I’ve long been obsessed with the terrifying Algonquian folkloric creature the Wendigo. Also spelled Wìdjigò, Windigo or Wetiko, Wendigo is said to mean ‘the evil spirit that devours mankind.’
This flesh-eating spirit of the north features in dozens of works of fine literature, though possibly the most chilling is its appearance in Stephen King’s book Pet Sematary. (You can read about what I thought of the tale at my book club.)
It’s extremely difficult to survive an encounter with a Wendigo, especially because it’s an expert trickster and can take human form to lure its victims away. Despite its tall and gaunt appearance, the Wendigo has a hunger that’s never-ending. So hungry is it in fact, that it’s known to chew off its own lips.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a poem called My Father The Wendigo, which became the title poem of my most recent collection. From that poem, a song grew (I’m recording it right now with my band Cave Mouth and it will be on our first album) and a short story, of which the first draft was finished yesterday.
After writing the poem, I couldn’t leave the creature alone. I needed to get in among its bones. There probably isn’t a Wendigo article on the internet that I haven’t uncovered and I’m trying to discover every piece of printed literature ever composed about it. I’ve also been stalking the internet, looking for the best art to state my cravings. I searched Instagram using #wendigo and here’s some of the art I discovered. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
P.S. If there’s anything Wendigo related that you think I should know about, please do let me know!