You’re hungry. We get that. We’ve all been there before.
But if you’re hungry for human flesh, well, that presents a problem. It could be that you are a zombie, as is fashionable in our modern times. It could also be that you simply suffer from a condition known as Wendigo Psychosis. While the Donner Party and the Uruguay plane crash that inspired the movie Alive are some of the best-known cases of forced cannibalism (here’s list of ten more, bring your appetite.), life isn’t all about “have to.”
Wendigo Syndrome refers to a social disorder wherein the “victim” (also sometimes referred to as a “Hoomie” on popular cooking channels) feels a compulsion to eat human flesh, even when other sources of food are readily available. Sufferers have even gone as far as to request execution so they do not harm others in their community, after traditional medicine and Western remedies have been exhausted.
The term Wendigo refers to an Algonquin myth of a terrible creature that ate human flesh. That creature began life as a human and in fact, made the choice somewhere along the line to start eating human flesh. That’s when the slide into the dark side began, the victim transforming from sick human to horrible night creature. Cultural psychologists posit that this myth expresses the taboo humans everywhere have for cannibalism, a condition most psychologist refer to as “fucking gross.”
The most recognized case of Wendigo Psychosis is the case of an Plains Cree fur trapper called Swift Runner who killed and ate his entire family, including his wife and five out of six children. The sixth died first, and as we all know, human flesh is just not good once its had time to get “gamey.”
But of course, the question remains what the difference is between a Wendigo and a zombie? If only the body lives but the soul has died, is that any different? This isn’t just a philosophical question, as issues such as Social Security and taxation very much depend on the definition of “living.”
The surest solution to test your level of death – whether indeed you have been partially eaten by an undead ghoul and made into a zombie, or if you just got the mad munchies – would be to have a friend or loved one shoot you in the face. Best to do this outside, as the results – positive or negative – will probably ruin that nice furniture your mom just bought.
Happy Halloween, everybody!