Isaiah Markin in a YouTube video
(Wendigoon / YouTube)

The Complicated Truth Behind the Wendigoon Controversy

Isaiah Markin, better known by his social media nickname Wendigoon, boasts over 3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, where he often delves into horror and true crime topics. However, recently, he became embroiled in controversy after another creator accused him of harboring extreme right-wing beliefs.

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Markin has been making YouTube videos for over three years now, with some receiving tens of millions of views. His channel deals with all things macabre and obscure, delving into the most chilling true crime cases, mysteries, conspiracy theories, and horror stories. The Wendigoon channel largely took off because of how adept Markin is at explaining complex topics and because he is an excellent storyteller. His content has always stirred mixed feelings, though, as there is often concern about the potential harm of spreading conspiracy theories. Still, most of his content seeks only to inform and leaves it to viewers how to interpret the concept.

However, Markin’s content isn’t wholly free of his personal opinions and beliefs. He is a gun enthusiast who supports gun ownership rights and has criticized the National Firearms Act and regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In fact, some of the very first videos he posted on YouTube were about guns. His channel also delves into religion, with Markin occasionally examining Bible stories in his videos. Again, though, his videos never forcefully promoted his political and religious beliefs. Now, another creator has alleged that his views are actually more problematic than initially thought.

What did In Praise of Shadows say about Wendigoon?

The controversy arose when another horror YouTube channel, In Praise of Shadows, posted a video calling out Markin for alleged controversial views. Unfortunately, the YouTuber has since deleted the video and set his social media accounts to private. However, according to The Direct, the video included allegations that Markin was tied to alt-right individuals, such as the Internet Historian, and accused him of cultural appropriation. It also claimed Markin came from a wealthy, privileged family and that his wealth was part of the reason for his fame. After deleting the video, In Praise of Shadows posted a statement to his Patreon apologizing for his statement.

He claimed he let his anger get the best of him, causing him to release the video with some errors, including the story of Markin’s wealth and a lack of evidence. In Praise of Shadows also claimed the video was partially fueled by Markin’s fans harassing him and calling him homophobic slurs. Meanwhile, Redditors screenshotted a comment Markin made via his Wendigoon account on In Praise of Shadows’ original video. He asked his fans not to harass In Praise of Shadows and claimed he had no idea about the previous harassment. However, he denied the video’s allegations and pointed out the errors in it. Even though In Praise of Shadows has already apologized and acknowledged the factual errors, Markin’s fans have continued relentlessly harassing him on social media.

While the video doesn’t seem factual, Markin’s fans seem to be defending him a little too hard. After all, the creator has been found interacting with extremists online. A Tumblr post provided screenshots showing him interacting with the anti-feminist extremist Shoe0nhead and following and seemingly supporting Kyle Rittenhouse. He was also found to have been following Parler Media at one point, a far-right media platform that was booted offline after it was accused of inciting violence and playing a role in the January 6 insurrection.

Markin has also gained scrutiny over the fact that his online name was originally Boogalooboi. Followers of the far-right extremist boogaloo movement frequently call themselves boogaloo boys or boogaloo bois. The movement has ties to white supremacy, Neo-Nazism, and anti-government groups. In a Reddit comment, Markin provided an explanation for his name, claiming he was one of the first to use the term and that it was “a rendition of Che Guevara’s code word for revolution.” He adopted the name to demonstrate that he was “a proponent of freedom and liberty.” As the boogaloo movement gained traction, he decided to distance himself from it and claimed to no longer have any connection to it.

Also, members of the movement often signify their involvement by wearing Hawaiian shirts, which Markin frequently wears. According to him, it’s just a coincidence, and he has always worn the shirts. It’s true that the boogaloo term only recently started to be picked up by extremists, but it’s difficult to verify if the whole situation was merely an odd coincidence.

Ultimately, Markin has never publicly identified as a conservative or Republican and has never voiced far-right views. However, he seemingly has interacted with multiple far-right accounts and individuals online, which is why In Praise of Shadow’s allegations garnered interest even though they are not proven. Given that Markin has been careful not to be overt in his political opinions, it’s largely up to internet users how they choose to interpret his social media activity and original Boogalooboi nickname.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.