#1 Horrifying Windigo coincidence in beheading
08-11-2008, 11:54 AM
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- Aug 2005
Nathan Carlson has barely slept since July 30. "Ever since it happened, I haven't been able to get it out of my head," Carlson says haltingly. "I just don't know what to think of it, quite frankly."
The Edmonton ethno-historian is one of the world's leading experts on Windigo phenomenon, and the recent horrific beheading and alleged cannibalism on a Greyhound bus bound for Winnipeg from Edmonton rocked him to his very core. As the grisly details of Tim McLean's last moments on Earth came to light in the following days, Carlson sank deeper and deeper into a fog of horror and revulsion.
Vince Weiguang Li is accused of abruptly attacking McLean, who by all accounts he didn't even know -- while McLean slept on the bus. Up until a few days before the killing, Li held a part- time job delivering newspapers in Edmonton. He was well thought-of by his boss and considered a nice guy, if a bit quiet and shy.
On July 20 -- just 10 days before the killing -- Li delivered copies of the Sun that contained an extensive interview with Carlson about his research into the Windigo, a terrifying creature in native mythology that has a ravenous appetite for human flesh.
It could take possession of people and turn them into cannibalistic monsters.
The two-page feature talked about how, in the late 1800s and into the 20th century, Windigo "encounters" haunted communities across northern Alberta and resulted in dozens of gruesome deaths. In one case, a Cree trapper named Swift Runner was hanged after admitting to killing and eating his wife, children, brother and mother in the woods northeast of Edmonton in the winter of 1878-79.
Prior to being charged with murder, he had suffered screaming fits and nightmares, which he attributed to being possessed by a Windigo. In several other cases, people banded together and killed individuals they feared were possessed by a Windigo. Often, they would decapitate the corpse and bury the head separate from the body in order to keep it from rising from the dead.
Carlson documented several cases in northern Alberta communities where people believing they were "turning Windigo" would go into convulsions, make terrifying animal sounds and beg their captors to kill them before they started eating people. In last month's bus case, Li allegedly butchered McLean's body, brandishing the victim's severed head at the men who trapped him on the bus until police could arrive. He was later accused of eating McLean's flesh.
When he appeared in a Portage La Prairie courthouse on charges of second-degree murder, the only words Li reportedly uttered were pleas for someone to kill him. A lot of his reported behaviour eerily mirrors the Windigo cases recounted in the newspaper feature that Li helped deliver to Edmonton homes just days before McLean was killed, one of the most gruesome slayings in modern Canadian history.
Several media reports called McLean's killing unprecedented - an unspeakable, random attack the likes of which has never been seen in Canada. But Carlson knows better. "There are just too many parallels," he says.
"I can't say there's definite connection, but there are just too many coincidences. "It's beyond eerie."
08-11-2008, 11:58 AM
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- Aug 2005
Native to the northern regions of the US and of Canada (the Algonqian tribes - Ojiway, Cree) Windigo is the result of starvation. The creature often appears emaciated and scarred by frostbite. Some legends claim the creature is a human driven to the state by hunger and perhaps isolation. These humans can shape-shift into the Windigo shape. Others see him as an actual demon and instead of looking starved, he's huge and hairy with enormous feet. Either way, he has a horrible stench that turns stomachs.
He will eat anything, including human flesh. In fact, that is what he craves, once he has partaken of it. He is dangerous with great strength.
How do you kill a Windigo? Well, here the story sometimes becomes mixed up with werewolf legends and silver bullets. But, in fact, the only way to destroy a Windigo is to burn him. You see, once he becomes a Windigo, whether by shape shifting or because he is a demon, his heart turns to a chunk of ice, and this must be melted to destroy the beast.
Is Windigo real? Perhaps, in one form or another. There is a form of illness known as the "Windigo psychosis" wherein the sufferer becomes cannibalistic. This seems to be caused by hunger.I've included a story I wrote some time ago. I hope you enjoy it.
08-11-2008, 12:00 PM
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- Aug 2005
Claude Dubois hung the deer carcass from a tree and blew on his numb fingers. God, it was cold. The aurora borealis splashed a swash of vivid color across the dark sky. The icy wind off frozen Mooswa lake burned his face like fire.
An eerie night, a night when Spirits walked the frozen wasteland. Claude sniffed the air. An acrid aroma rode the wind. Windigo! He scooped up his rifle and fled into his tent.
He stood for a moment and listened to the supernatural silence. No wolf howl rent the air. The coyotes had ceased their strident yipping. The owls sat voiceless in the forest. Claude shivered. All nature froze when Windigo walked.
He tossed another log on the fire. The flames crackled and the stew pot began to steam. Venison stew with onions was always good on a cold night and the strong aroma of onions masked the smell of the Windigo. Smoke painted flickering shadows on the tent walls as it rose and escaped through the smoke hole.
An hour later he finished his third bowl of stew. The warm liquid and full belly relaxed him. He yawned.
The crunch of snow outside his tent brought Claude to his feet. Windigo! He grabbed his rifle.
"Is that you in there, Claude Dubois?"
Claude grinned. Pete Crooked Knee. At one time they had been as close as brothers.
"Claude! Let me in. It's a strange night. I'm scared, me."
Claude lifted the tent flap. The stench of Windigo was strong on the wind. He pulled Pete in and lowered the flap.
Pete sniffed. "I smell much good stew. I am hungry. You will share, yes?"
Claude ladled out a bowl of stew. "You don't look well, old friend," he said. "The frost got into your face, eh? And you need to eat more. I can see your bones through your flesh."
Pete wolfed down the stew and moved nearer to the fire. "Seems I'm always cold these days. And hungry. That stew was good."
"And now we sleep." Claude pulled an extra blanket from his bedroll.
"You sleep. I must go."
"No! Don't go. Windigo walks the hills. It isn't safe."
Pete's laughter was tinged with madness. The flames from the fire reflected in his eyes.
"A tale to scare children," he said. He laughed again, and stepped outside, closing the tent flap behind him.
Claude spent a restless night. The onion smell faded, but the stench of Windigo became even stronger.
The next morning, he discovered the wolves had visited him. At least, something had stripped every shred of meat from the deer carcass. An overnight snowfall hid all trace of tracks.
Claude arrived back in the village a week later.
"Old Pete Crooked Knee is dead," his wife said.
Claude dropped his pack. "Damn," he swore. "I should never have let him go that night. Windigo got him, eh?"
"No," she said. "His brothers got him after he savaged his wife and kids. They killed him and burned his corpse. They say all that remained was his heart, and it was nothing but a lump of ice." She shivered. "Pete Crooked Knee was Windigo."
noonwitchGuest08-11-2008, 12:31 PM
I wonder if Detroit's Nain Rouge is actually a Windigo?
The Red Dwarf (the Vernor's mascot) is a spirit that people in Detroit see before something really bad happens, either to the city, or to that person individually. He was seen before the big fire in the 1800s, just before slaughters in wars like the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. He was allegedly seen before the 67 riots, and before the ice storm in the 70s (last official sighting-Edison workers saw him).
My guess is that although he hasn't been seen lately by anyone willing to admit to seeing him, he's probably hanging around Kwame a lot.
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