Day 7: SkinWalkers
Updated: Oct 8
Urban legends containing animal-like beings are everywhere, however, there is none as notorious as Skinwalkers. Many different cultures have their own versions of skinwalkers but the original was from Navajo Culture. Sightings of skinwalkers have always been vast and have never slowed down, could this mean that it is far more than a legend?
Listen Here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/41337838
The name ‘Skinwalker’ comes from the Navajo Culture. They believe that the skinwalker is a witch, a harmful witch at that. These witches are able to transform into different animals, normally wolves or dogs. This type of witch has a special name that translates to “with it, he goes on all fours.” This shows their ability to change into animals easily. They are also said to be able to possess humans if they make eye contact long enough.
Many who are scared by this idea of shapeshifting people wonder how they can tell if an animal is in fact an animal or if it is a skinwalker. It is said that the only part of their body that can give this away is the eyes. The eyes will look human rather than animal. This information made me question if when looking to their eyes to see if they are skinwalkers or not, can that last long enough for them to possess you? It seems very risky. Alternatively, you could shine lights on their eyes, when this is done skinwalkers' eyes will shine bright red.
I was listening to the Holosky Podcast which is one of my favorites and they brought up that often the red eyes are seen with many other cryptids as well. This is interesting because this could form some type of relation between these types of cryptids. Although none of them are proven to be 100% real, if they are then them being connected could jump into an entire other conspiracy.
Navajo coined the term skinwalker but they are not the only ones who have this type of legend in their culture. Pueblo people, apache, some Mexican religions, and more groups have their own versions of skinwalkers. They are all the same essentially, just with different names applied to them.
Witches are integrated into Navajo culture so it is not odd for them to be with normal humans. However, what these witches choose to do is what categorizes them. Those who use their powers for good do not turn into skinwalker, but those who use their power for evil more so have the ability to turn into a skinwalker.
Generally, skinwalkers tend to be males although they can also be females. These individuals are active within the tribe during the daytime but at night they wreak havoc as a skinwalker.
It is said that in order to become a skinwalker in Navajo culture they must go through initiation with a very evil secret society. This initiation is often killing a very close family member. Often people think that maybe becoming a skinwalker is a negative thing that these individuals did not want but it is very clear through this legend that these individuals want to become skinwalkers.
So why would someone want to be turned into a skinwalker? Well, if they are focused on evil and just want to continue to be evil then that makes sense. However, there are also some powers that skinwalkers are stated to have. These include mind control, mind reading, causing illness, death, and destruction of property.
In many accounts where people have encountered what they believe to be skinwalkers, these individuals can end up ill after the experience. This is the main sign that suggests you have encountered a skinwalker.
It is a myth that skinwalkers only target those of Navajo descent, in reality, they can target anyone. This could be due to the fact that skinwalkers appear under many different names in many different cultures. Anyways, there are some telltale signs that a skinwalker is near you or trying to get to you. IF you are in your home they like to knock on windows, walls, make scratching noises on the roof, and so on. They also like to look through windows as well. But they do not always appear when you are at home. They like to appear in front of cars in hopes to cause an accident.
In Navajo culture whistling at night is a big no. Some cultures also state that whistling in a house is not okay. These two things are said to attract skinwalkers and sometimes have them respond with a whistle. Even if you do not whistle first a whistle, whether far off or very close, can be the call of a skinwalker. Other noises they make include mimicking a woman’s voice or man's voice, maybe even your voice, there have been accounts of that or a person's scream. These are tactics to draw people out of their homes. If you hear a woman trying to talk to you from a dark field you may go out there thinking someone is hurt, the same thing if you hear someone scream.
Skinwalkers are stated to stink an insane amount. If you smell something very rancid that maybe the smell of a skinwalker. Skinwalkers who are in animal form are unable to be killed, there are accounts of ‘animals’ being shot point-blank and just walking away as if nothing happened. The last thing that indicates a skinwalker is animal tracts that just vanish at one point or change into human tracts at some point.
So let’s get into what skinwalkers actually look like. There are tons of different reports of what skinwalkers look like. Obviously, at some point, these skinwalkers just look like people, but when they transform there are various accounts of what they look like.
One is essentially a humanoid figure that is far too large and skeleton-like. People have reported these beings as tall as 10feet tall. Sometimes these extremely tall versions of these skinwalkers have animal heads and/or animal feet but human bodies. Another version of this is giant animals that have more human-like bodies and walk on two feet. Often these beings arms drag on the ground, so they have extremely long arms.
Skinwalkers are also described as normal size wolves, dogs, or sometimes other animals. There are also reports of skinwalkers that look just like wolves or dogs but are extremely tall. One account had the wolfs back as tall as the top of a car window.
No matter what these beings are stated to be able to run extremely fast, just as fast as a car if not faster. They are also stated to be able to jump extreme distances.
Now that we have gone over the basics of skinwalker history, what they look like, and what they can do let’s get into some personal accounts of meetings with skinwalkers. These will be off of multiple websites, they will all be linked in the show notes on our website.
I also want to state that many Navajo and others will not talk about skinwalkers or stories about them because they believe it will attract them.
Here are the stories read in the episode:
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