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The Wendigo

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,537 ratings  ·  160 reviews

Algernon Blackwood's classic tale, The Wendigo. An influential novella by one of the most best-known writers of fantasy and horror, set in a place and time Blackwood knew well. A coordinated edition of Blackwood's The Willows is available. Copper Penny Press books are in an easy to read and easy to read aloud sixteen-point format.

Paperback, 48 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1910)
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Lord of the Flies by William GoldingThe Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen KingThe Wendigo by Algernon BlackwoodThe Willows by Algernon BlackwoodThe Terror by Dan Simmons
Best Wilderness Horror Stories
3rd out of 41 books — 26 voters
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Real Man Books
211th out of 540 books — 234 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,961)
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mark monday
a rainy, windy, chilly night with nothing to do but gaze lovingly at my overly full bookcases. so why not reread one of my favorite classic horror novellas? this one is about, wait for it, The Wendigo and its prey du jour (du nuit?) - some hunters and their guides. but is the story really about this so-called "wendigo" or whatever... or is it more concerned with the awful beauty of uncharted nature - its allure and its dangers? knowing the author, probably the latter.

third time down, the tale is
Dark and thrilling.

This demonstrates the narrative power of a short story.

Blackwood is able to hold a tingling sense of unease and supernatural awe throughout this tight prose and tell a riveting ghost story at the same time. His language is evocative and murky, making the forest come alive and the stillness of the far north broods like a monster.

Reminiscent of Jack London and Joseph Conrad at their best.

Algernon Blackwood had an interesting life - before he began to write weird stories he taught the violin, was a bartender, reported for the New York Times, operated a hotel and worked as a farmer in Canada; only in his late thirties did he return to England and started to write stories, using his many personal experiences for inspiration and combining them with his vivid imagination. First published in 1910 The Wendigo is one of Blackwood's early stories, and also one of his most famous. In the ...more
J.G. Keely
This 'horror classic' was such a strange mixture of psychological terror and late-night campfire yarn that it never really came together. He starts setting the mood in classic Blackwood fashion--slow, deliberate, and philosophical:
"The silence of the vast listening forest stole forward and enveloped them.

". . . that other aspect of the wilderness: the indifference to human life, the merciless spirit of desolation which took no note of man."

"When the seduction of the uninhabited wastes caught th
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
⊱ Irena ⊰
I think nature can be terrifying and creepy even without creatures that cannot be explained.

A hunting party of five men are on their way to find the elusive moose. They leave their cook Puck to guard their main camp while the rest split into two groups to cover more ground. Dr. Cathcart and one of the guides, Hank Davis, go westward and Défago and Simpson eastward. The story follows Défago and Simpson.
The way nature is depicted only confirms that I could never be a scout. While it is breathtaki
Review from Badelynge
A Dr. Cathcart and his nephew Simpson go hunting for moose in the Canadian wilderness, accompanied by two Canadian guides and a native American cook.
On the surface this classic horror story by Algernon Blackwood revisits the sort of set-up that worked so well in The Willows. There are other similarities but they feel quite different; the other worldly eeriness of the Willows is quite different than the overall tone in The Wendigo. The first half of The Wendigo is very powerf
Sep 17, 2010 Steve rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of horror, moose hunters
Shelves: fiction, horror
One of the best horror stories ever written. Man, Wilderness, and Something Else. That IS (IMHO) the ultimate formula for Extreme Horror. I may write some more later, but I will probably revisit Blackwood in a collection that includes this story (novella) along with others. If you want more details about the story, Lady Danielle's review is worth checking out. Also, check out the discussion thread(filled with spoilers) in the Classic Horror Lovers group.
A tale of men in the wilderness on the trail of something else.

"For the panic of the wilderness had called to him in that far voice-the power of untamed distance- the enticement of the desolation that destroys. He knew in that moment all the pains of someone hopelessly and irretrievably lost, suffering the lust and travail of a soul in the final loneliness. A vision of Defago, eternally hunted, driven and pursued across the skiey vastness of those ancient forests fled like a flame across the dar
Althea Ann
(1910) A hunting party that ventures into forbidden territory has a run-in with a creature out of legend. This horror classic has some very well-done elements. I like how the 'rough' talk of the huntsmen and their guides is contrasted with the lovely and evocative descriptions of nature. Blackwood does an excellent job of conjuring up the vastness and mystery of the untamed North American wilderness. Unfortunately, it does contain a few racial slurs and depictions which, while they may serve to ...more
I really enjoy wendigo stories, so it was only a matter of time till finally I read this classic. With many works of classic horror literature, there tends to be a matter of pacing and datedness and language that can detract from sheer reading enjoyment. Not the case here. It took a while to get going, but once it did this story was great, exceptionally well written and eerie. Wendigo here is a fear of the wilderness personified and all the scarier for it. Seems this tale was inspired by author' ...more
May 20, 2015 ᴏᴍᴀɪʀᴀ rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ᴏᴍᴀɪʀᴀ by: Lovecraft
Shelves: weirdfi, en-digital

"Pero el sueño, a la larga, siempre acaba por imponerse a cualquier emoción. Pronto se desvanecieron sus pensamientos"

No soy una experta en el género del terror, ni siquiera en el de la fantasía ni el de la ciencia ficción, simplemente soy una lectora, que lee lo que se le antoja y critica lo que se le antoja. Pero creo que no hay autor que cree historias tan únicas y poco trilladas como Algernon Blackwood. Este hombre no pretende escribir novelas donde el horror sea el protagonista de to
A novella length slice of horror that reads surprisingly quickly. A well written, atmospheric and spooky tale. I haven't read this author before but this would be a great story to read around the campfire.
This was my first experience with Algernon Blackwood. I just got a Kindle, and it was one of the many free books that I downloaded.

I selected it because the "wendigo" is a type of supernatural force/creature that is a legend of my native tribe (Chippewa) and nearby tribes.

The wendigo of Blackwood's story didn't conform to the things I'd read about in literature connected with my tribe, but I haven't read a lot about it. It's a taboo topic. Whether Blackwood's interpretation deviates entirely f
Glenn Winkelmann
Like many others before me, I discovered this author after reading H.P Lovecraft's glowing review in his horror essay. And so, I sat down with the decidedly favorite stories of his, and spent a good number of hours in a thorough sense of unease that is often quite hard to achieve in me.

Blackwood blends what seems to be a stoic, almost Pantheist adoration for all things Nature in the germ of a horror story. On an aside, it seems to be the exact opposite in the way that Arthur Machen achieves it.
Jay Little
A Chilling Pre-Cursor to Lovecraftian Horror

This past weekend, I finally found a quiet place to sit down and do something I’ve been putting off for too long. Read.

I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft and his unique vision of horror. I have read and studied Lovecraft’s work for decades. In college, I wrote short fiction modeling Lovecraft’s style for Creative Writing, and my senior paper for Honors Lit focused on Lovecraft’s contributions to modern horror fiction, specifically Cosmic Indifferentiali
Jose lana
The Wendigo is a short novel that describes the terror of irrational forces and sensations of abssolutely wild nature, represented in the near infinite woods of Canada trough a mythical creature known as the Wendigo, that burns the feet of the humans it catchs,in this case the human is Joseph Defago.A disturbing tale
Benjamin Sobieck
Hunters head into woods. Hunters feel an evil presence. Mythical creature abducts hunter.

It's a pretty basic plot as far as campfire horror tales go. But in the hands of a horror great, the psychology of the yarn morphs into something completely different. Sometimes it's in a good way, as with the paranoid terror that builds within each hunter - and each chapter. Other times, author Blackwood should have taken a more visceral route, as with the climax that doesn't quite combust the horrific jet
The Wendigo is an excellent example of how a writer can prolong tension and build the story up to a horrific climax. It's what Algernon Blackwood does best. Add to this Blackwood's gift in communicating a sense of mystery and awe regarding nature and the wilderness and you have one of his best tales. A classic of horror literature.
Αρκετά τυχερός στάθηκα σήμερα, μιας και βρήκα ιδιαίτερα φτηνά την συγκεκριμένη νουβέλα, που είναι η δεύτερη πιο γνωστή ιστορία του Μπλάκγουντ, μετά τις "Ιτιές", που διάβασα και απόλαυσα τον Μάρτιο του 2013.

Όσον αφορά το Γουέντιγκο, πρόκειται για ένα δυνατό σφηνάκι υπαινικτικού τρόμου, με την όλη ιστορία να διαδραματίζεται στην άγρια φύση του Καναδά, με πρωταγωνιστές τέσσερις άντρες που έχουν πάει στις ερημιές με σκοπό το κυνήγι. Σ'αυτά τα απομακρυσμένα και κρύα μέρη, κάτι υπάρχει, μια ανώτερη δ
I don't know where I came across this story when I was a child, but I did, and it scarred me for life. In the good way, I mean - I think this one short story had quite a bit to do with me getting heavy into Stephen King by the time I entered my teens. It also had a lot to do with me not getting into horror writers like Barker that go to great lengths to describe every single boogeyman in great detail.

Blackwood does a fantastic job of telling us what's happening without ever truly showing the Wen
Capturing the dangerous and unforgiving cruelty of the wilderness while simultaneously conveying its beauty and ability to enchant humanity in the industrial age, Wendigo brilliantly plays upon the fears and insecurities of the civilized, urbanized (wo)man of the 20th century. A group of experienced woodsmen and hunters set off on an expedition to hunt moose in the cold and lonely forests in the northern part of America along the border with Canada and end up being the prey of a long forgotten t ...more
"It was so easy to be wise in the explanation of an experience one has not personally witnessed."

Once I got past the overwhelming outrage of the of-its-time, really-I-ought-to-have-expected-this racism, I appreciated The Wendigo's shivering, shuddering, claustrophobic descent into madness. For all its flights of fancy, the writing doesn't quite reach the magnificent heights of the other two Blackwood novellas I read this weekend, but I'd still recommend it unreservedly to anyone interested in my
Heather L
The Wendigo is an interesting "campfire" story, set in the wilds of Canada. Not really mystery, but at the same time not what we come to think of as "horror" by today's standards. Still...told round a fire in the middle of nowhere? I could see it raising the hairs at the back of one's neck.
I was first introduced to Algernon Blackwood’s work awhile back when I read his brilliantly creepy tale, “The Willows.” Much like that classic story, “The Wendigo” takes us far into the mysterious natural world, where humans are pitted against the unknown.

“The Wendigo” concerns a group going out hunting. When the party of men splits up, the story then shifts its focus on Simpson and his fellow guide, Defago. As they move further and further into the wilderness, Simpson notices an odd change in
I became acquainted with this story from a television episode that ran in the 1960s when I was in my teens, and it scared the bejeezus out of me then. It's a classic horror tale that doesn't seem so frightening today, but I still wouldn't recommend reading it around a campfire while camping in the deep woods. This original version, written by Algernon Blackwood in 1910, is about a group of five men on a hunting trip in the Canadian wilderness. A doctor and his nephew are the clients, and they a ...more
Blackwood is in the school of Lovecraftian writers (and in fact was much beloved by Lovecraft). This novella centers around a hunting party in the turn of the 20th century dealing with the beauty and terror of the wild, far north reaches of Canada.

Admittedly, the book falls pray to Lovecraftian weaknesses: sometimes silly overwraught language and racist/problematic viewpoints. There's also the matter the Wendigo in question is not really the Wendigo of native american legends and is used as a m
Vane J.
You don't want to read this book while you're on a camp trip. Not if a creature like the Wendigo is wandering around...

Just imagine this: You're camping with some friends in the forest, sitting by the fire, singing songs, telling horror stories, etc. The point is, you're having a great time. Then, you go to sleep. After dozing off, you wake up (or you think you wake up) by a voice. The voice is sweet and is calling a your best-friend by his/her name. You're curious, you know it may be dangerous
Aaron Records
I must confess that I love weird tales of the Unknown. I grew up in Maine and can connect to the feelings of isolation in the vast forests that Blackwood uses to weave this masterful tale of an 'encounter.' The prose is clear and I like his style. In ways, this encounter with the Unknown reminds me of the encounters of Wordsworth and Coleridge, such as in "Resolution and Independence" and "The Ancient Mariner." However, this is an encounter with fear, to know our finitude, whereas the Romantics ...more
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Genuinely creepy books? 4 6 Sep 24, 2015 01:23PM  
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  • Scottish Ghost Stories
  • The Shunned House
  • Firesong
  • Incident On and Off a Mountain Road
  • The Diary of Dakota Hammell
  • Can Such Things Be?
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  • Green Tea (Large Print)
  • Burn, Witch, Burn! (Burn Witch Burn #1)
  • Jailbreak (Hungry, #0.5)
  • Widdershins
Blackwood was born in Shooter's Hill (today part of south-east London, but then part of northwest Kent) and educated at Wellington College. His father was a Post Office administrator who, according to Peter Penzoldt, "though not devoid of genuine good-heartedness, had appallingly narrow religious ideas".Blackwood had a varied career, farming in Canada, operating a hotel, as a newspaper reporter in ...more
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“And it was in that moment of distress and confusion that the whip of terror laid its most nicely calculated lash about his heart.” 1 likes
“the Wendigo is simply the Call of the Wild personified, which some natures hear to their own destruction.” 0 likes
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