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History, Legends & Myths & The Shows & Movies They Inspired : The Wendigo

The wendigo is a creature from Algonquian folklore, but also deeply rooted in the history and legends of Native American tribes. It is a terrifying creature that has captured the imaginations of many, becoming a prominent figure in various myths and stories.

According to legend, the wendigo is a malevolent spirit that possesses humans and transforms them into cannibalistic monsters. It is said to be a result of a person's greed and gluttony, causing them to resort to unthinkable acts of consuming human flesh.

The origins of the wendigo can be traced back to the Algonquian-speaking tribes of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. These tribes believed that the wendigo was a punishment for those who broke cultural taboos, particularly those related to food and hunger.

The wendigo was often described as a tall, emaciated figure with glowing eyes and decaying skin. It was said to have an insatiable appetite for human flesh and was known to be extremely fast and agile, making it a formidable predator. Some tales even claimed that the wendigo could mimic human voices to lure its victims closer.

The legend of the wendigo served as a cautionary tale for the tribes, emphasizing the importance of self-control and respect for the natural world. It was believed that encountering a wendigo was a sign of impending disaster or a warning to avoid engaging in immoral behavior.

The wendigo legend has been passed down through generations, with variations in different tribes' interpretations. Some believed that the wendigo could only be defeated by a powerful shaman, while others thought that avoiding gluttony and greed would protect them from its influence. No one knows for sure how it's  defeated but , they do know this creature serves as a reminder of the consequences of unchecked desires as well the importance of maintaining a balance between our needs and the natural world. 

The wendigo hasn't only served as a reminder of these boundaries but it's influenced our entertainment , sparking the imagination of people around the world. It has inspired countless works of literature, movies, and artwork, further cementing its place in folklore and popular culture. 

Movies and Tv series have many examples of the terrifying Wendigo. Some good, and some average, and then one so amazingly bad darklings that I wanted to write it's creator and demand he somehow give me those 2 hours of my life back. Yes it was that bad. However, I'm not here to talk about the bad, but the my 3 favourite examples as to why the wendigo are not only terrifying but just plain wrong.

I'll start with 2 examples from TV. The first from the legendary TV show Supernatural. Aptly titled Wendigo. The second is an episode from Fear Itself. 

First we have In the popular TV series Supernatural, episode 11 titled "Wendigo" takes viewers on an exhilarating journey into the supernatural world. This episode, originally aired on January 31, 2006, has captivated fans with its intriguing background, gripping anecdotes, talented cast, and thrilling storyline. 

This episode skillfully incorporates this legend of the malevolent creature into the Supernatural universe, creating a terrifying narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. 

As a matter of fact this episode was based on a real-life survival story. The episode's writer, Eric Kripke, drew inspiration from the harrowing experiences of a man named Alfred Packer, who was accused of cannibalism during a mining expedition in the late 1800s. This connection to real events adds an extra layer of authenticity and intrigue to the episode.

The success of Supernatural can be attributed in large part to its talented cast, and "Wendigo" is no exception. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who portray the iconic Winchester brothers, bring their characters to life with their impeccable chemistry and intense performances. Additionally, guest stars Graham Wardle and Tania Saulnier deliver memorable performances as the siblings who get the Winchesters' help in finding their missing brother. The cast's exceptional acting skills contribute to the episode's overall impact and make it a standout installment in the series. It's one of my favourites in particular.

So what happens this time to Sam and Dean my pretties. 

In "Wendigo," Sam and Dean Winchester embark on a mission to locate a missing hiker in the woods of Colorado. As they delve deeper into the case, they discover that a wendigo, a terrifying creature with an insatiable hunger for human flesh, is responsible for the disappearances. The brothers must rely on their hunting skills, knowledge of folklore, and unbreakable bond to survive the treacherous forest and defeat the wendigo before it claims more victims. With its suspenseful plot, heart-pounding action sequences, and well-crafted dialogue, "Wendigo" is a standout episode as I pointed out earlier that showcases the strengths of Supernatural.

Supernatural episode 2, "Wendigo," offers viewers a thrilling blend of supernatural horror, Native American folklore, and captivating storytelling. With its intriguing background drawn from real-life events, anecdotally inspired by survival stories, talented cast performances, and an adrenaline-fueled plot, this episode continues to captivate fans to this day. Whether you're a dedicated Supernatural enthusiast or simply a fan of thrilling television, "Wendigo" is an episode you won't want to miss.

Next up comes Fear Itself , its a gripping horror anthology television series that originally aired in 2008, created by Mick Garris, with various writers and directors.  Each episode of the show takes viewers on a spine-chilling journey, exploring different fears and phobias. This particular episode was directed by Larry Fessenden and written by Drew McWeeny and Rebecca Swan, Episode 8 of Fear Itself, titled "Skin and Bones,". With a talented cast, atmospheric setting, and a suspenseful storyline, this episode explores the fear of the unknown in a truly terrifying way. Doug Jones plays Grady Edlund as a rancher , who for many days was lost in the woods. When he returns, he isn't quite himself and turns on his family and friend. His family faces unimaginable horrors, and viewers are left on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the outcome.

The episode features a talented cast of actors who bring the characters to life. 

Doug Jones as Grady Edlund

Molly Hagan as Elena Edlund 

John Pyper-Ferguson  as Rowdy Edlund

Gordon Tootoosis as Eddie Bear

Brett Dier as Derek Edlund

Cole Heppell as Tim Edlund

Julian Christopher as Doctor

In my opinion darklings, Fear Itself Episode 8 - Skin and Bones is a standout episode in the series.
With its gripping storyline, exceptional cast performances, and spine-tingling scares, it is sure to leave viewers with a lasting impression. If you are a fan of horror and enjoy being on the edge of your seat, this episode is a must-watch. Don't miss out on the twisted and chilling tale that awaits in "Skin and Bones." As an aside I'd like to comment that the reason I didn't go into much detail about this episode is it would give the whole story away. A story that relies on that "edge of your seat" anxiety. Trust me when I say again , THIS is a must see episode.

Finally my darklings is the movie "Ravenous : it's tag line "You are who you eat"

In 1999, director Antonia Bird brought to life an intriguing and disturbing film called "Ravenous." Set in the 19th century, this dark and unsettling movie delves into the depths of human nature, exploring themes of survival, cannibalism, and the blurred boundaries between good and evil. 

"Ravenous" takes place during the Mexican-American War in 1847. The story unfolds in a remote military outpost in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The film combines the elements of horror, thriller, and dark comedy, making it a unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.

During the production of "Ravenous," the filmmakers faced several challenges. Antonia Bird, known for her work in British television, had a distinct vision for the film. However, the studio executives wanted a more commercial and traditional horror movie, leading to creative differences. Despite these challenges, Bird managed to maintain her artistic integrity, resulting in a film that stands out for its originality and thought-provoking narrative.

"Ravenous" boasts an exceptional ensemble cast, featuring talented actors who deliver powerful performances. Guy Pearce takes on the lead role as Captain John Boyd, a troubled soldier haunted by his past. Robert Carlyle portrays Colonel Ives, a mysterious and enigmatic character who becomes the source of both terror and fascination. Other notable cast members include David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, and Jeffrey Jones, each bringing depth and authenticity to their respective roles.

The plot of "Ravenous" centers around Captain John Boyd, a soldier who is sent to the remote outpost Fort Spencer after a shameful incident in battle. As winter sets in, a stranger named Colonel Ives arrives at the fort, claiming to be the sole survivor of a doomed wagon train. Strange occurrences and unexplained disappearances begin to unfold, leading Captain Boyd to uncover a horrifying secret.

As the story progresses, it becomes evident that Colonel Ives is not what he seems. A sinister force takes hold of the fort's inhabitants, testing their morality and driving them to the brink of madness. The film skillfully explores the fine line between survival and savagery, blurring the boundaries between the hunter and the hunted.

In its exploration of cannibalism, "Ravenous" offers a unique take on the horror genre. The film delves
into the psychological and moral implications of such acts, leaving the audience questioning their own capacity for darkness and desperation.

"Ravenous" stands as a captivating and unsettling film that delves into the darkest corners of human nature. With its exceptional cast, thought-provoking narrative, and striking visuals, it remains a noteworthy entry in the horror genre. Antonia Bird's vision and the stellar performances of the cast make "Ravenous" a must-watch for fans of psychological horror and those who appreciate films that challenge conventional storytelling.

What do you think darklings? Let me know what you think of the legend of the Wendigo, and if you've seen the shows or movie I covered, real not real, did you enjoy the shows? Have any suggestions for future content? Until next time minions, watch where you decide to go mucking about or you just might come home hungrier than you ever thought possible!