Here's Your Best Bet For Surviving An Encounter With The Dreaded Wendigo

According to Native American folklore, wendigo attacks are extremely difficult to survive. These fearsome creatures hunt and kill humans, and they can even seize control over the spirit of their chosen victims. There are many variations of this legend, but the commonly held belief is that wendigos are savage, brutal cryptids that are both supernatural and malevolent. Therefore, when a wendigo attacks, it typically results in the death of their prey.

These beasts are usually spotted during the winter and were often blamed by early Native Americans for devastating famines. Interestingly, many legends also connect them to frigid temperatures and the north. When you combine all of this with their singular focus, savagery, and great hunting skills, it makes wendigos seem like a possible inspiration for the White Walkers on Game of Thrones. In this instance, though, these winter monsters dwell in the US and Canadian Great Lakes Region and the Atlantic Coast rather than north of the wall.

Whether you believe in this legend or not, it's always a good idea to at least know how to survive a wendigo attack should you find yourself face to face with one.


  • Wendigos Are Former Cannibals, And You Could Become One By Eating Human Flesh

    Imagine for a moment that you're lost in the woods in the dead of winter. There's no food, no way to successfully hunt, and your only companion is another human. In times of extreme hunger, people will often devolve to their most basic survival instincts and resort to eating another person. However, if this happens because you're trying your best to hide and survive while stuck in a forest with a wendigo, the joke may be on you. After all, the earliest wendigo legends state that the spirits of wendigos actually possess the bodies of people who resorted to cannibalism.

  • Survival Is Possible, But It'll Probably Drive You Insane

    Survival Is Possible, But It'll Probably Drive You Insane
    Photo: Zahari Baharov / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Surviving a wendigo attack isn't likely. That doesn't mean it's impossible, but you honestly may not want to survive after learning about the side effects. It may be little more than just conjecture, since wendigo attack survivors are practically impossible to find, but there are some who believe that just coming into contact with a wendigo will drive you insane. This isn't a treatable type of insanity, either, as your mind will become completely vacant of all thoughts due to exposure to such a powerful supernatural creature.

  • Wendigos Are Insatiable And Will Tear You Apart

    When most creatures hunt, they are typically satisfied after making one solid catch. After all, it makes sense to stop eating after feeling full, right? Don't think you're in the clear if you happen upon a wendigo finishing up its meal, though, because these creatures are never full. Perhaps their insatiable hunger explains why they savagely rip their prey to pieces before even beginning to eat them.

  • Burn The Wendigo Alive To Survive

    According to some legends, fire might just be your best weapon when it comes to battling a wendigo. Unfortunately, you can't simply wave a torch near the wendigo's face and call it good. Instead, it's necessary to somehow set their entire body on fire. Of course, getting that close to a wendigo is so dangerous that most people won't even be able to test this theory before being devoured. It does make sense, though, that a creature with an ice heart would be so vulnerable to fire. 

  • Always Go After The Wendigo's Frozen Heart

    Always Go After The Wendigo's Frozen Heart
    Photo: Sony / Until Dawn

    The primary weakness of a wendigo is its frozen heart. There are many legends that talk about this, though the most common one states that destroying its ice cold heart will release - but also kill - the human trapped within the beast. To pull this off, you'll need to get close enough to the wendigo to stab it with a silver stake. It's also possible that a silver bullet will do the trick, and some even believe that fire can melt the frozen heart.

  • Watch Out For Ice Storms And Tornadoes While The Wendigo Is Pursuing You

    A wendigo is difficult enough to deal with due to its savage strength and superior hearing abilities. Yet these cryptids can also command ice storms and tornadoes, which may make it seem virtually impossible to safely make an escape. When you combine this with their apparent ability to cause animals to stampede and to rip trees out of the ground, it becomes even harder to imagine surviving a wendigo attack. Therefore, if a wendigo is after you, it's important to remain alert for much more than just their presence. After all, a tornado or an ice storm could kill you well before the wendigo even reaches you.