Remote Inuit people encountered the remnants of the doomed Franklin Expedition. They thought they had been invaded by demons.
Finally, as the footsteps stopped just outside the igloo, it was the old man who went out to investigate.
He emerged to see a disoriented figure seemingly unaware of his presence. The being was touching the outside of the igloo with curiosity, and raised no protest when the old man reached his hand out to touch its cheek.
His skin was cold.
“I’ve never in all my life seen a devil or a spirit, these things are not human,” is how Inuit oral history records the old man’s first thoughts.
The figures, of course, were the last survivors of the Franklin Expedition. They had buried their captain. They had seen their ship entombed by ice. They had eaten the dead to survive.
And now, they were 5,000 km from home, in the last days of a futile bid to escape the Canadian Arctic on foot.