he had during a private séance. A woman named Kathleen Goldney is said to have encountered Price the morning after this séance occurred, and reported that he seemed visibly shaken.

During this session Price wrote that he had applied starch powder to the floor, locked the door and taped the windows of the room in which the séance took place.

At some stage during the séance a young girl, who called herself Rosalie, had appeared in a lifelike form.

Price reported having spoken with the girl and being able to touch her.

While he was suspicious during the encounter, he found that once the séance was over none of the seals had been disturbed and there was no evidence in the starch powder that any human being had moved over the floor.

Although the Society for Psychical Research attempted to discredit him, Price was convinced that this was a true paranormal encounter.

Although his work uncovered many mediums and spiritualists as nothing more than hoaxers, Harry Price was a true pioneer in the field of psychic investigation.

The legacy he left is one that reminds that while we can, and should, believe in the paranormal we must always be weary of those who seek only to fool us.

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Cases

The Ed and Lorraine Warren Cases

If you see Lorraine Warren today, you’ll probably see a frail 89 year old woman but looks can be deceiving! Back in day, Lorraine and Edward Warren were what you’d call the “Bonny and Clyde” of ghost busting.

You’d have to be from another dimension if you haven’t heard of the Ed and Lorraine Warren cases.

The couple’s profound interest in the supernatural led to the establishment of a ghost hunting team and an organization called the “NESPR (New England Society for Psychic Research)” which began in 1952.

The NESPR has and still is a big part of America’s history and involvement with the underworld.

The Paranormal Pair

These two were literally a match made in heaven to uncover hell! Staunch Catholics; self proclaimed demonologist and medium (clairvoyant – light trance), the perfect recipe for something very, very unnatural.

And let’s not forget that Ed served in World War II and again as a cop. We all know what happens with guys who’ve been to overseas war right? …the PSTD?

Probably one of the reasons why the ghost hunting duo has so many critics. Their fascinating stories and adventures during their ghost hunting days have also created a massive following too.

Some of their real life cases have been adapted into hair raising horror movies and blood chilling books.

With an impressive 10, 000 paranormal investigation cases under their belt(s), it’s no wonder Hollywood came knocking on their door to borrow their diaries to develop scripts.

Some of the most notable encounters with the supernatural which started in 1970 include (not in chronological order):

The White Lady of Union Cemetery – This was a case where Ed claims to have captured the essence of the ghostly lady on camera during an investigation following reports of the cemetery being haunted. He later wrote a book about it which was published in 1992.

The Annabelle Doll Mystery – The story goes that two roommates discovered that their doll (an old raggedy Ann doll) was possessed by a demon going by the name of Annabelle.

The couple is said to have confirmed the doll’s possession by an unearthly spirit and actually took it and included it as one of their prized collections in their backyard “Occult Museum”.

The Controversial Amityville Haunting – Now this is one story that has stirred up a lot of talk and people still continue to throw shadows of doubt on this famous couple based on this particular case.

Okay, the case went on to attract a few negative public reviews plus a couple of lawsuits in a bid to uncover the truth about the whole Lutz family haunted house saga.

A book published in 1977 and written by Jay Anson titled The Amityville Haunting is one of the many ways the Ed and Lorraine legend has been kept alive.

The haunted house tale is said to have been started by two sisters (11 and 13) when they told their mother of strange knocking on walls and moving furniture. See why it’s so easy to doubt it?

More ghost stories include the werewolf demon case, the demo possessed murderer, the witch haunting the Perron family and Smurl family haunting among others.

Some of the infamous cases like the Amityville case, the possessed doll (Annabelle) and the Perron family house haunting have been adapted in Hollywood movies.

Conclusion

Going by the large number of divided believers and skeptics, it’s extremely hard to tell whether the Ed and Lorraine duo really encountered any real ghosts during their ghost hunting career.

The fact however is that they used many credible factions in their investigations and this included members of the clergy, law enforcement and other professionals (notable figures) in the field of supernatural happenings.

This to some extent throws a little weight behind their bizarre claims and collected “evidence” over the years.

We wonder if the late Ed still calls in to check on his wife from the “other side”…..now that, would be some interesting headline!

We are still waiting for someone to come up with concrete proof that these two actually met some real ghosts or if they helped people get out of their haunted situations. We are not saying that the Ed and Lorraine cases are a hoax and neither do we say that we believe them but… yeah, there’s a but there.

The opposing sides (believers and skeptics) almost match each other in terms of the following which is the number one reason we are letting you have the final word on this matter.

What do you think?

Black Eyed Kids Sightings

Black Eyed Kids Sightings

The first black eyed kids sightings began to surface back in 1988 when journalist Brian Bethel claimed he met two of them near his car one day.

He noticed that the children were extremely confident and eloquent in their ways – not something you would normally attribute to kids of this age group.

Once he was inside the car the kids started to ask for a ride and he felt completely overpowered by their requests. He was just about to allow them into the car when he noticed their eyes were completely black with no iris or pupil.

The kids seem to realize that the game was up and began to get extremely angry with Bethel when he stopped them from entering the car. They became so insistent and freaky that Bethel quickly closed the door and sped of into the distance.

The Response

When this report was eventually put online it was met with numerous other witnesses who also claimed to have come in contact with these Black Eyed Kids.

The strange thing is that ALL of these reports seemed to go down the same ally – the kids are always attempting to get inside someone’s car!

One would think that these types of ‘entities’ would breed more adventurous tales but that has not been the case. For some reason they always want a lift somewhere.

Each case involves an excuse such as “I need to get home to my mother,” or something that implies the child is in need.

Stories Found Online

This is the type of paranormal report that can always go down the Slender Man route – a great freaky idea that has gathered pace due to the power of the internet.

There are thousands if not millions of people out there that take great pleasure out of winding up people who believe in the paranormal – this would be a simple story to gather pace and get people talking right?

The strange thing is that if we look logically into these stories about these children, we get to learn that all of them were asking to be let in. It’s as if they cannot get into the car without the driver giving permission first.

None of these reports have travelled further than this point – all of the drivers have so far rejected the requests of the children.

Begs the question really – what would happen if these children were let into the car?

Be Afraid…

Witnesses all claim that these children give off some sort of dark vibe when they are talking – those that meet them claim to feel threatened, panicked and even disoriented.

Some people have suggested that this is a side effect of their telepathic powers – the hypnotic suggestion they attempt to use to convince drivers to let them in.

All of this sounds brutally familiar right? Do you know how many long-standing beliefs in religion include entities that NEED to be invited into your property before they can come in?

There is also the case of these entities taking on a child form – a very clever move that again has been covered in numerous religious texts.

The Black Eyed Kids

So what could they be? Why would a respected journalist like Brian Bethel make something like this up and attempt to ruin his own career?

Vampires, aliens, demonic forces…the list goes on and on!

If you have any thoughts on the Black Eyed Kids sightings please leave them in the comment section below.