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The Wendigo

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,334 ratings  ·  473 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. ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1910)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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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 s
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
A hunting company, an old folk lore and a member of the hunting company that seems to have changed... the story was a bit slow paced, without the usual twist other Blackwood stories have. I wasn't scared or frightened when toiling through this story. Okay, plotting and prose were immaculate but the story itself was extremely tedious. In my opinion there are many more uncannier, more hair raising tales about this old folk lore. I was a bit disappointed. This was not my cup of tea. Only for Blackw ...more
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
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this short novella as part of a Halloween group reading – and I’m glad I did.

Algernon Blackwood was completely unknown to me until now. The author can create a good, which in this case means uncomfortable, atmosphere with fairly simple means. Even though I didn’t lie in the corner in foetal position, jittering and trembling, I have to admit that the story struck some nerve with me. Blackwood apparently knows how to expose his protagonists to varying degrees of concrete fear and diffuse an
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
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, horror
Even better this time.


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 scou
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, that I had never heard anything from the author before our group reading. Actually, I also thought that the figure of Wendigo is unknown to me, but when the creature appeared for the first time, it reminded me of Pet’s Cemetery of Stephen King, where the cat also emerged from the grave with a strong smell of earth. Odors and sounds play an important role in this little story. The author's language is full of sensory impressions that you get in a dark forest. Dark forests have al ...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
One of my favorite classic horror shorts. Perfect story to read around a campfire on a cold winter night.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tristram Shandy
“[A] Little Child, Crying in Mid-Atlantic”

Or aware of looming forces of indifference in the dark and yet having no other choice but to go on, like the poor French soldier in Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Chasseur im Walde, this is probably what the individual boils down to when he suddenly finds himself torn out of the everyday web of civilized life, whatever that is, and is confronted with Nature Unmasked.

Algernon Blackwood’s novella The Wendigo, published in 1910, seems to have been inspir
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While starting out pretty slow and somewhat dated it really picked up and the chill factor increased right up until the end.

Definitely one of the better "classics" that I have read. I can see where this story in particular had a bigtime influence with authors that came after. Nicely done and has stood the test of time incredibly well.
Dawn C
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was proper creepy! I agree that there is something hopelessly desolate and scary about being alone in a vast wilderness, no wonder so many horror films uses endless forests as the setting. The Ritual is definitely somewhat inspired by the atmosphere here. It’s effectively written, without giving much away, and as we all know our imagination is the best creator of horror of all.

(As an afternote, there is language used in it that may seem offensive to our modern ears, even if it at the time w
Nickolas the Kid
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Combination of horror and mystery!!

If you want to see the "Wendigo", you have to visit either the wild nature or to read this story...
aPriL does feral sometimes
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I've seen the low-culture horror movies based on Algernon Blackwood's 1910 short story 'The Wendigo', and enjoyed them for the pure crass entertainment of a seeing a stupid monster movie on a Saturday afternoon, but Blackwood's creepy story is different.

Five men go hunting in a Canadian forest. Dr. Cathcart and his nephew, Simpson, were hunting moose with Hank Davis and Joseph Défago as guides, and Punk as cook. They split up after setting up a main camp.

Simpson and Défago head out to a nearby
Karen  ⚜Mess⚜
You know that scary feeling of monsters under the bed? Stay on the bed and don't let your feet dangle down to the floor? This book gave me the same feeling, except don't let your feet poke out of the tent kinda feeling.

Written in 1910, so I'm giving this story writing some slack. But it really is interesting to read something old to get a feel of the mindset back then. I would really like to see a present day author re-write this and make it horrific and frightening.

The Wendigo! The name its

Althea Ann
Dec 24, 2014 rated it liked it
(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
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was fun. I love the classic feel to these old horror tales. Great story!
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Fairly disturbing novel that draws from Native American folk lore. A group of Canadians and Americans go camping into the Canadian wilderness. One man, a guide seems to be fearful of something, as though he is being stalked by some unseen thing.

What happens is both suspenseful and perplexing. I won't say more, except to say that this short story is very much worth the read.
Marie Helene
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle
The Wendigo,
The Wendigo!
Last night it lurked in Canada;
Tonight, on your veranada!
The rest is merely an excellent novella.

(with a big thank you to Ogden Nash)
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of horror, moose hunters
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.
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, may-read
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
Riju Ganguly
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an atmospheric classic. Unlike fast-paced modern chillers, this one can be appreciated over a longish period of time, as the October nights approach silently outside. This story might appear to be a successor of traditional gothic horrors. But Blackwood has again managed to develop his own version of man against an unforgiving nature - giving it a mythical and foreboding shape.
Still, a star gets dropped due to unnecessary padding and all the prejudicial comments about non-whites. Apart f
A Mig
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Definitively a read for your next camping trip in the forest. It’s X-Files in Walden where the pitch line is that “these woods you know are a bit too big to feel quite at home in - to feel comfortable in…” In space, heu in forest, no one can hear you scream...
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review, 2011, horror
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
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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, sf-fantasy
Blackwood constructs in this story a haunting atmosphere just by the description of the Canadian outback and the loneliness of the human being in this relentless environment. The Bush (in capital letter!) is almost a living being. "The shadows of the woods, hitherto protective or covering merely, had now become menacing." The horror is rather a result of the human imagination than from the "Wendigo" creature. Maybe it is true that "the Wendigo is simply the Call of the Wild personified"? ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If you need a new euphemism in your life to describe people who have gone (or are going) mad, and why wouldn't you in these troubled times, you could do worse than to say that he or she has "seen the Wendigo."
Jay Little
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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Horror Aficionados : February 2020 Group Read #1: The Wendigo 80 279 Feb 28, 2020 11:22AM  
Genuinely creepy books? 4 16 Sep 24, 2015 01:23PM  

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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 i ...more

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