Every culture has some form of demon or beast that can posses a person and make them behave poorly… As far as I know the Native Americans are the only ones that have one that instantly turns you into a half crazed and starved cannibal who runs through the woods nearly nude and frozen, nibbling on their own lips for sustenance!
Now the legend has most obviously gotten a bit confused in the last decade as American pop culture has grabbed the Wendigo in it’s hunt for the new “zombie” and given him a part in major motion pictures (Ravenous being my fave) to all number of shows on the tube (X files, Grimm, Supernaturals, Haven, Always Sunny, Fear Itself etc…). But from my understanding there are two main ways of looking at this beast.
is sort of a non corporeal hunger that evolves from real world situation ie stranded in a mountain pass with delicious cohorts… In this situation, eventually the hunger becomes overwhelming, someone tries a little people and instantly becomes Wendigo. Then the hunger grows, begins to twist, emaciate and mishape the victim until its crazed eyes sink back in its head, its bones poke through its gray and frozen skin and the only thing that drives it, is the hunger for human flesh and the desire to hurt and kill to obtain it.
Eventually the nearby food (people) runs out… the Wendigo has to wander the frozen tundra looking for more folks to eat, nibbling its own lips to pass the time and to quell its hunger… often at this stage in stories, it’s eventually discovered by some locals who scream Wendigo and promptly kill it…
is in my opinion way more terrifying to run into in the woods and is a physical manifestation of this hunger where the Wendigo is described as a giant, many times larger than a man, a wretched skin draped tower of bones and occasionally a rack of antlers or tusk or cloak of hides or something equally as terrible thrown in for effect… supposedly every time this Wendigo eats another human it grows by that mass, gaining not sustenance but increasing the need to feed its ever growing and revolting form!
Our judge for battle Wendigo is Mr. King, A Chicago photographer! He also has an ongoing project entitled “The Hero of Love“, wherein he creates ham-fisted and often hideous drawings of Music Celebrities.
See his photography here and Hero of Love here!