The condition seems to have been a sort of madness of which all Indians were in deadly terror. They would sooner meet the fiercest animal than such a human creature.
Descriptions of the creature were singularly alike no matter where seen. There is no doubt that it was human, but almost invariably it was described as “having unkempt long hair and being repulsive in person”. Two causes for the condition have been suggested. It might have been a form of insanity, leading to isolation and to the eating of human flesh. Or, being driven to eating human flesh at some time of great starvation so preyed on the mind that the unfortunate became insane. However it came about, it caused horror, and the person brave enough to destroy the monster became a hero whose exploit was commemorated in folk-tales. Generally the family of the weentigo was exterminated in the tale, but like the fabled “dragon’s teeth”, they seemed to spring up again.
Whatever happened there we do not know, but the region of Moberly Lake has the long-time reputation of being the haunt of cannibals. The English boy adventurer-writer H. Somers Somerset mentions the reluctance of his guide, Daukan, to make a side trip to the area from the Pine Valley in the early 1880’s. Somerset insisted, but found the beautiful lake uninhabited
John Moberly, too, had the place to himself in 1865-1868 although it abounded in fish and game, and we know that berries thrive there in abundance. Hector Tremblay Jr., in relating the family story, told of his father’s difficulty in getting a guide in the Pine Pass to take him into the Moberly Lake vicinity because the Beavers who inhabited the Pine Pass believed that a weentigo lived there (at Moberly Lake). We did not pick up any references among the immigrant Cree and Saulteau Metis who settled the area about that time – and we do know that the Beavers took a reserve there about 1914. Perhaps the Catholic religion to which they adhere had banished the ancestral fear by then.