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The legend of the “Windigo” or (sometimes “Wendigo,”) starts with the Algonquin tribes of the great lakes. Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribe comes from this ancestry. If a person is reduced to cannibalism in the winter, they may turn into the demonic, and supernatural Windigo creature. Reports on the actual appearance of this creature varies, but it is no longer human and is cursed to devour human flesh to try and quench an unrelenting appetite for the rest of it’s days.
A recent visit to the Leech Lake Reservation found me at Cass Lake this past winter. The Lake is large and there is a small town named after it. In the middle of the lake is Star Island, a sacred place to the people of the Reservation. On Star Island is another smaller lake called Windigo lake and home to the mythical monster. No monsters were sighted on my journey, but it had a rare and fierce beauty…
The Anoka State Hospital was the first mental asylum in Minnesota. Built at the end of the 1800’s, the campus featured 8 Victorian “Cottages” and an auditorium that were situated on the beautiful banks of the Rum River in Anoka, MN. (Interesting fact: Rum River is a mistranslation of a native word for “Spirit River.”)
The cottages were originally only for female patients and each cottage was connected by underground tunnels. Male patients were first admitted in the early 1900’s and the Cottages were mostly closed down by the 1970’s and boarded up. The Anoka Treatment Center opened in a new building next door and the campus was left for the ghosts….
Recently, a veterans’ service is rehabbing the site in the hopes of placing veterans in the cottages. I was allowed a rare tour to photograph the initial phases of the rehab.
Take a look in the gallery at the latest paintings from my Iconic UFO Series:
Title: 1947, Outer Hebrides, Scotland 10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas.
Title: 1965, Kecksburg, PA 10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas.
Title: 1927, Cave Junction, OR 10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas.
Title: 1954, Cumbria, UK 10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas.