|“||Wendigo is a Cree Indian word. It means "evil that devours." They're hundreds of years old. Each was once a man, sometimes an indian or other times a frontiersman or a miner or hunter.[...]During some harsh winter, a person finds themself starving, cut off from supplies or help -- becomes a cannibal to survive, eating other members of his tribe or camp. Cultures all over the world believe that eating human flesh gives a person certain abilities -- speed, strength, immortality. If you eat enough of it, over years, you become this less-than-human thing. You're always hungry.||”|
— Sam and Dean on the Wendigo
Wendigos are a type of cannibalistic supernatural monster whose name means "evil that devours."
|“||More than anything, a wendigo knows how to last long winters without food. It hibernates for years at a time. When it's awake, it keeps its victims alive. It stores them so it can feed whenever it wants.||”|
— Dean, about the Wendigo
Wendigos were once humans, but after being forced to eat human flesh to survive, they become supernatural monsters that retain little human features they once possessed. After their transformation, they begin to crave human flesh and feed solely on it.
At the same time, Wendigos are embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess; never satisfied after killing and consuming one person, they are constantly searching for new victims. It is also common that wendigos just capture humans to hoard their food, and then eat when hungry.
Wendigos are rarely seen out of Minnesota or the north of Michigan. They are hundreds of years old, and they also have hibernation behavior during the long, cold winters they must survive--meaning they must hoard food if it is scarce. In addition, they keep their victims in dark and isolated places, such as caves or abandoned mines.
Wendigos are taller than humans, standing at about twelve feet tall. They appear emaciated and have pale green skin, incredibly thin that their bones are visible, a symbolism of their unquenchable hunger. They are humanoid and are equipped with sharp claws used to rip prey to shreds. They have pale white eyes, with sharp yellow crooked teeth.
Powers and Abilities
Wendigos are excellent hunters, either during the day or at night, as Sam and Dean said themselves, "It's a damn-near-perfect hunter. It's smarter than you." and, "This thing is a good hunter in the day, but an unbelievable hunter at night." There are few possibilities to defeat a Wendigo during the day, but it is almost impossible to defeat them at night, since it is their favorite period to hunt. Also despite being animal like, Wendigos are intelligent, as intelligent as humans, thus making them even more dangerous.
- Voice Mimicry - Wendigos can imitate the voices of humans to lure unsuspecting victims.
- Immortality - Wendigos can live forever.
- Super speed - Wendigos possess inhuman speed, enough to move from one place to another in seconds.
- Superhuman Strength - Wendigos are incredibly strong, even by monster terms, they can tear humans limb from limb, snap necks and carry two people at once and even drag them up a tree with ease.
- Superhuman Agility - Wendigos can jump from tree to tree without being deterred by the foliage.
- Invulnerability - Wendigos are invulnerable to (albeit irritated by) normal knives and guns.
- Claws - Wendigo have giant claws, which they use to hunt or to attack.
- Super senses - Wendigos possess enhanced senses, making them perfect hunters, they can see perfectly in darkness, and have similarly enhanced hearing.
|“||Well, guns are useless -- and so are knives. Basically...we gotta torch this sucker.||”|
— Dean on how to kill a Wendigo
Wendigo are difficult creatures to kill or even harm. There are few possibilities to defeat them during the day, but it is almost impossible to defeat them at night, since it is their favorite period to hunt. Despite the beasts immeasurable amount of power, there are ways to protect oneself from the Wendigo.
- Fire - One of two only known ways to kill a Wendigo is to burn them to death.
- Anasazi symbols - Special Anasazi symbols, drawn in protective circles, will keep a Wendigo away, much as salt does with demons and ghosts.
- The Colt - Since this gun can kill almost anything, it can presumably kill Wendigo.
- The First Blade - Can kill anything.
- Death's Scythe - Can kill anything.
While trying to find their father, John Winchester, Sam and Dean help a family whose brother has gone missing on a camping trip. He has been taken by a Wendigo, but they find him alive in an abandoned mine where the Wendigo stores its victims as living food sources. Dean kills the creature by shooting it with a flare gun.
In The Man Who Would Be King, a Wendigo is mentioned being in New Mexico by the Demon Ellsworth to be captured by and brought in so Crowley can question it.
In Two Minutes to Midnight, Sam comments on how they used to Hunt similar things, like Wendigo's.
In Southern Comfort, Garth receives a phone call from a hunter named LaMar who is hunting a Wendigo. Garth asks him if he has a flare gun or a flamethrower, which apparently he does not, because Garth advises him to start running.
In Clip Show, Tommy Collins, the boy Sam and Dean saved from a Wendigo in Colorado, thinks he hears a Wendigo outside the cabin he is in with his girlfriend. He grabs a blow torch to protect her before his head explodes.
The Wendigo (also known as Windigo, Weendigo, Windago, Waindigo, Windiga,Witiko, Wihtikow, and numerous other variants) is a mythical creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people. It is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit into which humans could transform, or which could possess humans. Those who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to have reinforced this practice as a taboo.
Wendigo psychosis is the name conventionally given to a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that the sufferer would turn into a cannibal. This once occurred frequently among Algonquian Native cultures, but has declined due to the Native American urbanization.
Difference between Reel and Real Lore
The Wendigos featured on Supernatural, are very similar to Wendigos of real folklore. The only big difference, is that Wendigos in folklore do not possess the ability to mimic a human's voice and are not repelled by Anasazi symbols.
- Sam and Dean considered black dogs and Skinwalkers responsible for a Wendigo attack.
- It's possible that Wendigo lore, like vampire lore, is incorrect.
- Despite whether or not Wendigos have an Alpha on Supernatural, in real Wendigo lore, Wendigos do have an Alpha called the Master Wendigo. According to Native Cree lore, The Master/Alpha Wendigo, is 30 feet tall, covered in white fur, and has antlers and mouth full of fangs. The Alpha Wendigo is claimed to live in Northern Canada and has the power to control the weather to make snow storms or ice storms, can bend lesser wendigos to its will, and can infect any person into a wendigo without having the person commit cannibalism.