A very, very cool movie about the wendigo legend is the movie Ravenous, it remains probably one of my all time favorite movies.
I grew up in a rural area in northeastern Ohio and my friends and I spent our teenage years documenting the strange properties of an area fairly deep
in the forest near my house. I had a good friend in elementary school who lived kind of far away by following roads. If you picture the streets as a
four square mile square, we were nearly at the same lower right corner, but by road you must travel the full square. So we cut a path through the
woods with scraps of cloth so we could navigate the quarter mile or so through the woods. We used this for the better part of a decade until we had
cars. Eventually we made different side paths deeper into the forest and we dubbed one "the evil place."
It just had an absolutely terrible vibe to it, and we made two attempts to camp there and left both times in the middle of the night, no matter how we
tried to stick it through. We filmed it the second time and noticed many bizarre things upon replaying the tape, though we noticed few of the unusual
things at the time. We heard a long, clearly audible sigh/exhale close to the camera, which actually one of my friends heard at the time, he said,
"wait...." but the rest of us didn't hear him and he kept it to himself. The film vindicated him though. Also we heard noises continuously over the
crest of a nearby hill, that was what prompted us to leave the camp. Upon reviewing the footage, when we had moved the camera along the hill,
explaining the various noises we heard, a small pinpoint of light could be seen to appear next to a large tree at the top of the hill. It remained
there for the duration of our filming. If it were an eye, the animal would had to have been clinging to the tree or been at least five feet or so
tall. Also, throughout our filming in the interior of "the evil place" a purple vein-like distortion flickers throughout the entire filming. This
appeared soon after we entered the forest and faded away as we left. We were only fourteen or so at the time, so we inevitably lost the tape, but I
remember the events vividly. I had shown it to my girlfriend at the time, all my friends, my brother, my parents... because I had talked about this
place for ages, practically since I was seven, and everyone just thought I was a superstitious nut-ball. As I got older, around 16, I resolved never
to return, because each time the sense of impending doom became more traumatizing.
For the few remaining years I lived at home, I used to sneak out of my house late at night to smoke without my parents catching me, and I could
usually hardly make it through a smoke before I'd have to retreat back into the house, the darkness along the edge of the woods was too unsettling.
It always, always, felt like something was nearby watching me. I always maintained privately that what I had bothered in the forest took it upon
itself to make its presence known to me whenever I was near the forest.
Another time, in an unrelated but rather close forest, my friends and I were sitting out around a fire when we heard the sound of what can only be
explained as a large pig dying horribly. Note this is not a farm-like rural area, it is a vastly spread out suburb more like, and this was in the
early hours of the a.m. Just horrific almost human screaming for an impossibly long seeming time but was really probably only twenty or thirty
seconds then total silence. I know our local wildlife, too, I'm an eagle scout and have spent time camping in multiple countries, across dozens of
states, from temperatures ranging from -30C to 35C and these experiences left me shaken about camping in the forest for years. I probably still would
not camp in the area to this day. Looking on google earth it appears development is coming to the area, I feel sorry for whatever Poltergeist like
experience the home owners are going to have living there. I believe paranormal areas exist based on my experiences there. Maybe deforestation will
kill the forest spirit, or something, who knows.
Anyway, my point being, hearing the wendigo legend, I always wondered if I had found an area that was haunted by a wendigo spirit, if not some
stealthy wendigo beast. The original legend seems to speak of it more as a spirit or ghost, but it could be a beast, or maybe even a state of mind.
The scientific explanation has been that the wendigo was a cautionary tale to reinforce the taboo of cannibalism, such that people who believed in the
wendigo would probably choose to starve to death over eating people to survive. Could it be a mental condition similar to addiction that occurs when
practicing cannibalism? Could it trigger a mental disorder due entirely to the complex and severe mental stress of the situation itself similar to
dissociation in times of trauma?
I've always found it illuminating to view things from a Jungian perspective, and see if there isn't some mental or psychic condition that bears
resemblance to the legend. For example, lunacy is an ancient condition people believed was caused by the moon. We know now that "lunacy" to a
certain degree does exist, the people were just misguided in their belief as to the cause of the condition. Nonetheless, regardless of the absurdity
of the lunatic legend, lunacy is legitimate. So we can wonder, regardless of the far-fetched nature of the wendigo legend, is "wendigoism"
It is said that a wendigo desires human flesh more and more, but is it not an easy leap to say that a person who has already eaten humans in some
prior situation will have far fewer qualms about doing it again in another situation? Is that the wendigo spirit possessing him or does it just say
something about humanity's tendency to see taboo as something akin to virginity, that once it is broken and the crime is transgressed, what the point
in going back, in "pretending" to be what you were "before" the transgression? Once someone is known in his community as a cannibal, once he's
already done it, when famine comes again, what is the person likely to do? How will society react to having their preconceptions reinforced? Is it
possible on some level, everybody is right?
Anyway, sorry for ranting, but I have always been greatly enamored with this subject. I think I may have encountered a malevolent forest spirit, as
it seemed to dwell where no home was ever built, far from society. Whether or not it was a wendigo, is hard to say, but I lived in an area where the
legend was known. I think I may have had run ins with such a thing, and whether it is coincidence or not, my life only got darker for having
interacted with this area/thing, and only improved when I moved very far away.
edit on 18-2-2013 by guanyu because: (no reason given)