Plot Details/Summary

I only remember a few bits about this tale, but what I do remember is hopefully specific enough to identify it.

The story is set in modern times (20th century). A young boy digs up an old grave rumored to be the burial place of a creature known in local lore as a "Wendigo." I remember thinking this odd, because I had always heard the Algonquin myth of a Wendigo involved humans who had resorted to cannibalism. It struck me as even odder when it became clear in the story the creature was revealed to be closer to a vampire than anything else.

I do not recall what led the boy to dig up the grave, though I think it was primarily curiosity. He does so fairly late in the story, as the resolution to the tale is not long in the coming. He takes it back to his home and places it in the cellar.

That night, he hears a noise and goes downstairs with a flashlight to investigate. There is a chilling line about hearing a slurping noise and seeing the body of his pet dog on the floor, apparently drained of blood. The story closes with the boy dropping the flashlight, and seeing the light briefly catch on the face of the fanged Wendigo, who is now about to feed on the boy.

Timeframe/Publication Details

The story comes from an anthology that was published no later than the late 1970s. I'm sure of the era because I actually read the story for a elementary school book report in the late 1970s (Why yes, my selection was a fair bit darker than anyone else's)


1 Answer 1


Could it be Wendigo's Child, by Thomas F. Monteleone...? This short story was included in the book, Monster Tales: Vampires, Werewolves & Things, published in 1973.

Plot synopsis:

Set in Corona, Arizona, we follow young Marty Alvarez as he sets out to explore an Indian burial ground recently uncovered just a short bike ride's distance from home. Hoping to discover arrowheads or other artifacts, Marty instead finds buried a small mummy that appears to be part human, part bird.

Convinced he's made an important archeological find, he wraps the thing in his shirt and takes it home in the basket of his bike. Along the way, Marty stops by an Indian friend, Charlie Longhand, in hopes of learning more about his find.

After asking Charlie a vague question about Indian mummies, we learn of an old Indian legend of the "Wendigo", a fearful god that was part man, part reptile and part bird. It was said that when a child died, its buried body would sometimes transform into a child of Wendigo to protect the graves from harm.

Once home, Marty stashes the mummy in his cellar overnight. But the creature's presence has disturbed his dog, Digger, who is now howling endlessly in the backyard. Hoping to assure Digger there is nothing to be afraid of, Marty leads the dog into the dark cellar, armed only with a flashlight. But the Wendigo is missing! Or is it?

  • That is it, unquestionably. This site never ceases to amaze me.
    – Helbent IV
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 21:04
  • 1
    Glad to help, and thanks for confirming that it was the right answer. :-) Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 21:10

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