The Wendigo’s of Devil’s Mountain

The Wendigo’s of Devil’s Mountain

The summit of this mountain Mount St. Wilfred, formerly Devil’s Mountain (summit at 783 m) is located at about 15 km northwest of Mont-Laurier and near Lake Windigo. In this sector of the Laurentian Mountains, the relief form an oblong mass of about 8 km by 5 km.

According to a legend, this mountain is haunted by the Windigo, an imaginary character from Algonquin mythology. It would be about an alien and demonic creature whose myth is widespread on the planet. This character represents evil. He is possessed by the evil spirit.

Popularly, this mountain is designated “Montagne du Diable”, a French adaptation of the old term Windigo used in this area to designate the stream and the lake. The toponymic designation Sir-Wilfrid was assigned in 1932; this designation is similar to the toponym Mont-Laurier, which the town is nearby. This toponymic designation evokes the memory of Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919), Prime Minister of Canada, from 1896 to 1911.

The natives of the area were so afraid of Devil’s Mountain that Hugh Evendigo lived there and would not ascend it. It was told by Mr. John O’Connell that when he was in the Baskalong country in the 1890s he saw a mountain which was called Devil’s Mountain. The natives were afraid of it because there was nearly always a fog around its fop. However the fog at the top was there because there were miles of swamp lands around the base or the mountain.

The natives told the white men that the Wendigo was on the mountain and they had no right to go there and they didn’t. Mr. O’Connell says he never ascended the mountain himself, but he knew several who did and they saw no difference between it and any other mountain. Men who got lost in the bush found the Devils Mountain very useful. By climbing a high tree or high hill, they could see the fog-topped mountain and then they knew their whereabouts.

Algonquian tribes called the Wendigo the “spirit of lonely places and it was an evil spirit who takes the form of a skeletal human– something like the White Walkers from Game of Thrones. With thin, sickly skin and a wiry frame made partly of ice, the Wendigo is best known for its insatiable hunger for human flesh. In some variations of the legend, humans who were particularly greedy or gluttonous could become Wendigos themselves; other versions hold that Wendigos grow larger with every human they eat, ensuring that the beast’s hunger is never fully satisfied. They’re said to inhabit the tundras of northern Canada and Alaska, where the air is as chilly as their souls —

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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