In this article we will be taking a closer look at the Spring Heeled Jack sightings from 1808 to more recent incidents. What was this entity and what did it want?
The first documented encounter of Spring Heeled Jack came to light in 1808 within the offices of the Sheffield Times.
The editor of the newspaper received a strange letter explaining about an entity/ghost that spent it’s time playing pranks on the living. Apparently this ghost had existed for many years.
The strange beast was able to jump huge heights from a standing position and seemed to be made out of thin air – striking the supernatural beast had no effect whatsoever (weapons just passed straight through it).
The author of the letter referred to this entity as Park Ghost and Spring Heeled Jack.
In 1837 an unnamed female was outside Blackheath Fair in England when out of nowhere a strange figure appeared and started to violently attack her.
The lady ended up receiving numerous cut injuries to her skin and most of her clothes had been ripped off her body.
When she was later interviewed she claimed that the assailant had definitely been male but there was something ‘off’ about him. He had a surreal look of madness on his face and his fingers seemed to be long cold iron tips.
After hearing about the crime, the mayor of the area decided to publicize it to warn his public…and ended up receiving hundreds of letters claiming that they to had been attacked or chased by this strange, tall figure.
Numerous people came forward with claims about being attacked by this strange creature – most of them were too scared about being labeled crazy to report the incidents before 1837.
Local vigilante groups were formed in an attempt to catch this crazed criminal.
These groups were extremely well setup by the public and patrolled the streets on a shift basis – they even encountered the entity on occasions but were unable to catch him due to his speed and athleticism.
Word soon spread from these groups to the public – they were not chasing a man…they were chasing something supernatural!
About 12 months later the attacks seemed to grow in intensity. One night a young lady was walking home when something jumped out of the shadows and breathed blue flames at her.
The figure then closed it’s mouth and pounced away in a sort of kangaroo movement. The same night brought in many similar reports…
The reports consisted of a tall man with scary red eyes who could breathe blue fire and would always jump, never walk or run.
The final attack in London during this time period is probably the most famous, it involved a young lady named Jane.
Jane was having a conversation in her home with her visiting sister when she heard a loud knocking at her front door.
She was a little afraid of opening the door so she asked the visitor through the locked door who they were. The visitor quickly replied:
“I am a police officer for god sake bring me a light for we have caught Spring Heeled Jack”.
Jane hastily opened to the door, only to be confronted by a tall man breathing blue flames from his smiling mouth. She screamed and tried to close the door but she was too late – Spring Heeled Jack was on her clawing in a flash.
Thankfully Jane’s sister heard the screams and the two of them managed to get the entity back through the door. It then ran off into the darkness.
Let’s Move To The Country
The Spring Heeled Jack sightings died out until the 1870’s when for some reason, they moved to the English countryside.
Many incidents involved local groups in towns hunting down and setting up traps to catch the supernatural creature, but with no luck.
After these attacks it’s almost as if ‘Jack’ realized his time was up in the UK, and many believe he somehow moved on to America in the 1880’s…
New Hunting Grounds
During the 1880’s there were many reports in Kentucky of a tall man attacking people at night. Eyewitness reports claimed that the culprit had long icy cold iron like fingers, pointy ears and that he shot blue flames – but from his chest (not his mouth).
These incidents seemed to die out within months and all of a sudden…’Jack’ seemed to disappear from people’s minds.
This lull in attacks lasted up until 1939 when Cape Cod seemed to be hit by the strange entity.
Now Jack seemed to have new powers in his arsenal – eyewitnesses claim that he could now levitate and even had the power to disappear and reappear miles away within a blink of the eye!
It was at this time that Jack picked up the newer nickname of the Black Flash from the American public.
In recent times incidents involving ‘Jack’ have been reported in Canada (1973), Texas (1979) and back in the UK in 1986 (very famous case involving a British army officer).
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Spring Heeled Jack sightings we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
A devastating F3 tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011, killing 161 people in it’s rampage. After mother nature’s fury had ended and the tornado subsided, many survivors, mainly children, started to tell some pretty amazing stories…
Saved By Butterfly People
The first case we will be covering involves a mother and her daughter who were caught up in the middle of the vicious weather event.
Both mother and daughter had to leave their car and make a desperate dash for safety – the tornado was travelling straight down the road towards them!
The mother dragged her young daughter along looking for shelter but it was no use – the tornado was already bearing down on them. All they could do was hit the floor and pray.
Yet somehow the tornado passed straight over them.
The mother remembers objects being picked up and thrown around them but for some reason the suction did not effect the two of them.
When the tornado had passed the mother desperately checked her daughter for any injuries…but her daughter was just sitting there smiling back at her.
She asked her daughter why she was smiling and the daughter replied “weren’t they pretty?”.
The mother immediately asked who she was on about and the daughter then replied “the butterfly people who had saved them”.
Tiny People With Wings
A father and his two sons were also trapped in the winds of the tornado a few miles down the road from the mother and daughter’s incident.
The father was also desperately looking for cover but was unable to find any – the tornado engulfed him and his two boys.
The winds inside the tornado were so intense that the soles of the father’s shoes actually ripped off…but he and his sons somehow remained grounded as the tornado passed over them. None of them were injured by the incident.
The shaken father sat around for days trying to work out what had happened…until he finally talked to his two boys about the frightening incident.
They both claimed that during the tornado they witnessed tiny people with wings that looked like butterflies hovering over them.
They somehow knew that these tiny creatures were protecting them from the ferocity of the tornado.
Butterflies in The Car
The same tornado trapped a petrified father and his two-year-old daughter in a car that day. It seemed to come out of nowhere so the father had no option other than to face the tornado’s force with only his old car as protection.
The father breathed a sigh of relief when the tornado seemed to pass straight over them – maybe they were on the outskirts of the weather condition? Maybe the eye of the tornado was further away than the father first thought?
But no, they had actually survived through the middle of the turbulent event.
His daughter was convinced that there were tiny little fairies inside the car when the tornado was passing over them. The father argued with her that he did not see anything like that but she stood by her guns – she was convinced these butterfly-shaped fairies had kept them safe inside the car.
Similar Tornado Saviours
There are a couple of similar tornado cases that happened a few years before the reports of the Joplin tornado butterfly people. First off we have the case of a father and son that were trapped inside a car when a tornado hit.
This time the occupants were not that lucky…at first!
The car was actually swept off the ground and up into the tornado rings. It spun around in a direct path towards another swept up car.
Without warning this approaching car just stopped dead in the middle of the tornado, allowing them to circle past without hitting it.
The young boy later told his father that he had seen a large angelic figure grabbing onto the approaching car wreck and stopping it from hitting their spinning car. The father did not see this angel…but he did witness the miracle of the car stopping dead in the eye of the tornado so they could spin past safely.
Another rather scatty report (i.e. I can’t find much info on the location of this incident but whispers again point to Joplin) points to ‘saviours’ rescuing people from a church that was caught up in a tornado.
Apparently this church folded in the extreme weather and the inhabitants were buried in the cellar below. Suddenly six huge men appeared from nowhere and lifted the church walls from the cellar entrance with inhuman strength.
They then just disappeared.
When the rescue unit arrived it was shocked to hear the church-goers version of events. There was no way six men could have lifted these huge walls up by themselves – how had they managed it and who were they?
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
One of the first ever ‘paranormal’ articles I published online covered the subject of mermaids…and I haven’t really touched on this subject ever since!
Most of us in the western world consider mermaids to be nothing more than mixed up folklore chucked onto the silver screen by Disney…but in other parts of the world mermaids are looked upon in an entirely different light…
So, are mermaids dangerous and do they really exist?
Below is a recent report from Zimbabwe…
Not that long ago in Zimbabwe, a group of three young boys were messing about when they should of been herding cattle for their parents.
They were in the process of working with the cattle when they noticed a rather large fish splashing about in a nearby dam.
Two of the boys thought they were equipped enough to take on this impressive fish and decided to jump into the water and catch it with their bare hands…
To their horror…this was no ordinary fish…it was a local water spirit (mermaid).
The boy who was left standing on the bank witnessed the strange creature drag the two boys under the water then pull them to the opposite bank.
He didn’t hang about for his friends – he immediately ran off in terror to get help.
He returned within minutes with a group of adults as backup and they found the two boys critically injured on the dam’s bank.
As they neared the stricken lads, the mermaid pounced back out of the water and dragged them back into it’s depths.
This time they did not return…alive.
The Dam Construction
This particular dam was built back in 2012 and many of the workers claimed to have had encounters with this evil water spirit.
During it’s construction, there were numerous worker reports of damaged machinery.
These reports all seemed to center around the same culprit – a water spirit.
The men in charge of the operation laughed off these suggestions until the dam workers started disappearing…and then reappearing as lifeless corpses floating on the water.
Was a mermaid really behind these strange deaths?
Just last month (Feb), a 45-year-old teacher named Rose was walking home from work when she realized she was late for an appointment.
She decided to take a short cut across the river…something most locals were far too afraid to attempt.
This turned out to be a bad choice…she was set upon by a mermaid and what she later described as a ‘merman’.
She managed to escape her attackers and survive but she was left with some rather hideous injuries to her mouth and legs.
She later reported the attack to the police and showcased her injuries to the local press stating that the water spirits were savage yet extremely beautiful.
Are Mermaids Dangerous?
There’s no getting away from the fact that people in these parts of the world believe in the existence of mermaids – even the police are too scared to investigate these ‘cursed’ rivers and bodies of water.
Do they also believe in what the locals are saying?
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
The world abounds with tales of supernatural or otherwise cryptic creatures, and North America is no exception.
Along with the ever-elusive Sasquatch or “Bigfoot” run less well-known but even more spine-chilling stories about the Navajo skinwalker.
The skinwalker is believed to be a holy man or sage who is so connected with nature that he or she can assume the form of any animal.
But this amazing ability is not gained without a price: the holy man or witch must perform an evil act, such as murder, before they can unlock this power.
Additionally, they must kill the animal they wish to take the form of, making their connection with nature truly perverse. Are skinwalkers real, or is it just a legend with no credibility?
Many people have claimed to have had encounters with skinwalkers. Many Navajo people, especially older ones, believe without a shadow of a doubt that skinwalkers do indeed exist.
They believe so strongly that many of them are reluctant to talk to outsiders about the skinwalkers, fearing that they may attract these terrifying and malicious creatures into their lives.
In addition, it is believed that non-skinwalkers are not allowed to witness the ritual that leads to the creation of skinwalkers, making information even more scarce – the skinwalkers truly are shrouded in mystery.
Because older Navajo people are afraid to talk about the skinwalkers, most of our information comes from younger Navajo people who don’t necessarily believe in these tales.
One very interesting point is that many of the stories of encounters with skinwalkers come from people who are not Navajo, even people who have never heard of the skinwalkers and, upon looking for information about what they’ve experienced, come to the conclusion that they have witnessed one of these creatures.
These encounters usually occur on or in very close proximity to Navajo reservations – this fits the skinwalker story, since only Navajo people can become skinwalkers.
One woman claims she was driving through Navajo territory at night when suddenly a man appeared, running next to her car. This would be odd even if it weren’t for the fact that the car was driving at sixty miles per hour!
To put that in perspective, the highest speed at which a human has been recorded running is 28 miles per hour.
The man tapped on her window as she was driving, gave a sinister-looking smile, and then ran away at unbelievably high speeds, disappearing into the night.
After researching, she came to the conclusion that she had encountered a skinwalker.
In Sedona, Arizona, not too far from this woman’s encounter, a man claims to have experienced the same thing: a human-like creature running past his vehicle even though he was driving at sixty-five miles per hour!
Arizona is full of stories of encounters with skinwalkers. If they’re real, this is probably no coincidence, since Arizona is the area in which many Navajo people live – evil medicine men or witches among them would have to be the source.
Winslow and Window Rock is especially famous for these encounters; you’d have to be very brave and perhaps stupid to go there looking for a skinwalker (I would not recommend it).
A second interesting story comes from when a girl was visiting her grandmother in Nevada. The elderly woman was 100 % Navajo, and the little girl remembers her shouting at her brother to “get away from it!”
She then saw a very large, unnatural looking dog which was staring at her grandmother. This dog apparently had yellow eyes.
The grandmother lamented that “it had found her.”
The otherworldly-looking dog eventually left (the girl can’t remember if it was at a high speed or not, as this is what skinwalkers are known for), and shortly thereafter the grandmother moved away from her house, believing fully that she had encountered a skinwalker who was trying to do her harm.
Another encounter occurred when a man living on a farm near Navajo land heard what he thought to be wild dogs outside.
He grabbed his shotgun, hoping to scare them off from the farm, but as soon as he pumped it the dogs looked directly at him, stood up on their hind legs, and ran away at incredible speeds.
Although his family believed in skinwalkers, this man did not; he does now.
Something similar happened in New Mexico, when a woman saw a strange presence outside of her house one night.
At first she thought it was a man, until she got close enough to see that, whatever it was, this bipedal, muscular creature had the head and body of a wolf.
She screamed (as most of us in this situation probably would!) before, again, the entity ran away at an unbelievably high speed.
A man with the body and head of a wolf sounds familiar to those of us interested in folklore: could it be that the so-called “werewolf” is actually a Navajo skinwalker?
One night, a student was taking the bus home from a basketball game. The bus would have to drive through Navajo territory. This is when another eyewitness encounter transpired.
Suddenly, the bus driver sped up to about 85 miles per hour, and the student was surprised by this as the driver was usually very careful.
But then he saw it: a creature running straight towards the bus. The entity, which looked like a wolf-like human and had glowing yellow eyes, made eye contact with the student and smiled, showing off its sharp, canine-like teeth.
All of the other students were asleep, but this student and the bus driver shared a glance, realizing that they had just experienced something truly bizarre.
The Subject of Skinwalkers
Are skinwalkers real? The question is difficult to answer. It’s certainly interesting that so many of these stories share features in common, and that many of the witnesses were non-Navajo people (meaning they didn’t necessarily believe the stories) or had never even heard of the legend of the skinwalkers.
It seems that, usually, the skinwalkers are wolf or dog-like, sometimes with eerie yellow glowing eyes, and capable of running at supernatural speeds.
I wonder if Bigfoot could be a skinwalker who has taken on the form a bear – just imagine a half-human, half-bear creature walking around on two legs and you have something that looks like a Bigfoot.
It seems unlikely, though, since Bigfoot encounters are described all over the country and not just in the southwestern United States…
In this article we will be taking a look at the Himuro mansion in Japan. Located on a rocky area within the outskirts of Tokyo, this impressive building hosts many malevolent spirits due to its dark and twisted history…
The Himuro Family
Legend suggests that the Himuro family had a dark responsibility thrown upon them – every half century they were tasked with performing an ancient Shinto ritual.
This ritual centered on raising a woman in secret so that evil forces might eventually enter the world through her limbs (she was effectively torn apart by being strapped to large and powerful oxen).
The final woman that was sacrificed (said to have been in the early 1900’s) managed to strike up a relationship with a local man before her death.
This secret love essentially negated the sacrifice and the heads of the Himuro family became frightened about the demonic force’s response.
Taking a traditional sword, the patriarch murdered his entire family – he felt that this death was a much better option for his family than what the evil forces had in store for them!
Ever since the mass murder of the Himuro family there have been a wide variety of paranormal incidents reported at the location of the house.
The most common of these reports usually involves apparitions of the family members combing the area. These sightings have taken place both in the day and at night.
Witnesses have also reported seeing hand prints made from blood on the mansion walls along with blood splatters…similar to the blood markings left behind by a sword swipe.
Legend has it that the spirits of the mansion have also claimed a few lives over the past century – several bodies have been found with rope marks burnt into their wrists and ankles…
An interesting report from Japan right? But is it true?
The Himuro Mansion is actually best known to gamers who fell in love with the video game Fatal Frame. The creators of this game claim to have based it on the legend of the Himuro Mansion.
So where is the exact location of this mansion?
Well that seems to divide opinion…but why? Why would the location of such a famous paranormal property be kept under lock and key?
Over the last few years numerous people have come forward online claiming that this story is actually an American urban legend – it has nothing to do with Japan!
There are also those who claim this was a consciously created urban legend – for a viral marketing campaign linked to the game itself!
Was the presence and the power of the internet the main reason this paranormal report (story) became so popular?
Why do some people still insist that this mansion actually exists and the legend is true?
Is it nothing more than a rather successful attempt at marketing a popular video game?
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.
The world has always wondered about the existence of beings from other planets or other dimensions. This nagging question about aliens visiting our planet in secret or UFOs being spotted all over our airspace continues to pile with no clear answers anywhere in sight.
It seems like the more we dig about it, the more confusing it gets. While many inquisitive minds run after the truth, countless of government and affiliated private agencies work tirelessly to conceal the truth.
So what happened in Roswell back in the stormy night of July 4th, 1947?
Will we ever get the truth about the Area 51 Roswell incident?
Why do world governments spend so much time and state resources trying so hard to hide the truth from us?
Is it to protect us?
Is it for their own selfish benefits?
No one knows yet…but the Roswell incident is only one of the many UFO stories that the US government has never really succeeded in sweeping under the carpet.
There were just too many witnesses to control or muffle without directly breaking the law…
New Mexico Wakes Up to New Neighbors From The Sky
The first people to visit the Roswell UFO crash site were a rancher called Mack Brazel and a young boy belonging to the Proctor family.
The two were in the fields checking up on sheep after a stormy night to ensure that the sheep were okay.
Factual historic accounts say that once Mack and the boy got to the field, they came across debris from an unknown craft that had crashed in the open fields that previous night.
According to Mack, the thing was like nothing he’d seen before; a shiny but extremely light metallic foil like material that could not be broken or remain bent or even show signs of creasing no matter how much Mack folded it.
He decided to carry some of the debris home and immediately shared his discovery with the Proctors.
Soon after inspecting the pieces from the strange craft, the Proctors were convinced that Mack had found a UFO (alien spacecraft) since there were numerous cases/rumors of UFO sightings in the Roswell area for some time.
They then asked him to report the matter to the county sheriff in Chaves, George Wilcox which he did two days later.
Wilcox then called Maj. Jesse Marcel, an intelligence officer in the 509th Bomb Group who was stationed at RAAF (Roswell Army Air Field – now known as the Walker Air Force Base) at the time to discuss this mysterious phenomenon with him and that’s when everything started growing dark and confusing.
That was the beginning of the gradual cover up by the government.
Two well-known UFO researchers, Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt reported that their research had shown a possibility that military radar had picked up this unidentified flying object before it went down.
These two UFO enthusiasts wrote in their book titled A History of UFO Crashes that two more eyewitnesses, William Woody and his dad had seen the strange craft as it crashed some 40 miles northwest of Roswell.
In the book, Woody is quoted talking of a dazzling object plummeting to the ground as he and his dad watched.
Randle and Schmitt continued to point out that the crash site was totally closed to the public for a couple of days as the military worked quickly to clear the wreckage.
Nobody was allowed to go near the crash site during this time… and that can be confirmed by Woody’s recorded claim that the military personnel present at the site barred him and his dad from gaining access to the area when they both went out looking for the strange object from the night before.
So what solid evidence supports the validity of the Roswell incident?
The Unearthly Debris
This is the first piece of evidence that aliens live secretly among us and that one of the ships went down in Roswell that fateful night of 4th July, 1947 despite efforts from the government to keep this story under tight wraps.
After the heads up from Wilcox, Marcel was ordered by Col. William Blanchard, the commanding officer of the 509th to go investigate the crash site together with Capt. Sheridan Cavitt (a senior CIC –Counter Intelligence Corps – agent) and Brazel.
The first stop for these three was Brazel’s home where Marcel inspected one of the large pieces of debris that Brazel had dragged home.
When they got to the field the next morning on the Monday of 7th July 1947, Marcel noted that the debris covered an area approximately three-quarters of a mile and a couple of hundred feet wide.
Marcel later said that the debris was strewn all over the place and it looked like the spacecraft had exploded in the air before crashing down to the ground.
Marcel who had even been to the White Sands Testing Grounds and a witness to numerous secret government projects is quoted saying, “I have seen rockets, both experimental and weather balloons, but I have never seen anything like this!”
He was referring the small pieces of indestructible tinfoil debris and some structures that resembled I-beams that he could neither break nor bend despite their startling weightlessness.
He also noticed strange markings on the I-beams that he could not comprehend. Marcel’s story was confirmed by Dr. John Watkins who interviewed a hypnotized Marcel in May, 1990.
Blanchard is also on record saying that the materials recovered from the Roswell crash site was not something he’d ever seen or heard of before.
The Case of Mysterious Bodies
This is where a bit of confusion and a big blur come into the story. None of the previous witnesses ever talked of encountering any bodies.
In fact, there were no mentions of any bodies on the crash site until an incident with a young mortician, Glenn Dennis, from Ballard Funeral Home, made one curious call from the morgue at the army base making a very unusual request; to be supplied with air-tight coffins.
One strange thing that happened to Dennis during this time was being kicked out of the army base hospital after he went there for a friendly visit with one of the nurses.
He also chanced to see pieces of the spacecraft’s wreckage which had more strange markings peeking from the back of one laden military ambulance.
When Dennis met the nurse the following day, she drew him pictures of the creatures she’d seen and that was the last time Dennis saw her.
Rumors say that she was transferred to England but who knows…?
Her whereabouts have remained a mystery since then!
The Press Release
Blanchard was really throwing a lot of orders around and one Walter Haut would soon find himself at the receiving end of one.
Being RAAF’s public information officer, he was ordered by Blanchard to write a press release on the discovery of the UFO.
Blanchard was in a hurry to get credit for the UFO’s discovery and he forgot to ask his superiors, a decision that came back to haunt him a few days later.
The finished press release had been given to 2 radio stations and the two local newspapers in Roswell.
The heading read: “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region”.
This was the beginning of the government cover up.
The Government Gets Involved Through the Army HQ
When Blanchard sent Marcel to Carswell Air Force Base (formerly Fort Worth Army Air Field), to report to a Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey (8th Air Force commanding officer), he carried a piece of debris from the crash site to show to Ramey.
This is where the strange became stranger…upon his request to be shown the exact crash site on the map, Ramey and Marcel stepped out of his office to the map room so that Marcel could show him where the aliens had crashed.
When they returned to Ramey’s office, the piece of UFO material brought by Marcel was gone and in its place was a weather balloon!
And thus the cover story began.
The press release was quickly cancelled and Haut was sent to retrieve the copies he’d given to the newspapers and the radio stations and instead give them this new story about the debris being out of a weather balloon, and not from a UFO as earlier reported.
A cleanup crew was then dispatched to the site and just like that, all evidence was gone!
Broadcasters Walt Whitmore and Judd Roberts who hoped to see the debris before it was moved by the military were sternly turned away.
Everything was collected in crates and stored at the army base hangar for a while before making a total vanishing act…forever!
Even Mack Brazel was seen by Whitmore as he was escorted to the Roswell Daily Record offices to recant his story.
The debris from the UFO suddenly turned into a weather balloon and that was that…the newspapers had to go with this new story.
And that’s how the Area 51 Roswell incident went under.
So what do you think of this Roswell affair? Was it true that a UFO crashed on earth? Does the US government still have the preserved bodies of the recovered aliens?
Let us know what you think of this story at the comment section below. Help us bring out the truth.
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.
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?
We 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?
They 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.
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.
Wonders and mysteries will never cease. Nobody knows how the two Irish friends turned from respectable construction workers to lodgers, to body snatchers and later to cold-blooded killers…
But that is the tale connected to the Burke and Hare murder dolls.
The story of William Hare and his fellow murderous Irishman by the same first name, William Burke began late in the 1820’s.
The two had separately moved to Scotland in search of a better life before ending up in Edinburgh where they met and struck a friendship.
As fate would have it, Hare had an old “roomer” called Donald who died of natural causes. This was the beginning of Burke and Hare’s journey to the dark side!
After the burial, the pair raided the cemetery and stole Donald’s corpse.
Hare and Burke had received news about the shortage of dead bodies at the local university and there was one professor in particular who was in charge of appropriating the dead bodies for the institution for use in anatomy classes.
His name was Dr. Knox.
The two lodgers now turned grave thieves thought the 7 pounds that Dr. Knox was offering for a single dead body was just too good an opportunity to pass.
And with fewer lodgers dying of natural causes, the two decided that they would have to start killing people so as to deliver more bodies for Dr. Knox; who many still believe was well aware of the pair’s serial killing activities as the main source of all the bodies he’d been buying.
He, however, was never charged with anything connected to the murders committed by the two greedy friends.
They killed and sold a total of 17 dead bodies to the “good” doctor.
The two continued killing old prostitutes and homeless old men until Burke made a fatal mistake and a dead body belonging to one of his lodgers was discovered under his bed by another tenant who turned them in to the police.
The Mystery of the Murder Dolls
Things were soon to take a sudden mysterious turn a decade later when 17 wooden “murder dolls” were accidentally discovered by a young boy hunting for rabbits in a cave.
The small carved effigies, each stuffed in a miniature coffin, measure 4 inches each and 8 of them are still on display at the National Museum of Scotland.
Although their origin is not fully known, there have been many speculations as to where they might have come from.
At first, the dolls were associated with witchcraft or some ritualistic cult items. But later someone made the connection between the 17 murders committed by Hare and Burke and the 17 wooden dolls.
Some people believe that this was an act of remorse by one of the killers or people close to the pair who knew of their killing spree.
The only people assumed to have had knowledge of the murders include Hare’s mistress Margaret, Burke’s wife Helen, Dr. Knox, and the doctor’s brother who usually helped in receiving the bodies from the two serial killers.
The only theory that makes any sense is that someone close to these two killers made the dolls as a way of giving the victims some sort of a respectable send-off.
An Eye for An Eye: Brutal Justice
As the story goes, Hare ratted out his friend to save his own skin! He decided to cooperate with the police and implicate his friend. Hare was later released but he just disappeared was never heard from again.
So what happened to Burke?
He was found guilty of all 17 murders and sentenced to death. He was hanged in 1829 but his body was not released to his family for a burial.
Instead, it was given to the same University to be torn apart for human anatomy classes.
It is rumored that his skin was removed and used to make wallets. The rest of his body was also stripped off in separate pieces and his skeleton has been kept at the University to-date.
DNA Testing: In Search of an Elusive Connection
Numerous people and organizations have come forward trying to connect the dolls to Burke through various DNA tests.
The truth, however, is that none of these tests have ever given any conclusive results and we’re afraid the mystery of the Burke and Hare murder dolls might never be uncovered.
Professionals say that DNA testing is no longer viable since the dolls have been handled by so many hands throughout history. They were in fact privately owned by a collector before the Museum bought them.
Are the dolls connected the murder victims? Did Burke carve them? Did Hare’s guilt for the murders and selling out his friend drive him to carve the effigies as a sign of remorse? The truth is still out there…