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One more big reason why you Don't Go in the Woods.

"The Wendigo, the Wendigo
I saw it just a friend ago
Last night it lurked in Canada
Tonight on your veranada!"
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Also spelled Windigo, Weetigo and Wetiko among others (depending on the language and region), the Wendigo is a human being turned into a cannibal monster in the mythologies of several Algonquian and Athabaskan peoples.

The causes of this transformation and the Wendigo's general appearance vary from region to region. Some lores have it that eating human flesh is what makes you turn into one, but in others you can become one just by coming across a Wendigo or by being possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo. Its most common description is a dreadfully skinny giant of ice devoid of lips and toes, while newer works often portray it as a hunchbacked creature with the antlered head of a deer, or perhaps a deer's Skull for a Head. The more it devours, the larger it grows, and thus it can never find enough food to satisfy its hunger. In the mythologies of several Amerindian Nations, the Wendigo can revive if you don't destroy its body entirely, which may lead to Kill It with Fire. More info on the Other Wiki.

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A potent source of Nightmare Fuel. Not to be confused with the Bigfoot/Sasquatch, though some writers connect the two anyway. Also not to be confused with the Slender Man film of the same name. Compare Our Ghouls Are Creepier for stories of monsters associated with cannibalism from a more arid climate.

In general, Native American audiences typically do not respond well to Wendigo portrayals in media due to mainstream misinformation of what these things mean within their cultures, and because those cultures often consider the entity itself a taboo topic. Creative discretion is advised.

Tropes often applying to depictions of wendigos:

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of greed, winter or starvation, depending on who you ask.
  • Bloody Horror: Native American wendigos have blood pouring out of their eyes, bloody stumps for feet and torn, bloodied lips.
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  • Cannibalism Superpower: By way of Cursed with Awesome.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Wendigo are supernaturally strong, fast and tough and in some stories can fly. In many stories, they can inflict horrific hallucinations on humans to drive them mad.
  • Dem Bones: In some modern depictions, they are hunchbacked skeletons with deer skulls for heads.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: An Ice Person: Are sometimes portrayed as having ice powers, and are always associated with winter.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Anyone can become possessed by the wendigo spirit and become one, which is part of what makes it frightening (compare zombies).
  • Horror Hunger: Because they represent greed, they have an insatiable hunger for human flesh, where no matter how much they eat they're always emaciated. They may also have no lips from chewing at them.
  • Humanoid Abomination: In Native stories, the creature is much closer to human form, more like a walking corpse or a revenant, which is also unnaturally tall, skinny and fast. The Westernized take on it (which is quite recent) as an Animalistic Abomination looks very different and is more like a werewolf in concept.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Within most Algonquian traditions, Wendigos are essentially just sociopaths, or otherwise metaphorical for human evil, rather than anything supernatural.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ghouls are the only monsters more associated with cannibalism.
  • Kill It with Fire: In Native American stories. After European influence, the way to kill it is said to be driving a silver blade into its heart, smashing the heart, placing the pieces in a silver box, burying the box in a churchyard, salting and burning the body and scattering the ashes.
  • Lean and Mean: Wendigo are often described as emaciated due to their associations with starvation and famine.
  • The Marvelous Deer: Often an inversion or subversion in newer works (see Newer Than They Think). Modern wendigos commonly blend humanoid and cervine traits, either resembling an antlered humanoid, or a human body with a stag's head or rotting skull in place of a human head.
  • Newer Than They Think: The "skeleton with a deer skull" look is strictly a 21st Century invention, originating in the 2001 movie Wendigo.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: There are only a few ways to kill them, which varies somewhat between tellings of the stories about them. Fire is often one, because they have hearts of ice. In some cases, they can be killed by gunshots or being chopped into pieces, but not easily. Other ways to get rid of them may be spiritual or shamanistic.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: Quite literally, because it looks like it's starving to death. Despite this, it's unnaturally strong.
  • Ominous Owl: This one rarely shows up in pop culture, but in the original Algonquian and Athabaskan folklore, wendigo were sometimes associated with owls, to the point where in some dialects, a single word can refer to either creature.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Wendigoes are often treated as the icy version of this.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: In the belief of some tribes, wendigoes are ice giants. They're usually tall and skinny enough that their bodies can be mistaken for the limbs of trees.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The first written accounts of the wendigo specifically compare it to the European werewolf myth, as it too is a seemingly-normal human, suddenly driven to a ravenous and cannibalistic hunger.
  • Speak of the Devil: Some Natives from cultures where the wendigo is part of their mythology don't like to talk about the wendigo and won't say or write its name, because they traditionally believe that even thinking about it can lead to being possessed by it.
  • The Virus: The wendigo isn't just a creature, but more properly it's a spirit that can enter and take over a human and turn them into the monster if they're vulnerable to it (isolated, starving, etc.).
  • Was Once a Man: The point of the Native stories about the creature is that the wendigo is An Aesop about the loss of humanity from greed and selfishness (which is why it's endlessly hungry and appears in the winter, a time when there would be little food and communities would need to rely on each other most to survive). This detail might be missed in adaptations by Western writers who may simply portray it as terrifying because it's like a wild beast and there is no reasoning with it.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Ancient Magus' Bride: Elias Ainsworth is (in what seems to be his Shapeshifter Default Form) a tall, lean creature covered in fur, with a horned Skull for a Head (although it's not a deer skull). He is first encountered by Lindel in a freezing cold forest somewhere in the North, and claims to have eaten humans in the past, and occasionally still feels this urge in the present. He is never explicitly referred to as a wendigo, but to date, this is likely the best explanation for his existence the fandom has come up with.
  • Wendigomon is the villain for the first Digimon Adventure 02 movie (though it is never identified as such). It is a corrupted evolved form of Wallace's Chocomon (infected by a virus, and referred to solely by that name in the movie), compared to Turuiemon, named for the Festival of Rabbits. It's an apelike creature with stretching arms, ice breath, and giant laser cannons that burst out of the flesh in its chest. Early American Bandai materials mistakenly called it Endigomon, while it Japan it is known as Wendimon. However, there are no elements of cannibalism here, so the name is the only overt connection to the myth.
  • One Piece: Chopper's Monster Form was very inspired by this, being a giant monster with reindeer-like features. His most dangerous form, he manages to control it post timeskip.

    Audio Plays 
  • In The Cartographer's Handbook, Wendigo is a name given to the savage, zombie-like creatures that have overrun the world, named as such to specifically invoke the original legend.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering features the Wiitigo, a big creature that gets larger the more it fights other creatures, but shrinks as soon as it runs out of foes to fight/feed on. Notably, it's typed as a yeti creature. The Aura Shape of the Wiitigo allows the player to twist any creature into a Wiitigo.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: El Shadoll Wendigo is named after these monsters. Wendigo is a corrupted Wen. In fact, Wendigo is an extended version of Wen's name.

    Comic Books 
  • A run of B.P.R.D. involved a Wendigo curse being transmitted from person to person. This one is a particular Tear Jerker, since the Wendigo retains his memories as a family man, though he had been unaware that his family thought him dead and had moved on. He is told that he will eventually lose his humanity, and when he asks Abe and Hellboy to kill him, is told that it won't work, since the only way to break the curse and let him die peacefully is to kill someone else and pass the curse on. HB and Abe regretfully inform the Wendigo that they have no choice but to lock him up. The last shot of him curled up in his cell with nothing but a photo of him with his family for comfort makes this example something of a Woobdigo, particularly as it's clear he'll eventually forget who they are, and may be starting to already.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: In Don Rosa's "War of the Wendigo", Scrooge McDuck investigates reports of wendigo attacks at a lumber mill of his in Canada. However, these "wendigo" are described more like The Fair Folk; small, mischievous but relatively harmless tricksters who play pranks on people in the forest. Said wendigo turn out to be the Peeweegah Indians from "Land of the Pygmy Indians" by Carl Barks, who once again have to teach Scrooge a Green Aesop.
  • Ithaqua from the Cthulhu Mythos makes an appearance in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when it accidentally takes over Allen Quartermain's body while he's astral-projecting. Ithaqua was perfectly happy to be a nightmarish mass in an infinite void of space, and isn't particularly pleased to be in Quartermain's disgustingly alien, human meat-body.
  • In Marvel Comics, anyone who eats human flesh in the frozen north becomes a Wendigo. The creature is best known as a villain of the X-Men and spinoff team Alpha Flight, but has tangled with Spider-Man and others. In fact, he seems to be the standard villain for superheroes visiting Canada. It's well-known for shouting its Catchphrase: "WEN-DI-GOOOO!" The Wendigo in Marvel Comics is portrayed as a muscular Sasquatch-esque creature with white fur rather than a skinny elongated monster.
    • It's a common Incredible Hulk villain too, having made its first Marvel appearance in his book. (And its second story in that book was the first appearance of Wolverine, giving the association more historical weight than it might otherwise have.)
    • In Earth X, Multiple Man is transformed into one when he eats one of his own doubles to survive. He doesn't lose his self-duplication powers.
    • Todd McFarlane infamously used the Wendigo as a poor, misunderstood victim during his Spider-Man run.
    • An issue of Amazing Spider-Man, pencilled by Charles Vess, featured a demonic spirit called Wendigo who descended upon New York during a fierce blizzard. No relation (that we are aware of) to Marvel's regular Wendigo.
    • In the Amazing X-Men storyline World War Wendigo, a confrontation between two Canadian meat packing plant employees resulted in one accidentally killing the other. The perpetrator decided to cover it up by running the victim's body through a meat grinder, which ended up being consumed by several people, resulting in a mass break of the Wendigo curse.
    • A Wendigo is a member of Omega Flight, the Black Ops Counterparts of Alpha Flight in Jonathan Hickman's The Avengers, as the counterpart to Sasquatch. We don't learn if he's under the curse or has a different origin, or anything else about him before he gets killed.
    • In an issue of Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew visited a Canadian ski lodge, where an Evil Chef was serving human flesh to his unwitting patrons in order to invoke an outbreak of Wendigos. Drew managed to prevent most of the patrons from eating human meat by pretending to be a militant Straw Vegetarian, knocking morsels out of people's mouths while shouting things like "Meat is murder!"
    • During a Year of Marvels one-shot, X-23 and She-Hulk teamed up to fight the Wendigo Sisters, a pair of intelligent female Wendigos named Grace and Harmony, who were willingly transformed by their mother.
    • Weapon H reveals that eating a Wendigo's flesh turns you into a kind of Double Wendigo.
  • The obscure one-shot The Wendigo of Manitou Valley, notable for its cover depicting the eponymous beast fighting a robot.
  • The appropriately-named Wendigo Wood has the protagonist entering a forest FULL of them in his search for his missing daughter.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In The Bridge the three Windigos from Equestria are given an Adaptation Expansion that draws wholesale from Algonquian myth. They are given a physical alternate form that is gaunt, very tall, and looks like a frostbitten corpse with icy growths resembling hooves on the feet and an antlered deer skull on their faces. While they feed off of and perpetuate misery instead of specifically human flesh, cannibalism is mentioned as another means of causing despair. The winter theme is also played up as a manifestation of the evil they can emotionally manifest.
  • Several wendigo, portrayed as lanky and pale humanoids with elk skulls for heads, appear in The Luna Syndicate, which is part of The Calvinverse series. They hunt in packs, can walk on walls, and have the ability to mimic humans to lure their prey into a trap (one pretends to be a crying little girl to lead the main cast to its pack). They are also influenced by a red star like all the other monsters.
  • The third story in The Dresden Fillies series, "Great Power", has Harry contact a Wendigo for help in a case that he's working on. The Wendigo first appears to look like a regular person, but after Harry gives it a gift of three plucked turkeys it reveals its true form of a white haired, deer-headed giant. Wendigos are not incredibly popular among the supernatural world, so they have to hide themselves very well (and a modern city like Chicago is basically a giant buffet for a Wendigo, which can sustain itself on the dozens of all-you-can-eat restaurants that populate such areas).
  • The Buffyverse story Tales of the Slayer: Wendigo tells of a Slayer being called in pre-Columbian America.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • The plot of Antlers revolves around the creature. In the film, a boy named Lucas Weaver's father was attacked by a Wendigo and later on transforms into one.
  • The creature In Dark Was the Night is implied to be one of these. When Paul begins searching the internet for animals with feet that match the prints found all around Maiden Wood, the camera lingers on a Wikipedia entry for windiga, an alternate spelling of wendigo.
  • Deadtime Stories: Volume 2: At the end of "The Gorge", Donna is transforming into one: even though the word 'wendigo' isn't mentioned. Trapped in a cave-in, she eats her injured fiancé to survive. After being rescued, she discovers she has an insatiable craving for human flesh. In the last scene of the segment, she is physically transformed into a more monstrous form, and is stalking tourists in the cave system where she was trapped.
  • Devil In The Dark: In Washington State, Adam visits his estranged brother Clint to reconnect their relationship after fifteen years apart from each other. Clint has always been the favorite of their father Glen, and Adam feels grief and sorrow. The plan to go in a hunting party along the weekend to hunt deer and supersede their problems. When they stumble upon a cave surrounded by deer antlers, they flee from the spot. But they are chased and stalked by a supernatural creature. Will they escape alive from the being?
  • Is the subject of the 2021 film Don't Say It's Name, referred to as "Wheetago". Notably, the film was written and directed by Cree director, Ruben Martell, and features a primarily Cree cast. The focus is on a police officer and ex-military park ranger trying to put a stop to it, with the spirit awakening after the "accidental" death of an enviromental activist.
  • Troma created a movie in the late '80s named Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo. It has less to do with monstrous cannibal spirits, and more to do with killer animated pots of chili, however.
  • Ghostkeeper, where an insane woman keeps the Wendigo that was once her son locked in the basement.
  • The werewolves are assumed to be these in Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.
  • Tonto in Disney's reboot of The Lone Ranger believes that Butch is a Wendigo (despite the fact that Tonto is a Comanche and the Wendigo is an Algonquin legend). He eats human flesh, and at one point eats the heart of the main character's brother in front of him, so his conclusion is understandable.
  • The possible identity of the killer beast in the woods in The Lost Coast Tapes. While not expressly stated, it's animalistic attributes, such as hooves, and an increased spiritual presence when it's revealed fits the cultural depictions of the wendigo, and it would fit with the references to Native American Mythology that this film ties in with Bigfoot.
  • Someone can turn into a Wendigo after experiencing a devastating personal betrayal or by looking into the eyes of one in Maneater.
  • In Pet Sematary (2019), Louis comes across a picture of one in a book of Native Mythology. Judd tells him that to the Miq'mak who used to live there, it wasn't a fairy tale; they were deathly afraid of it. He may or may not have spotted it through the trees while carrying Ellie's body to the cursed burial ground.
  • The Rake (2018) is explicitly compared to this early in the film and we see it functions pretty much the same as a spiritual entity that attaches itself to a victim and forces or drives it to do horrible things before it can physically manifest.
  • The Wendigo Myth features prominently in Ravenous (1999). In the film, eating human flesh is addictive and gives you super-strength. The movie is set in California, but the Native character who first mentions the legend explicitly names it as an Ojibway story.
  • In The Retreat, a man named Gus finds himself tormented by a wendigo during a winter backpacking trip with his friend Adam in the Adirondack High Peaks of upstate New York.
  • The 2001 American horror movie titled Wendigo. The Wendigo in this is a deer-headed man that may or may not exist. The movie leaves it up to the viewer but the more likely explanation for the cannibals in the movie are real psychological problems. This is also the movie that pretty much invented the trope of the wendigo as having the head of a stag. Also worth noting is that the movie was directed by Larry Fessenden, who would go on to work on Until Dawn and The Last Winter - both of which also involve the wendigo myth.
  • In the 2021 horror film, Dawn of the Beast, a wendigo spirit haunts a specific track of woods and targets a collegue class investigating bigfoot sightings. In a case of accuracy, the wendigo is a spirit that possesses others into becoming monstrous rather than a physical entity. Those possessed become gaunt, ravenous ghouls overtime, who can attack in a Zerg Rush when amassed. Fortunately, a Sasquatch functions as a Guardian Entity to kill the possessed and is capable of forcing the wendigo spirit back after coming to the rescue of the survivor.

    Literature 
  • The Wendigo is discussed, and it is ambiguous as to whether it's actually encountered, in the novel Bonechiller. The dad of the protagonist's love interest describes to them a legend about one.
  • Cthulhu Mythos: Ithaqua is a Great Old One who lives in the North and was inspired by the legend of the Wendigo. Blackwood's short story was the inspiration for The Wind-walker, the story in which Ithaqua debuted.
  • Such a creature is mentioned in Michael D. O'Brien's novel Eclipse of the Sun by a young boy called Arrow.
  • Daniel González short story Gemidos en el Viento (Screams in the Wind) published in the Ominous Tales magazine is about the Wendigo myth affecting two excursionists in Canada.
  • In The General Series by David Drake and S.M. Stirling, the Skinners, descended from French Canadians, refer to Raj Whitehall as the "Gran' wheetigo," translated in-story as the "Big Devil."
  • "Ghost in the Machine", a Mercedes Lackey short story in "Trio of Sorcery", features a MMORPG enemy infected with a Wendigo spirit.
  • The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole has a variant. One becomes a Wendigo when bitten or scratched by one, although Lothaire reveals the heretofore little-known fact that rubbing salt into the wound halts the transformation. They hunger for flesh, like the archetype.
  • The second book in the gory Monstrumologist series is called Curse of The Wendigo. A "neither living or dead version of the Wendigo" is the main antagonist.
  • Pet Sematary: The Indian burial ground and the path leading to it are frequented by the Wendigo. Whether this is the cause or the result of the curse on that area isn't made clear. At one point, the protagonist nearly meets the Wendigo, but it's a foggy night so he's spared from seeing it. The burial ground having "gone sour" is connected to cannibalism. Later, it's... creatively euphemized that the resurrected Gage engaged in this.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark features a loose adaptation of the Blackwood story, with a wendigo that is more of an elemental of wind and cold. The Wendigo calls you out of the tent with its eerie, windblown song, and drags you along the ground until your feet burn, then carries you up into the sky and drops you.
    Oh, my fiery feet! My burning feet of fire!
    Diego lifted up the hat, and screamed. There was nothing beneath the hat but a pile of ashes.
  • Shadowrun: Robert N. Charrette's Secrets of Power trilogy (Never Deal with a Dragon, Choose Your Enemies Carefully and Find Your Own Truth) has a Wendigo as the main villain. He uses illusions to appear human and turns the main character's sister into one as well, leading to her eventual Heroic Sacrifice before she loses her humanity .
  • In Sorrow's Knot, the people of the Great Sea don’t have White Hands, but sometimes people go into the forest and come out taller and hungry for human flesh. Orca’s father Three Oars was bitten by one of these stretchy cannibals, and Orca was supposed to talk him into the sea, but couldn’t face it.
  • In the Urban Dragon series, where eating human flesh is surprisingly common among the characters, wendigos are only created when the person who consumed flesh was already the descendant of another wendigo. Since it's a latent condition, most people who are susceptible don't know it until it's too late.
  • "The Wendigo" by Algernon Blackwood, which introduces the legend and influenced the modern version of this trope. In it, the Wendigo is primarily portrayed as a wind spirit, which snatches its victims up and drags them through the sky. If it ever returns them, they soon die of exposure and frostbite.
  • Two well known poems address the wendigo. Ogden Nash's "Wendigo" uses the legends as a source of humor but Louise Erdrich's "Windigo" is more serious, claiming the only way to kill a windigo is to melt its frozen heart.
  • Wendigo (also released as Edgewise), a horror novel by Graham Masterton, features one that is a spirit of the woods and can be called up to find and recover missing people - in this case, the kidnapped children of a woman from Minnesota, who is horrified when she learns it's also killing and eating the people responsible for the kidnapping. Then, when she reneges on the deal she made with the two native Americans who called it up for her (he wants a piece of land that once belonged to his tribe, and she can't get it), it starts killing other people who try to help her escape or stop it, and kidnaps her young nephew as leverage against her (implied to be on orders from the people who summoned it). Algernon Blackwood's story is referenced at one point, and it's pointed out that he got things reversed - the Wendigo itself will catch on fire if dragged along the ground (and this is the only way to kill it), it doesn't inflict this fate on its victims.
  • "Wendigo's Child", by Thomas Monteleone, transplants the creature from the American Northeast to the American Southwest and replaces its familiar deer's head with that of a predatory bird. Its hunger for flesh remains unchanged, however.
  • In The Strain series, the wendigo myth is said to have been inspired by The Master, one of the first vampires, and - for most of history, anyway - the only one in the New World.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blood Ties (2007): In "Heart of Ice", Henry and Vicki hunt a wendigo that is living in the sewers and preying on the homeless population.
  • Charmed (1998) features one in the first-season episode "The Wendigo", though it's a bit of a hybrid between this and Our Werewolves Are Different — the first wendigo apparently ate his treacherous lover's heart, but the curse is spread by scratches and transformation takes place on the "three nights of the full moon." There's also a twist that, having been created by scorned love and vengeance, it specifically targets virtuous people.
  • The Edison Twins: In "Gone with the Windigo", after their campsite is ransacked, Annie insists on finishing the orienteering race and rallies the Weston team to a spirited finish, before accompanying Tom in a search for the Windigo monster. As night sets in, Tom and Annie follow the trail of the woodland marauder and Paul and Lance lose each other in the forest. Alone in the woods, Paul overcomes his fear and makes a startling discovery and Annie is saved from a poisonous snake by the mysterious Windigo.
  • Fear Itself: One of these possesses a man in "Skin & Bones", which was directed by Larry Fessenden, who appears to have a bit of an obsession with the myth, as he also did the aforementioned Wendigo and The Last Winter films and The Wendigo of Manitou Valley comic.
  • The Forest Rangers: In "Wendigo", a young Indian girl named Emesenah is chased through the bush by an evil spirit called "Wendigo." She is in danger and panic sets in. Ted and Chub follow her to Seven Wolves Lake where she fights off the spirit with a cermonial mask only to find her father is still alive. She thought he had been taken by the "Wendigo".
  • In Grimm, Wendigos are Wesen who eat humans and hide their remains under their lair. According to the Kessler Archive, Jeffrey Dahmer was one.
  • In Hannibal, a deer with raven feathers is used as a recurring Animal Motif in Will Graham's dreams and hallucinations, and Word of God confirms that it represents a Wendigo. Given who the title character is it's fairly obvious who the Wendigo is supposed to be. In the season 1 finale, Will hallucinates that Hannibal is a humanoid Wendigo, with a black, emaciated body and antlers. The humanoid Wendigo then continues to symbolize Hannibal in Will's dreams and hallucinations in season 2.
  • Haven: In "Who, What, Where, Wendigo?", three young girls have their Trouble activated and gain enhanced physical abilities and senses, but a Horror Hunger for human flesh as well. Apparently, their ancestors inspired the Native American tales of the Wendigo.
  • Lost Tapes: A Wendigo, in the form of a lost hiker who kills and eats a severely injured friend, before killing and eating the other friends on the trip, is the Monster of the Week in the episode with the same name.
  • Rabbit Fall: In "The Weetigo", old wounds are stirred when a missing American tourist washes up on the notorious Dog Island. His body is half eaten and the people of Rabbit Fall are convinced the Weetigo- a creature who takes over humans' souls and turns then into cannibals- is back. The discovery coincides with the return of John Spence, a child killer who cannibalized his victim in one of Rabbit Falls's most haunting crimes. Fear morphs into frenzy and a group of vigilantes sets out to destroy the alleged Weetigo before he strikes again. The case spirals out of control when Tara brings Spence into protective custody.
  • Sleepy Hollow has one show up in a Season 2 episode, when Sheriff Corbin's son is cursed into one by Henry/Jeremy (using bone dust made from one of the Pied Piper's bone flutes) — the scent of blood triggers the transformation into the blue-furred, antlered beast, which can only be reversed by feeding on human flesh and organs. Oh, and if the cursed one feeds three times, the change is permanent. Fortunately, Ichabod learns of a Shawnee spell that breaks the curse.
  • Supernatural: One shows up in the second episode. Par the course, it's formerly human, feeds on human flesh, and lives in the woods. It also only feeds once every 23 years, and keeps some of its victims in storage.
  • In Teen Wolf, a family of Wendigos briefly appear before being murdered. From what was shown, they are usually nice people as long as they're able to regularly eat human flesh. Otherwise they gain Horror Hunger, a bad attitude, and some new teeth.
  • The X-Files has the season 1 episode "Shapes," whose Monster of the Week is a pretty faithful depiction of the Wendigo myth. In a clear case of Critical Research Failure, however, the creature is referred to as a "Manitou," despite the fact that Manitou were benevolent spirits in most Native American belief systems.

    Magazines 
  • Boy's Life had a story about a story that was told by a kid to his friends to scare them. It's implied the story teller falls victim to one a later night as they hear the moan it was described to make around the time he disappeared and was never heard from again. One of the kids even saw a giant shadowy figure in the distance looking down on him while trying to find the lost boy and concludes that they were so scared of the story they brought it to life.

    Music 
  • Operation Wendigo by Doug the Eagle: "They foxified me!".
  • Marah in the Mainsail has a song called "Wendigo," the singer of which is in the process of becoming one, but has two guns (a pistol, and a rifle if that doesn't work, each with a single bullet) for when he inevitably falls to the curse.
  • American folk duo Penny and Sparrow's fourth studio album (released Sep. 1, 2017) is titled Wendigo, featuring the title track "Wendigo" which mentions the creature both literally and thematically.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arduin: The windego is a tornado-like creature from the 18th plane of Hell that grows up to 300 feet tall, with glowing red eyes.
  • In Bleak World, wendigo are a class of vampire.
  • Call of Cthulhu includes Ithaqua as a possible menace for player-characters to run away from really really fast. The Wendigo is just about the non-mythos monster most associated with the Call of Cthulhu system, due mostly to the fact that Alone Against the Wendigo together with Alone Against the Dark were the first two solo-adventures published by Chaosium for the system.
  • Chill: The tamanous is a similar cannibalism-promoting Native American monster. It resembles a warrior's corpse partially covered in tar. The difference is that it can't just eat human flesh, it has to eat the flesh of a human who has themselves devoured human flesh, knowingly or otherwise. So that ought to make their lives difficult, right? Not when you consider their love of opening restaurants, or dining clubs, or just giving out free meals to anyone who looks hungry...
  • Deadlands: Wendigos are something of a Stock Monster in the Weird and Wasted Wests. And no surprise, given that cannibalism falls under the direct purview of one of the Big Bads.
    • Deadlands wendigos are created when a human eats the flesh of another human in the appropriate parts of the country; it can happen to Player Character types, and according to Word of God, it can even happen if the character doesn't know what they're eating. Not that a sadistic Marshal would ever trick a Player Character like that...
    • There's also a variant wendigo that is created not by cannibalism, but by food hoarding. If a hoarder causes others to starve to death because of his greed and selfishness, he runs the risk of being wendigofied.
  • Demon: The Descent features the wendigo as a monster in its Storyteller's Guide: an Imperative, a minor and barely sentient angel created by the God-Machine for minor tasks, was created to drive a man lost in extreme cold to become a cannibal to fulfill an occult matrix. And was then abandoned, so it hasn't stopped acting out its programming ever since. To those few capable of seeing it, the Imperative, known as Wendigo Psychosis, appears as a horribly emaciated and frostbitten humanoid of indeterminate gender.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Wendigos are adapted for use in the 3rd edition Fiend Folio. They're nature spirits that embody the hungry, dark and terrifying side of nature, and can turn themselves into wind and back at will. They like to pick one person out any group that enters their territory and stalk them until they're jumping at shadows, and they can turn people into more wendigos by draining their Wisdom points; the resulting creature resembles a deformed mockery of its former self, with charred, bloody stumps instead of feet. The creature is actually a template that can be added to humanoids, giants, or even animals.
  • Edgewalkers: A Wendigo is a Heinz Hybrid of the three monster races. It's what happens when a Sasquatch (A ghoul with lycanthropy) is infected by vampirism. Fear of becoming a Wendigo is the reason that Sasquatch's stay away from urban areas with a high vampire population.
  • GURPS: One GURPS Horror adventure titled The Old Stone Fort riffed on the fiction of Manly Wade Wellman by using Cherokee demons and monsters as the villains, including a wendigo for the Big Bad.
  • Pathfinder wendigos are directly inspired by the Algernon Blackwood and Larry Fessendon versions. They're emaciated, stag-headed humanoids with legs ending in ragged, scorched stumps hovering just off the ground, created when desperate people descend into cannibalism and driven by mindless, burning hunger for meat; they're as powerful as they're hideous, some of the strongest monsters in the game. They also come in a desert variety related to death by thirst and hording water, and a void version that can hibernate for millenia on derelict starships.
  • Rifts: In keeping with its Fantasy Kitchen Sink (and sci-fi kitchen sink, and horror kitchen sink...), the setting has two types of wendigo: the "spirit" wendigo, wise supernatural hairy hominids friendly to the local Magical Native American tribes, and the wendigo demons who are truer to the original myths, if slightly underwhelming (it's a good thing they travel in packs, because a lone one wouldn't be much trouble for the average Rifts low-level PC group).
  • Shadowrun: A wendigo is an Ork (human variant) infected with the HMHVV (Human Meta Human Vampiric Virus). They're around 2.5 meters high, weigh 130 kilograms, and look like a sasquatch with white fur. They have magical powers, and mentally influence their victims into becoming cannibals.
  • The Strange: Cannibals in the Thunder Plains suffer a terrible curse that strips them of their humanity, turns them into monsters with an appetite for human flesh and causes them to hibernate in the hinterlands until the winter, when they become wendigos and prowl the darkest hours in search of human prey.
  • Warhammer: Mournghouls are fundamentally very similar to the mythical wendigo, being created when people driven mad by cold and hunger in the far north of the world turn to cannibalism to survive, only to later succumb to the elements and rise as monstrous undead creatures driven by an endless, insatiable hunger that they can never relieve.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, there is a werewolf tribe named after the Wendigo who worship the cannibal spirit as their tribal patron. Powerful members of the tribe can summon an avatar of the Wendigo to track down and devour their enemies.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken, the Spiritual Successor of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, has the Lodge of Wendigo, where most of the members have a somewhat lax attitude towards the whole "don't eat the flesh of men, wolves, or werewolves" taboo. Especially since they have rituals that grant them access to special knowledge if they sample a bit of another's flesh.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest Worlds features a boss monster called Wendigo.
  • Bloodborne: Several of the game's bosses, most notably the Cleric Beast and Vicar Amelia, draw heavily on the Wendigo for inspiration.
  • In Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer, the Wendigo is the main villain, although it's generally described as a "great evil", and appears as the upper half of a giant, flaming, horned, skeleton.
  • In Dead Space 3, the Feeders are necromorphs that resulted from humans eating infected corpses out of desperation. They are fairly weak individually, but (like the Pack from the previous game, who may or may not be the child version) always attack in groups.
  • Wendigo is the official name of the line of monsters that starts with Gargantuan Beast and ends with Yeti in Diablo II.
  • Although not encountered in the game, one of the codex entries in Dragon Age: Origins mentions that people possessed by hunger demons become cannibals.
  • An enemy introduced in the second episode of DUSK is named after the creature. On top of the looks (they have the appearance of human skeletons with the skulls and antlers of deer) and the implied taste for human flesh (the level that introduces them has no living enemies before their first appearance, just a lot of pre-placed corpses), they've also gained invisibility that lasts until the player lands a hit on them.
  • One of the forms the restriction blocks in Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes in one part of the game is a Wendigo, despite it looking nothing like it.
  • Fallout series:
    • Fallout 76 features wendigo in the more dangerous areas of the map. One of the storylines of the main quest reveals that the wendigos of the Fallout universe are the cannibal variety.
      • And then there's the Wendigo Colossus, a three-headed variant whose piercing shrieks can terrify the player characters, causing them to involuntarily run in a random direction. As of August 2020, there's even a Bonus Boss against a Wendigo Colossus named... Earle Williams. Note 
    • In Fallout: New Vegas unofficial addon Fallout Dust, a creature called "Wendigo" or "The Tall Man" can be encountered in the Zion canyon. The monster is a spore carrier, which mutated and grew to enormous size after being exposed to a chemical weapon. This is what happened to Joshua Graham after dying from the Vault 22 infection.
  • There's a boss called Wendigo in Final Fantasy X.
  • Gems of War, the Boss of the Wild Court mission is the Wendigo, appearing as a hulking, fur-covered humanoid with a deer Skull for a Head and hunt-related magics. It is classified as a member of the Fair Folk and in the background story he took over the Court after the PC and heroine Atlanta took care of Orion, the previous Master of the Hunt.
  • Ghost Master features a Secret Characternote  Windwalker, a Wendigo-class ghost. He is a hunchback ghost of ice and wind with British Teeth. Right from the start, he can howl in the night, driving people crazy, summon winds, and even cause a Siberian cold on the whole map. Train him further, and he'll be able to freeze everyone and make people outright mad with anger.
  • Humorously, a wendigo named Wendy appears in Grand Chase, but looks like this until Art Evolution set in...
  • There are monsters called "Wendigo" in the French version of The Granstream Saga.
  • Grim Dawn
    • Wendigoes appear as the result of the Ravager influencing those who resort to cannibalism; since the apocalypse has struck, and naturally many people have to resort to it, wendigos are running rampant in several regions. You get a sneak peak of two of them on Asterkarn Road in Act 4, but they don't show up in force until Act 5. In the Ashes of Malmouth expansion, you even find a whole Affably Evil town of Wendigo cultists that worship the Ravager, and purport at least they're not quite as savage as the actual Wendigos. It also lets you find an incomplete aspect of the Ravager called the Reaper of the Lost if you really piss them off.
    • The Shaman mastery has a skill called "Wendigo Totem," which Life Drains enemies. It's modifier skill, Blood Pact, adds a combat buff to this aura. It's noted that these totems are usually taboo among most wildmen tribes, since contact with the wendigo's spirit form usually turns the shaman into its vessel.
  • Hexen has an enemy type called "wendigo", found in frosty areas; they look like humanoid beings made of ice and they shoot spiky lumps of ice at you.
  • Horror adventure Kona makes mention of the myth, as you track through rural Quebec in a blizzard, trying to solve a murder and string of disappearances. It turns out to be far more than a mention, with the wendigo being invoked as an instrument of revenge by a local native after a hunting incident gone wrong. When the intended target of revenge died, the wendigo was left to rampage and kill everyone in town by encasing them in ice, until it was shot through the heart with a crossbow bolt. The game climaxes with you accidentally releasing the beast by pulling out the bolt, and being chased by the wendigo before making a narrow escape.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, a monster boss named "Wendigo" appears in act III in a glacier, on the way to the actual Arc Villain. He resembles a massive, grotesque humanoid with a skull-like head, exposed ribs and heart and a long tail. It's also missing an arm, apparently because the Arc Villain you're after mutilated him, but can summon a phantom copy to use. As a nod to mythology, the party member who notices his presence in the pre-bossfight cutscene is Kongol, who vaguely resembles a native american, and you can instantly kill him by using the Satchel on his exposed heart after he perform a certain move.
  • Kaichi "Susukichi" Suzuki from NEO: The World Ends with You gives this vibe as part of his boss battle, with his massive top-heavy build, deer Animal Motif, and eyes emanating dark auras that make his head look like a skull. Ironically, he's weak to Ice.
  • In Outward, people who commit cannibalism transform into wendigos, powerful undead that exude cold. They're commonly found around bandits, who abuse and neglect their captives to the point that cannibalism approaches inevitability. The bandits themselves are also prone to turning.
  • Pacman Monsters: Surprisingly coming in all elemental forms and evolving from Gremlin Mooks, Wendigos here are large mammal/reptile combos that are powerful in battle.
  • Appears in The Secret World during the mission to Solomon Island. Here, they're portrayed as muscular semi-human monstrosities crawling on all fours, and are commonly found in the forests and mountains of the area. Though not given specific focus in the missions, Lore entries note that Wendigoes are the result of possession by a malignant spirit usually kept away by magic rituals, are effectively unaging, and doomed to grow hungrier the more they eat; worse still, with most of their usual prey having been herded away from the forests by the ongoing Zombie Apocalypse, the local Wendigoes have resorted to eating literally anything else - including trees and rocks.
  • Wendigo appear as demons in several Shin Megami Tensei games.
  • Specimen 8 in Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion appears to be modeled after one, having a deer-like head with antlers and being in a prominently wooded area.
  • Until Dawn: Wendigoes, depicted as emaciated, corpse-like humanoids with abnormally long limbs, serve as the main supernatural threat. The mountain has been infested with them since 1952, when a group of miners resorted to cannibalism to survive after being trapped for weeks by a cave-in. The survivors were taken to a nearby sanatorium where, once they finished their transformation, they massacred the staff and the other patients. Years later, Hannah also turned into one when she ate her sister Beth to survive after they both fell off a cliff and were presumed dead. They're no larger than a normal human, but they're substantially stronger and more acrobatic, while their tough skin means that bullets only slow them down, so they have to be killed with fire. The characters initially think they're fighting zombies, which leads to misplaced Zombie Infectee drama upon finding out that one of them bit Emily.
  • Weird West has the "Wiindigo", a being who was a human that was cursed by his all-consuming greed whose very greed is a magical curse that ravages the denizens of the West. It serves as the antagonist to Native warrior Across Waters, whose tribe has been tracking it down. If Across Waters ends up making various story decisions that demonstrates greed and distrust of others, he will end up becoming cursed into a Wiindigo by the end of his storyline.
  • In World of Warcraft there is a rather common type of enemy sporting the name "Wendigo", although they more resemble yetis than actual wendigos.
    • And, in a strange if amusing coincidence, wendigos in the game (as well as the sasquatch and yeti that share its wireframe) are among the only creatures in the game that actually have functioning, individually-rendered toes instead of sock-shaped feet with the toes painted on.
    • Wendigos in the Warcraft series date from earlier than that - there were already some in Warcraft III, being the arctic equivalents of the Sasquatch.
  • A large one is what kills Mason during the tutorial level of West of Dead. He can pay it back in kind during "The Hunt", gaining the ability to fast travel between sigils he's found on the current level he's on as a reward.
  • In X2: Wolverine's Revenge, The Wendigo appears in the mountain levels and is the second boss fight.
  • Marvel's Wendigo shows up as a boss character in the old X-Men arcade game, and again in the boss rush that was the final level. He's fast, hits hard, and is constantly shouting "Wen-Di-Go!" as long as he's on screen.
  • Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven: Woody, an anthropology post-graduate, believes he has encountered one shortly before the outbreak while living in a Native American community. It bears a striking similarity to those infected with the Zeta virus.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Unclassified Encounter has Wendigos appearing all the way in the Ardennes, Belgium, no thanks to a Native American soldier stationed there turning himself into one out of desperation. Unfortunately for the unnamed soldier, the curse cannot be reversed, anyone bitten and killed by the Wendigo is turned into one themselves, and Wendigos cannot distinguish between friendly or enemy.
  • Bedtime Stories (YouTube Channel) has an episode that covers the legend surrounding the Wendigo, as well as recent eyewitness accounts and alleged video evidence of its existence.
  • Wendigos turn up in several Creepypastas.
  • The Mordeo in the Crypt TV universe is this in all but name: being a monster that pulls a Demonic Possession on those who cannibalize in its woods and turns their head into a rotting deer skull painfully.
  • In Guardian Angel, it's implied that the titular "Angel" who saved Tanya from the car crash is actually a Wendigo. The ending of the story outright states that Tanya has become one too.
  • The horror tale "I am the Wendigo" is told from the perspective of a once-human wendigo on the hunt.
  • Wendigos are basically interchangeable with ghouls in The Kingdoms of Evil. Wendigos are basically mass-manufactured cannibal sociopath Super Soldiers used by Skrea as spies.
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-323, the skull of a Wendigo that still has plenty of effects on people. It's somewhat ambiguous if there was ever more to it or if the possessing spirit bound in the skull is the actual Wendigo and the "original" body was just a former host that survived long enough to mutate further than those the Foundation has directly observed.
  • The investigators in Shadow Unit postulate that, given the metabolic demands of superpowers in their setting, the wendigo legends may have originated from hungry snowed-in gammas.
  • Artist Keith Thompson has his own take on the beast here.
  • PBS Digital has a YouTube series called Monstrum (on the Storied channel) that looks at the folkloric, pop cultural, and social factors behind various mythical creatures. They did a great episode on the wendigo.

    Western Animation 
  • A Wendigo appears in the DuckTales (2017) episode "Last Christmas!". This version of Wendigos are lost people turned by obsession and desperation into muscular goat-men with sharp teeth, glowing eyes, clawed hands, lion-like tails, and three-toed dinosaur-like feet. Even spirits are capable of turning into a Wendigo, as demonstrated by the Ghost of Christmas Past.
  • Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.: When the curse of the Wendigo begins spreading across the team in "Wendigo Apocalypse", the Hulks fight their way out of a real live horror movie, starting with Hulks old rival Wolverine.
  • A Wendigo appears in The Incredible Hulk (1996). This version appears as a human being cursed by a spirit, and Banner/Hulk's interference allows them to break the curse, and save the life of the brother of a woman who took pity on the Hulk. Leaving the Hulk/Banner to contemplate who the real monster was.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" features equine blizzard spirits called windigos that, however, feed not on flesh but hatred. Whether their origin is natural or closer to their mythological roots has thus far gone unaddressed...
  • The second season of Legend Quest features wendigos in one episode, which happen to be reindeerfolk that can be easily persuaded from eating people with chocolate. In a series otherwise incredibly accurate to most myths it depicts, this is uniquely far removed from the original concept.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015): Thunderhoof's appearance allows him to masquerade as one, allowing him to form a cult out of some gullible humans who believe him to be a supernatural creature and trick them into helping him build a space bridge back to Cybertron.
  • The Wendigo character appears in an episode of Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) where Nick Fury sends Wolverine to hunt down the Incredible Hulk in Canada after a team of his goes missing, only for Logan and Bruce Banner to find the Wendigo behind the disappearance and transformation of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into Wendigo themselves. They eventually discover that the WENDIGO project was an attempt by S.H.I.E.L.D. to create super-soldiers that went wrong and cure the victims. Logan figures out that Fury knew all along and shows his displeasure by punching Banner in the face to trigger his transformation for Fury to deal with. Even being knocked into the next county by the Hulk doesn't spoil his glee at one-upping Fury.
  • Centaurworld: The Nowhere King strongly resembles the modern (see above why this isn't traditional) wendigo iconography: a vaguely humanoid shape dripping with darkness, with an elk's skull for a head. In a way, his story mirrors that of folklric wendigos, attaining his current state through dark magic, but whereas Algonquian wendigos reject their humanity (in a sense), he rejects his animal side. Also he's a cannibal.

    Real Life 
  • The so-called "Wendigo psychosis" is a culturally specific mental disorder observed among several Algonquian peoples. It's specifically applied to cases where people kill and eat humans (often relatives) in circumstances where it doesn't make any sense, i.e. there's no famine whatsoever. This psychological category is very controversial, in part because Western society has cannibal serial killers too. Note: Cases do not always involve killing. Often, its simply taking a bite out of someone, usually whoever is sleeping next to you. Not that that's much better for the people involved mind you, as they are alive when the bite is taken. It must also be noted that it is considered imperative to kill these "Wendigo" infected people, leading to the Canadian government taking them away from their groups and putting them in psychiatric care. They don't display any unusual traits, and are largely kept contained to protect themselves from the attacks of others, as cannibalism was a major taboo in Algonquian societies, even when threatened with starvation.
  • Some cryptozoology circles consider the Wendigo to be a cryptid just like the Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster.
  • A strong anthropological hypothesis for the origin of the myth is that it could have originated as a way to reinforce the taboo against cannibalism. Again, the power of suggestion plays a role, and people who have violated the taboo believe they will turn into wendigos and thus display the symptoms.


 
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Wendigomon

Wendigomon is the villain for the first Digimon Adventure 02 movie (though it is never identified as such). It is a corrupted evolved form of Wallace's Chocomon (infected by a virus, and referred to solely by that name in the movie), compared to Turuiemon, named for the Festival of Rabbits. It's a Wendigo with stretching arms, ice breath, and giant laser cannons that burst out of the flesh in its chest. Early American Bandai materials mistakenly called it Endigomon, while it Japan it is known as Wendimon.

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